2017 Awards

PICTURE BOOK AWARD

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    Fuzzy Doodle

    Published by: Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by Melinda Szymanik
    illustrated by Donovan Bixley

    Written by Melinda Szymanik and illustrated by Donovan Bixley

    An uplifting story about imagination, and a rather wonderful caterpillar. It has magic and charm, evocative language and rhyme which echoes Margaret Mahy. Fuzzy’s character is built up by great illustrations from Donovan Bixley. With surprising, interesting design and illustrations, Fuzzy Doodle is a book you can read and read again, discovering something new each time.

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    Gwendolyn!

    Published by: ABC, HarperCollins Publishers

    Written by Juliette MacIver
    illustrated by Terri Rose Baynton

    Written by Juliette MacIver and illustrated by Terri Rose Baynton

    Gwendolyn the penguin has her niche — it just happens to be in the jungle, where she advises others about how to be happy. Her friends adore her, and immediately become concerned when Gwendolyn worries that she is missing out on frosty fun in Antarctica. She needs to find her place in the world, like all of us. The illustrations are a riot of colour and texture, and every page is surprising and fresh.

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    My Grandpa is a Dinosaur

    Published by: Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Written by Richard Fairgray

    Written by Richard Fairgray, Terry Jones and illustrated by Richard Fairgray

    Every page of My Grandpa is a Dinosaur is laugh-out-loud good. The story of Wanda and her strange family — and the grandpa that nobody believes is a dinosaur — is a classic tale of assuming a narrator is unreliable just because they are a child. Readers will root for Wanda as she attempts to get her friends and family on board with her hypothesis, because of course he is a dinosaur! The illustrations are retro-cool, and the final pages are a hilarious triumph.

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    That’s Not a Hippopotamus!

    Published by: Gecko Press

    Written by Juliette MacIver
    illustrated by Sarah Davis

    Written by Juliette MacIver and illustrated by Sarah Davis

    From the opening rhyme to the closing line, this story is a flawless tale of a school trip gone awry. The quiet kid reigns supreme in the hippo-hunting stakes, despite the loud-mouths leading the pack. The story has been rhymed innovatively and the illustrations are diverse, three-dimensional, and interesting. The teacher is especially hilarious, as she gradually loses control.

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    The Singing Dolphin / Te Aihe i Waiata

    Published by: Scholastic New Zealand

    Written and illustrated by Mere Whaanga

    Written and illustrated by Mere Whaanga

    A truly New Zealand story, beautifully told in both English and te reo Māori, with the words placed side by side. A tale is woven of a family with a grandmother and three grandsons. Tahi and Rua are not kind to their odd-bird third brother, Pōtiki, who is a nature-speaker and who could help them if they accepted him. A trip to sea ends in a change of form, with white-background sketches pushing out the dream spirit world in a delicate, wistful way. This book takes you on a journey.

ESTHER GLEN AWARD FOR JUNIOR FICTION

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    Helper and Helper

    Published by: Gecko Press

    Written by Joy Cowley
    illustrated by Gavin Bishop

    Written by Joy Cowley and illustrated by Gavin Bishop

    Another powerful addition to the popular Snake and Lizard stories. These two characters continue to entertain as they tackle serious life issues such as ‘What is help?’ ‘Where do you draw the line?’ and ‘What does being a good friend mean?’ The wisdom contained in the stories is nicely balanced with wry humour. The characters are brilliant and Gavin Bishop’s illustrations are appealing and expressive throughout.

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    My New Zealand Story: Bastion Point

    Published by: Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by Tania Roxborogh

    Written by Tania Roxborogh

    In this strongly crafted narrative, Tania Roxborogh compellingly documents the Bastion Point protests of the 1970s. The story is told from the viewpoint of Erica Tito, who is resourceful, independent and courageous. From her diary we can clearly hear and feel the conviction of those involved, the sacrifices made, and the opposition to this significant event in our history.

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    The Discombobulated Life of Summer Rain

    Published by: Submarine, Mākaro Press

    Written by Julie Lamb

    Written by Julie Lamb

    Summer is a child of modern-day living. In this laugh-out-loud tale she sweeps us along as she juggles the craziness of living with her dad at weekends and her slightly odd grandfather during the week. In this voyage of discovery, Summer learns to define both who she is and what friendship is all about. The lessons of acceptance, unconditional love and belief in yourself are woven enchantingly into a mystery to be solved.

