Shortlisted books for the Kate Greenaway Award 2016

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people.

69 books have been nominated for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal. The official long and shortlists identify a range of outstanding books for children and young people of all ages and interests and from new and established authors and illustrators. Our Reader Development Officer for Children, Elizabeth McDonald is currently judging this year’s prize, along with 12 other judges from around the United Kingdom.

The books shortlisted for the 2016 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal are:

willys storiesWilly’s Stories illustrated and written by Anthony Browne

A fantastical celebration of stories and the imagination. Once a week, Willy walks through an ordinary-looking set of doors and straight into an adventure inspired by a beloved classic of children’s literature, from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to The Wind in the Willows. Where will those doors take him today: to a mysterious desert island with footprints in the sand; down a deep, dark rabbit hole full of curious objects; or perhaps on board a pirate ship? Wherever he ends up, Willy’s journeys begin when he walks through those inviting doors…

The instantly recognisable, distinctive style of Anthony Browne is perfectly suited to this celebration of libraries and the power of stories. The richly coloured surrealist paintings each stylishly evoke the original text they are based upon and are of a highly consistent quality throughout. There are clever, witty details and visual clues emphasising the central theme of books to be spotted upon every page. The layout, with each double page consisting of the story on the left side and the illustration on the right immediately draws the eye to the illustration first, before reading the text, which enables it to be read on many levels

there's a bear on my chairThere’s a Bear on My Chair illustrated and written by Ross Collins

Poor Mouse! A bear has settled in his favourite chair and that chair just isn’t big enough for two. Mouse tries all kinds of tactics to move the pesky Bear but nothing works and poor Mouse gives up. Once Mouse has eventually gone, Bear gets up and walks home. But what’s that? Is that a Mouse in Bear’s house?!

Ross Collins portrays perfectly the anger and frustration of the mouse at the deliberate provocative snub from the bear through beautiful, bold, confident yet simple drawings. Colour is used to great effect; background and font colours reflect the mood of the mouse with red used to depict pure anger. The book is littered with visual humour that can be enjoyed at many different levels, from the facial expressions of both mouse and bear to more adult references to Elvis and endangered species. Ross Collins uses the double page spread effectively; he is not afraid to leave space and through this ensures that the mouse and bear are always the focus of the illustration. With text and story that are in perfect synergy this is a complete package from cover to cover.

Oalphabetnce Upon an Alphabet illustrated and written by Oliver Jeffers

The letters of our alphabet work tirelessly to make words that in turn make stories, but what if there was a story FOR each of the letters instead? Find out in a work of exhilarating originality, gloriously bringing the alphabet to life in irresistible Oliver Jeffers style – an adventure to follow from A to Z, or a treasure trove to dip in and out of. Within you will discover twenty-six short stories introducing a host of new characters (plus the occasional familiar face). From Edmund the astronaut with his awkward fear of heights to the dynamic investigative duo of the Owl and the Octopus, this book is packed with funny, thrilling, perilous and entertaining tales

The more you explore this book the more enjoyment you get; it works as a story, with lots of connections between the letters and stories, whilst also referencing other familiar works. It is drawn with humour, which matches the fun in the stories and poems. The use of visual imagery and text are interwoven resulting in a visual feast of vignettes. There is an effective mix of big ‘loud’ double page spreads and smaller, more intimate pictures used as each letter or story demands. Deceptively simple pen and ink drawings are used, with added colour to delight the eye. The books large format combined with the variety in the illustrations draws the reader in with simple drawings still managing to convey complex emotions.

sam and daveSam and Dave Dig a Hole illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett

From the award-winning team behind Extra Yarn, and illustrated by Jon Klassen, the Kate Greenaway-winning creator of I Want My Hat Back, comes a deadpan tale full of visual humour. Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find … nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary – and finding it in a manner they’d never expect.

