City author wins book awards

By John Gibb, Otago Daily Times | Posted: Monday August 14, 2017

Port Chalmers author and illustrator David Elliot has won the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award at the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, which were held in Wellington last night.

Elliot's imaginatively illustrated picture book Snark: Being a true history of the expedition that discovered the Snark and the Jabberwock ... and its tragic aftermath also won the Russell Clark Award for Illustration.

Elliot won $7500 for each of the two awards.

``I'm very surprised, very pleased,'' he said last night.

It had been ``absolutely fantastic'' that Otago University Press had published the book.

Creative New Zealand had also played a crucial role several years ago by providing funding for him and his wife Gillian to travel to Oxford, in England, to undertake key research on an evocative island world linked to Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky and The Hunting of the Snark poems, he said.

• Famous tale richly illustrated

Written and illustrated by Elliot, Snark was praised by awards judges for its ``rich imagery'' and ``compelling storytelling''.

``It draws readers into the tale of Lewis Carroll's poetry like never before.''

Judging panel convener Pam Jones said Elliot's draftsmanship was ``outstanding'', but it was the ``cohesive way he has combined all elements of this book'' that had ``won the judges over''.

Snark is described as a tumultuous romp through worlds created by Lewis Carroll, brought to life through Elliot's vivid imaginings and fabulous art.

Other winners.- Picture book: That's Not a Hippopotamus! by Juliette MacIver, illustrated by Sarah Davis; junior fiction: My New Zealand Story: Bastion Point, Tania Roxborogh; young adult fiction: The Severed Land, Maurice Gee; non-fiction: Jack and Charlie: Boys of the Bush, Jack Marcotte and Josh James Marcotte; te reo Maori: Te Kaihanga Mapere, Sacha Cotter, translated by Kawata Teepa, illustrated by Josh Morgan; best first book: The Discombobulated Life of Summer Rain, Julie Lamb.

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