8 Aug 2018

Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story wins children's book award

8:16 pm on 8 August 2018

The non-fiction book, Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story, has taken out the top honour at the Children and Young Adult book awards.

Gavin Bishop with his book 'Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story'.

Gavin Bishop with his book 'Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story'. Photo: Supplied / NZ Book Awards Trust

A ceremony was held on the marae at Te Papa tonight.

Aoteraroa, by Christchurch-based writer and illustrator Gavin Bishop, won the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year award as well as the non-fiction prize.

Judge Jeannie Skinner called the book "masterful".

"It's ... a work of art that bears repeated and thoughtful reading and viewing of its vibrant and informative illustrations, a book of enduring significance in the canon of New Zealand children's literature.

"We've seen nothing quite like it in New Zealand children's publishing."

But before the adults had their fun at the awards ceremony, a group of school students invaded Wellington City library.

They listened to talks by authors and went on a treasure hunt for illustrators who were dotted around the library.

Tino, 11, said he enjoyed meeting the adults behind the books.

"It was really fun. They're just telling us all about the books and all that stuff, they're really cool. I love books, I like action ones."

Ashmi, 8, enjoyed meeting the authors but struggled to pick a favourite book.

"I'm reading lots of books at once but I'm not sure which books I mostly like."

Cardinal McKeefry School teacher Laura Thomsen said her students were avid readers.

"They love stories that are about New Zealand and that are about important themes.

"You talk to any of the kids in our school and they live in the library really."

The full list of 2018 winners:

Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award $7,500

Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story, written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop (Penguin Random House)

Picture Book Award $7,500

I Am Jellyfish, written and illustrated by Ruth Paul (Penguin Random House)

Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction $7500

How to Bee, by Bren MacDibble (Allen & Unwin)

Copyright Licencing Award for Young Adult Fiction $7500

In the Dark Spaces, by Cally Black (Hardie Grant Egmont)

Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction $7500

Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story, written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop (Penguin Random House)

Russell Clark Award for Illustration $7500

Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts, written and illustrated by Craig Phillips (Allen & Unwin)

Best First Book Award $2000

My New Zealand Story: Dawn Raid, by Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith (Scholastic New Zealand)

Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award for the best book in te reo Māori $7500

Tu Meke Tūī!, by Malcolm Clarke, translated Evelyn Tobin, illustrated by FLOX (aka Hayley King) (Mary Egan Publishing)