Readers will delight in knowing much more than the characters in this stylistically distinctive and incredibly funny story. Colour is used to portray the comic elements of the story and to offer subtle visual clues to its clever ending. Double page spreads are employed to draw the reader in and a sense of growing anticipation is built through the gradual filling up of white space. This is fundamentally a simple story, yet the illustrations allow it to be read on a much deeper level. With something new and different to discover every time, this is a book to enjoy over and over again.

something about bearSomething About a Bear illustrated and written by Jackie Morris

Where the water churns with salmon, thick and rich with leaping fishes, there the brown bear stands and catches the wild king of the river. With stunning watercolour paintings, this lyrical picture book describes eight bears from all over the world, all shown in their wild habitats: Black Bear, Polar Bear, Sloth Bear, Spectacle Bear, Sunbear, Panda, Moonbear, Brown Bear. But which is the best bear of all? Your own teddy bear of course!

In the distinctive style of Jackie Morris each double page watercolour spread is beautiful, with the bears as the central focus. Each page provides layers of colour, a sense of movement and a tactile quality. Along with each picture is a brief paragraph about each bear, with text and illustration fully complementing each other and never intrusive. The bear theme carries through to include the cover and end papers, in particular the life size paws of a rearing bear on the final endpapers. With a consistent quality and dream like illustrations this is a beautiful, fact based picture book.

piratesCaptain Jack and the Pirates illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, written by Peter Bently

From the award-winning co-creator of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and Peter Bently comes this utterly delightful picture book that sees a family day out at the beach turn into a wonderful piratical adventure! Make-believe fun, illustrated by picture book star, Helen Oxenbury, will capture the imaginations of children everywhere. This is sure to be a classic.

Moving between a perfectly realised childhood world and the world of the imagination with ease and assurance across sweeping double spreads interspersed with intimate, beautifully detailed vignettes, this is visual storytelling of the highest order. The artist�s faultless line and clever use of blue and red to draw the eye, help to expand and empower the gentle rhyming text and to really capture the child�s perspective. The evocative watercolours are the perfect medium to portray the natural landscape of the seaside and the beautiful endpapers, which open the book and the close the story, draw the reader in , and then take them home content.

sleeper and the spindelThe Sleeper and the Spindle illustrated by Chris Riddell, written by Neil Gaiman

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

This book is an absolutely stunning artefact in its own right. The gothic style of Chris Riddell�s mainly black and white pen and ink illustrations, with gold highlights, creates a truly magical fairy tale appeal for Neil Gaiman�s story. The detail and complexity of the illustrations allows the eye to enjoy the sumptuous pleasures of the clever use of such a limited palette � for example the deep shine of the Queen�s dark hair. The pictures are spooky, threatening, mysterious and inviting all at the same time with the daring use of solid black areas in many of the pictures heightening the general air of mystery and foreboding. This book will be appreciated by readers of all ages.

footpath flowersFootpath Flowers illustrated by Sydney Smith, written by Jon Arno Lawson

In this wordless, beautifully illustrated picture book from award-winning poet JonArno Lawson, a little girl collects wild flowers while her distracted father pays her – and their surroundings – little attention. Each flower the little girl gathers becomes a gift for a person or animal, and both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter. An ode to the importance of small things, small people and small gestures, it is a quiet but powerful testament to the joy that children can find in ordinary things and the mutual value of giving.

The ordinary becomes extraordinary in this delightful, wordless picture book. Skilfully illustrated in watercolour and ink which convey a realistic and detailed, stylised urban environment, the book slowly evolves as the dark harsh lines of the opening gradually soften. Layout and perspective are creatively employed to offer a wonderful reflection of the childhood experience. Colour is well used through the beautiful use of black and white illustrations, with just the tiniest splashes of colour that become more and more pronounced as the story progresses. Offering a critique of modern life, in which a child is left to amuse herself in favour of technology, this is a relevant, yet ultimately life affirming book.

You can borrow these books from our libraries, so check out our catalogue to see if it’s in a library near you:


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