Kate Greenaway Medal 2018

 

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist was announced last month. It’s an interesting collection of books, some for older children and some for younger, with one non-fiction entry.  What they all have in common is that they are all beautifully illustrated, and the illustrations really add to the power of the story-telling and the information giving.

The winner will be announced on Monday 18 June, (along with the winner of the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2018) and here’s our thoughts about the chosen books –

Town is by the Sea

The story of a boy as he goes about his day in the seaside town that he lives in.  During his day, thinks about his father, below the sea, mining for coal.  We see the underground and the over-ground life of the town.  The story is beautifully brought to life by the illustrations and it’s easy to imagine that you are with him as he goes about his day. I found the book really engaging and the illustrations very much brought it to life.

Under the Same Sky

A picture book showing different animals all living together under the same sky, and in the same ways as us.  Very simple and moving.

 King of the Sky

A boy makes friends with an elderly neighbour who keeps and races pigeons.  The man shows the boy how to handle the pigeons and gives him one of his own.  He calls him “Re del Cielo”, King of the Sky.  But can the pigeon with the milk-white head win a race?

 A First Book of Animals

The only non-fiction book on the shortlist, this large book with full page illustrations, takes the reader through the wonderful world of animals.  Including specific breeds, as well as insects and even coral with some information about eggs, how animals find water and animal home.  The illustrations are bright and colourful and the text is written in an entertaining way while packing in many facts!  I think this book has been created really well with young children in mind and they would find it very engaging. A keepsake book that can be looked at again and again.

Thornhill

This book was very intriguing.  A combination of diary entries and illustrations, the book tells the story of two girls living in the same place but 30 years apart.  One girl is living in an orphanage and being bullied and the other lives in a house opposite and often finds herself home along while her dad is it work.  She can’t resist exploring the old orphanage and the two girls become linked, even though they never knew each other.  It’s a dark tale and the format and the black and white illustrations suit the story.  Creepy in parts and sometimes very sad. I wanted to keep reading and I wanted to know what happened.  I liked the unusual format but I thought the story would have been richer if the written parts were not only diary entries, or if there could have been pictures and writing for both characters.

Night Shift

This book is very powerful and very simple.  Drawing on her own experiences, the author uses a dragon to show what it is like to fight depression.  The book takes you into the heart of the pain and loneliness of the illness and brings you out of the other side.  A very helpful book to give young sufferers hope and to let them know that they are not alone.

The Song from Somewhere Else

This book deals with similar themes to Thornhill – bullying, isolation and also includes black and white illustrations.  What I liked about this book is that it shows that things pass, that we can find friendship in unusual places and that people and situations are not always what they seem.  This is an engaging book with magical elements, brought to life by the illustrations.

Fiona, Brompton Library