The winners of the An Post Irish Book Awards for 2019 have been announced. More than 115,000 votes were cast by the public to select the winners. Here are the winners in the youth categories:
TEEN & YOUNG ADULT BOOK OF THE YEAR
Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin
CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE YEAR – SENIOR
Shooting for the Stars: My Journey to Become Ireland’s First Astronaut by Norah Patten, illustrated by Jennifer Farley
CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE YEAR – JUNIOR
123 Ireland! by Aoife Dooley
The winners of the National Book Award have been announced. The award for young people’s literature went to a nonfiction title this year:
1919: The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler who said at the award ceremony, “I’m particularly honored to be in the company of my four fellow nominees. I will tell you, as the elder statesman of that group, I am so confident in the state of young people’s literature.”
Little Mole’s Wish by Sang-Keun Kim (9780525581345)
Little Mole was heading home alone on the first day of snow, when he met a snowball on the path. He brought the snowball along with him to the bus stop. He waited for a bus, but the driver wouldn’t let him on with a snowball. So Little Mole sculpted the snowball into a bear. But the next driver realized it was still a snowball. So Little Mole gave the snow bear a backpack. The two waited a very long time together for the next bus, long enough that Little Mole shared his hat in case the bear was cold. That bus allowed them both to board. On the warm bus, Little Mole fell asleep and when he woke up his friend was gone. The bus driver urged him to head home, saying his friend must have gotten off at another stop. Little Mole got home and told his grandmother all about his day. When he went to bed, he wondered where his friend had gone. In the morning, his grandmother called him with a big surprise!
There is so much magic about this picture book that was originally published in South Korea. Little Mole is an entirely winning character who problem solves along the way, creating a bear just as charming as he is. The words and illustrations work seamlessly together here as Little Mole builds a friend from snow. Readers will have a series of surprises as the book goes on, including the two riding the bus together and then the final surprise that ensures everyone will know that wishes come true.
Kim’s illustrations are soft and dreamy, done in colored pencil, pastel, pen and digital. They are full of small touches that bring the entire world to life with an owl sleeping in the hollow tree, Mole having a similar teddy bear to the bear he builds from snow, and each bus matching its driver in design, including the final bus having deer antlers.
A perfect read for the first snow. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Schwartz & Wade.