The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children's Literature, Vol 7, No 3 (2003)

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A Distant
Mirror


The CILIP Carnegie and Greenaway Awards

Ruth Allen


The CILIP Carnegie and Greenaway Awards were announced in July. The Carnegie winner was Sharon Creech's Ruby Holler--which has had a mixed response from those teachers shadowing the award to whom I have spoken. I don't think the double cover here was as inviting as the US one, and some of the girls who read it apparently thought it "didn't do much". I enjoyed it, but I wondered if it carried too much "baggage" of "American past" literature among the themes--echoes of Anne of Green Gables and Daddy Long Legs, as well as a Rip Van Winkle-ish element to the "Holler" itself--and the prospect of Huck Finn-like adventures which never actually come off. So I was rather surprised it was even short listed, let alone that it became the Carnegie winner. No one else has done the "double" (you will remember she won the 1995 Newberry with Walk Two Moons)--Susan Cooper probably comes closest, having won the Newberry in 1976 with Grey King, which was also Commended for the Carnegie that year (as her Dark is Rising had also been in 1973).

The Greenaway was won by Bob Graham's Jethro Byrde--who has been short listed in 3 previous years. His style is unashamedly simplistic, almost cartoon-like, but he has a tremendous eye for the kind of detail children love. This is the story of a girl who makes friends with a fairy child--whom, of course, the adults can't see. Things are shown from the girl's point of view and the fairy's--in Graham's own words, "Through reading it may be possible to put oneself in someone else's shoes. And that's where empathy starts."

 

Ruth Allen


Volume 7, Issue 3, The Looking Glass, September, 2003

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The CILIP Carnegie and Greenaway Awards" © Ruth Allen 2003
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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680