2009 Archive Shortlist Best Children’s Book

Scholastic New Zealand Award for
Best Children’s Book

Shortlist 2009

Piano Rock

Designer Sarah Elworthy and Gavin Bishop
Title Piano Rock: A 1950s Childhood by Gavin Bishop
Publisher Random House New Zealand
Format 198mm x 148mm, 120pp, hardback with quarter binding
Judges’ comments Sarah Elworthy and Gavin Bishop, in Piano Rock, have more elements to work with than the picture-book designer – meaning more potential problems, but more reward for pulling it off. And pull it off they do. The typography and the placement of illustrations are resolved seamlessly and the book as a whole creates something of the magic of childhood, which is ultimately why it won the category.

The Apple

Designer Sarah Healy
Title The Apple by Ben Brown and Tracy Duncan
Publisher Penguin Group (NZ)
Format 285mm x 210mm, 32pp, paperback
Judges’ comments Sarah Healy’s design for The Apple uses a rough yet restrained typeface relying on beautiful placement of type on the page and some elegant versal letterforms. The cover, with its yellows, oranges and gold foils, works beautifully to suggest the fairytale quality of the text.

The Were-Nana

Designer Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson
Title The Were-Nana: (Not a Bedtime Story) by Melinda Szymanik and Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson
Publisher Scholastic New Zealand
Format 265mm x 215mm, 32pp, paperback
Judges’ comments Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson’s design of The Were-Nana exemplifies the way that text and image can be creatively connected. As an illustrator and designer, Anderson is able to bring the visual and typographic elements together into a cohesive whole. The lettering in this scary little tale is particularly effective – shaped so that it emphasises the eerie intent of the main character’s gloating older brother, but without going over the top.

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