Design Awards short list!

Very good friend Joan Druett called my attention today to the short listings for the PANZ Book Design Awards 2012.

Among the six categories is the Scholastic New Zealand Award for Best Children’s Book.  The Travelling Restaurant is on the short list of three. Yay!  I’ve got an ear-to-ear grin to see marvellous designer Luke Kelly and artist Sam Broad recognised like this.

It may seem odd to some people though sadly it won’t to many others – this is a designer and artist who actually read the book before starting work on it. Too many just rely on a publisher’s brief, and too many publishers rely on photo shop, which result in too many disappointed authors. I know that economic factors come into the equation. But how can it do anything except help a book – on which a writer has probably spent at least a year and in the case of TTR over 18 months – to have careful and creative presentation? Luke and Sam – both highly enthusiastic and meticulous in their craft – with their design, the cover, internal illustration and the maps (oh, those maps!) helped highlight quirky elements in the story and make it all a fabulous package. I’m so happy that they’ve also been working on #2 in the Fontania sequence.

The two other books short listed are Bruiser (Gavin Bishop: Random House), designers Gavin Bishop and Carla Sy; and Two Little Bugs (Mark & Rowan Sommerset: Dreamboat Books) designed by Rowan Sommerset.

And lovely friend Joan’s magnificent book Tupeia: The Remarkable Story of Captain Cook’s Polynesian Navigator, designer Saskia Nicol, short listed in two categories: The Hachette New Zealand Award for Best Non-illustrated Book and The HarperCollins Publishers Award for Best Cover.

Look at for a great video about all the short listed books!


Barbara says:
“Thank you everyone who has sent messages, phone calls and flowers for the Award. I’m so pleased The Travelling Restaurant has been honoured like this. I didn’t have a chance to give a speech on the night and anyway, I would have been inarticulate. This is what I would have/should have said…

First, thanks to Abe Baillie who let me know that the idea of a restaurant with special coaxing for children was a good idea. Second, thanks to Barbara Murison and Emma Neale who read a draft of TTR and gave wonderfully useful feeback and encouragement. An ocean liner full of thanks for Chris Else who read several drafts and was tough, tough, tough and always encouraging. Then a huge thanks to Gecko Press – Julia Marshall and Jane Arthur especially. Julia’s pleasure at the manuscript landing on her desk (before I knew it had even been sent, actually) was amazing. I was so happy that she asked the incomparable Jane Parkin to do the editing. Then Jane Arthur’s meticulous attention to every detail of the production was a writer’s dream come true. One of Gecko’s cleverest moves was choosing Luke Kelly for the design and Sam Broad for the artwork. Sam and Luke, with the map and cover, added a significant layer to the story.

All these words of mine here seem inadequate. So thank, you team. You’re beautiful.

And a final thank you to New Zealand Post for sponsoring the awards.”