The British picture book awards announced their shortlist this past week. While the actual award winners of the CILIP Kate Greenway Medal are not revealed until this June, I almost think that the short and long lists are more exciting. They give us a sort of checklist of quality books to look out for. I've only come across one of the seven so far but will certainly be ordering them at the library and then trying to guess the winner. A couple of the selections are graphic novels, which I'm really exctied about since my eldest is finally getting into longer books.
Have you read any of them? What are your thoughts?
Below you will find descriptions of the books directly from the publisher's websites.
King of the Sky
Written by Nicola Davies
Illustrated by Laura Carlin
A powerful and beautifully illustrated story about migration and the meaning of home, from the award-winning team behind The Promise. Starting a new life in a new country, a young boy feels lost and alone – until he meets an old man who keeps racing pigeons. Together they pin their hopes on a race across Europe and the special bird they believe can win it: King of the Sky. Nicola Davies’ beautiful story – an immigrant’s tale with a powerful resonance in our troubled times – is illustrated by an artist who makes the world anew with every picture.
Written and Illustrated by Debi Gliori
From beloved author and illustrator Debi Gliori (No Matter What) comes Night Shift, a groundbreaking lushly illustrated picture book based on Gliori’s own personal history with depression. Fighting dragons is one way of fighting depression. This book is another.
Through stunning black and white illustration and deceptively simple text, author and illustrator Debi Gliori provides a fascinating and absorbing portrait of depression and hope in Night Shift, a moving picture book about a young girl haunted by dragons. The young girl battles the dragons using ‘night skills’: skills that give her both the ability to survive inside her own darkness and the knowledge that nothing—not even long, dark nights filled with monsters—will last forever. A brave and powerful book, give Night Shift to dragon fighters young and old, and any reader who needs to know they’re not alone.
A First Book of Animals
Written by Nicola Davies
Illustrated by Petr Horacek
The award-winning author of A First Book of Nature, presents a spellbinding treasury of poems about the animal world, illustrated in breathtaking detail by Petr Horacek. Polar bears playing on the ice, tigers hunting in the jungle, fireflies twinkling in the evening sky and nightingales singing in the heart of the woods – there are animals everywhere. From blue whales to bumblebee bats and everything in between, A First Book of Animals takes you all over the planet to visit all kinds of different creatures. This book is a glorious celebration of life in the wild in all its variety and splendour, and belongs on every child's bookshelf.
The Song from Somewhere Else
Written by A.F. Harrold
Illustrated by Levi Pinfold
Frank doesn't know how to feel when Nick Underbridge rescues her from bullies one afternoon. No one likes Nick. He's big, he's weird and he smells – or so everyone in Frank's class thinks. And yet, there's something nice about Nick's house. There's strange music playing there, and it feels light and good and makes Frank feel happy for the first time in forever.
But there's more to Nick, and to his house, than meets the eye, and soon Frank realises she isn't the only one keeping secrets. Or the only one who needs help …
A poignant, darkly comic and deeply moving story about the power of the extraordinary, and finding friendship where you least expect it. Written by the author of the critically acclaimed The Imaginary and illustrated by award-winning illustrator Levi Pinfold, this is perfect for fans of Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman
Town is by the Sea
Written by Joanne Schwartz
Illustrated by Sydney Smith
A young boy wakes up to the sound of the sea, visits his grandfather’s grave after lunch and comes home to a simple family dinner with his family, but all the while his mind strays to his father digging for coal deep down under the sea. Stunning illustrations by Sydney Smith, the award-winning illustrator of Sidewalk Flowers, show the striking contrast between a sparkling seaside day and the darkness underground where the miners dig.
With curriculum connections to communities and the history of mining, this beautifully understated and haunting story brings a piece of Canadian history to life. The ever-present ocean and inevitable pattern of life in a Cape Breton mining town will enthrall children and move adult readers.
Written and Illustrated by Pam Smy
Parallel stories set in different times, one told in prose and one in pictures, converge as a girl unravels the mystery of the abandoned Thornhill Institute next door.
1982: Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute For Children at the very moment that it's shutting its doors. When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she’s left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.
2017: Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one. From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window. Determined to befriend the girl and solidify the link between them, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill's shadowy past.
Told in alternating, interwoven plotlines—Mary’s through intimate diary entries and Ella’s in bold, striking art—Pam Smy’s Thornhill is a haunting exploration of human connection, filled with suspense.
Under the Same Sky
Written and Illustrated by Britta Teckentrup
We sing the same songs, caught on the breeze... We sing the same songs, across the same seas. Written and illustrated by the award-winning Britta Teckentrup, this beautiful and heart-warming peek-through picture book celebrates the closeness of the world's communities through their shared hopes and dreams.
Hello! I'm Deb,
a book-toting mother of two and an elementary (primary) school teacher. I love making stories engaging and interactive for kids.
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