NZ Booklovers Awards 2020 Shortlist Announced
The NZ Booklovers website has produced its annual shortlist of the best NZ books published in the previous year.
The shortlist includes five New Zealand books for children:
NZ Booklovers Award for Best Children’s Book 2020
Abigail and the Birth of the Sun by Matthew Cunningham, illustrated by Sarah Wilkins (Penguin Random House)
Dinosaur Hunter: Joan Wiffen’s Awesome Fossil Discoveries by David Hill, illustrated by Phoebe Morris (Penguin Random House)
How Maui Slowed the Sun by Donovan Bixley (Upstart Press)
Rugby 1, 2, 3, Whutupōro Tahi, Rua, Toru by Thalia Kehoe Rowden, Illustrated by Myles Lawford (Scholastic New Zealand)
Things in the Sea are Touching Me by Linda Jane Keegan, illustrated by Minky Stapleton (Scholastic New Zealand)
Wildlife of Aotearoa by Gavin Bishop (Penguin Random House)
The winner in each category will be announced on 19 March 2020, and each winner receives $500 from NZ Booklovers.
The Best Children’s Book Award is judged by author and creative writing teacher Paddy Richardson, writer and former editor Heidi North, and early childhood kaiako and journalist Rebekah Lyell.
JUDGES’ COMMENTS: CHILDREN’S SHORTLIST:
‘Abigail and the Birth of the Sun is a gorgeous read-aloud story celebrating curiosity and melding the point where science and magic collide. Richly illustrated, it is a book full of wonder.’
Dinosaur Hunter: Joan Wiffen’s Awesome Fossil Discoveries: ‘As part of the Penguin Books Kiwi Hero series, Dinosaur Hunter tells the remarkable story of Joan Wiffen who, as a child, was curious about rocks and shells and grew up to discover fossils which proved dinosaurs had once lived in New Zealand. This is a meticulously crafted book telling the story of Joan’s trials – her father insisted that she leave school early since he didn’t believe girls needed education – her adventures – she finds an old map which leads her to her ‘treasure’ – and her determination to follow her lifelong interest in palaeontology. Beautifully illustrated, this is a rich and engaging story of a hero who is finally rewarded for her belief in her convictions.’
‘How Maui Slowed the Sun is a re-telling of the traditional story of how Maui slowed the sun’s daily journey across the sky. Filled with joy, energy and playful humour and illustrated by bright, quirky pictures which add further detail and fun, this is a book which would be great for both individual readers or reading aloud.’
Rugby 1, 2, 3 Whutupōro Tahi, Rua, Toru: ‘This beautifully illustrated rhyming book features all things rugby - from balls to boots, match officials to spectators. It is fabulous to see such an inclusive book about what is traditionally a male-dominated sport. There’s children of all shapes, sizes and colours take to the field. It is also bilingual, with both English and te reo Māori on the same double spread. A fun Kiwi picture book that invites everyone to join the rugby ruckus, boots and all, and have some fun with counting.’
Things in the Sea Are Touching Me: ‘This light-hearted rhyming story follows the experience of a little girl’s day at the beach with her two mums, as she unexpectedly encounters a range of sea life. Expressive illustrations show a variety of sea creatures in interesting perspectives. This charming book is also a much-needed boost to diversity in New Zealand literature; it is the first Kiwi picture book to feature same-sex parents. This is a wonderful read-aloud story that uncovers a world of playful surprises in the sea.’
Wildlife of Aoteaora: ‘From Dinosaurs to fleas and everything in-between, Wildlife of Aotearoa is a wonderful compendium of all the animals that have graced this land. It weaves history with the future, Te Reo, myth and conservation, complete with vivid illustrations. This book is a treasure chest.’