2016 Awards

PICTURE BOOK AWARD

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    Hare & Ruru: A Quiet Moment

    Published by Beatnik Publishing

    Written and illustrated by Laura Shallcrass

    Written and illustrated by Laura Shallcrass

    Hare needs to find quiet. Everywhere there is noise, and so Hare sets off on a journey to find peace and stillness. The theme of mindfulness is captured in a story that encourages readers to consider Hare’s feelings. With good pace, beautifully designed spreads, and stunning images that evoke emotion, this is a gentle book for children and adults who know what it is like to be anxious.

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    Hound the Detective

    Published by Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Written and illustrated by Kimberly Andrews

    Written and illustrated by Kimberly Andrews

    Hound loves to solve mysteries — but has he missed something important? Readers are invited to search, question and link ideas along with Hound as he gathers clues and tries to make sense of them. There is much to discover in the fun, busy illustrations, which carry clever messages that connect to reveal a humorous twist at the end. This interactive book will be looked at over and over again.

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    Kōwhai and the Giants

    Published by Little Love, Mary Egan Publishing

    Written and illustrated by Kate Parker

    Written and illustrated by Kate Parker

    Kōwhai is born of the forest and lives there for thousands of years, feeding its giant trees. But the arrival of newcomers threatens the survival of the forest Giants that Kōwhai has nurtured. Kōwhai and the Giants leaves readers with a call to action that gives hope for a positive future. A well-written story with poetic quality, perfect balance between images and text, and kaitiakitanga themes threaded throughout.

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    The Hug Blanket

    Published by Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by Chris Gurney
    illustrated by Lael Chisholm

    Written by Chris Gurney and illustrated by Lael Chisholm

    A visually bright book that deals with love and the loss of a grandparent in a sensitive and straightforward way. The text does not shy away from using words like ‘died’, ‘coffin’ and ‘graveside’, but softens the impact of these through warm illustrations depicting family images and treasured memories. A wonderfully constructed story that will leave us all reaching for our own Hug Blankets

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    This Is Where I Stand

    Published by Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by Philippa Werry
    illustrated by Kieran Rynhart

    Written by Philippa Werry and illustrated by Kieran Rynhart

    A fresh approach to the Anzac story, with a monument depicting a World War I soldier as the central character. The statue remembers those who went to war, and he also watches and gathers the stories of the people he has seen come and go across time, saying “I am Memory”. An economy of words allows the evocative images to speak, together giving thoughtful voice to Anzac history.

WRIGHT FAMILY FOUNDATION ESTHER GLEN AWARD FOR JUNIOR FICTION

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    Across the Risen Sea

    Published by A&U Children, Allen & Unwin

    Written by Bren MacDibble

    Written by Bren MacDibble

    The gentle way of life of Neoma’s and Jag’s community is endangered. When Jag is taken to the Valley of the Sun, Neoma must embark on a sea voyage to rescue him. The friends must use all their wits and diplomacy to help two cultures accept each other and live peacefully. This is a well-paced story with quiet humour and a subtle environmental message, which draws readers into a credible future.

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    Charlie Tangaroa and the Creature from the Sea

    Published by Huia Publishers

    Written by T K Roxborogh

    Written by T K Roxborogh

    Development of a port is degrading the ocean and has reignited tension between the Māori gods, throwing both the human world and the realm of the gods into chaos. A ponaturi, a sea goblin, believes that Charlie Tangaroa straddles the two worlds and that only he can restore calm. Somehow Charlie must find a way to reunite the gods and stop the destruction. Believable, gripping and thoroughly enjoyable.

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    Red Edge

    Published by Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by Des Hunt

    Written by Des Hunt

    In post-earthquake Christchurch, unlikely friends Cassi and Quinn investigate mysterious comings and goings in a broken-down house on the edge of the Red Zone. Helped by an ex-journalist, the pair expose an environmental crime and a pair of opportunists exploiting their culture for profit. A compelling, credible read with enjoyable characters, with whom we empathise as they deal with personal demons and the attitudes of their peers.

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    The Inkberg Enigma

    Published by Gecko Press

    Written and illustrated by Jonathan King

    Written and illustrated by Jonathan King

    Book-loving Miro and camera-toting Zia stumble across a secret in the seaside town of Aurora. Together they discover why Aurora’s fishing catches are always so good, and the corrupt pact that makes this possible. This is an astonishing debut in a refreshing format, with homages to comic creators of the past and a compelling story that will draw in even those who are not usually fans of graphic novels.

