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Winners announced - LIANZA Children’s Book Awards

Winners announced for the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) Children’s Book Awards 2006

Media Release for immediate use: Tuesday 10 October 2006

The winners of the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards were announced on Monday night at an awards ceremony held at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre.

The awards, encompassing New Zealand’s longest running book prize, celebrate excellence in children’s books and the unique contribution New Zealand children’s authors and illustrators have made to building national identity and cultural heritage.

Elizabeth Knox is the winner of The Esther Glen Award for Dreamhunter. The Esther Glen Award recognises a work which is considered to be the most distinguished contribution to literature for children by an author who is a citizen or resident of New Zealand. Established in 1945, it is the oldest award recognising excellence in New Zealand children's literature and the longest running award for a book published in New Zealand. “Few writers can make the transition from the extravagances of writing for adults to the conciseness necessary when writing for children and young adults,” comments the judging panel, “yet, Elizabeth Knox has achieved this with Dreamhunter. The plot is brilliantly original and convincing, and the writing is superb.” The judges unanimously decided that this book is a worthy winner of The Esther Glen Award and a benchmark for other writers to aspire to.

Kevin Boon is the winner of The Elsie Locke Award (previously LIANZA Young People's Non-fiction Award) for his series Developments in New Zealand History. The Elsie Locke Award celebrates a distinguished contribution to non-fiction for young people. “Without the work of Kevin Boon, New Zealand’s non-fiction resources for children would be infinitely poorer,” says the judging panel. “A thematic approach to history, rather than a strictly chronological one, requires careful synthesis of the material, and Boon does this particularly well, moving through each topic in a way that to the reader is convincing and logical. It is an enormously impressive achievement.” The judges debated whether any one volume could be singled out but in the end felt that the series as a whole is a deserved winner.

Gavin Bishop is the winner of The Russell Clark Award for Kiwi Moon, which he both wrote and illustrated. The Russell Clark Award was first presented in 1975 and rewards the most distinguished pictures or illustrations for a children's book. “Kiwi Moon has all the appeal and promise of a future folktale classic,” say the judging panel, “it is an outstanding example of how text and illustrations can be interwoven to produce a marvellous whole.”

The judging panel for the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards 2006 was: Bob Docherty, (Panel Convenor) National Library, Christchurch; Katherine Chisholm, National Library, Palmerston North; and Annette Williams, Christchurch City Libraries. Between them, the judging panel has over fifty years of library experience. Each of the LIANZA Children’s Book Award winners receives a medal and cheque for $1,000.

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About LIANZA

The Library & Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa: Te Rau Herenga o Aotearoa (LIANZA) is the professional organisation for the New Zealand library and information services sector.

LIANZA serves and promotes the interests of New Zealand library and information industry and professionals by providing continuing professional development, awards and recognition, publications and resources, advocacy and collegial support. LIANZA plays a key coordination role in the industry and through its regional and special interest group infrastructure provides organisational structure for members seeking mutual support. LIANZA is a member of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). For further information about LIANZA visit http://www.lianza.org.nz/

Notes to Editors

1. To be eligible for the 2006 prize, books must have first been published in New Zealand between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2005

2. It was jointly decided by Te Rōpū Whakahau and the LIANZA Council that there would be no award of Te Kura Pounamu this year (for the author of the book which is considered to be a distinguished contribution to literature for children or young people, written in te reo Māori) due to a lack of eligible works. As part of an intended review of the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards in 2007, the Awards Committee will decide whether translations into te reo Māori should be explicitly included in the criteria for Te Kura Pounamu.

3. The winners of the 2005 awards were Melanie Drewery for Ngā Rongoā a Koro, translated by Kararaina Uatuku (The Te Kura Pounamu Award), Bernard Beckett for Malcolm and Juliet (The Esther Glen Award), illustrator Jacqui Colley for Clubs: A Lolly Leopold Story by Kate De Goldi (The Russell Clark Award) and Gregory O'Brien for Welcome to the South Seas (The Elsie Locke Award).

Synopses and Biographies

The Esther Glen Award Dreamhunter, Elizabeth Knox (HarperCollins)

Set in 1906, Dreamhunter describes a world very similar to ours, except for a special location, known simply as The Place, where only a select group of people can go. These people are called Dreamhunters and they harvest dreams which are then transmitted to the general public for the purposes of entertainment and therapy or, in some cases, terror and political coercion.

Fifteen-year-old cousins Laura Hame and Rose Tiebold both come from famous dreamhunting families, but only Laura proves to be blessed with the gift. Once inside The Place, Laura discovers what happened to her missing dreamhunter father and learns how the government has used dreams to control an ever-growing population of convicts and political dissenters.

Born in 1959, Elizabeth Knox is the author of eight novels for adults. She won the Deutz Medal for Fiction, the Readers' Choice and Booksellers' Choice awards at the 1999 Montana NZ Book Awards for her fifth novel The Vintner’s Luck. She also received the 2001 Tasmania Pacific Region Prize for the same novel and Billie’s Kiss was shortlisted in the 2002 Montana NZ Book Awards. Dreamhunter is her first book for young adults and she is currently writing the sequel. Knox lives in Wellington with her husband and son.

The Elsie Locke Award (previously LIANZA Young People's Non-fiction Award) Developments in New Zealand History, Kevin Boon (Waiatarua Publishing)

The Liberals, The Forests, Roads and Railways and Development of Farming are the four latest volumes in a series of twenty general knowledge resources recommended for children aged eight to fifteen years old. Each book contains double-page-spreads with multiple historic and contemporary photographs to corroborate the text. The themes and key events in each titles cross reference within the series, providing a continuum of colonial New Zealand history. The series also includes relevant New Zealand maps.

Kevin Boon is one of the most prolific authors of books for young people in New Zealand. He has written over one hundred titles, including fiction and picture books. His non-fiction writing includes a biography series about Famous New Zealanders and a series on New Zealand Disasters and Special Days. Kevin Boon has over forty years experience as a schoolteacher and principal. He also has a background in writing television programmes, radio stories and stage plays. He lives in Wellington

The Russell Clark Award Kiwi Moon, Gavin Bishop (Random House)

Kiwi Moon is the story of a little white kiwi. When he is born his mother doesn't recognise him because he's not brown. Little Kiwi looks to the moon as his mother instead because it is white and bright and round. In the background of this story we see the changing times of a nearby pa. Through illustrations only we see intertribal warfare, the death of the chief, English soldiers arriving and then the burning of the pa. This fire spreads and the two stories become one as the white kiwi's habitat is razed to the ground. The story contains themes of intertribal warfare, European colonisation of New Zealand, Māori /Pakeha relations, and conservation.

Gavin Bishop was born in 1946 and has written and illustrated nearly 30 books for children, including Taming the Sun, which was shortlisted for the 2005 NZ Post Children's Book Awards. His book Weaving Earth and Sky won the non-fiction section and the Book of the Year Award of the NZ Post Children's Book Awards 2003. Bishop was awarded the 'Sylvia-Ashton Warner fellow' at Auckland College of Education for 2004. He lives in Christchurch.


ENDS

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