By Dennis Abrams
With the opening of this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair just days away, it seems an appropriate time for the shortlist for Children’s Book Ireland (CBI) to announce its 23rd annual Children’s Book of the Year Awards.
Ten titles will compete for six awards, including the innovative “Children’s Choice Award” voted for by ten junior juries located throughout Ireland. The winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held on May 8th.
The shortlisted titles are:
- The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (Random House — London)
- The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury — London)
- Hong by Anna Heussaff (Cio lar-Chonnacht — Galway)
- Na Laochra is Lu by Laoise Ni Cleirigh, illustrated by Steve Simpson (An Gum – Dublin)
- Spellbound: Tales of Enchantment from Ancient Ireland by Siobhan Parkinson, illustrated by Olwyn Whelan (Frances Lincoln — London)
- Mise agus an Dragun by Patricia Forde, illustrated by Steve Simpson (Futa Futa — Galway)
- Dark Warning by Marie Louise Fitzpatrick (Orion — London)
- Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton (Walker — London)
- This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers (Harper Collins — London)
- Grounded by Sheena Wilkinson (Little Island — Dublin)
Padraic Whyte, chair of the judging panel said of the list, “The ten books on this year’s shortlist offer children and young people from a broad age group rich and satisfying reading experiences. Many of the books engage with difficult contemporary issues while others are stories of whimsy and fun. This is a wonderfully diverse shortlist that highlights the literary and artistic excellence of current Irish Children’s Literature.”
Founded in 1990, The CBI Book of the Year Awards are the leading children’s book awards in Ireland, a celebration of excellence in children’s literature and illustration open to picture books and novels written in English or Irish by authors and illustrators born or resident in Ireland and published between January 1st and December 31st each year. Previous winners include John Boyne for The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas; Chris Haughton for A Bit Lost; Marie Louise Fitzpatrick for There, and Kate Thompson for her books The New Policeman, Anna Water and The Alchemist’s Apprentice.