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Tokyo Digs a Garden

Jury Statement

Tokyo Digs a Garden marries text and illustration in a richly ornamented dream landscape that simultaneously suggests a digital and an organic world. Kellen Hatanaka’s illustrations are inventive and groundbreaking and the hypnotic text by Jon-Erik Lappano conveys its message in a darkly humourous and elegant manner. A book for any age.


Tokyo Digs a Garden

By Jon-Erik Lappano and Kellen Hatanaka

  • Book Details
  • Published by Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press
  • ISBN: 978-1-55498-798-6
Jon-Erik Lappano and Kellen Hatanaka

Jon-Erik Lappano and Kellen Hatanaka

Photo: Robert Scarborough and Kiersten Hatanaka

Who are Jon-Erik Lappano and Kellen Hatanaka?

Jon-Erik Lappano and Kellen Hatanaka win their first Governor General’s Literary Award in 2016 for Tokyo Digs a Garden. Jon-Erik Lappano, who wins for his first book, is an environmental educator, storyteller and creative producer living in Guelph, Ontario. Kellen Hatanaka is a designer, author and illustrator living in Stratford, whose previous books include Work: An Occupational ABC (2014) and Drive: A Look at Roadside Opposites (2015).