2017 Kayak Kids Illustrated History Challenge Winners

Graphic novel-style comics were the medium of choice for both of this year’s winners.

Text by Nancy Payne

Posted November 7, 2017

Our winning stories this year are both graphic novel style comics — bandes dessinées — whose subjects are separated by more than 400 years. And they both highlight voices from our past that we adults probably hadn’t even heard about when we were the age of our winners.

Isaac Landry

In Isaac Landry’s story “Le rêve historique,” it’s July 1, 2017. Our protagonist—named Isaac!—falls asleep and dreams of being a sailor with Jacques Cartier in 1534. But the voyage is about more than exploration and discovery. We also see the kidnapping of Iroquois people including chief Donnacona, his sons and others. The story is clearly told and brightly illustrated. Isaac is 8 years old and lives in Murdochville, Quebec.

If you need to know a bit more about Viola Desmond before she turns up on the ten dollar bill next year, our other winning entry is a good place to start. Elly Hooker recounts the story of how this successful Halifax business owner was refused a theatre seat in 1946 because she was Black. Using clever drawings and an eye for detail in her writing, Elly’s story reminds us that good and bad are always intertwined when we look at our past. Elly is 15 years old and lives in Winnipeg.

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