The Bantam and the Soldier, which New Zealand Books featured in a special review in issue No 23, won the New Zealand Post children’s book award of the year.
The remarkable children’s (anti-)war story was written by Jennifer Beck and illustrated by Robyn Belton and published by Scholastic. It also won the picture book category.
The other section winners were:
Junior fiction: The Battle of Pook Island, by Jack Lasenby (Longacre)
Non-fiction: Picture Book Magic, by Chris Gaskin, photographs by Denis Pagé (Reed Publishing)
Senior fiction: Sanctuary, by Kate de Goldi (Penguin)
Best first book: Reliable Friendly Girls, by Jane Westaway (Longacre).
Children’s choice: Mechanical Harry, by Bob Kerr (Mallinson Rendel.
Wellington publisher Ann Mallinson, of Mallison Rendel, has won the 1997 Margaret Mahy lecture award by the Children’s Book Foundation. The award is for an “especially distinguished and significant contribution to children’s literature, publishing or literacy.
There will be a “celebration” of New Zealand books from 7 July to 22 July leading up to the announcement of the 1997 Montana book awards. Author tours, readings and demonstrations celebrating the work of the shortlisted writes will be held throughout the country.
The shortlist will be announced 3 June. The judging panel is David Lange (chair), Georgina Kirby and David Eggleton, assisted by six category advisers, Joy Cowley (fiction), Iain Sharp (poetry), Charlotte McDonald (cultural heritage), Bing Lucas (natural heritage), Tony Moores (leisure and lifestyle) and Helen Parsons (illustrative arts).
C K Stead
Legal considerations have discouraged us from reviewing Villa Vittoria, by C K Stead, Penguin, $24.95, ISBN 0 140 26322 5.