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    The Impossible Boy

    Published by: Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Written by Leonie Agnew

    Written by Leonie Agnew

    This novel skilfully tackles the subject of orphaned children in a war zone, in a fresh and gripping style. The story is told from the viewpoint of Vincent, best friend of six-year-old Benjamin, who is alone, scared and in need of protection. So convincing is this tale that it takes the reader some pages to realise that Vincent is Ben’s imaginary friend. This story is addictive.

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    Sunken Forest

    Published by: Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by Des Hunt

    Written by Des Hunt

    Des Hunt craftily weaves enviro-science issues into his stories, and they are always fresh, full of adventure and stimulating for the reader. In Sunken Forest, family issues mean Matt is faced with the challenges of moving to a new school and attending camp, where he is confronted by a number of physical, emotional and moral dilemmas. You can feel the tension building. Themes of friendship, bullying and fitting in make this a vital and rather exciting read.

COPYRIGHT LICENSING NZ AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULT FICTION

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    Coming Home to Roost

    Published by: Longacre, Penguin Random House

    Written by Mary-Anne Scott

    Written by Mary-Anne Scott

    A superb coming of age tale that tackles the serious issue of teenage pregnancy from the fresh perspective of a boy facing imminent fatherhood. The themes are sensitively handled, with humour and skilled writing. Protagonist Elliott is a complex character, battling demons, and not always making the best decisions, which makes him human and relatable.

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    Kiwis at War 1916: Dig for Victory

    Published by: Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by David Hair

    Written by David Hair

    The heart of this multi-layered story is the relationship between Dunedin Scot Leith McArran and Tamati Baines of the Maori Battalion. Set mostly in France, the novel portrays the harsh day-to-day realities of the ‘Pioneers’ who worked behind the lines, and the real suffering of the men involved. A satisfying spy subplot keeps the pages turning.

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    Like Nobody’s Watching

    Published by: Escalator Press

    Written by LJ Ritchie

    Written by LJ Ritchie

    A page-turning novel set in a Wellington high school which tackles the themes of computer hacking and surveillance. The authentic teen characters negotiate moral dilemmas and the seduction of power, and don’t always come out on top. With a fast-paced plot, the novel also genuinely explores relationships between the characters, making it a well-rounded and satisfying read.

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    Shooting Stars

    Published by: Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by Brian Falkner

    Written by Brian Falkner

    A fascinating and highly original novel about a boy raised in the bush on the Coromandel, who is thrust into the world after his mother goes missing. So many different elements come together: strong, evocative writing, authentic dialogue, complex characters, a page-turning plot, the 'code' Egan lives by, and challenging themes of domestic violence, systemic injustice and living ethically and authentically.

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    The Severed Land

    Published by: Penguin, Penguin Random House

    Written by Maurice Gee

    Written by Maurice Gee

    This short fantasy packs a punch, with flawless world-building, an exciting storyline and elegant writing. The reader is in the hands of a master of the craft. Heroine Fliss’s quest is complicated by her uncomfortable alliance with Kirt/Keef, which keeps the readers on their toes until the end.

ELSIE LOCKE AWARD FOR NON-FICTION

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    From Moa to Dinosaurs: Explore & Discover Ancient New Zealand

    Published by: Potton & Burton

    Written by Gillian Candler
    illustrated by Ned Barraud

    Written by Gillian Candler and illustrated by Ned Barraud

    What a treat lies in store for young explorers travelling back in time to ancient New Zealand! The complementary written and visual text will enthral the reader. From the outset, the silhouette endpapers and contents page stimulate curiosity. A question and answer format plus diagrams, glossary and index all contribute to the discoveries encountered.

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    Jack and Charlie: Boys of the Bush

    Published by: Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Written by Jack Marcotte
    Josh James Marcotte

    Written by Jack Marcotte and Josh James Marcotte

    This book transports readers of all ages to life on New Zealand’s rugged West Coast. Through Jack’s perspective, we learn about the boys’ daily life and their hunting and fishing adventures with their father. The writing caters for a range of audiences, with blue strips of text enabling less fluent readers access to information.

