Book awards finalists named

Otago book writers and illustrators are among New Zealand children's book awards finalists announced this week.

The annual Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa awards acknowledge excellence in junior fiction, young adult fiction, illustration, non fiction and te reo Maori.

The awards are judged by librarians.

Flight of the Honey Bee, by Dunedin author Raymond Huber, is a finalist in both the Elsie Locke non-fiction award and the Russell Clark illustration award, for its illustrations by Auckland artist Brian Lovelock.

Other Otago finalists in the Russell Clark illustration award are The Teddy Bear's Promise, by Catlins writer Diana Noonan, illustrated by Dunedin artist Robyn Belton, and Henry's Map by Port Chalmers illustrator David Elliot.

''This year's entries for teenage fiction, framed around ever important rites of passage, are stunning,'' judging panel convener and Gisborne district libraries manager Pene Walsh said.

''These authors of novels for young adults are not afraid to tackle the tough questions and each has done so magnificently. This is a standout group of novels.''

The winners will be announced in Wellington on August 11.

The finalists are. - Esther Glen junior fiction award: Dunger, by Joy Cowley (Gecko Press); Brave Company, by David Hill (Penguin Books); Project Huia, by Des Hunt (Scholastic New Zealand); Felix and the Red Rats, by James Norcliffe (Random House New Zealand); A Winter's Day in 1939, by Melina Szymanik (Scholastic New Zealand).

Young adult fiction award: Recon Team Angel, Book 3: Ice War, by Brian Falkner (Walker Books Australia); Dear Vincent, by Mandy Hager (Random House New Zealand); When We Wake, by Karen Healey (Allen & Unwin); Bugs, by Whiti Hereaka (Huia NZ Ltd); Mortal Fire, by Elizabeth Knox (Gecko Press); Cattra's Legacy, by Anna Mackenzie (Random House New Zealand).

Russell Clark illustration award: Bruiser and the Big Snow, by Gavin Bishop (Random House New Zealand); Flight of the Honey Bee, by Raymond Huber, illustrated by Brian Lovelock (Walker Books Australia); Taka Ki Ro Wai, by Keri Kaa, illustrated by Martin D. Page (National Treasures Design Ltd); The Teddy Bear's Promise, by Diana Noonan, illustrated by Robyn Belton (Craig Potton Publishing); Henry's Map, by David Elliot (Random House New Zealand).

Elsie Locke non-fiction award: Wearable Wonders, by Fifi Colston (Scholastic New Zealand); Flight of the Honey Bee, by Raymond Huber, illustrated by Brian Lovelock (Walker Books Australia); The Beginner's Guide to Hunting and Fishing in New Zealand, by Paul Adamson (Random House New Zealand); Anzac Day, The New Zealand Story, What it is and why it matters, by Philippa Werry (New Holland Publishers NZ).

Te Kura Pounamu (te reo Maori): Taka Ki Ro Wai, by Keri Kaa, illustrated by Martin D. Page (National Treasures Design Ltd); Meariki, by Helen Pearse-Otene, illustrated by Andrew Burdan (Huia NZ Ltd); Puao Te Patiki, Te Manawa, Te Whai, Te Tamure (Huia NZ Ltd), Tahoe: He Pakiwaitara mo Hinemoa raua ko Tutanekai, by Chris Szekely and Andrew Burdan (Huia NZ Ltd); Nga Kaitiaki a Tama!, by Kawata Teepa and Jim Byrt (Huia NZ Ltd).

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