Máire Zepf and Sarah Crossan are among the winners at KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards.
The awards "celebrate the very best of Irish writing and illustration for younger people" and are open to books by authors and illustrators who were born in Ireland, are permanently resident in Ireland or are citizens of Ireland.
This year the prize fund doubled compared to last year, due to new sponsorship from KPMG. The winner of the Book of the Year Award, Máire Zepf, will receive €6,000 for her verse novel Nóinín (Cois Life), which depicts the online grooming of a teenage girl.
All other category winners have won €2,000 awards. Ireland’s former Children's Literature Laureate Sarah Crossan has won the Honour Award for Fiction for her verse novel Toffee (Bloomsbury YA) "a lyrical and moving portrayal" of the relationship between a teenage girl who has run away from her abusive father, and an elderly woman with dementia, who mistakes the girl for a close childhood friend.
Ashling Lindsay has won the Honour Award for Illustration for her "exquisite" artwork in The Tide (Little Tiger) written by Clare Helen Welsh. The Eilís Dillon Award for a first children’s book has been awarded to Kim Sharkey for Mór agus Muilic, (Éabhlóid) a retelling in picture and text of tale of oral Irish culture, as told by John Óg Hiúdaí Neidí Ó Colla.
The Judges’ Special Award goes to Meg Grehan for The Deepest Breath (Little Island Books), a verse novel that explores themes relating to anxiety, emerging sexual identity, friendship and love.
The new KPMG Reading Hero award invites nominations from teachers, parents, guardians, relatives, friends and librarians across Ireland to recognise an avid young reader. The inaugural award was won by Harry Darcy.
C.e.o. of Children’s Books Ireland Elaina Ryan said: “In an unprecedented time for Irish artists, we are prouder than ever to celebrate these truly excellent books and, for the first time, to recognize a remarkable young reader for their achievements, too.”
KPMG managing partner Seamus Hand said: “Congratulations to all the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards winners and our thanks to everyone who participated. We’re very proud to support these awards which reinforce KPMG’s commitment to literacy and our passion for learning in general and reading in particular.”
The winners will be announced in an online ceremony today (19th May) , hosted by broadcaster Rick O’Shea and available to view on the KPMG website.