Press release

Winner of the “Alligator Pie” Illustration Contest signs with HarperCollinsCanada

Special edition to be published in Fall 2014

TORONTO—Today HarperCollinsCanada announces Sandy Nichols from Calgary, AB, as the winner of the Illustrate “Alligator Pie “Competition that launched in October 2013. Nichols’ proposal was the unanimous choice of the competition judges, who selected it from more than 60 entries. Nichols has officially signed on with HarperCollinsCanada to illustrate the special anniversary board book edition of Dennis Lee’s famous poem “Alligator Pie.”

“Alligator Pie” is the title poem from Dennis Lee’s classic collection of children’s poems, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2014. One of the first illustrated books published about Canadian children and featuring Canadian place names, Alligator Pie established Dennis Lee’s reputation as “Canada’s Father Goose.”

The contest, which closed December 19th, 2013, called on Canadian artists of any level or experience, published or not, to submit their visual interpretation of Lee’s iconic poem. The judges praised Nichols’ proposal, calling it a clear and unique concept that stood out among the numerous entries received.

“The illustrations are very simple yet sophisticated, bold without overwhelming the poem,” said Hadley Dyer, Executive Editor, Children's Books. “Like Frank Newfeld’s original illustrations and design for the 1974 collection, Ms. Nichols’ approach offers young children much to ponder and enjoy over repeated readings.”

“It’s time for ‘Alligator Pie’ to be togged out in a new outfit, for another generation. I’m tickled that Sandy Nichols’ illustrations give it such a sly and quirky makeover. Bravo!” says Dennis Lee.

Nichols, a seasoned illustrator who has worked for various magazines, advertising firms, corporations, and is an active member of the Young Alberta Book Society, was thrilled to be named the winner. “Illustrating Dennis Lee's iconic poem is truly an honour. I haven't stopped smiling (with the occasional cartwheel) since I received the news!” says Nichols.

HarperCollinsCanada would like to thank all of the Canadian artists who submitted their artwork for the contest and devoted their time to celebrating “Alligator Pie” in their own way.
Judges for the “Alligator Pie” illustration contest included Dennis Lee; award-winning author-illustrators Barbara Reid and Jon Klassen; Westwood Creative Artists literary agent Hilary McMahon; and HarperCollinsCanada Children’s Books Executive Editor Hadley Dyer. For more information regarding the 40th Anniversary of Alligator Pie please visit

HarperCollinsCanada publishes fiction, non-fiction, reference books and books for children and teens. HarperCollinsCanada imprints include HarperCollinsPublishers, HarperPerennial, Collins,
HarperTrophyCanada, HarperWeekend, and Patrick Crean Editions. These imprints publish the finest writers from Canada and around the world, including such acclaimed children’s authors as Dennis Lee,
Kenneth Oppel, Arthur Slade, Jon Klassen, Kit Pearson and Lemony Snicket.

For further information contact Melissa Zilberberg,
Marketing and Publicity Manager, Children’s Books
416-975-9334 ext. 154. Email [email protected]

Date Posted

January 16, 2014


Winner of the “Alligator Pie” Illustration Contest signs with HarperCollinsCanada


Melissa Zilberberg

[email protected]

416-975-9334 ext. 154