A lot of exciting things have been happening in children’s literature in Ireland in recent days. First and foremost, Inis, the children’s books magazine published by Children’s Books Ireland and edited by David Maybury and Patricia Kennon, has undergone a complete overhaul, emerging with a completely new print edition and an exciting new website: Inis Magazine.
Published in its previous brand since 2002, the magazine was first published in 1989 as Children’s Books in Ireland. The new website includes an archive of the magazine since 2002, exclusive interviews, articles, reviews, features and a blog, which today is covering the Bisto Book of the Year awards, which is the second exciting bit of news.
Now in its 21st year, the eagerly anticipated and closely watched Bisto Book of the Year awards were announced earlier today. This year, the shortlist of ten books was heavy with illustrated titles, which is wonderful to see in an award that has for too long been dominated by novels for older children. The overall winner, and simultaneously the winner of the Éilis Dillon Award for his first book, is Chris Haughton for his charming and delightful tale, A Bit Lost, about a little owl that gets lost and needs help to get home. Warm congratulations to Chris.
The judges also selected three Honour Award recipients
- Judges Special Award: Oliver Jeffers for The Heart and The Bottle for dealing with a sensitive subject in an outstanding way.
- Honour Award for Illustration: Andrew Whitson for Mac Rí Eireann for the quintessential character of the visual text that transforms this picture book into an aesthetic object of great desire – a true work of art.
- Honour Award for Fiction: Sheena Wilkinson for Taking Flight, a masterfully structured narrative which suggests, in an unsentimental manner, that the inner struggle to understand oneself can be redemptive.