2018 Awards

PICTURE BOOK AWARD

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    Granny McFlitter the Champion Knitter

    Published by: Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Written by Heather Haylock
    illustrated by Lael Chisholm

    Written by Heather Haylock and illustrated by Lael Chisholm

    Granny bursts upon the scene, to the dismay of her family, which is fed-up with knitting. The rhyme dances and urges the reader along, through twists and turns flying as fast as Granny’s knitting needles. Lael Chisholm’s beautiful swirls and colour choices for the illustrations perfectly complement the bouncing rhyme and warm character of Granny McFlitter.

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    I am Jellyfish

    Published by: Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Written and illustrated by Ruth Paul

    Written and illustrated by Ruth Paul

    Delicious jokes and humour drift through this book, beautifully matching evocative and playful illustrations. With deft rhythm the text gently educates and informs the reader about the secret life of jellyfish while entertaining with laugh-out-loud moments. Colours, style and page production all come together to create a perfect story about the perils and triumphs of an unlikely sea hero.

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    That’s Not the Monster We Ordered

    Published by: Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Written by Richard Fairgray, Terry Jones

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

    Neighbour rivalry and one-upmanship get a gentle poke in this fun tale about pet monsters. Turning advertising and reviews on their heads with sly humour and clever illustrations, the story has you laughing with every page. The story and illustrations perfectly complement each other, and the attention to detail rewards with something new to notice every time the book is picked up.

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    The Gift Horse

    Published by: Millwood Press

    Written by Sophie Siers
    illustrated by Katharine White

    Written by Sophie Siers and illustrated by Katharine White

    A gentle story about a sad little girl and the horse she bonds with, which will sit with the reader long after it is finished. Sensitive pastel illustrations work well with the text, setting the emotional tone, and reflecting the themes of patience and grief. Layered with meaning, the story deals with complex emotions in a thoughtful way, giving readers a sense of hope that life will get better.

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    The Longest Breakfast

    Published by: Gecko Press

    illustrated by Sarah Wilkins

    Written by Jenny Bornholdt and illustrated by Sarah Wilkins

    Waffles, cake, doughnuts and pudding are offered up in this captivating poem about breakfast. Every family will instantly recognise the perils of breakfast communication with a toddler. Playful illustrations in a warm colour palette make your mouth water as you turn the pages, trying to find out just what ‘toot’ and ‘buzz’ might mean. An engaging book with a light-hearted and amusing text.

WRIGHT FAMILY FOUNDATION ESTHER GLEN AWARD FOR JUNIOR FICTION

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    How Not to Stop a Kidnap Plot

    Published by: Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by Suzanne Main

    Written by Suzanne Main

    When Michael overhears some men plotting to kidnap a student at his school, he and Elvis decide they must prevent the crime, even if it is his sworn enemy Angus who is the victim. A series of misadventures and wild assumptions see them zipping across town by bike, staking out the school painters and breaking a few rules. This fast-paced romp will keep the reader wondering until the very end.

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    How to Bee

    Published by: A & U Children, Allen & Unwin

    Written by Bren MacDibble

    Written by Bren MacDibble

    Peony lives with Gramps and her sister Mags on the Boss’s orchard where she longs to be promoted to ‘bee’. But then Ma tries to take the unwilling Peony to work in the city. Peony is feisty and fiercely loyal, torn between her mother and the rest of the family, and her love for country life. This delicately balanced dystopian tale takes us to a future without bees, where children perform the essential task of pollination.

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    Lyla: Through My Eyes – Natural Disaster Zones

    Published by: A & U Children, Allen & Unwin

    Written by Fleur Beale
    edited by Lyn White

    Written by Fleur Beale and edited by Lyn White

    A dramatic teen-view of the Christchurch earthquakes. Lyla is at the mall when the big quake strikes. Having lost touch with her friends and family, she finds her way home through a crumpled city. The long days and weeks that follow bring new challenges, and Lyla works with others to help with the clean-up and opening their home to those in need. A vivid insight into terrifying events and the impact on those who experienced them.

