www.ckg.org.uk / #CKG20 / #BestChildrensBooks

Today (Friday 9th October 2020), the winners of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Shadowers’ Choice Awards, as voted for by children and young people, are revealed.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta,illustrated by Anshika Khullar, (Hodder Children’s Books) was chosen by Shadowing Groups as their favourite book from the Carnegie shortlist and The Undefeated illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander (Andersen Press) was voted the Shadowers’ Choice from the Kate Greenaway shortlist. The winning books were voted for by over 1000 shadowing groups taking part in the Awards reading scheme across the UK and internationally. From the shortlist announcement in March, children and young people have been reading, reviewing and discussing the shortlisted books and sharing their views of the Awards website.

The Black Flamingo is a debut verse novel written by Dean Atta and illustrated by Anshika Khullar. A powerful and poignant coming of age novel that charts the life of Michael, who is mixed-race and gay, as he comes to terms with who he is and how others perceive him. Shadowers were inspired both by the energetic and engaging story told in verse and the impactful illustrations. Many Shadowers shared their flamingo-inspired artwork on the Shadowing website, including some fantastic interpretations of the striking book cover. In insightful reviews, Shadowers shared their reactions to the book: ‘This story shows that you can stand strong and be whoever you like’, ‘You will understand so much more about yourself and the other people around you by reading this book.’

On being selected as the Carnegie Shadowers’ Choice Award winner, Dean commented:

‘I’m so delighted the Shadowers have chosen The Black Flamingo for this award! I was really thrilled with the reviews and responses I saw from Shadowers on the awards website. I greatly appreciate the level of engagement the Shadowers have had with this book. A massive THANK YOU to all the schools and libraries who took part and selected The Black Flamingo. It’s such an honour!’

The Undefeated is an incredible and moving depiction of Black History provides both spoken and unspoken insights. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander, there’s a vigour behind the hyper-realistic illustration which, combined with their photorealism, makes them feel almost confrontational at point. Shadowers were moved by Kadir’s ‘powerful and beautiful’ pictures and inspired to research some of the black heroes depicted in the book and share their findings and illustrations on the Shadowing website. Shadowers shared passionate responses to the book: Wow. Just wow. I’m blown away by how inspirational this book is and how the amazing illustrations leave you speechless.’

On receiving the news of winning the Kate Greenaway Shadowers’ Choice Award, Kadir commented:

‘It’s such an honor to be selected for the Kate Greenaway Medal Shadowers’ Choice Award by school children overseas! I’m totally honoured and humbled by the news.’

The 2020 Chair of CKG Judges, Julia Hale, commented:

‘The Shadowers’ Choice Awards gives young readers, the most important people in the CKG awards process, their say on the shortlisted titles. In winning this unique award, The Black Flamingo and The Undefeated exemplify the power of representation in words and pictures for children to see and find themselves and understand each other better. Both books offer differing perspectives on Black experiences in their own voices. Dean Atta’s intimate, dazzling  jewel of a verse novel is a uniquely British exploration of coming of age in London with Greek Cypriot and Jamaican heritage, whilst Kadir Nelson’s stunning portraits of African American icons are simultaneously haunting and inspirational. Both books are celebrations of pride, beauty and the search and fight for freedom on both an individual and wider level.

I am so delighted for Dean and Kadir and wish them many congratulations on their achievement as well as a huge thank you to all the shortlisted authors and illustrators and the shadowing groups for engaging so brilliantly with the awards this year.’

The Shadowers’ Choice Award winners are revealed during National Libraries Week in a special broadcast on CILIP’s #NationalShelfService. The Shadowers’ Choice Winners were each presented with a certificate designed by participants of the Shadowing Scheme. The 2020 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal winners were announced on 17 June 2020. The judges awarded the Carnegie Medal to Lark by Anthony McGowan (Barrington Stoke) and Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan (Walker Books) was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal.

For further information about the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards visit: www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk 

For media requests, please contact Natalie Jones natalie.jones@cilip.org.uk

Notes to editors

About the Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Awards and Shadowing Scheme

The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to a children’s book author whose writing creates an outstanding reading experience. It was established in 1936 in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). The Kate Greenaway Medal, established in 1955, is named after the popular nineteenth century artist, known for her beautiful children’s illustrations and designs. The Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded annually to a children’s book illustrator whose artwork creates an outstanding reading experience.

Each year thousands of reading groups in schools and libraries in the UK and overseas get involved in the Awards, with children and young people ‘shadowing’ the judging process. They read, discuss and review the books on the shortlists, get involved in reading related activity in groups and vote for their favourite books to win the Shadowers’ Choice Awards.

CILIP Carnegie Medal 2020 Shortlist: (alphabetical by author surname):

  1. The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta, illustrated by Anshika Khullar(Hachette Children’s Group)
  2. Nowhere on Earth by Nick Lake (Hachette Children’s Group)
  3. Lark by Anthony McGowan (Barrington Stoke)
  4. Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay (Little Tiger)
  5. Lampie written and illustratedby Annet Schaap and translated by Laura Watkinson (Pushkin Children’s Books)
  6. Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black by Marcus Sedgwick and Julian Sedgwick, illustrated by Alexis Deacon (Walker Books)
  7. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (Walker Books)
  8. Girl. Boy. Sea. by Chris Vick (Head of Zeus)

CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2020 Shortlist: (alphabetical by illustrator surname):

  1. You’re Snug with Me illustrated by Poonam Mistry and written by Chitra Soundar (Lantana Publishing)
  2. The Iron Man illustrated by Chris Mould and written by Ted Hughes (Faber & Faber)
  3. The Suitcase written and illustrated by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros (Nosy Crow)
  4. The Undefeated illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander(Andersen Press)
  5. The Dam illustrated by Levi Pinfold and writtenby David Almond (Walker Books)
  6. Mary and Frankenstein illustrated by Júlia Sardà and written by Linda Bailey(Andersen Press)
  7. Tales from the Inner City written and illustrated by Shaun Tan (Walker Books)
  8. Child of St Kilda written and illustrated by Beth Waters (Child’s Play)

2021 Key Dates

Nominations for the 2021 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals will be announced in November 2020 followed by longlist, shortlist and winner announcements in 2021.

Monday 2nd November 2020: Nominations announcement

Thursday 18th February 2021: Longlist announcement

Thursday 18th March 2021: Shortlist announcement & Shadowing begins

Wednesday 16th June 2021: CKG Medals and Shadowers’ Choice Award winners announced