My Predictions for the CBI Book Awards 2013

CBI Children’s Book Awards 2013 (for books published in 2012) In early March the shortlist for the CBI (Children’s Books Ireland) Book Awards will be announced. Every year I make my predictions, or as Kim Harte puts it I become ‘Mystic Web’. Yes, I am on the Board of CBI but I am not on the judging panel and these are my opinions only.

Who do YOU think will win? It’s a hard one to call as there is no clear winner this year, but my money is on Sarah Crossan or Derek Landy.

Here are my predictions for this year’s shortlist: (There are usually 9 or 10 books on the shortlist – I’ll go for 10)

1/ Sarah Crossan for The Weight of Water Sarah’s book is masterful. The tale of a young Polish girl and her new life in London, it’s beautifully written and the voice is perfectly pitched. If she doesn’t win the Eilís Dillon (first book), I’ll be very surprised. In fact, she could win the overall award.

2/ Oh, No George by Chris Haughton Another strong picture book from the previous winner of the award.

3/ The Great Explorer by Chris Judge Chris’s strong, graphic style is a real winner and his new book (out in March), The Brave Beast is fantastic. He’s just getting better and better.

4/ An tOllamh Gorm (as there is generally an Irish language book on the shortlist) by Gabriel Rosenstock is certainly in the running.

5/ This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers Great book, but my favourites remain The Heart and the Bottle and Lost and Found.

6/ Tatyana Feeny’s Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket might be a sneaky one. A very talented young Irish illustrator.

7/ Will Patricia Forde and Steve Simpson get a nomination for Mise Agus an Dragún? Or will he be nominated for his artwork on Cáca don Rí (wonderful illustrations)? He’s certainly another one to watch.

8/ John Boyne’s The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket is a definite contender. I thought Cave of Secrets by Morgan Llywelyn was excellent and deserves a nomination. And Dark Warning by Marie-Louise Fitzgerald may also impress the judges. Grounded by Sheena Wilkinson is a possibility also. I’ll hedge my bets and say Morgan or John, but maybe Marie-Louise or Sheena. Cheating, I know!

10/ This year they must surely put DEREK LANDY on the shortlist. Yes, his books are hugely popular but Kingdom of the Wicked is genius – cracking dialogue, brilliant plot, amazing voice. Surely it’s his year?

10 and 1/2/ And finally – it’s about time that Michael Emberley got a nod too! I’m a huge fan of his work.

Books that are unlikely to be nominated (but you never know) are:

Now there has never been a board book on the list - and I would put Mary Murphy’s Slow Snail on the shortlist as it’s the perfect blend of image and text for a very young child - but it’s unlikely to be on the actual list.

Love, Lucie by Marita Conlon-McKenna Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer Friend Forever: Double Trouble by Judi Curtin (and her Eva book)

Michael Scott’s Enchantress Ask Amy Green: Dancing Daze (amazing book! ;) ) And Darren Shan’s Brothers to the Death