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    My New Zealand Story: Dawn Raid

    Published by: Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith

    Written by Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith

    The lively 1976 diary of 13-year-old Sofia. A shadow is cast when her brother gets involved with protests over the unjust treatment of Pacific Island overstayers. Then, on a trip to Auckland, the whole family is caught up in a terrifying police dawn raid. This becomes rich and emotional subject matter for Sofia’s entry in a dramatic speech competition. A warm, well-told story about a dark era in our history.

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    The Thunderbolt Pony

    Published by: HarperCollins

    Written by Stacy Gregg

    Written by Stacy Gregg

    When the small town of Parnassus is hit by the destructive Kaikōura earthquake, everyone must be evacuated. Evie’s injured mother is helicoptered out, but Evie refuses to leave her horse, cat and dog behind, and heads off with them on an intrepid journey across rugged terrain, torn apart by the quake. As she travels, Evie relives the recent death of her father, and deals with her OCD issues. A tale where bravery and resilience trump fear and injury.

COPYRIGHT LICENSING NZ AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULT FICTION

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    Because Everything is Right but Everything is Wrong

    Published by: Escalator Press

    Written by Erin Donohue

    Written by Erin Donohue

    Caleb is a high school student with problems, big problems. Things are going on in his head which make life unpredictable and scary, but he has a friend, a mysterious girl who makes him feel better and keeps him on track. As Caleb’s problems escalate the reader cheers for him. A powerful and timely story of a young man in the grip of severe mental health problems, but with a message of hope and recovery.

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    Catch Me When You Fall

    Published by: Penguin, Penguin Random House

    Written by Eileen Merriman

    Written by Eileen Merriman

    A love story peppered with sadness and featuring two heroes who will break your heart and then mend it again. Alex meets Jamie at the same time as finding out that her leukaemia has returned. She discovers that he is bipolar, but he is also irresistible. It complicates things. Alex and Jamie sweep readers up and carry them with them in this story of love, struggle, courage and hope.

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    In the Dark Spaces

    Published by: Hardie Grant Egmont

    Written by Cally Black

    Written by Cally Black

    This hostage drama set in the future in deep space has the reader guessing right to the end, and is suffused with suspicion and secrecy. Its heroine, Tamara, has guts and intelligence, and above all a strong will to survive and to fight to save her family at any cost. Unusual and scary, the story is also full of kindness and heart. An extremely memorable book that will appeal to science fiction fans of all ages.

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    Sticking with Pigs

    Published by: OneTree House

    Written by Mary-anne Scott

    Written by Mary-anne Scott

    Wolfy’s complicated home life is hard, and an invitation to go pig-hunting with his uncle provides an opportunity for excitement and adventure. When things go awry, it suddenly becomes terrifying. Wolfy has to dig deep to find the courage to save his uncle and get help. A true New Zealand story, action-packed and completely realistic, with beautifully evoked relationships between characters.

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    The Traitor and the Thief

    Published by: Walker Books Australia

    Written by Gareth Ward

    Written by Gareth Ward

    When Sin is caught thieving in the market, he is taken to a special school to learn new skills. These skills will put his life in danger but they will also save him. He will learn who to trust, and earn a new life packed with adventure and excitement. This book is full of action, fun, secrets, spy-craft, derring-do, untrustworthy classmates, a cast-iron set of rules, steampunk goodness and a dose of thrills.

ELSIE LOCKE AWARD FOR NON-FICTION

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    Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story

    Published by: Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop

    Written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop

    This wonderfully bold and abundant book, large in format and scope, takes us from Aotearoa’s prehistory to the modern day with stories of the people, places and events that have shaped us. The dramatic and detailed illustrations, with taha Māori integrated throughout, are complemented by minimal text providing context and inspiration to find out more. A book for every home, school and library.

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    Explore! Aotearoa

    Published by: Kennett Brothers

    Written by Bronwen Wall
    illustrated by Kimberly Andrews

    Written by Bronwen Wall and illustrated by Kimberly Andrews

    An engaging, informative and richly illustrated book that shares the thrilling true stories of resolute and dauntless men and women, whose sense of adventure and intrepid spirit led them to explore New Zealand’s uncharted territory — crossing oceans, climbing mountains, and going deep beneath the earth or waves. The effective blend of text, photos and illustration inspires and informs, inviting readers to become explorers themselves.

