Looking for a good book to read? LIANZA Children and Teens book award finalists announced.

Each year LIANZA Children’s and Young Adults Book Awards picks the best that has been published in New Zealand or by a New Zealander.

Did you know, as part of the LIANZA book awards, you can earn Hell Pizza for reading? Pick up a pizza wheel from your local library and ask the librarian to tell you how it works.

Recently the award finalists have been announced for each category, and here they are:

Russell Clarke Award (for Illustration)

  1. Marmaduke Duck on the Wide Blue Seas by Juliette MacIver and Sarah Davis – Scholastic
  2. Jim’s Letters by Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper – Penguin Random House
  3. Have you seen a monster? by Raymond McGrath – Penguin Random House
  4. So Many Wonderfuls by Tina Matthews – Walker Books
  5. Mrs Mo’s Monster by Paul Beavis – Gecko Press


LIANZA Young Adult Fiction Award

  1. I am Rebecca by Fleur Beale – Penguin Random House
  2. The Red Suitcase by Jill Harris – Makaro Press
  3. Singing Home the Whale by Mandy Hager – Penguin Random House
  4. Recon Team Angel: Vengeance by Brian Falkner – Walker Books
  5. Night Vision by Ella West – Allen and Unwin


Elsie Lock Award (for Non-Fiction)

  1. The Book of Hat by Harriet Rowland – Makaro Press
  2. A New Zealand Nature Journal by Sandra Morris – Walker Books
  3. Maori Art for Kids by Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke – Potton and Burton Publishing
  4. Mōtītī Blue and the Oil Spill: A Story from the Rena Disaster by Debbie McCauley – Mauao Publishing
  5. New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame: 25 Kiwi Champions by Maria Gill and Marco Ivancic – New Holland


Esther Glenn Award (for Junior Fiction)

  1. Monkey Boy by Donovan Bixley – Scholastic
  2. The Volume of Possible Endings (A Tale of Fontania) by Barbara Else – Gecko
  3. Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand by Leonie Agnew – Penguin
  4. Trouble in Time by Adele Broadbent – Scholastic
  5. Letterbox Cat by Paula Green – Scholastic


Te Kura Ponamu Award (Te Reo publications)

  1. Nga Kī by Sacha Cotter, Josh Morgan and Kawata Teepa – Huia
  2. Hui E! by various authors – Huia
  3. Tūtewehi by Fred Te Maro – Huia
  4. Kimihia by Te Mihinga Komene and Scott Pearson – Huia
  5. An early Te Reo Reading Book Series by Carolyn Collis – Summer Rose Books


The judges will pick one winner for each category. The winning titles will be announced on 15th June 2015.

Storytime with Tina Matthews

We were so lucky to have Tina Matthews visiting Kilbirnie Library for our Preschool Storytime last Wednesday! Just the day after she won the Russell Clark medal for her Picture Book “A great cake”, she read it to us using big illustrated posters and adding lots of nifty details. She also read her previous picture books “Waiting for later” and “Out of the egg”.

It was very special for the children to hear stories read by their very own creator!


Children book award winners announced

On Monday night this week the LIANZA children’s book award winners were announced.

LIANZA stands for Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa, which basically means that these are the book awards where Librarians get to choose the winners.


And here are the winners…

Esther Glen Medal for best fiction: Red Rocks by Rachael King (A Wellington author!)

While holidaying at his father’s house, Jake explores Wellington’s wild south coast, with its high cliffs, biting winds, and its fierce seals. When he stumbles upon a perfectly preserved sealskin, hidden in a crevice at Red Rocks, he’s compelled to take it home and hide it under his bed, setting off a chain of events that threatens to destroy his family. Red Rocks takes the Celtic myth of the selkies, or seal people, and transplants it into the New Zealand landscape, throwing an ordinary boy into an adventure tinged with magic




Russel Clark Medal for best illustration: A Great Cake by Tina Matthews

Harvey wants to bake a great cake, but doesn’t have all the ingredients. That doesn’t stop him. Harvey can make cakes from the most amazing things!

This book also includes an awesome cake recipe.





Elsie Locke Medal for non-fiction: At the Beach: Explore & Discover the New Zealand Seashore by Ned Barraud and Gillian Candler

At the Beach is a delightful introduction to the natural history of the New Zealand seashore.

