LIANZA is thrilled that Auckland Librarian, children’s book authority, reviewer, judge and graphic artist Crissi Blair is the 2019 winner of the Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award for an outstanding contribution to New Zealand children’s books, publishing and literacy.
Crissi has been a prominent national figure in the world of children’s literature for nearly 20 years.
Crissi has written for the New Zealand Book Council’s e-newsletter The School Library, and for the Australian review magazine Magpies, for which she is now New Zealand coordinator. Her own sought-after publication New Zealand Children’s Books in Print ran from 2005 to 2013.
She was a member of the 2018 judging panel for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and in 2019 was convenor of these awards.
"We were absolutely delighted to confirm Crissi as the 2019 Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award winner,” says Storylines Trust chair Christine Young. “Her multifaceted involvement in the New Zealand children’s literature community, including many years on the Storylines management committee, and her ongoing dedication to promoting New Zealand books and reading, and engaging young people with New Zealand literature, meant that the decision to acknowledge Crissi with this award was unanimous.”
The Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award honours the former academic, author and reviewer Betty Gilderdale and has been given since 1990 to mark an exceptional commitment to the world of children’s books and awarded to a diverse range of authors, librarians, publishers, agents, booksellers, academics and teachers. Previous winners include Dorothy Butler, Elsie Locke, Ray Richards, Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira and Trevor Agnew.
A presentation to Crissi will be held by the Storylines Trust in Auckland in early November.