Wednesday, December 02, 2009

New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards – Judges Announced

New Zealand’s premier children’s book awards judges are on the hunt for books that inspire a lifelong love of reading.

With more than 130 nominated books to choose from, children’s literature consultant Rosemary Tisdall, writer and reviewer Trevor Agnew, and former journalist, now children’s bookshop co-owner, Ruth McIntyre, have a long summer ahead of them as they select the very best in young reads to compete as finalists in the 2010 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

Mrs Tisdall, pic left, judging panel convenor for the Awards which are now in their 14th year, says she’ll be looking for fresh ideas, characters who linger and books that leave her thinking long after she has closed it.
”We expect to see some excellent writing from New Zealand’s favourite and established authors, and we hope to discover some wonderful, new talent,” says Mrs Tisdall.
”We are looking to have our imaginations captured by books with a difference, so that the intended audience – the young people of New Zealand and beyond – will have reads that entice, teach, and therefore encourage a lifelong love of reading.”

The three judges will read works published in the 2009 year across all children’s writing genre; from picture books for the very young, chapter books for junior and senior readers and non-fiction reads for both pre-school and all school-age groups. Throughout the selection process, the judges will be on the lookout for the work that will take the coveted New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year Award.
The 2010 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalists will be announced on 4 March 2010, with the winners to be named at an Awards Ceremony in Auckland on 19 May 2010. Children and teenagers will also have the opportunity to vote for their favourite book, selecting from the finalist titles, for the popular Children’s Choice Award. Voting begins online at, and via voting cards available in bookshops and libraries nationwide, when the finalists are announced on 4 March 2010.
The New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards Festival, a nationwide, week-long feast of events, readings, author tours and book-inspired games, kicks off on Monday 10 May 2010.

New Zealand Post has been a sponsor of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards for almost 15 years. Its partnership has seen the Awards flourish over the last decade. New Zealand Post’s strong support of the Awards reflects its commitment to promoting literacy and literature throughout the country. Working closely with Booksellers NZ, New Zealand Post and other dedicated segments of the community actively encourage New Zealand children to read and enjoy books. For those with limited access to new works, New Zealand Post also purchases and distributes books by the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalists by supporting the Books in Homes programme each year.
The New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards are also supported by Creative New Zealand and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd and are administered by Booksellers NZ.

Key dates:
· Thursday 4 March 2010 Finalists announced
· Thursday 4 March 2010 Children’s Choice Award voting begins
· Monday 10 May 2010 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards Festival begins
· Wednesday 19 May 2010 Winners announced

Judges’ biographical information.

As a Children’s Literature Consultant, Rosemary Tisdall spends her days finding ways to encourage reading and putting good books in front of children, through her company “Getting Kids Into Books”. She was a New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards judge in 2009.
For the past three years she has been working with low decile schools on a scheme that improves their school libraries working alongside the Library Advisers at the National Library of New Zealand.
Rosemary also works for Wheeler’s Books, developing the Library Choice section of their website and is a children’s literature reviewer. She writes Resource Guides for teachers for Tim Bray Productions, a children’s theatre company and is a Trustee of the Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust and has been a committee member for about 12 years. She is an IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) committee member and is currently on an international committee planning for a children’s book festival in Korea in October 2010.
With a background in intermediate school teaching and eight years as a primary school librarian, Rosemary Tisdall is married with two adult daughters.

Otago-born book enthusiast Trevor Agnew was a History and English teacher in Canterbury and Southland high schools before working as a full-time teacher-librarian for 15 years. He was awarded the Nada Beardsley Literacy Award for ‘services in the promotion of literacy’ by the Canterbury Reading Association.
Now a fulltime writer and reviewer, he is the sole New Zealand contributor to The Source internet database of Australian and New Zealand Children’s Literature (, creating detailed entries for over two thousand New Zealand children’s books.
He has written 26 biographies (Ken Catran to Terry Pratchett) for the Continuum Encyclopaedia of Young Adult Literature (USA). He is also the weekly television columnist for The Press (Christchurch) and contributes articles and book reviews to various New Zealand and Australian newspapers and magazines. A keen supporter of Storylines and Te Tai Tamariki, he is passionate about New Zealand books for children and young adults

Ruth McIntyre is the co-owner (with her husband, John) of the award-winning Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie, Wellington, a business they established in 1992.
A trained journalist, she worked in New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain for magazines as diverse as New Zealand Commercial Fishing and the English Woman’s Weekly, for newspapers and as an editor at the New Zealand Press Association, selecting and processing news stories for the country’s national daily newspapers.
Ruth has served for many years on the committees of the Wellington Children’s Book Association and the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Festival (Wellington region) and is involved in organising author visits, book launches and literary events. She also speaks to teachers and librarians throughout the lower North Island, promoting and recommending books.

A keen supporter of children’s literature, Ruth is an advocate of New Zealand children reading stories that reflect their heritage and identity, and especially enjoys matching a young reader with the right book. She regularly produces newsletters reviewing new books for the bookshop’s school, library and retail customers.
She has an adult son and a teenage daughter.

1 comment:

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