Category winners have been selected for each of the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults categories; Picture Book, Junior Fiction (the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award), Young Adult Fiction, Non-Fiction (the Elsie Locke Award), Illustration (the Russell Clark Award) and te reo Māori (the Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award). An overall winner has been selected from the category winners and will receive a copy of the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year. And the winners are…
- Picture Book Review of Things in the Sea are Touching Me by Chris Wright
- Junior Fiction Review of The Dog Runner by Lorelle Yorke
- Young Adult Fiction Review of The Rift by Matthew Sampson
- Non-Fiction Review of Art-tastic by Natasha Morris
- Illustration Review of Cook's Cook by Penny Guy
- Te reo Māori Review of Ngā Whetū Matariki i Whānakotia by Chris Wright
And the over-all winner, who receives a copy of The Margaret Mahy Book of the Year – The Bomb by Sacha Cotter, illustrated by Josh Morgan, is Chris Wright for her review of Ngā Whetū Matariki i Whānakotia. Congratulations!
The winning review is published below. All reviews will appear on the blog over the next few weeks.
Natasha Morris receives a Highly Commended for her review of Art-tastic.
The Winning Review...
This delightful tale links fact with legend and hints at the blended families of modern day Aotearoa/New Zealand. Scholastic NZ is to be commended for publishing this read aloud children's picture book in hardback. It is sure to become a favourite in homes and schools.
While Poua (Grandpa) is eeling, Grandma lies back on the sand with their grandchildren Te Rerehua and Sam, telling them stories. As she gazes up at the stars, she notices that Matariki is missing two stars. She quickly guesses who's to blame, and sure enough, soon they find a group of patupaiarehu (fairy folk) dancing about their raupo net that holds two glowing rocks.
As Sam and Te Rerehua are fair-haired, they are able to slip unnoticed into the group and subtly influence their plans.
Readers who look closely at the illustrations will see the patupaiarehu sneaking along in the background on some of the early pages!
Words and illustrations have been linked in an interesting way. The words are black on white across the top of each double page spread while the pictures in dark wash dominate many of the pages. Zak Waitara's use of moody blues, greens, purples and black match the atmosphere of this night-time adventure for Sam and Te Rerehua.
This first story by award-winning journalist Miriama Kamo will surely not be her last.
Reviewed by Chris Wright from Bookrapt, Bay of Plenty Children's Literature Association.
Judges’ comments: A beautifully written, highly descriptive review.