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    New Zealand’s Great White Sharks

    Published by: Potton & Burton

    Written by Alison Ballance

    Written by Alison Ballance

    From the cold waters of Stewart Island to the warm tropics of the Pacific, New Zealand’s great white sharks are tracked by scientists seeking answers about these magnificent ocean predators. In this book, vivid descriptions and plentiful photographs capture the excitement, demands and rewards of tagging and tracking great white sharks. They demonstrate how a career in science can lead to all sorts of adventures, and how sharks and the marine environment deserve our respect and protection.

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    Sky High: Jean Batten’s Incredible Flying Adventures

    Published by: Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Written by David Hill
    illustrated by Phoebe Morris

    Written by David Hill and illustrated by Phoebe Morris

    The true story of pioneer aviator Jean Batten, who made several record-breaking journeys across oceans and continents in her tiny plane. Exquisitely illustrated and beautifully written, with clear, informative and dramatic text, graphic simplicity, a subtle colour palette and elegant design, this biography provides a fitting tribute to Jean Batten’s passion, flying skill, enormous bravery and indomitable spirit.

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    The New Zealand Wars

    Published by: New Holland Publishers

    Written by Philippa Werry

    Written by Philippa Werry

    The New Zealand wars — their causes, events, locations and protagonists — are described in an accessible and absorbing narrative, with handsome illustrations and excellent referencing. This important book explores how these wars have since been viewed through the decades, portrayed in the arts, and how we are now gradually working towards a new understanding and place of reconciliation.

RUSSELL CLARK AWARD FOR ILLUSTRATION

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    Abel Tasman: Mapping the Southern Lands

    Published by: Scholastic New Zealand

    Illustrated by Marco Ivančić

    Illustrated by Marco Ivančić

    The story of 17th century Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, one of the first Europeans to come to Australia and New Zealand, is brought to life in meticulous, hyper-realistic digital paintings, which capture the tenacity and determination of this adventurer, and the complexities of the ship and the wild oceans that Tasman and his crew faced on their journeys. Finely detailed maps are the perfect touch as endpapers.

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    Bobby, the Littlest War Hero

    Published by: Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

    Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

    Bobby the canary, whose ability to detect dangerous gases saved the World War One tunnellers he accompanied, is the bright spot in accomplished illustrations that use a natural palette of khaki, sandy yellows and grimy browns. The warmth of the relationships and the personality of each soldier is captured, gritty textured paint replicates the dirt of tunnel walls and the rubble of the broken town, and a clever use of layout adds drama to the tunnel scenes.

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    Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts

    Published by: A & U Children, Allen & Unwin

    Illustrated and written by Craig Phillips

    Illustrated and written by Craig Phillips

    Myths and legends from around the world featuring witches, dragons and mythical creatures are brought to splendid life in a range of comic formats. Each tale has its own distinct style and colour palette. A skilful use of different viewpoints and a range of frames and layouts make for lively reading and bring freshness and vitality to the familiar and lesser known tales, providing a rich visual storytelling experience.

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    I am Jellyfish

    Published by: Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Illustrated and written by Ruth Paul

    Illustrated and written by Ruth Paul

    Jellyfish is a thoroughly original hero, a fragile but tenacious aquatic creature, who wafts and swirls through the ocean currents, encountering a diverse cast of characters, from the steely swordfish and unusual luminous fish to a splendidly pink giant squid. The pages are cleverly designed, changing orientation as we dive into the inky darkness of the watery depths, and young readers will love the glow-in-the-dark cover highlights.

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    Sky High: Jean Batten’s Incredible Flying Adventures

    Published by: Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Illustrated by Phoebe Morris

    Illustrated by Phoebe Morris

    Clean lines and flat colour are used to capture the dramatic adventures of the trail-blazing New Zealand pilot, Jean Batten. Much is revealed with minimal detail: a few lines transform a face from happy to mournful, young to old. A diversity of page layouts, from the dramatic blue-grey opening double-page spread to vignettes in white space, provide momentum and spotlight significant moments in time.

