Book awards

CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist 2014

Kate Greenaway Medal Shortlist

On the list for the Kate Greenaway illustrator award this year are:

Well done Jon Klassen with 2 titles on the list this year! His illustrations work really well with author Lemony Snicket in The Dark. Better known for the A Series of Unfortunate Events books, Lemony Snicket’s tale is of a young boy who faces his fear of the dark places in his home. The story is wonderfully visualised by Klassen’s trademark use of murky colours contrasted with the stark black background that surrounds the child for most of the book. Jon Klassen has also been shortlisted for his book This is Not My Hat, the follow up to I Want My Hat Back. Both books are notable for their visual play with the words and illustrations telling contradictory stories which would work well when teaching visual literacy.

Oliver Jeffer’s illustrations (and letters) in The Day the Crayons Quit really make the book. In fact, I always forget that someone else actually wrote it (Drew Daywalt). Who doesn’t love this book about crayons writing to their owner? There’s so much for children to think about – letter writing, inaminate objects having a voice, stereotyping and creativity. This book is my pick for the medal this year.

Illustrator Dave McKean and author David Almond have teamed up again to produce Mouse, Bird, Snake, Wolf, a vivid graphic novel style Creation myth. McKean’s illustrations balance the text perfectly and switch between washed out greys to depict the tired gods and bold striking colours to represent the 3 children as they create beings to add to the world. The image of the snarling, red-eyed wolf that fills 2 pages is the stuff of nightmares! Dave McKean’s illustrations, as many will know from previous titles such as The Wolves in the Walls and The Day I Swapped My Dad for a Goldfish, are wonderfully surreal and it would be great to see him win the medal for his work.

Rebecca Cobb’s illustrations in Julia Donaldson’s Paper Dolls are sweet and she does have a lovely colourful style but I don’t think they really add anything extra to the story and this is something the judges look for. Olivia Lomenech Gill’s work however, in Where My Wellies Take Me, stands out as being the focal point of the book with the text seemingly playing a secondary role. A variety of ink drawings, watercolours and sketches that dominate the pages combined with lift out maps and flaps turn the book into an absorbing interactive experience that you return to time and time again.

The winners of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals will be announced in June.

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