Saturday, June 28, 2008


Philip Reeve has won the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2008 for 'Here Lies Arthur' his fresh, bold retelling of the Arthurian legend. "It is an outstanding book, and deserving winner," says Tricia Adams, Chair of the 12 strong librarian judging panel. "Reeve's is a consistent story-telling voice that brings us a subtle and credible retelling of the King Arthur myth. It is both a page turning adventure story and a clever historical novel. It also has clear political resonance for our times, demonstrating humanity's need to sustain hope and optimism, and our tendency to favour myth over reality to achieve that end."

The award was set up by a Scottish American philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, who apparently found such raptures in the libraries of his youth that he resolved "if ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries"; he managed, incidentally, a grand total of 2800. The Carnegie has been awarded by children's librarians for an "outstanding" children's book since 1936, and a moment's browsing through the list of past winners suggests that those humble librarians have been a remarkably prescient bunch. Some of the greatest works of children's literature are here, from Watership Down by Richard Adams to Northern Lights, the first of Philip Pullman's magisterial trilogy

For the second time in three years, illustrator Emily Gravett has won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, the UK's most prestigious award for children's book illustration.
Gravett, whose debut picture book, 'Wolves' won the 2005 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal wins the 2008 award for her fourth book, 'Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears', in which a small rodent confronts terrifying phobias, but eventually (and after much nervous nibbling) feels better when he realises that even human beings can be cowardy custards too.
The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, established in 1956 and named in honour of the distinguished illustrator is awarded for "outstanding illustration in a children's book". Sister award to the CILIP Carnegie Medal, it is judged by an expert panel of children's librarians from the Youth Libraries Group (YLG), and follows the same unique process of nomination, and judging. Distinguished former winners of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007, include Shirley Hughes, Raymond Briggs and Quentin Blake.

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