Dunedin author and illustrator shortlisted in prestigious awards

By Otago University Press | Posted: Wednesday June 7, 2017

Dunedin author and illustrator David Elliot is a finalist in 2017 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults announced today, Wednesday 7 June 2017.

Mr Elliot is shortlisted in the illustrated section of the Awards (the Russell Clark award) with his book Snark: Being a true history of the expedition that discovered the Snark and the Jabberwock ... and its tragic aftermath, published by Otago University Press.

"It’s a real honour to be shortlisted for The Russell Clark award, an award that celebrates the important role illustration plays in Children’s literature,” says Mr Elliot.

“It is highly valued amongst all of us in the industry.”

Snark is described as a tumultuous romp through worlds created by Lewis Carroll, brought to life through the vivid imaginings and fabulous art of its award-winning author and illustrator David Elliot.

David Elliot is based in Port Chalmers, Dunedin. He has won many awards for his work, including New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year in 2011 (with Margaret Mahy) for The Moon & Farmer McPhee. Pigtails the Pirate won Best Picture Book in the 2003 awards.

As well as writing and illustrating his own books, David has illustrated numerous books by others, including New Zealand authors Joy Cowley, Jack Lasenby and Margaret Mahy; UK writer Brian Jacques (the Redwall series), and US writers T.A. Barron (Great Tree of Avalon series) and John Flanagan (Ranger’s Apprentice and The Brotherband Chronicles). Henry’s Map was selected by the prestigious School Library Journal in the US for its Best Books list in 2013. In 2011 David received the inaugural Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award, and in 2014 the Storylines Margaret Mahy Award.

The winners of the 2017 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults will be announced at a ceremony on Monday 14 August in Wellington.

Snark is available at all good booksellers and online at


Reviews of Snark:

“ … beautifully designed and splendidly illustrated … The result is an irresistible invitation to imagination that will delight readers of all ages.”

Reviewed by Michael Cart for Booklist, Publication of the American Library Association, STARRED REVIEW, 15 March 2017

“Filled with steam-punk figures, toves, borrogroves and tsunamis, the free-wheeling, sometimes frenzied illustrations, in soft-pencil scribble-line overlaid with wet colour-washes, are energetically animated … ” – Times Literary Supplement, 2 June 2017

“Elliot’s uncommon book captures the Snark quite frabjously.” – NZ Listener, 9 December 2016

“The illustrations are incredible, and the presentation is just wonderful … a book for the whole family to enjoy.” – Sarah Forster, Best books of 2016: the 20 best books for kids, The Spinoff, 15 December 2016

© Copyright Dunedin City of Literature