Celia Godkin

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Celia Godkin

Author, Illustrator
Frankville, ON

Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year selection (2009)

Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction Honour Book (2007)

Silver Birch Express shortlist (2007)

Canadian Science Writers Association Science in Society Journalism Award nominee (2007)

Book Link- Best Book for the Classroom selection (2006)

Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice (2007)

Black Spruce Award shortlist (2003)

Parent Council Ltd. (Texas) outstanding title (1998)

Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice (1999)

Chlidren's Literature Roundtables of Canada Honour Book (1996)

Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice (1995)

Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award (1990)

Mt. Christie Book Award shortlist, illustration category (1990)

Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice (1990)


Non-fiction, Picture books


I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a number of complementary and overlapping careers that combine my love of art and nature. I began as a biologist, then transitioned to scientific illustration, drawing plants and animals for textbooks, scientific papers, zoo signs and - most recently - coins issued by the Royal Canadian Mint. While working as a freelance illustrator, I also taught many adult art classes and scientific illustration courses at the University of Toronto, where I was Associate Professor in Biomedical Communications.

An assignment to illustrate signage for the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg led to collaboration with Zoo Director, Clive Roots, on Endangered Species: Canada’s Disappearing Wildlife. Encouraged by this success, I illustrated a story I’d written many years earlier and showed it to my publisher. The resulting book, Wolf Island, won the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada 1990 Best Information Book Award and launched my career as an author and illustrator of children’s picture books.

My stories focus on the regenerative power of nature and show how all life forms are connected. Though my books are non-fiction, my prose has been described as poetic and my images as fine art. I hope that my books and readings will inspire the next generation of naturalists.


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School Readings

In an hour-long reading, there&;s generally time to read one, sometimes two books, and talk about the process of putting a book together. The ecology behind the story is explained and questions are encouraged.

•  Skydiver – the inspiring story of how the peregrine falcon was saved from the brink of disaster.•  Hurricane! – the impact of severe storms on wildlife and how natural habitats help protect human communities.•  Fire! – forest ecology and the impact of fires on forest plants and animals.•  Flying Lessons – told with puppets; recommended for K – 2.•  When the Giant Stirred - story; discussion of Polynesians, volcanoes, tsunamis.•  Sea Otter Inlet - story; discussion of sea otters, kelp forests etc.•  Ladybug Garden - story; discussion of harmful and beneficial insects etc.•  Wolf Island  - story; discussion of wolves, food webs etc.

Readings are accompanied by images of the illustrations and the illustration process, so I&;ll need a screen and slide projector. Occasionally there are compatibility issues between my laptop and the school&;s projector and for this reason I prefer that the school also provide a computer hooked up to the slide projector. 

Recommended levels: Primary (1-3), Junior (4-6)

Fees: $250 + HST and travel expenses