Greenaway Medal
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70 Years Celebration


The Kate Greenaway Medal
Current Shortlist

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal Shortlist for 2014

Judges’ comments are listed in italics

Please note: The "age range" listed below is intended as a guide only, as determined by the 2014 judging panel.


Rebecca Cobb (illustrator) Julia Donaldson (text)
Macmillan Children's Books (3+)
ISBN: 9780230741089 (hardback) 9781447220145 (paperback)

A string of paper dolls go on a fantastical adventure through the house and out into the garden. They soon escape the clutches of the toy dinosaur and the snapping jaws of the oven-glove crocodile, but then a very real pair of scissors threatens.

This is a wonderful child-centred celebration of imaginative play, where real physical objects around the child become motifs that are transformed by her imagination or carried through the book to give a real sense of continuity. The floating paper dolls have real rhythm and movement, which evokes a sense of the freedom of childhood and the detail of more modern dress for the second set of dolls, cleverly shows the passing of time.


Olivia Gill (illustrator) Michael Morpurgo and Clare Morpurgo (text)
Templar (8+)
ISBN: 9781848775442 (hardback)

Pippa loves staying with her Aunty Peggy. She loves going for walks, whether it's in sunshine or cold - long, wandering walks where her wellies take her. Pippa walks through beautiful countryside and as her day unfolds, she encounters the wildlife, animals and people it contains.

Clever use of different media, typography, paper engineering and a varied composition on each page recreates and validates a child's attempt to capture her own experiences very well. Pippa is drawn with a real sense of independence and character and there is a clever use of colour throughout, with lovely, earthy, seasonal tones.


Oliver Jeffers (illustrator) Drew Daywalt (text)
HarperCollins Children's Books (5+)
ISBN: 9780007513758 (hardback) 9780007513765 (paperback)

Duncan just wants to do some colouring but when he opens his box of crayons all he finds are letters of complaint. Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown. Blue needs a break from colouring all that water. Orange and Yellow aren't speaking to each other and Red is complaining of having to work too hard. They are all saying the same thing: we quit.

Brilliantly simple and wonderfully humorous with each double page vignette characterising that crayon's complaint. Their individual personalities are distinctively and expressively drawn. There is perfect synergy with the witty text and the whole multi-layered, but child- centred, experience projects a positive message about freedom and creativity


Jon Klassen (illustrator)
Walker Books (5+)
ISBN: 9781406343939 (hardback) 9781406353433 (paperback)

When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper, which happens to fit him perfectly, trouble could be following close behind. So it's a good thing that enormous fish won't wake up. And even if he does, it's not like he'll ever know what happened. . .

The format and layout work perfectly to convey the underwater location with the movement of the action flowing with the water from left to right. The colour palette and matte texture is not one which you would normally associate with underwater and yet conveys it beautifully. The juxtaposition of text and image works with perfect comic timing. Amazing expression is conveyed by the eyes and dramatic tension by little bubbles.


Jon Klassen (illustrator) Lemony Snicket (text)
The Dark
Orchard Books (5+)
ISBN: 9781408330029 (hardback) 9781408330036 (paperback)

Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark lives in the same house as Laszlo but mostly it spends its time in the basement. It doesn't visit Laszlo in his room. Until one night it does, and Laszlo embarks on a brave journey to meet the dark.

A terrific Film Noire atmosphere is evoked throughout with a clever choice of font and limited colour palette to create a retro adventure feel. Interesting use of perspective and angles to reflect Lazlo's anxiety and the use of abstract shapes actively guides your eye through the story. Wonderful use of light to give a sense of the passage of time and very creative use of dark space in the same way that one would more traditionally use white space.


Dave McKean (illustrator) David Almond (text)
Walker Books (9+)
ISBN: 9781406322897 (hardback) 9781406345995 (paperback)

The gods have created a world - they've built mountains, a sea and a sky - and now their days are filled with long naps in the clouds (and tea and cake). That's until Harry, Sue and Little Ben begin to fill the gaps of the world with: a mousy thing, a chirpy thing, and a twisty legless thing. As the children's ideas take shape, the power of their visions proves to be greater than they, or the gods, could ever have imagined.

From the well designed dust jacket and stunning cover to the highly stylised graphic novel interior, this is a magnificent celebration of the power of the imagination. There is a clever juxtaposition of black and white to reflect the stale imagination of the beautifully languid gods and vivid full colour panels to reflect the power of ideas. This is particularly felt in the intense image of the wolf. Red is used to great effect to signify that dangerous moment of creation.


Birgitta Sif
Walker Books (5+)
ISBN: 9781406337976 (hardback) 9781406345360 (paperback)

Oliver is different. He enjoys his solitude. He likes playing with his friends, who are puppets, stuffed animals, and other toys. With his rich imagination, Oliver's day is never dull. There are bridges to cross, sharks to fight, and treasures to find. But maybe toys don't always give a boy everything he needs.

The muted colour palette, strange landscape and the composition of each spread really help to reveal much more of Oliver's difference, isolation and loneliness than the text alone. The quirky humorous details such as conveying his toy's reactions to him and including Olivia ever-present in the background point to the hopefulness of the outcome.