Ten titles are in the running for this year’s Children’s Books Ireland (CBI) Book of the Year Awards, which celebrates titles by authors and illustrators who were either born in Ireland or reside in the country.
Irish publishers make up half of the shortlist and Little Island Books is responsible for four titles - A Dangerous Crossing by Jane Mitchell, Star by Star by Sheena Wilkinson, Tangleweed and Brine by Deirdre Sullivan (illustrated by Karen Vaughan), and The Space Between by Meg Graham, while The O’Brien Press has one: A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea: Favourite Rhymes from an Irish Childhood by Sarah Webb and illustrated by Steve McCarthy.
The rest of the list is comprised of Chocolate Cake by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Kevin Waldron (Puffin), Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Children’s Books), Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin and illustrated by Giovanni Rigano (Hodder Children’s Books), Moonrise by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury Publishing), and Rabbit and Bear: The Pest in the Nest by Julian Gough and illustrated by Jim Field (Hodder Children’s Books).
The 10 books will now compete for six awards, including the CBI Book of the Year Award and the Honour Award for Fiction.
Dr Patricia Kennon, chair of the judging panel, said: “It is a pleasure to present the ten shortlisted books which all exemplify excellence in their aesthetic distinction and immersive story worlds. The 2018 shortlist spans a rich variety of genres and formats including rhymes, chapter books, poetry, non-fiction, retellings of fairy tales, verse novels, graphic novels, fiction and picturebooks. The groups participating in the CBI shadowing scheme and readers, young and old, have many rich, imaginative adventures to look forward to.”
The winners will be announced in Dublin in May. One prize, the Children’s Choice Award, will be judged by young readers and reading groups can sign up to take part via the CBI website.