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Celia Godkin

Author, Illustrator


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Professional information

Celia Godkin has enjoyed a number of complementary and overlapping careers that combine her love of art and nature. She 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, she also taught adult art classes and scientific illustration courses at the University of Toronto, where she was Associate Professor in Biomedical Communications.

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

Celia’s stories focus on the regenerative power of nature and show how all life forms are connected. Though her books are non-fiction, her prose has been described as poetic and her images as fine art. Through her school readings and books, she hopes to inspire the next generation of naturalists.
Available For
School Visits
From Wolf Island to The Wolves Return, Celia's books are inspired by true stories from nature. Her presentations are accompanied by powerpoint images of her illustrations that are sure to engage children from grades 1 through 6. Details:
Celia prefers to visit schools or libraries in person. She lives in Eastern Ontario and may be reached via or at

Children's Non-Fiction

The Wolves Return: A New Beginning for Yellowstone National Park
Pajama Press, 2017

Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World
Pajama Press, 2014

Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2008

Fire! The Renewal of a Forest
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2006

Wolf Island
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2006

When the Giant Stirred: Legend of a Volcanic Island
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2002

Flying Lessons
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1999

Sea Otter Inlet
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1997

Ladybug Garden
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1995


Pre-Teen Non-Fiction
Amber, the Story of a Red Fox
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2004
Shirley Woods (author)

Jack, the Story of a Beaver
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2002
Shirley Woods (author)

Kit: The Adventures of a Raccoon
Groundwood Books, 1999
Shirley Woods (author)

Black Nell: The Adventures of a Coyote
Groundwood Books, 1998
Shirley Woods (author)

Flying Acrobats
Scholastic, Canada, 2007
Gisela Woldenga (author)
2007 Silver Birch Express shortlist
For: Fire! The Renewal of a Forest

2007 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction Honour Book
For: Fire! The Renewal of a Forest

2003 Black Spruce shortlist
For: When the Giant Stirred: Legend of a Volcanic Island

2001 Silver Birch shortlist
For: Kit. The Adventures of a Raccoon
With: Shirley Woods (author)

2000 Ann Connor Brimer Award
For: Kit, The Adventures of a Raccoon
With: Shirley Woods (author)

1998 Outstanding title of the Parent Council Ltd. (Texas)
For: Sea Otter Inlet

1998 Bank Street Award shortlist
For: Sea Otter Inlet

1996 Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada Honour Book (shortlist)
For: Ladybug Garden

1990 Shortlist for Mr. Christie Book Award
Category: illustration
For: Wolf Island

1990 Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book
For: Wolf Island
Other Memberships
The Writers' Union of Canada
Botanical Artists of Canada

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Phone: 1-416-515-1559

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