Skip to main content
News Archive

2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards Finalist Announcement

By March 6, 2012No Comments

News Release

Rising Talent to the Fore Among Awards Finalists

Emerging authors and illustrators have made every category of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards this year – competing alongside well-known names for top honours.

Finalists were announced today by Gillian Candler, convenor of judges for the Awards.

“The judges were excited to see the emergence of talented new writers and illustrators, with each category having at least one new author or illustrator short-listed.”

In selecting the finalists, the judges consider not just the content, the story and illustrations, but also the quality of production.

“We’re looking for great quality books that will grab children and make them want to read and the judging panel unanimously agree each of this year’s finalists do exactly that.”

For the first time this year, a Young Adult Graphic Novel – Shaolin Burning by Ant Sang – is a finalist in the Picture Book category which is generally dominated by books for the very young.

Ms Candler stated that the judging criteria mean that illustrated books are judged in either the Picture Book or Non-Fiction categories.

The finalists were selected from more than 130 children’s books published in New Zealand in 2011 and submitted for the awards.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony in Wellington on Wednesday 16 May.

Ms Candler, an independent publishing and education consultant is joined on the judging panel by two other children’s literature experts: school curriculum advisor, librarian and bookseller Annemarie Florian and award-winning writer and illustrator Bob Kerr.

As well as winners in each category, the judges will also decide which author will earn the New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year prize.

The finalists in the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards are:

Picture Book

The Cat's Pyjamas by Catherine Foreman (Scholastic New Zealand)

Rāhui (Maori version) by Chris Szekely and illustrated by Malcolm Ross (Huia Publishers)

Rāhui (English version) by Chris Szekely and illustrated by Malcolm Ross (Huia Publishers)

Shaolin Burning by Ant Sang (HarperCollins Publishers)

Stomp! By Ruth Paul (Scholastic New Zealand)

Waiting for Laterby Tina Matthews (Walker Books Australia)


Digging Up The Past: Archaeology For The Young & Curious by David Veart (Auckland University Press)

Kimble Bent: Malcontent by Chris Grosz (Random House New Zealand)

The Life Cycle of the Tuatara by Betty Brownlie (Scholastic New Zealand)

New Zealand Hall of Fame:50 Remarkable Kiwis by Maria Gill and illustrated by Bruce Potter (New Holland Publishing)

Nice Day for a War: Adventures of a Kiwi Soldier in World War l by Chris Slane and illustrated by Matt Elliott (HarperCollins Publishers)

Junior Fiction

The Flytrap Snaps by Johanna Knox and illustrated by Sabrina Malcolm (Hinterland Press)

Just Jack by Adele Broadbent (HarperCollins Publishers)

The Loblolly Boy & the Sorcerer by James Norcliffe (Random House New Zealand)

Super Finn by Leonie Agnew (Scholastic New Zealand)

The Travelling Restaurant by Barbara Else (Gecko Press)

Young Adult Fiction

The Bridge by Jane Higgins (Text Publishing Company)

Calling the Gods by Jack Lasenby (HarperCollins Publishers)

Dirt Bomb by Fleur Beale (Random House New Zealand)

Sacrifice by Joanna Orwin (HarperCollins Publishers)

Yes by Deborah Burnside (HarperCollins Publishers)

Children’s Choice Award

Voting for the Children’s Choice Award begins today.  Long considered one of the highest accolades a children’s author can receive, this award is voted on by children of school age from all over New Zealand.  Vote online at or by using the special voting card available from bookshops, libraries or schools. Voting closes at 5.00pm, Friday 27 April.

New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards Festival

Finalists will participate in children’s book events around the country as part of a nationwide celebration of the New Zealand Post Book Awards. The festivities, which are a huge favourite with kids all over the country, begin on Monday 7 May and continue through to Wednesday 16 May. 

New Zealand Post is proud to be principal sponsor of the New Zealand Book Awards and the Children’s Book Awards.  New Zealand Post is committed to promoting and assisting literacy in our communities and supporting excellence in literature, and to actively encouraging New Zealanders to read and enjoy books. Additional funding for the Awards is provided by Creative New Zealand. 

The Awards are overseen by the New Zealand Post Book Awards Governance Group, administered by Booksellers NZ and including representatives of the New Zealand Society of Authors, The Publishers Association of New Zealand, New Zealand Post and Creative New Zealand.

Key dates:

  • 27 April 2012 Children’s Choice Award VOTING CLOSES
  • 7-15 May 2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards – FESTIVAL WEEK
  • 16 May New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards – WINNERS ANNOUNCED


For interview opportunities, review copies, images of finalist authors and their books, promotional giveaways or further information please contact: Penny Hartill, Hartill Communications Ltd: 09 445 7525, 021 721 424,