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LIANZA Children’s Book Awards Announced

LIANZA Children’s Book Awards Announced

As part of their annual conference, following Library Week, the winners of the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards 2005 were announced on Monday afternoon in Christchurch and presented by Keith Locke, Green Party MP and son of Elsie Locke in whose memory one of the awards is named.

LIANZA (Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) supports libraries, which provide resources to children and young people from a variety of economic, social, and academic backgrounds. LIANZA sees these book awards as an opportunity for the library profession to encourage the authors and illustrators who create these resources.

LIANZA President John Garraway says, "The tradition of the LIANZA Children's Book Awards highlights the unique contribution these talented authors and illustrators have made to building New Zealanders' identity and cultural heritage. New Zealand's libraries and young people are the richer for their efforts and LIANZA congratulates the winners and all those who were nominated in each of this year's categories.”

The National Library and Pub Charity supported the awards. Over 100 new children’s titles by New Zealand authors were considered for the awards and a shortlist of 21 outstanding books was distilled into 4 overall winners:

The Te Kura Pounamu Award, for work published in te reo Mâori was awarded to Ngâ Rongoâ a Koro by Melanie Drewery, translated by Kararaina Uatuku, published by Huia.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of this award.

“Ngâ Rongoâ a Koro has the ‘x’ factor. The illustrations are almost tactile, the topic conveys the cultural importance placed on rongoâ and the storyline cleverly conveys this in a way that all readers will be able to relate to. We liked the simple language, the role modelling of the passives ‘A’ and ‘O’ is extremely good, and we feel that the book will be read often at home and at school.”

The Esther Glen Award for fiction was awarded to Malcolm and Juliet by Bernard Beckett, published by Longacre Press. This award is New Zealand’s longest running book award. It was established in 1945 to commemorate the work of Esther Glen; author, editor and highly regarded journalist.

“Malcolm and Juliet combines quirky humour with a sophisticated literary and

theatrical style elevating the story into something more than simply farce or satire.

Cleverly and tightly plotted with strong dialogue reflecting the novel’s origins in a

stage-play, this book challenges readers and keeps them guessing. Loose ends are

tied up in an appropriately stylised, Shakespearean way.”

The Russell Clark Award was first awarded in 1975, it recognizes excellence in children’s book illustration and this year goes to Clubs: a Lolly Leopold Story by Kate De Goldi, illustrated by Jacqui Colley, published by Trapeze.

“De Goldi’s skill in language and characterisation are the perfect foil for Colley’s collage illustrations. Their skewed and strategic placements force readers and viewers to explore the book’s many stories, reading and rereading the words as art and the art as words. The synergy between individual writer and artist is first class, and results in an original, unique work.”

The Elsie Locke Award goes to Welcome to the South Seas by Gregory O'Brien, published by Auckland University Press. This award was previously known as the LIANZA Young People’s Non-fiction Award and was renamed, after receipt of a generous bequest in 2001, in memory of Elsie Locke; writer, historian, and leader in peace movements and women’s affairs.

“Beautifully designed and presented Welcome to the South Seas is an outstanding introduction to a great range of New Zealand art and artists. It asks deep philosophical questions about the nature of art in ways that successfully reach young readers; the text is full of insights guiding rather than leading the reader.”

Each award consists of $1,000 plus a medal.

The judges for the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards 2005 were:

Te Kura Pounamu Panel:

Haneta Pierce (Convenor)

Hana O'Regan

Nekeneke-i-te-Rangi Te Tauhu o Kawatapuarangi Paoraturoto

Gina Colvin McCluskey

Esther Glen, Russell Clark and Elsie Locke Panel:

Bill Nagelkerke (Convenor)

Louise Easter

Bob Docherty


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