The nominations for this year's New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards were announced on Friday, and all three of the local graphic novels released last year have received nominations. Ant Sang's Shaolin Burning (Harper Collins) is up for Best Picture Book, and Kimble Bent: Malcontent by Chris Grosz (Random House) is competing against Nice Day For a War: Adventures of a Kiwi Soldier in World War I (HarperCollins) by Matt Elliott and Chris Slane for the Best Non-Fiction title.
Above: The nominated titles and authors: Shaolin Burning, Kimble Bent: Malcontent, and Nice Day For a War: Adventures of a Kiwi Soldier in World War I.
The nomination of Shaolin Burning may raise some eyebrows, as it's in a category generally dominated by picture books for the very young (I think it's safe to say it's the only book in the category this year to feature multiple decapitations!).
'Dominate' may seem like a strong word to use here, but for those playing at home, that's THREE nominations for THREE graphic novels out of the over 350 children's titles nominated. That's a pretty high batting average by any estimation, not to mention all three titles topped the Nielsen BookScan Bestseller charts on their respective releases. One would hope this sends a strong message to publishers who are still cautiously approaching graphic novels with a barge pole: they are here to stay, and you are missing out on surest thing in publishing since vampires hit puberty!
The winning titles will be announced at a ceremony in Wellington on Wednesday 16th of May.