18 May 2011

Mahy and Elliott win top children's literature award

8:42 pm on 18 May 2011

Author Margaret Mahy has won New Zealand's premier children's literature prize.

The Moon & Farmer McPhee has been named Book of the Year at the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards in Auckland on Wednesday night.

The book is published by Random House and illustrated by recognised Dunedin illustrator David Elliot, who shares the prize.

The convenor of judges says the poetry of the language in the book and its illustrations magnificently complement each other.

The title also won the picture book category.

The judges said a quarter of the entries were from new writers and illustrators and were of an extremely high standard.

They say this suggests children's book publishing in New Zealand is healthy despite the economic downturn.

List of winners

New Zealand Post Book of the Year and Best Picture Book: The Moon & Farmer McPhee by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by David Elliot (Random House New Zealand)

Best Non-Fiction Award: Zero Hour: The Anzacs on the Western Front by Leon Davidson (Text Publishing)

Best Junior Fiction Award: Finnigan and the Pirates: A Fine Fandango by Sherryl Jordan (Scholastic New Zealand Limited)

Young Adult Fiction Award: Fierce September by Fleur Beale (Random House New Zealand)

Best First Book Award: Hollie Chips by Anna Gowan (Scholastic New Zealand Limited)

Children's Choice Award: Baa Baa Smart Sheep by Mark Sommerset, illustrated by Rowan Sommerset (Dreamboat Books Ltd)