WRIGHT FAMILY FOUNDATION TE KURA POUNAMU AWARD FOR TE REO MĀORI

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    Hineahuone

    Published by: TeacherTalk

    Written and illustrated by Xoë Hall
    translated by Sian Montgomery-Neutze

    Written and illustrated by Xoë Hall and translated by Sian Montgomery-Neutze

    The te reo Māori in Hineahuone invites the reader to keep on reading, each sentence moulding this ancient pūrākau (legend) into the imagination. Bright, eye-catching illustrations work alongside a strong storyline, in which Tāne, son of Ranginui and Papatūānuku, fashions from the sacred red clay a shape likened to that of woman. Their noses meet in a hongi as he slowly breathes air into her nostril, Tihei Mauri ora.

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    Te Tamaiti me te Aihe

    Published by: Little Island Press

    Written and illustrated by Robyn Kahukiwa
    translated by Kiwa Hammond

    Written and illustrated by Robyn Kahukiwa and translated by Kiwa Hammond

    Watch that dolphin surfing on a surging wave! The strength of this pakiwaitara (story) is the te reo content, which flows as faultlessly as the illustrations. The text encourages the importance of kaitiakitanga by taking care of the environment and being kind to sea creatures. The clever use of watercolour illustrations supports the sea theme, gently reminding the reader that it’s never too late to play with or to save a dolphin.

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    Tu Meke Tūī!

    Published by: Little Love, Mary Egan Publishing

    Written by Malcolm Clarke
    translated by Evelyn Tobin
    illustrated by Hayley King (FLOX)

    Written by Malcolm Clarke, translated by Evelyn Tobin and illustrated by Hayley King (FLOX)

    The skilful use of kīwaha (colloquialisms) and playful huarite (rhymes) all in te reo Māori plait a courageous tale of manu (bird) against predators. Balanced by stylishly detailed illustrations of native flora and fauna within Aotearoa, this adventure starts with Tere Tūī flittering from plant to plant. He comes across ground-bound and scratching Taitū Takahē, and is intrigued by his quirky difference.

BEST FIRST BOOK AWARD

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    Because Everything is Right but Everything is Wrong

    Published by: Escalator Press

    Written by Erin Donohue

    Written by Erin Donohue

    Teenagers need their sleep, but seventeen-year-old Caleb is overdoing it. His world is disintegrating in front of his eyes and he pushes his family, friends and school life away. A light approach to a heavy topic, the reader feels Caleb’s weary, lost world and wants him to find himself. An insightful, candid and powerful tale of a young person on the edge.

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    Into the White

    Published by: A & U Children, Allen & Unwin

    Written by Joanna Grochowicz

    Written by Joanna Grochowicz

    An exciting story following the ill-fated Scott expedition to the South Pole. Scott’s team battles storms, killer whales, extreme cold, and a changing frozen landscape, even before they get off the boat. The reader can almost feel the cold and gnawing frostbite in this riveting reimagining of the horrors that this group of brave and resilient men endured as they battled the elements to follow their dreams and their leader.

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    My New Zealand Story: Dawn Raid

    Published by: Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith

    Written by Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith

    A seriously funny story following Samoan life in Porirua in the 1970s. Sofia Savea gives us laugh-out-loud moments as she gets a milk run, saves for boots, and observes her crazy brothers’ antics. An era of protest is recreated through the eyes of Sofia’s family and community in a simpler but charged time. A joyous reimagining of a dark chapter in New Zealand’s immigration history, told superbly with humour, warmth and corn beef stew.

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    Pieces of You

    Published by: Penguin, Penguin Random House

    Written by Eileen Merriman

    Written by Eileen Merriman

    A compelling, heart-breaking story that follows 15-year-old Rebecca in a new town and making new friends. Things fall apart after a party, and Rebecca’s confidence spirals downwards. But Cory — handsome, well read, funny and interesting — comes into her life, and a complex love story ensues. As beautiful as it is edgy, this is a challenging coming-of-age tale that tackles serious teenage issues with huge heart.

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    The Traitor and the Thief

    Published by: Walker Books Australia

    Written by Gareth Ward

    Written by Gareth Ward

    A page-turning steam punk novel about a savvy street boy with a mysterious past. Fourteen-year-old Sin is thrust into the dangerous world of espionage training in a school that is fabulous, if only he can stay alive. So much action comes together: combat training, assault courses, clockwork robots and deadly assassins. Sin’s quest to reveal the traitor and an uncomfortable alliance with Velvet keeps readers on their toes until the creepy end.