Sunday, August 16, 2020

NZ Graphic novels winners at the NZ Book Awards for Children & Young Adults!

The winners of the NZ Book Awards for Children & Young Adults were announced this week, and two titles with graphic novel storytelling elements were honoured with wins in three different categories.

Mophead, written and illustrated by Selina Tusitala Marsh won both the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award and the Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction. Mophead recounts Marsh’s journey from self-conscious child unsure of her place in the world to being New Zealand’s Poet Laureate rubbing shoulders with world leaders and literary luminaries, and delivers a powerful message that your difference is what makes a difference. Here's what the judges had to say:

This magic book reaches past our brains and squeezes life into our hearts and imaginations. Mophead places its writer at the centre of her own story, but also draws lines out to all the stories and histories that make up an individual: cultures, literature, family and education. With exquisite design and production, it is part picture book, part graphic novel, part memoir, part poem – its form is exactly what it wants and needs to be, which is the message of the book too. Mophead is clever and joyful and inspiring, with not a smidgen of pretension or condescension. It is – dare it be said – perfect.

The Adventures of Tupaia, written by Courtney Sina Meredith and illustrated by Mat Tait won the Russell Clark Award for Illustration. The Adventures of Tupaia tells the incredible story of Tupaia, Tahitian priest navigator, who sailed on board the Endeavour with Captain Cook on his first voyage to Aotearoa. Here are the judges feedback on the illustrations:

Mat Tait’s illustrations reach the reader on an intellectual, gut and aesthetic level. They teach us about our history in part by engaging our emotions, via dramatic perspectives and powerful colours. We witness a battle for power as we journey through the Pacific, and are struck by confusion and grief. A clever combination of modes is used: comic strips, vignettes, full spreads of starry skies, and symbols from throughout the Pacific. The pared back, simple lines and limited colours give us the sense that history isn’t merely something from the past – it’s still happening now. These illustrations are modern and cool – but with an urgent fire in their belly.  

Congratulations to Selina Tusitala Marsh and Mat Tait on their wins! Both Mophead and The Adventures of Tupaia are available from booksellers now. You can read about all the winners at the NZ Book Awards website HERE.

- AK!

No comments:

Post a Comment