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    The Tunnel of Dreams

    Published by Text Publishing

    Written by Bernard Beckett

    Written by Bernard Beckett

    Two sets of twins and a magical, parallel world provide the foundation for an absorbing adventure. The twins find themselves on a dangerous and difficult quest that challenges their abilities and their sense of self. Readers will become immersed in a world where animals can talk and twins can levitate, and will find themselves getting carried along in this delightful fantasy adventure.

YOUNG ADULT FICTION AWARD

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    Draw Me a Hero

    Published by Lemon Ink, Lasavia Publishing

    Written by N K Ashworth

    Written by N K Ashworth

    The lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur in this novella about art, the written word, friendship, attraction and family. 14-year-old Jane’s thoughts and experiences are distilled into a multi-layered narrative that explores relatable issues — blended families, romance, mental health — without becoming didactic. An intriguing read whose classic girl-meets-boy premise is powered by an impressive subtlety and command of language under the hood.

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    Fire's Caress

    Published by OneTree House

    Written by Lani Wendt Young

    Written by Lani Wendt Young

    Lani Wendt Young brings her characteristic linguistic flair and talent for narrative pacing to this return to the Telesā world. Fire’s Caress is a novel of brilliant collision as the roiling, arcane powers of Sāmoa’s mythological past confront modern-day corporate hegemony. Global themes of environmentalism, neocolonial resistance, and the vitality of traditional stories are embodied in deftly written characters, who crackle with intensity and life.

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    Katipo Joe: Spycraft

    Published by Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by Brian Falkner

    Written by Brian Falkner

    An unputdownable, heart-pumping tale of infiltration and war, with a very real historical thread woven through the action and intrigue of the narrative. The story begins with ‘Katipo’ Joe St George, teen spy, parachuting into wartime Nazi Germany through flak and flame, and the stakes are only raised from there. Brian Falkner’s masterful control of pacing clinches this book’s lasting and wide appeal to teen readers.

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    The King's Nightingale

    Published by Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by Sherryl Jordan

    Written by Sherryl Jordan

    Elowen, enslaved and sold as a singer to the king of Al-Zafar, is the beating heart of this book. Readers will be drawn into Elowen’s world by her determination, bravery and honesty — and by Sherryl Jordan’s intricate, poetic world-building and evocative storytelling voice. From miserable depths, Elowen leads us to hope. The King’s Nightingale is a dynamic story of power, powerlessness, love and loyalty.

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    The Pōrangi Boy

    Published by Huia Publishers

    Written by Shilo Kino

    Written by Shilo Kino

    The voice of the small-town New Zealand teen is effortlessly captured in a hard-hitting story of what it is to be young and on the outside. Even though ‘pōrangi’ (‘crazy’) boy Niko’s life is touched by hardship at school and at home, he never stops fighting to uphold his ideals. Shilo Kino’s deft hand brings to life characters that the reader can easily recognise and love.

ELSIE LOCKE AWARD FOR NON-FICTION

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    Egg and Spoon: An Illustrated Cookbook

    Published by Gecko Press

    Written by Alexandra Tylee
    illustrated by Giselle Clarkson

    Written by Alexandra Tylee and illustrated by Giselle Clarkson

    Equally appealing to the gourmet and child chef alike, Egg and Spoon is full of tasty recipes, and even more palatable illustrations. Clear instructions are paired with intentionally ‘messy’ pictures in this playful cookbook that will have you wanting to dog-ear pages, spill batter, and most of all, cook. Including tips on foraging and kitchen basics, this is a delightful read, even out of the kitchen!

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    Mophead Tu: The Queen's Poem

    Published by Auckland University Press

    Written and illustrated by Selina Tusitala Marsh

    Written and illustrated by Selina Tusitala Marsh

    When you achieve a dream but people call you a ‘sell out’, what do you do? Can you serve the Queen and still stand with your people, who struggled against the Crown? Mophead showed us the journey, now Mophead Tu shows us that the destination sometimes comes with its own set of challenges. It’s an aspirational and inspirational tale, told in bold illustrations, and with even bolder words.

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    New Zealand Disasters

    Published by Scholastic New Zealand

    Written by Maria Gill
    illustrated by Marco Ivančić

    Written by Maria Gill and illustrated by Marco Ivančić

    Filled with facts and dramatic descriptions, New Zealand Disasters will fascinate and inform in equal measure. Vivid illustrations bring to life some of the most sombre events in New Zealand’s history. From earthquakes and shipwrecks to plane crashes and pandemics, the focus is not just on the events themselves but also on how New Zealanders have responded to disasters and learned from them, and on resiliency and outcomes.

