Otago author wins top children’s book prize

  • Breaking
  • 19/05/2010

A picture book which aims to reassure children about losing a loved one has won New Zealand's top award for children's books.

Old Hu-Hu, written by Kyle Mewburn of Central Otago and illustrated by Rachel Driscoll of Wellington, won the supreme award at the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards in Auckland last night.

The book, for which the main characters are huhu bugs, is described by publishers as a story of death and the celebration of life.

"From the endpapers to the specially created font, this book is the complete package. It is a tender story that focuses on the positive aspects of growing old without succumbing to sentimentality," judges' convener Rosemary Tisdall said.

"It is a tender story that focuses on the positive aspects of growing old.

"Driscoll has also performed the amazing feat of making one of New Zealand's ugliest insects into heroic and loveable figures."

Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira's Maori translation of the book, Hu-Hu Koroheke, was also highly praised.

Acclaimed author Margaret Mahy won the honour award for The Word Witch, a picture book collection of many of her poems.

The children's choice award went to The Wonky Donkey, a popular story about a bad-tempered braying mule, written by Craig Smith and illustrated by Katz Cowley.

Janet Hunt won the non-fiction award for E3 Call Home, which traced the trail of a godwit which migrates between Alaska and New Zealand and which inexplicably went off course to Papua New Guinea and Queensland.

Christchurch author James Norcliffe took the junior fiction prize for The Loblolly Boy, the tale of a boy in an orphanage who is given the power to fly away and finds life outside his orphanage more difficult than he imagined.

The winner of the young adult fiction category was Wellington author Mandy Hager's Blood of the Lamb: The Crossing, a coming of age story about a girl from a Pacific island who faces several horrors as she is taken on a journey away from the island.

David Hair, who is currently based in India, won best first book for The Bone Tiki, which follows a boy who stole a tiki from a tangi who faces several legendary characters from parallel worlds.

Full list of winners:

Picture Book and New Zealand Post Book of the Year: Old Hu-Hu by Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Rachel Driscoll (Scholastic New Zealand). Te reo edition: Hu-Hu Koroheke, translated by Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira (Scholastic New Zealand)

Honour Award: The Word Witch by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by David Elliot and edited by Tessa Duder (HarperCollins Publishers)

Non-fiction: E3 Call Home by Janet Hunt (Random House New Zealand)

Junior Fiction: The Loblolly Boy by James Norcliffe (Longacre Press)

Young Adult Fiction: Blood of the Lamb: The Crossing by Mandy Hager (Random House New Zealand)

Best First Book Award: The Bone Tiki by David Hair (HarperCollins Publishers)

Children's Choice Award: The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith, illustrated by Katz Cowley (Scholastic New Zealand)


source: newshub archive