The awards are presented annually by the Welsh Books Council to honour original work by authors and illustrators of children’s books in Welsh and English.
The prizes are sponsored by CILIP Wales (The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) and the Welsh Books Council. According to W. Gwyn Lewis, Chair of the Welsh Language Books Panel, “The publishers are to be congratulated on the variety and visual appeal of the books offered this year… Ensuring a variety of appealing reading material is essential if we are to nurture independent readers who will enjoy reading Welsh-language books in future.”
John Humphreys, Chair of the English Books Panel, noted that it was a cause for celebration that 5 of the titles under consideration this year were by new authors. Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Books Council, added, “The titles that have reached the shortlist this year are evidence of the high standard of books for children and young people in Wales. I am pleased to see a cross-section of new contenders as well as some well established authors.”
Welsh language shortlist:
ABC Byd Natur by Luned Aaron (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch) The clever use of effective images inspired by nature accompanies the young reader on an alphabetical journey.
Deg Chwedl o Gymru by Meinir Wyn Edwards, illustrated by Gini Wade and Morgan Tomos (Y Lolfa) The richness of our oral folk tradition is presented in this title. Using a variety of legends the reader is introduced to different regions of Wales. Dim Ond Traed Brain by Anni Llŷn, illustrated by Valériane Leblond (Gomer) A collection of 21 new poems by Wales’ Children’s Poet Laureate, Anni Llŷn, with charming illustrations by Valériane Leblond.
Yr Argae Haearn by Myrddin ap Dafydd, illustrated by Graham Howells (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch) This exciting novel tells the story of the inhabitants of the Gwendraeth Fach Valley in Carmarthenshire and their fight to oppose the drowning of their lands during the summer of 1963.
Pluen by Manon Steffan Ros (Y Lolfa) A variety of rich and challenging themes are explored in the story of Huw, a 12-year-old boy who undertakes a summer history project on the Second World War.
English Language shortlist:
Alien Rain by Ruth Morgan (Firefly Press) A science fiction novel set on Mars in the year 3016. Earth has been abandoned and the novel’s characters live in a scaled-down replica of Cardiff within a dome.
Sweet Pizza by Giancarlo Gemin (Nosy Crow) 14-year-old Joe, a fourth generation descendant of Italian immigrants to south Wales, embarks on a goal in life that eventually leads to obstacles being surmounted and a happy ending.
The Haunting of Jessop Rise by Danny Weston (Andersen Press) An atmospheric novel from beginning to end which is set within the mystery and horror genre.
Helen Jones, the Welsh Books Council’s Head of Children’s Books and Reading Promotion, noted, “The variety of books on this year’s shortlist is really encouraging. Our aim is to foster a love of reading, from the youngest toddler to young adults.”
The Welsh language winners (primary and secondary categories) will be announced at this year’s Urdd National Eisteddfod in Bridgend on Thursday, 1 June. The English language winner will be announced at the CILIP annual conference in Llandudno on Thursday, 11 May.
This post is also available in: Welsh