John Mantha - Illustrator

John Mantha is a Toronto-based artist and illustrator. He grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and graduated with honors from the Ontario College of Art and Design.

His major commissions include the design of 12 coins for the Royal Canadian Mint, one of which was chosen coin of the year. He has done commemorative pieces for the Ford Motor Company and the Toronto Transit Commission, as well as 34 paintings for the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel. Other clients have included Fox Television, Imperial Oil, Penguin Books, Annick Press, Kids Can Press and Cottage Life magazine. Working for book publishers, advertising agencies, magazines, corporations, television and movies, his work has been seen throughout North America. His paintings, done in oils, have been exhibited in galleries across Ontario and hang in corporate and private collections. He freelances for CTV and The Globe and Mail as a courtroom artist.

Thus far, John has illustrated 26 books, including The Kids Book of Canada's Railway, which won The Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada 2001 Information Book Award and was an official selection for the 2003 Red Cedar Book Awards. The Kids Book of Canadian Exploration was nominated for the 2006 Hackmatack Award for nonfiction. The Kids Book of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada was nominated for one of the BC Book Prizes, the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize. The Kids Book of Canada at War was nominated for the 2009 Ontario Library Association Red Maple Award.

John works in oils and oil-wash, and uses Photoshop to enhance the finished piece. His style is realistic in nature, with an emphasis on texture. He uses Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for design work.

He lives in Toronto with his wife, Leanne; his daughter, Lauren; Bella the dog and Charlotte the cat. John is an avid golfer and has played since he was 16 years old.

: He has appeared in two movies --- Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story and Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story. He portrayed a courtroom artist in both movies, and the sketches that he made were used.

Lucy Maud Montgomery

2009 - Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner

Samuel de Champlain

2009 - Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner

The Kids Book of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

2006 - Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Book Prize, Short-listed

The Kids Book of Canada's Railway

2003 - Red Cedar Book Award, Short-listed
2001 - Information Book Award, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada, Winner
2001 - Silver Birch Award, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed
2001 - Book Design Award, Alcuin Society, Commended
2001 - Our Choice - Starred Selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner

The Kids Book of Canadian Exploration

2006 - Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award, Commended