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    The Cuckoo and the Warbler

    Published by: Potton & Burton

    Written by Kennedy Warne

    Written by Kennedy Warne and illustrated by Heather Hunt

    An eye-opening probe into one of the most perplexing relationships of New Zealand’s avian world. A compelling tale, underpinned by surprising facts, with strikingly detailed illustrations that complement the text vividly. The text invites interaction, incorporates te reo Māori, and uses a blend of narrative style to communicate factual information imaginatively.

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    Written by Simon Pollard

    Written by Simon Pollard

    A book of genius in its ability to convey the intricate lives of creatures who have been on earth for almost 440 million years, pre-dating dinosaurs. This is an informative and interactive text. Photographs, diagrams, text boxes, captions, glossary and index, plus an engaging use of language, all enhance its wide appeal. The colour coding of categories such as weapons, engineering, deception and teamwork enhances discovery.

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    Torty and the Soldier

    Published by: Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by Jennifer Beck
    illustrated by Fifi Colston

    Written by Jennifer Beck and illustrated by Fifi Colston

    The true story of a tortoise saved by a soldier in the First World War reveals insights into the impact of warfare, and offers a moving tribute to friendship and acts of kindness. The bond between animal and human is explored through a crisp yet moving account. The muted colour palette offers the young reader a rich visual encounter with information that reflects a high level of research.

RUSSELL CLARK AWARD FOR ILLUSTRATION

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    Fuzzy Doodle

    Published by: Scholastic New Zealand

    Illustrated by Donovan Bixley

    Illustrated by Donovan Bixley

    The illustrator is clearly enjoying himself in this book. The illustrations are philosophical, simple and poetic. Donovan Bixley’s skill and talent shine through, with unique and clever illustrations that marry perfectly with the text. These are supported by beautiful design and production values, making it a tactile and well as a visual feast.

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    Gladys Goes to War

    Published by: Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

    Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

    Gladys Goes to War is a tribute to women in war, and Cooper brings Glyn Harper’s solid story to life with beautiful illustrations that capture the personality of Gladys Sandford with soaring landscapes and intricate details. The use of colour, perspective and light is particularly evocative. Gladys’s determined features are a joy to behold.

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    If I was a Banana

    Published by: Gecko Press

    Illustrated by Kieran Rynhart

    Illustrated by Kieran Rynhart

    A story about figuring out who you are. The lush and humorous illustrations really bring the story to life, and each page brings a new surprise. The illustrations are vigorous and exciting, with a strong feeling of movement. The earthy colour palette gives a cohesive flow, the pictures capture both realism and a strong sense of magic, and the design and illustration work in perfect harmony.

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    Snark: Being a true history …

    Published by: Otago University Press

    Illustrated and written (after Lewis Carroll) by David Elliot

    Illustrated and written (after Lewis Carroll) by David Elliot

    A stunningly produced big, beautiful and brilliant book that is an imaginative retelling of Lewis Carroll’s famous poems. The text and illustrations work together with found images and photos to create something truly unique and endlessly fascinating. The watercolour sketches interact intimately with the text, bringing it to life with a sense of urgency.

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    The Day the Costumes Stuck

    Published by: Beatnik Publishing

    Illustrated and written by Toby Morris

    Illustrated and written by Toby Morris

    This book stands out with its bold use of fluorescent colours and its simple lines. The illustrations work humorously with the text to tell the story of a boy who finds that all his friends’ costumes have stuck after a costume party and they have become a surgeon, a police officer and a rock star. The interaction between the shadowy adults and the bright child is delightful.

TE KURA POUNAMU AWARD FOR TE REO MĀORI

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    Ngā Manu Tukutuku e Whitu o Matariki

    Published by: Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by Calico McClintock
    translated by Ngaere Roberts
    illustrated by Dominique Ford

    Written by Calico McClintock, translated by Ngaere Roberts and illustrated by Dominique Ford

    Seven sisters come together, creating beautiful Manu Tukutuku in celebration of the Māori New Year. Clear expressive language accompanied by vibrant illustrations truly bring this story to life. A fictional retelling of a traditional Matariki story, Ngā Manu Tukutuku e Whitu o Matariki is a warm engaging read for all ages.