With beautiful, factually correct illustrations (including detailed cross-sections) of three habitats—sandy beach, rock pools and mudflats. Many of the plants and animals that play a part in these rich ecosystems are shown, with lots of detail about crabs, sea stars, kina and sea anemones, shellfish, seaweeds, sponges and sandhoppers, fish, jellyfish & shrimps, and birds

This book will appeal to anyone curious about New Zealand’s natural environment, At the Beach is a must for the home, bach, classroom and library. Comes with a removable, waterproof quick-reference guide to common seashore animals.


Te Kura Ponamu award for te Reo: Ko Meru by Kyle Mewburn, translated by Ngaere Roberts

 A young mule has always been different. While the other mules stubbornly clip-clop around the sun-baked hills, he dreams of swimming in the glittering green sea below. But it will take more than stubborness for him to reach the glittering green sea






And if you like to read teen books…

Young Adult Fiction Award: The Nature of Ash by Mandy Hagar (another Wellington author!)

Ash McCarthy thought he finally had it made: away from home and all its claustrophobic responsibilities, he’s revelling in the freedom of student hostel life. But life is about to take a devastating turn, when two police officers knock on his door. Their life-changing news forces him to return home to his Down Syndrome brother Mikey, and impels him into a shady world of political intrigue, corruption, terrorism and lies, so many lies. As if this isn’t bad enough, the whole country is imploding, as the world’s two greatest super-powers start a fight that leaves New Zealand ‘piggy-in-the-middle’ of their deadly games. While trying to protect Mikey, along with strangers Travis and Jiao, his fight to uncover the truth turns into a nightmare race to save their lives and stop the destruction of all the principles he holds dear

Finalists announced for the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards

The LIANZA (Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) children’s book awards finalists have been announced.

Basically these are New Zealand librarians recognising the best books that have been published for children and teens in the last year.

The awards are separated up into 5 categories: best junior fiction (the top book wins the Esther Glen Medal), best illustration (The winner gets the Russell Clark Award), best non-fiction (the winner gets the Elsie Locke Award), best book written in te reo Maori (Te Kura Pounamu Award), and there is also a prize for the top teen book too.

The finalists for each category have just been announced (check them out below). A winner will be chosen from the finalists in each category, which will be announced at a sparkly awards ceremony on August 5th in Wellington.

Hot fact: The Esther Glen Medal for Junior Fiction is the oldest book award in New Zealand. It was first awarded in 1945 – that’s 68 years ago!


LIANZA Junior Fiction Award – Esther Glen Medal

The Queen and the Nobody Boy: A tale of Fontania by Barbara Else

The Drover’s Quest by Susan Brocker

When Empire Calls by Ken Catran

Red Rocks by Rachael King

The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate de Goldi

Lightning Strikes: The Slice by Rose Quilter (We don’t have this in the libraries yet. Check back later)


LIANZA Illustration Award – Russell Clark Award

The Dragon Hunters by James Russell, illustrated by Link Choi

Mister Whistler by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Gavin Bishop

Kiwi: The Real Story by Annemarie Florian, illustrated by Heather Hunt

Blue Gnu by Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Daron Parton

Melu byKyle Mewburn, illustrated by Ali Teo and John O’Reilly

A Great Cake by Tina Matthews



LIANZA Non Fiction Award – Elsie Locke Medal

At the Beach: Explore & Discover the New Zealand Seashore by Ned Barraud and Gillian Candler

Eruption! Discovering New Zealand Volcanoes by Maria Gill

100 Amazing Tales from Aotearoa by Simon Morton and Riria Hotere,





Te Kura Pounamu (te reo Māori)

Hautipua Rererangi story by Julian Arahanga, illustrated by Andrew Burdan

Ngā Waituhi o Rēhua by Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira

Arohanui by Huia Publishers, illustrated Andrew Burdan (Sorry, we don’t have this one in our libraries yet)

Ko Meru by Kyle Mewburn, translated by Ngaere Roberts, illustrated by Ali Teo and John O’Reilly  (Sorry, we don’t have this one in our libraries yet)

Taea ngā whetū by Dawn McMillan, translated by Ngaere Roberts, illustrated by Keinyo White