What a glittering night it was on Wednesday.
The New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards was like the Oscar's...well that was the prevailing comment on the night. So many breaks... with tradition...It wasn't held at parliament...but at the Town Hall which had been transformed into some other worldly venue with a magic forest created at the entrance and a suspended marquee from the ceiling with a light show on it. Gone were the long lines of chairs auditorium style...In were tables of ten with food and drink laid out....
We were greeted with wait staff handing around trays of champers, unfortunately the forest floor leaves scattered over the marble tile floor was a disaster as waiter after waiter skidded on the leaves and full trays of wine and juice glasses smashed on the floor. Just quietly a few of us had a sweep stake going how many trays will hit the deck before the night was over...that and the usual sweep stake of who will win.
I picked three out of the six winners...that's my best score yet.
It was great to see honour awards handed out as well...so for those who haven't caught up.
Young Adult- Salt by Maurice Gee...but the children's choice in this category was Fleur Beale's The Transformation of Mina Hargreaves...So Well Done Fleur!!! Maurice is an award winning writer for adults and the few children's books he has done have been amazing...I think he is following Salt up with a sequel. Maurice and Fleur are both from Wellington such home grown talent.
Junior Fiction (surprise surprise...not) Snake and Lizard by Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop. This was one of two commissioned books in the awards both of which won their respective categories, Snake and Lizard took out the book of the year as well. Gavin laid down the gauntlet to publishers with his comment that Julia Marshall of Gecko Press was one to watch and she certainly is... Well done Julia!!!! Wellington strikes again with Joy and Gecko press based here.
Non fiction another non surprise with Andrew Crowe having two books in the category. We do have great non fiction here and It would have been nice if someone else had been awarded the non fiction award to highlight the depth and quality of our nonfiction for kids...but you can't take anything away from Andrew he does do a superb job.
Picture book (surprise) Tahi -One Lucky Kiwi by Melanie Drewery Ali Teo and John O'Reilly.
this was another commissioned book and what a team- great work guys!
Children's choice was Ruth Paul's The Kings Bubbles, no contest, as this is a delightful book to read out loud. Raising a toast to Ruth! hic. Wellington again!!!!
The best first book was Out Of The Egg, by Tina Mathews, another super picture book. This was the power of not letting anyone stop you... artwork was woodcuts and the book was sent all over the world...lots of rejections until Tina's young son said send it here mum they publish books like your book ...Houghton Mifflin passed it to their down under arm and Walker found themselves with a winner.
So a good night was had by all...
and I didn't get to my predicted six trays of glasses to hit the deck...only four trays...
Our flyer's for the proposed children lit conference went down well...lots of chat about it so the industry thinks we need it...The time has come!...(well actually the time will be in September 2009)...and I'm on another committee.... goodness me I seem to collect them.