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    Ngārara Huarau

    Published by: Huia Publishers

    Written by Maxine Hemi
    illustrated by Andrew Burdan

    Written by Maxine Hemi and illustrated by Andrew Burdan

    Filled with striking and vibrant illustrations, Ngārara Huarau tells the story of a taniwha who travels from Hawke’s Bay to Wairarapa in search of his sister, Parikawhiti. Well-written, the use of descriptive text allows the story to flow, while incorporating kiwaha, or idioms, bringing the story to life. This stunning graphic novel is sure to be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

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    Te Haerenga Māia a Riripata i Te Araroa

    Published by: Duck Creek Press, David Ling Publishing

    Written by Maris O'Rourke
    translated by Āni Wainui
    illustrated by Claudia Pond Eyley

    Written by Maris O'Rourke, translated by Āni Wainui and illustrated by Claudia Pond Eyley

    Te Haerenga Māia a Riripata i Te Araroa includes excellent use of Māori language and creative illustrations throughout. A charming tale of perseverance and bravery, this is a heart-warming story that young people can relate to, especially when navigating different aspects of their own personal journeys.

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    Te Kaihanga Mapere

    Published by: Huia Publishers

    Written by Sacha Cotter
    translated by Kawata Teepa
    illustrated by Josh Morgan

    Written by Sacha Cotter, translated by Kawata Teepa and illustrated by Josh Morgan

    Drawing readers in with its vibrant cover, Te Kaihanga Mapere invites them into the mind of a young, inquisitive and trendy kātiro set on inventing her very first marble. Vivacious illustrations paired with excellent use of te reo Māori throughout truly capture the fun and quirky essence of this story.

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    Tuna rāua ko Hiriwa

    Published by: Huia Publishers

    Written by Ripeka Takotowai Goddard
    illustrated by Kimberly Andrews

    Written by Ripeka Takotowai Goddard and illustrated by Kimberly Andrews

    Tuna rāua ko Hiriwa tells the mystic tale of how the tuna got its silver belly. Drawn in by a luminous maiden, Tuna hatches a devious plan to capture her light for himself, but when caught by the moon is forced to suffer long lasting consequences. Fabulously told, the pairing of words and images truly captures the essence of this wonderful pārākau.

Best First Book Award

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    Awatea’s Treasure

    Published by: Huia Publishers

    Written by Fraser Smith

    Written by Fraser Smith

    A gentle and humorous story of rural life circa 1960s. Awa is staying with his grandparents, and a talking parrot, a haunted house and adventure await. Ghostly elements inhabit the text and provide scope for the trickster uncles. The writing is highly visual and sensory — you can almost taste the kai moana — and there is a quality of freshness and vitality in the language.

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    Like Nobody’s Watching

    Published by: Escalator Press

    Written by LJ Ritchie

    Written by LJ Ritchie

    The alluring power of surveillance underpins this well-structured narrative. Complex ethical issues are teased out as protagonist Oscar veers from cyber vigilante to cyber villain, incurring the wrath of classmates. This is a thoughtprovoking exploration of the tensions and pressures of modern society. An absorbing and original depiction of multi-dimensional characters, who use humour and intelligence to problem-solve.

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    The Discombobulated Life of Summer Rain

    Published by: Submarine, Mākaro Press

    Written by Julie Lamb

    Written by Julie Lamb

    A fast-paced narrative that encompasses wit, wile and wisdom. Summer is a dynamic character who shows growth and perseverance, embodying all the attributes of a strong female protagonist. The narrative explores a variety of societal issues — family relationships, classroom politics, friendships and land rights. A superb, fun-filled read.

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    The Mouse and the Octopus

    Published by: Talanoa Books

    Written and illustrated by Lisala Halapua

    Written and illustrated by Lisala Halapua

    Based on a Tongan fable, this tale is a delicately illustrated picture book where the expressive small ink drawings of mouse and the colourful full page images align imaginatively with the lyrical text. From forest to reef, the setting allows the playful mouse and the oblivious octopus to meet. A pathway into the eco knowledge contained within the Pacific’s unique island communities.

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    Wars in the Whitecloud: Wairau, 1843

    Published by: Kin Publishing

    Written and illustrated by Matthew McKinley

    Written and illustrated by Matthew McKinley

    The captivating narrative and realistic visuals of this graphic novel vividly depict the encounter between Māori and Pākehā at Wairau in the upper South Island. The novel offers fresh insights into what happened 174 years ago and its influence on our history. The historical notes at the back of the book investigate cause and effect and provide biographies of the key players.