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    North and South

    Published by Walker Books Australia

    Written and illustrated by Sandra Morris

    Written and illustrated by Sandra Morris

    A month-by-month approach is used to highlight the different ways in which Northern and Southern Hemisphere animals deal with changing seasons, and how variations in climate affect the ways in which animals breed, feed and survive. Maps and gorgeous watercolour illustrations complement the informative but accessible text. This book brings the whole world to us, with new discoveries on every page — a dormouse here, a honeypot ant there!

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    You're Joking: Become an Expert Joke-Teller

    Published by Write Laugh Books

    Written by Tom E. Moffatt
    illustrated by Paul Beavis

    Written by Tom E. Moffatt and illustrated by Paul Beavis

    Joke books can sometimes be passed over, but this one is different. Not only is it filled with deliciously corny jokes, it also shows you how to tell them … and create them! Packed with easy-to-follow instructions, performance tips, silly illustrations, and an insistence that practice makes perfect, this book teaches us, at a very serious time, to not take ourselves so seriously.

RUSSELL CLARK AWARD FOR ILLUSTRATION

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    Hare & Ruru: A Quiet Moment

    Published by Beatnik Publishing

    Illustrated and written by Laura Shallcrass

    Illustrated and written by Laura Shallcrass

    Hare’s desperate pursuit of peace is illustrated using a soft colour palette of blues and browns. Cross sections and ‘hare-level’ views allow readers to connect with Hare, hearing noises from above and below the earth. Moments of silence and sound are created through the use of negative space. Lastly, the view turns from the light earth to the dark heavens, and Ruru’s wise message about how to find quiet.

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    I Am the Universe

    Published by Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Illustrated and written by Vasanti Unka

    Illustrated and written by Vasanti Unka

    Kaleidoscopic illustrations fill each page, as readers are guided through the galaxy and solar system to Earth, and all the way down to a family and eventually a single child, before drawing the reader’s attention back to the infinite space of the universe in the final spread. Judicious labelling of elements of the solar system, atmosphere and continents introduces non-fiction elements to this joyful journey through the universe.

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    Kōwhai and the Giants

    Published by Little Love, Mary Egan Publishing

    Illustrated and written by Kate Parker

    Illustrated and written by Kate Parker

    We follow Kōwhai in her mission to bring back the giant trees of Aotearoa’s forests. Illustrations complement the poetic text, offering a range of perspectives and a truncated history of Aotearoa. Based on a shadow box exhibition at the Arataki Visitor Centre in 2016/17, the illustrations capture a sense of their original three dimensions using a palette of kauri browns and kōwhai golds.

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    Moon & Sun

    Published by Upstart Press

    Illustrated by Malene Laugesen

    Illustrated by Malene Laugesen

    Moon envies her bright and beautiful sister Sun and feels dull next to her. Told from Moon’s perspective, deep blue skies and bright yellow sunshine are in counterpoint in this tale of their complex relationship. Multiple curved lines flow across each unframed watercolour spread, carrying readers along through the story, while the colours and facial expressions of the personified astral bodies convey the emotion of the text.

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    Te Uruuru Whenua o Ngātoroirangi

    Published by Huia Publishers

    Illustrated by Laya Mutton-Rogers

    Illustrated by Laya Mutton-Rogers

    Colour and line are used powerfully to enhance the journey of Ngātoroirangi around the Central Plateau. Deep blues and teal greens depict the waters of the Waikato and the Rangitāiki rivers, and vibrant orange and reds illuminate dark backgrounds at Ketetahi. Spiritual elements are cleverly interpreted, and movement is ever present, with dramatic jagged lines in moments of high tension and curved flowing lines in peaceful scenes.

WRIGHT FAMILY FOUNDATION TE KURA POUNAMU AWARD FOR TE REO MĀORI

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    Aroha Te Whai Ora

    Published by Wildling Books

    illustrated by Craig Phillips
    translated by Karena Kelly

    Written by Craig Phillips and Rebekah Lipp, illustrated by Craig Phillips and translated by Karena Kelly

    We are taken on a journey with Aroha as she deals with her worries and fears, and learns techniques to manage her emotions. Readers are encouraged to think about their feelings and find effective ways to lift their spirits. The flow of lines and colour in the illustrations draws readers in, while te reo Māori has an ebb and flow, with a rhythmic beat that would work well as a waiata.

