Friday, July 24, 2009

2009 Kate Greenaway & Carnegie Medals Announced

In Great Britain there are two major awards for children's books - the Carnegie Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal (here). Both are run by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

The Carnegie Medal
is awarded to an outstanding book for children and young adult readers. Nominated books must be written in English and should have been published first in the UK in the year before the awards. The Carnegie judging panel consists of 13 children's librarians from the Youth Libraries Group of CLIP. Nominated books are also read by students from many schools who send feedback to the judging panel.

The award was established by in 1936, in memory of the great Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). His experience of using a library as a child led him to resolve that if he ever acquired wealth that " should be used to establish free libraries." Carnegie set up more than 2800 libraries across the English speaking world and, by the time of his death, over half the library authorities in Great Britain had Carnegie libraries.

The first medal was awarded to Arthur Ransome for his novel ‘Pigeon Post’, this was the sixth book in the well-known 'Swallows and Amazons' series.

The Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded for excellence in illustration. The award was established in 1955 for distinguished illustration in a book for children. It was named after the popular nineteenth century artist known for her wonderful children's illustrations and designs. As if to set the standards very high no award was made in the inaugural year as no book was seen as worthy enough. The first book awarded was Edward Ardizzone's, 'Tim All Alone' in 1956. In a previous post I outlined the shortlist for the 2009 Kate Greenaway Medal (here). The winners of both medals have recently been announced.

The 2009 Winners

a) Carnegie Medal

Siobhan Dowd,
Bog Child
Publisher: David Fickling Books

Age range: 12+

The book is set in the troubled world of Ireland in the 1980s. A teenager named Fergus goes digging for peat with his Uncle Tally and finds something that shocks him. Curled up deep in the bog is the body of a young girl and it appears as if she has been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of what is going on in his, the mystery of the child in the bog is revealed to him in a dream.

The author Siobhan Dowd finished the book just three months before her death from cancer. Dowd is the first posthumous winner of the award. It was her fourth book.

In announcing the award Joy Court, chair of the judging panel commented that book is "an absolutely astonishing piece of be able to write like that when she was going through what she was going through is just astonishing – the sheer beauty of the language, the descriptions of the environment; she has such an amazing sense of place."

Full Carnegie shortlist (here)

b) Kate Greenaway Medal

Catherine Rayner, Harris Finds His Feet

Publisher: Good Books

Age Range: Preschool+

Edinburgh author and illustrator Catherine Rayner is the winner of the 2009 the Kate Greenaway Medal for a book inspired by a wild hare and her own rather large feet. The book 'Harris Finds His Feet' is only her second book.

Harris is a small hare with very large feet who heads out into the world with his Grandad. His Grandad has taught him many things including how to hop high into the sky and run very fast. But Harris has to grow up and find his own way in the world.

Joy Court, Chair of the Kate Greenaway judging panel commented, “Harris is a triumph, from the way he moves and his expressions to his velvety fur and his oversized feet. His relationship with his Grandad is beautifully evoked as are the times of day and the textures of the exquisite landscapes around him, in a book which oozes charm and glows with colour.

Rayner is a young author/illustrator (just 27!). In 2006 she was named Best New Illustrator at the Booktrust Early Years Awards.

Full Kate Greenaway Shortlist (here)

Related links

My previous post on the Kate Greenaway Shortlist (here)

Other posts on children's literature awards (here)

No comments: