New Zealand's premier children's book awards judges are on the hunt for books that inspire a lifelong love of reading.
With more than 130 nominated books to choose from, children's literature consultant Rosemary Tisdall, writer and reviewer Trevor Agnew, and former journalist, now children's bookshop co-owner, Ruth McIntyre, have a long summer ahead of them as they select the very best in young reads to compete as finalists in the 2010 New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards.
Mrs Tisdall, judging panel convenor for the Awards which are now in their 14th year, says she'll be looking for fresh ideas, characters who linger and books that leave her thinking long after she has closed it.
"We expect to see some excellent writing from New Zealand's favourite and established authors, and we hope to discover some wonderful, new talent," says Mrs Tisdall.
"We are looking to have our imaginations captured by books with a difference, so that the intended audience - the young people of New Zealand and beyond - will have reads that entice, teach, and therefore encourage a lifelong love of reading."
The three judges will read works published in the 2009 year across all children's writing genre; from picture books for the very young, chapter books for junior and senior readers and non-fiction reads for both pre-school and all school-age groups. Throughout the selection process, the judges will be on the lookout for the work that will take the coveted New Zealand Post Children's Book of the Year Award.
The 2010 New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards finalists will be announced on 4 March 2010, with the winners to be named at an Awards Ceremony in Auckland on 19 May 2010. Children and teenagers will also have the opportunity to vote for their favourite book, selecting from the finalist titles, for the popular Children's Choice Award. Voting begins online at www.nzpostbookawards.co.nz, and via voting cards available in bookshops and libraries nationwide, when the finalists are announced on 4 March 2010.
The New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards Festival, a nationwide, week-long feast of events, readings, author tours and book-inspired games, kicks off on Monday 10 May 2010.
New Zealand Post has been a sponsor of the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards for almost 15 years. Its partnership has seen the Awards flourish over the last decade. New Zealand Post's strong support of the Awards reflects its 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 by supporting the Books in Homes programme each year.
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.