The shortlists for the 2020 An Post Irish Book Awards have been announced. The awards cover a wide range of genres and ages. I’ll focus on the youth and teen awards here, and you can find the entire list on the Irish Times website. Here are the shortlisted titles in the youth and teen categories:
Norma and Belly are squirrels who live in a large tree together. When Norma tries to make pancakes for breakfast, she burns them so badly that not even Belly can eat them. Then they smell something even sweeter coming from a food truck nearby: donuts! They try collecting nuts to trade for a donut, but the man in the truck squirts them with water instead. It’s time for a cunning plan that will need bravery, dexterity, cooking skills and a getaway car! They leave a real mess behind, but also one great idea that inspires a new donut flavor: sweet chestnut.
This graphic novel for elementary-aged readers is a real treat! The entire story is told in dialogue that is minimal and full of silliness. This creates a fast read, speedy and racing ahead of the reader, keeping on great pun in front. The book is full of squirrel ingenuity too and a sense that great ideas can come from anywhere, as well as a skilled getaway driver.
Screamingly funny at times and wildly silly, this graphic novel’s illustrations use white space cleverly. The expressions on the squirrels’ faces are marvelously emotive, their ears and eyebrows moving around, their mouths often open in surprise, and their eyes always thinking of something new to do.
Nutty and sweet, this is a marvelous read sure to appeal to those who love furry critters with their donuts. Appropriate for ages 7-11.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Random House Graphic.