2021 An Post Irish Book Awards Shortlists

The An Post Irish Book Awards 2021 Shortlists have been announced. These Irish book awards include awards for top bookshops and poetry as well as fiction and nonfiction for adults and juvenile titles. Here are the shortlisted titles for the two children’s awards and the teen awards.


Aldrin Adams and the Cheese Nightmares

Aldrin Adams and the Cheese Nightmares by Paul Howard, illustrated by Lee Cosgrove

Cover for Lily's Dream

Lily’s Dream: A Lissadell Story by Judi Curtin, illustrated by Rachel Corcoran

Cover for The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street

The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street by Sarah Webb, illustrated by Rachel Corcoran

Mr Spicebag by Freddie Alexander, illustrated by Helen O’Higgins

The Shadows of Rookhaven

The Shadows of Rookhaven by Pádraig Kenny, illustrated by Edward Bettison

The Summer I Robbed A Bank

The Summer I Robbed A Bank by David O’Doherty, illustrated by Chris Judge


Evie's Christmas wishes by Siobhán Parkinson

Evie’s Christmas Wishes by Siobhán Parkinson, illustrated by Shannon Bergin

A Hug for You | Adam King | David King

A Hug For You by David King, illustrated by Rhiannon Archard

Cover for Maybe...

Maybe… by Chris Haughton

Cover for Puffling and the Egg

Puffling and the Egg by Erika McGann & Gerry Daly

Cover for There's a Ghost In This House

There’s a Ghost in this House by Oliver Jeffers

Cover for Up on the Mountain

Up on the Mountain by Peter Donnelly


Baby Teeth

Baby Teeth by Meg Grehan

Cover for Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating

Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar

The Legend of Valentine Sorrow

The Legend of Valentine Sorrow by Caroline Busher

The New Girl

The New Girl by Sinéad Moriarty

Cover for Not My Problem

Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth

What Love Looks Like

What Love Looks Like by Jarlath Gregory

Almost Nothing, Yet Everything by Hiroshi Osada

Cover image for Almost Nothing Yet Everything.

Almost Nothing, Yet Everything by Hiroshi Osada, illustrated by Ryoji Arai (9781592703579)

The author/illustrator team who created Every Color of Light returns with a picture book celebrates a different element: water. A parent and child head off on a journey along the waterways. Water has no color of its own, but can be any color based on where it is. It forms to any shape, but you can’t slice it or hold it in your hands. It reflects us back when we look into it and also the sky and clouds. It flows, rains, cascades and overflows. It is simple, but vital to life on earth.

Translated from the original Japanese, this picture book is beautifully poetic. It looks at the many aspects of water through the eyes of a child who is interacting with it on a journey along the river. The ending of the book adds a child’s question about whether water is the pee-pee of the gods. After such a lyrical poem, the question is marvelous in its honesty, simplicity and wonder.

Arai’s illustrations are exceptional. Filled with the beauty of water, they capture it both in its impact on landscapes and as it flows through one’s fingers. The large landscapes are deep green and dramatic while the close ups are personal and capture small moments of discovery. The combination of the two make the importance of water in our lives clear.

Another winning elemental picture book from Japan. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy provided by Enchanted Lion Books.