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    Mihi

    Published by Gecko Press

    Written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop

    Written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop

    Mihi introduces concepts of whānau and place in the world, the starting point for everyone learning te reo Māori. The simplicity of illustrations and reo make this board book both beautiful and accessible. Mihi shows the special places and people with whom readers can identify, both at home and in the community, providing a solid foundation for learning te reo Māori in the future.

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    Pīpī Kiwi

    Published by Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Written and illustrated by Helen Taylor
    translated by Hēni Jacob

    Written and illustrated by Helen Taylor and translated by Hēni Jacob

    Kiwi Iti wakes one day to find something new. Youthful curiosity takes over as he questions his father, Kiwi Nui, about this new entity. The story shows the inquisitiveness of children and how they react to the prospect of new additions to their families, and also teaches important lessons about patience. Variations in the size of text capture the eye and encourage readers to learn new kupu.

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    Ngake me Whātaitai

    Published by Huia Publishers

    Written by Ben Ngaia
    illustrated by Laya Mutton-Rogers

    Written by Ben Ngaia and illustrated by Laya Mutton-Rogers

    The traditional story of Ngake and Whātaitai, two taniwha of Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington Harbour, is used to explain how the landscape of areas surrounding the harbour came about, and the origins of different Māori names for Wellington’s well-known landmarks. Graphic novel illustrations bring the story of the two taniwha to life. This is a traditional interpretation of the interactions of tectonic plates and how seas and mountains were formed.

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    Te Uruuru Whenua o Ngātoroirangi

    Published by Huia Publishers

    Written by Chris Winitana
    illustrated by Laya Mutton-Rogers

    Written by Chris Winitana and illustrated by Laya Mutton-Rogers

    Te Uruuru Whenua o Ngātoroirangi follows in the footprints of the tohunga Ngātoroirangi (Ngātoro) as he journeys through Aotearoa and overcomes challenges from demons and the many exotic guardians of the different areas he traverses through. Readers are taken into the depths of places and the majestic mountains surrounding the Central Plateau. Te reo Māori highlights the mita of tangata whenua of the region.

BEST FIRST BOOK AWARD

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    Hare & Ruru: A Quiet Moment

    Published by Beatnik Publishing

    Written and illustrated by Laura Shallcrass

    Written and illustrated by Laura Shallcrass

    Why does Hare need quiet, and how will this help? Ruru leads a desperate Hare to a solution in a gently packaged secret message combining text and images. Using a combination of a limited soft colour palette, beautifully detailed and textured illustrations, and intelligent design decisions, this story provides an enchanting, fresh way to introduce ideas of conscious wellbeing to children and help them to manage anxiety.

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    Kōwhai and the Giants

    Published by Little Love, Mary Egan Publishing

    Written and illustrated by Kate Parker

    Written and illustrated by Kate Parker

    Kōwhai hopes to inspire others to rebuild the forest. This whimsical tale weaves together messages of colonisation, greed and waste with the realisation that there is hope for the future. This becomes real when Kōwhai finally understands that one person or one seed can initiate change. With cleverly hidden details on every page, the book’s deceptively simple but beautifully crafted illustrations invite readers to look, and look again.

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    The Inkberg Enigma

    Published by Gecko Press

    Written and illustrated by Jonathan King

    Written and illustrated by Jonathan King

    Miro and Zia use both skill and grit to solve a mystery in the seaside town of Aurora, revealing the corruption that has a powerful hold over the town. This graphic novel is full of excitement, and every image has much to see and take in. With its winning combination of intrigue, adventure and fantastical sea creatures, The Inkberg Enigma will appeal to a wide range of readers.

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    The Midnight Adventures of Ruru and Kiwi

    Published by Puffin, Penguin Random House

    Illustrated by Amy Haarhoff

    Illustrated by Amy Haarhoff

    Textures, dots, patterns, swirls, smudges and intricate line work give characters personality and appeal in this tale of Ruru and Kiwi and their midnight feasts. The illustrations have energy and depth, with wispy feathery leaves and vibrant bright eyes among the dark forest backgrounds. This is a story of friendship, sharing and fun, captured in images that give movement and charisma to each New Zealand creature.

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    The Pōrangi Boy

    Published by Huia Publishers

    Written by Shilo Kino

    Written by Shilo Kino

    Niko has a lot to deal with. He is being bullied, he is worried about his Mum, and he is supporting his koro to protect their land and the taniwha that belongs there. This is a well-paced story that portrays a recognisable picture of life in small-town New Zealand. Issues faced by young people are woven throughout, yet Niko’s important story of protest and strength remains at the core.