Gisborne based author and illustrator Ben Galbraith received The Russell Clark Award for his sophisticated picture book The Three Fishing Brothers Gruff (Hodder/Hachette Livre). The Russell Clark Award was established in 1975 and celebrates a distinguished contribution to illustrated children’s books. This is 27 year old Galbraith’s first book. The judges described The Three Fishing Brothers Gruff as “an innovative and magnificent contribution to New Zealand literature.”
Leon Davidson is the winner of The Elsie Locke Award for his second book Red Haze: Australians & New Zealanders in Vietnam (Black Dog Books). In addition to writing, Davidson is also training in Wellington to become a teacher. The Elsie Locke Award was established in 1986 and celebrates a distinguished contribution to non-fiction for young people. The judges described Davidson’s depiction of the Vietnam War as “gripping, illuminating and moving.”
Well known artist Robyn Kahukiwa is the winner of the Te Kura Pounamu for her book Matatuhi (Puffin/Penguin Books), translated by Kiwa Hammond. The Te Kura Pounamu was established in 1995. It celebrates a work in te reo Māori that promotes excellence in library resources in Māori and makes a distinguished contribution to literature for children and young people. The judges described Matatuhi as “a remarkable piece of storytelling with exceptional illustrations which should become a New Zealand classic.”
These awards celebrate the unique contribution made to cultural heritage and national identity by New Zealand authors and illustrators. Each award consists of a medal or taonga and $1,000 prize money.