4 Mar 2010
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Books by two of New Zealand’s most revered children’s writers – Margaret Mahy and Joy Cowley – feature in this year’s New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalist line-up.
Cowley’s Cowshed Christmas, illustrated by Gavin Bishop and Mahy’s The Word Witch, edited by Tessa Duder and illustrated by David Elliot, are both finalists in the Picture Book Category.
But they are up against some stiff competition with other award-winning authors and highly creative newcomers battling it out for the top prizes in the country’s premier, annual children’s book awards.
The 2010 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards judging panel convenor, Rosemary Tisdall commented that the overall quality of this year’s submitted books was outstanding and whittling the pile down to a final shortlist was a challenge.
‘It is very encouraging that even in a year of recession and the changing market for books, many publishers are still able to produce books of outstanding quality. This reflects the respect that is felt for the work of both authors and illustrators.’
A Te Reo Māori children’s book, Hū-Hū Koroheke, translated by Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira, is a finalist in the Picture Book Category this year, as well as the original English language edition, Old Hu-Hu, written by Kyle Mewburn and illustrated by Rachel Driscoll.
The Awards’ Te Reo Māori Advisor, Paora Tibble said Hū-Hū Koroheke was an excellent translation from the “Super Nanny of te ao Māori.”
‘The text is descriptive and rich in terms of the kupu (words) used by the author. It could have been a ‘straight translation’, but the translator has created beautiful word pictures to complement the illustrations and it reflects the original English version,’ said Mr Tibble.
Many of the 20 finalist books reflect the essence of New Zealand: high country living, mud pools and geysers, the cowshed, gumboots and pavlovas. Other works give a taste of history, creatures, war and cyberspace.
They were selected from more than 130 children’s books published in New Zealand in 2009 and submitted for the Awards.
Mrs Tisdall, a children’s literature consultant is joined on the judging panel by writer and reviewer Trevor Agnew, and former journalist, now children’s bookshop co-owner, Ruth McIntyre. Together they will decide which book will take the New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year prize and will choose winners from across the four categories: Picture Book, Non-fiction, Junior Fiction and Young Adult Fiction. Winners will be announced on Wednesday 19 May.
The 2010 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalists are:
Picture Book Category:
Cowshed Christmas by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Gavin Bishop (Random House New Zealand)
Old Hu-Hu by Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Rachel Driscoll (Scholastic New Zealand)
Te reo edition: Hū-Hū Koroheke, translated by Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira (Scholastic New Zealand)
Piggity-Wiggity Jiggity Jig Goes to Dad’s Cafe by Diana Neild, illustrated by Philip Webb (Scholastic New Zealand)
The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith, illustrated by Katz Cowley (Scholastic New Zealand)
The Word Witch by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by David Elliot and edited by Tessa Duder (HarperCollins Publishers)
Ben & Mark: Boys of the High Country by Christine Fernyhough, and John Bougen (Random House New Zealand)
Dear Alison, edited by Simon Pollard (Penguin NZ)
E3 Call Home by Janet Hunt (Random House New Zealand)
Rangitoto by Maria Gill, illustrated by Heather Arnold (Puffin Books)
Willie Apiata, VC: The Reluctant Hero by Paul Little and John Lockyer (Puffin Books)
Junior Fiction Category:
Cry of the Taniwha by Des Hunt (HarperCollins Publishers)
Friends: Snake and Lizard by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Gavin Bishop (Gecko Press)
The Loblolly Boy by James Norcliffe (Longacre Press)
My Story: The Mine’s Afire! By Susan Battye and Thelma Eakin (Scholastic New Zealand)
Sting by Raymond Huber (Walker Books)
Young Adult Fiction Category:
Banquo’s Son by T.K. Roxborogh (Penguin NZ)
The Beginner’s Guide to Living by Lia Hills (Text Publishing)
Blood of the Lamb: The Crossing by Mandy Hager (Random House New Zealand)
Brainjack by Brian Falkner (Walker Books)
End of the Alphabet by Fleur Beale (Random House New Zealand)
In selecting finalists, the judges consider points such as creative writing, use of language, impact, integrity, design and production values.
Additional criteria for the Picture Book category include harmony between text and illustration. For the Non-fiction category the judges take into account integration of text, graphics, how illustrations were used to engage interest and enhance understanding, plus accuracy of data.
Finalists also compete for the coveted Children’s Choice Award, where kids, not the Awards’ judges, get to choose their favourite book. Voting for the Children’s Choice Award begins today. Long considered one of the highest accolades a children’s author can receive, children of school age from all over New Zealand vote on this Award. Voting can be placed online at www.nzpostbookawards.co.nz or by using the special voting card available from bookshops, libraries and schools. Voting closes at 5.00pm, Friday 30 April.
All winners will be announced at an Awards Ceremony held in Auckland’s Town Hall on Wednesday 19 May.
Finalists will be participating in children’s book events around the country as part of a nationwide festival celebrating the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. The festivities begin on Monday 10 May and continue through to Wednesday 19 May.
New Zealand Post has been a steadfast sponsor of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards since 1997. Its partnership has seen the awards flourish, growing from strength to strength over the last decade. New Zealand Post’s support of these Awards reflects their deep commitment to promoting literacy and literature throughout the country.
Working closely with Booksellers NZ, New Zealand Post and other dedicated segments of the community actively encourage New Zealand children to read and enjoy books. For those with limited access to new works, New Zealand Post also purchases and distributes books by the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalists in support of the annual Books in Homes programme.
The New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards are also supported by Creative New Zealand and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd and are administered by Booksellers NZ.
4 March Children’s Choice Award voting opens
10-19 May New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards Festival week, finalists on tour nationwide
19 May New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards winners announced