The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards

Carnegie greenawayThe Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals are one of the most prestigious children’s book awards. Run by The Library and Information Association, CILIP, the Carnegie award recognises a writer annually for an “outstanding book written in English for Children and young people” (CILIP, 2019).

CarnegieStarting in 1936 in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) whom made his fortune through investments in the USA Steel industry. However, he made a declaration that “if ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries”. True to his word Carnegie set up over 2,800 libraries in a range of English-speaking countries including the UK.

Arthur Ransome was the first awardee for his book ‘Pigeon Post’. Other winners over the years have included Mary Norton (1952), Philip Pullman (1995) and Geraldine McCaughrean (2018).

Kate_Greenaway00The Kate Greenaway Medal rewards the outstanding work of an illustrated book. Starting in 1955 it was dedicated to Kate Greenaway for the beautiful children’s illustrations that adorned many books in the 19th Century.

Born in 1846 she was initially home schooled and then attended a number of art schools where she was able to gain a range of skills however during this time it was very difficult for her to be able to take part in life drawing classes as men and women were separated during these sessions. Undeterred, Kate Greenaway was able to gain her life drawing skills and became a successful illustrator for both the card market as well as books.

Previous winners of the prize include Raymond Briggs (1966), Lauren Child (2000) and Lane Smith (2018)

In February, each year, the longlist is announced followed by the shortlist in March and finally the winners in June. Winners from both prizes receive a golden medal, £5,000 from the Colin Mears Prize and also get to choose which library they would like to donate £500 worth of books to.

On Tuesday 18th June the winners will be announced for both prizes as well as well as the Amnesty CILIP Honour that is awarded by Amnesty International UK for a book that has “distinctively illuminated, upheld or celebrated human rights.” (CILIP, 2019)

We have focused on the Kate Greenaway prize as these books are more suited for KS1 & KS2 where many of the Carnegie titles are aimed at Young Adult. All the following can be located on the display nearest the main entrance to School Resources.

Kate Greenaway Shortlist 2019

The Day War Came by Rebecca Cobb (written by Nicola Davies)

In 2006 Nicola Davies was inspired to write this poem after hearing that the UK government refused to allow 3,000 child refugees to enter the country. The chair has became a symbol for not only a seat in a classroom but for education, kindness and hope. Rebecca Cobb’s childlike illustrations compliment this emotionally packed story that covers a child fleeing her home to look for safety but finding a cold rejection from many. Yet an act of kindness from one child becomes a moment of hope.

Rebecca Cobb other works include The Paper Dolls, Lunchtime and The Something.
Nicola Davies other works include A First Book of Nature, King of the Sky and Rubbish Town Hero.

Ocean Meets Sky by Eric Fan & Terry Fan

The Fan Brothers take you through a gentle and moving journey remembering a lost one. Finn takes you on a magical adventure through the stories his grandfather used to tell him about the mystical place where Ocean meets Sky. Here, there a number of mystical creatures including bookish birds! These soft drawings perfectly match this fantasy tale that fills the reader with awe and wonder.

The Fan Brothers have also written and illustrated: The Night Gardener, The Darkest Dark (Illustrations) & The Antlered Ship (Illustrations)

Beyond the Fence by Maria Gulemetova

Reminiscent of more traditional children’s book illustrations this tale captures the story of a pig that lives with a boy Thomas, where they have many things but Pig lacks the freedom and independence due to the controlling nature of Thomas. However, when walking out in the countryside Pig meets someone who could be a true friend. Maria Gulemetova’s watercolour illustrations help to capture Pig’s loneliness through the use of vast expanses of fields where you can sense Pig’s longing for something else.

The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse by Jon Klassen (written by Marc Barnett)

This dark but funny story written by Marc Barnett is adorned with Klassen’s recognisable illustrations. Telling the story of a mouse that gets swallowed by a wolf and although this may seem like the end it is actually the beginning of a new friendship and adventure when he meets duck in the wolf’s belly. The illustrations capture the emotions of the characters perfectly and help to bring joy and wonder to any reader.

Jon Klassen other works include I want my hat back, Pax (illustrations) & Sam and Dave dig a hole (Illustrations).
Marc Barnett other works include Extra Yarn, Noisy Night & Sam and Dave dig a hole.

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Julian is a Mermaid is a story about a young boy inspired by three mermaids he sees on the subway to sneak into his Abuela’s make-up box and wardrobe to create his own costume. This is one of my favourites from the shortlist not only due to its wonderful message of self-expression, individuality and acceptance but also for the bright illustrations that adorn its brown pages.

You’re Safe with Me by Poonam Mistry (written by Chitra Soundar)

Inspired by traditional Indian art techniques Mistry brings vivid colours, textures and patterns to this heart-warming bedtime story. You’re Safe With Me is set in the Indian Forest following Mama Elephant as she calms the worries of a number of baby animals that are frightened by the sounds of the night. Her soothing voice and explanations of the sounds soon help to reassure them all.

Poonam Mistry other works include You’re Snug with me.
Chitra Soundar other works include You’re Snug with me, Vaarsha’s Varanasi and the Farmer Falgu Series.

The Lost Words by Jackie Morris (written by Robert MacFarlane)

The Lost Words written by Robert MacFarlane talks about the words from the natural world that are disappearing from Children’s vocabulary as their interaction with nature decreases. The use of poetry and illustrations captivate the reader and take them on a wonderful journey in thinking about nature.

Jackie Morris other works include The Secret of the Tattered Shoes, Mrs Noah’s Pockets & The White Fox
Robert MacFarlane other works include Landmarks, Underland and The Gifts of Reading.

Suffragette: The Battle for Equality by David Roberts

David Robert’s strong illustrations help to engage the reader into this in depth non-fiction book that covers the Suffragette movement, starting in 1832 and finishing in 1932. Covering not only the key events of the movement but also highlights the many different people and the struggles they went through in campaigning for equality.
David Roberts works also include Tyrannosaurus Drip, Cinderella & Dirty Bertie (written).

Carnegie Shortlist 2019

  1. The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson (In SRC – CF/AND)
  2. The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunders (In SRC – CF/SAU)
  3. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  4. Rebound by Kwame Alexander
  5. Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay
  6. A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Harding
  7. Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls
  8. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds


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