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70 Years Celebration


2012 Awards
Greenaway shortlisted books

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal Shortlist for 2012

Judges’ comments are listed in italics

Please note: The "age range" listed below is intended as a guide only, as determined by the 2012 judging panel.


Emily Gravett WOLF WON'T BITE
Macmillan (4+)
ISBN: 9780230704251

Three cheeky little circus pigs make a wild wolf jump through hoops (literally). Safe in the thought that "Wolf Won't Bite!" they even put their heads between his jaws . . . but can you push a wolf too far? Emily Gravett won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2008 with "Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears" and in 2006 for "Wolves".

A book full of beautifully visualised comic touches. Every line works, and the more you read it, the more you see. The pigs are wonderful comic creations. The text is always part of the picture and the typography perfectly fits the action. Outstanding.


Walker Books (4+)
ISBN: 9781406324600

Peter and Paul are the best of friends, but Peter gets lost in a terrible storm. With the help of a big blue whale Puffin Peter set off to find him. They find all kinds of birds that match Peter's description but none quite like Paul.

A dramatically beautiful picture book full of movement. Layers of colour and texture capture the movement of water, and of light, and of Peter and Paul themselves. A thrilling visual adventure for children, with a tender message.


Jim Kay (text by Patrick Ness) A MONSTER CALLS
Walker Books (9+)
ISBN: 9781406311525

The monster shows up after midnight. It isn't the one Conor has been expecting; the one from his nightmare; the one he has had nearly every night since his mother started her treatment. But this new monster is ancient, and wild, and it wants something just as dangerous from Conor: the truth.

Breathtaking, a perfect marriage of text and picture, in which the illustrations capture meaning and emotion completely. There are echoes of Charles Keeping in Kay's atmospheric, energetic inky illustrations. The depiction of light and shade is awe-inspiring and the illustrations extend the impact of the story.


Dave McKean (Text by David Almond) SLOG'S DAD
Walker Books (8+)
ISBN: 9781406322903

Slog believes in life after death. He reckons that the scruffy bloke sitting outside the pork shop is his dad come back to visit him for one last time. Slog's mate Davie isn't convinced.

The different illustrative styles expand the text and the book's message; they amplify the emotions, producing a powerful impact on the reader. McKean uses different media so skilfully, and in such an effective and fluid way. The images illuminate and leave the reader full of hope.


Macmillan (4+)
ISBN: 9780230529229

Poor Solomon is looking for some fun but no one wants to play. The dragonflies tell him to buzz off, the storks get in a flap, and the less said about the hippo, the better! Somewhere there must be the perfect pal for a lonely crocodile? Catherine Rayner won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2009 for "Harris Finds His Feet".

The depiction of the animal characters is superb, with Solomon the archetypal naughty toddler. The use of colour is exquisite throughout, and the book has a real sense of vibrancy and energy. There's such variety in the layout but the images follow on from each other perfectly.


Rob Ryan (Text by Carol Anne Duffy) THE GIFT
Barefoot Books (6+)
ISBN: 9781846863547

One summer day a beautiful young girl visits the woods for a picnic. A wish forms in her mind and to her surprise a silver-haired woman appears, ready to grant it. Carol Ann Duffy's story speaks of the mysteries at the heart of the human existence.

The beautiful illustrations are not just decorative, they interpret the text for us and strengthen the story's impact. The frames and shadows perfectly reflect the fairy tale feel and the different emblems and details emphasise the message. A perfect depiction of the circle of life.


Walker Books (4+)
ISBN: 9781406316896

Cats Tiny, Moonpie and André are filled with the spirit of adventure – they want to see the world but they can't seem to get out of the book. They try pushing their way out, and jumping their way out but nothing works. Finally they decide to WISH themselves out.

A book that perfectly expresses the power of the imagination! With an extraordinary sense of participation, this is book to play with as much as to read, and very much one to share. The illustrations are full of personality, the use of colour and blank space is brilliant. A book that works on lots of different levels.


Vicky White (Text by Martin Jenkins) CAN WE SAVE THE TIGER?
Walker Books (6+)
ISBN: 9781406319095

Conservationist Martin Jenkins and Vicky White celebrate some of the world's most endangered species in this book and show us why, though nothing is simple, we must try and save them.

The stunning portraits of the animals help the reader appreciate their beauty. Close-up observation and detail bring the animals to life. Flashes of colour are used sparingly but to great effect. The perspectives used, and the use of blank space, give this an extraordinary impact. A beautiful book.