The Boring Book wins top prize

Last updated 22:00 23/06/2014
Vasanti Unka
WINNER: Vasanti Unka's The Boring Book was judged as thoroughly original.

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New Zealand’s top children’s book this year comes with an awkward name – The Boring Book.

Written and illustrated by Vasanti Unka of Auckland, The Boring Book has taken out the New Zealand Post Margaret Mahy Book of the Year for children and young adult books.

Convener of judges Barbara Else says it is thoroughly original.

“This story takes delightful unexpected turns that charm afresh with each reading,” she said.

‘‘Small children and older readers alike will be delighted by its subversive touches and they’ll be entertained by its warmth and fun.”

The book is also praised for its high quality of design.

Wairarapa author Paul Adamson won the non-fiction category for The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing in New Zealand.

Judges said it was a perfect book for dipping in and out and sharing as a family.

They were also impressed with Adamson’s messages of safety and responsibilities to animals.

The junior fiction prize was taken by veteran author Joy Cowley for her book Dunger, described by the judges as “not in the least politically correct’’.

Vintner’s Luck author Elizabeth Knox took the young adult fiction award for her book Mortal Fire.

“It is a book that operates on a supernatural, fantastical level while still containing the core young adult material about finding out who you are,’’ the judges said.

Otago author Rachel Stedman took out the best first book award for A Necklace of Souls.

“There are great characters in this novel; a strong and resourceful heroine and a cast of supporting characters who bring the fictional world to life,” the judges said.

The children’s choice award went to Yvonne Morrison of Queensland and Donovan Bixley of Taupo for The Three Bears…Sort of.

It tells the familiar story of Goldilocks and the three bears – but with interruptions for questions.


The full list of winners at the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

NZ Post Margaret Mahy Book of the Year and winner of Best Picture Book category, prize $7500 for the book of the year and $7500 for the picture book: The Boring Book by Vasanti Unka (Penguin)

Best non-fiction; $7500: The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing in New Zealand by Paul Adamson (Random House)

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Junior fiction, $7500: Danger by Joy Cowley (Gecko Press)

Best young adult fiction, $7500: Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Know (Gecko)

Best first book, $2000: A Necklace of Souls by Rachel Stedman (Harper Collins)

Children’s choice, $2000: The Three Bears … Sort Of by Yvonne Morrison and Donovan Bixley (Scholastic)

Honours award, $500: Bugs by Whiti Heraka (Huia)

Maori language award, $1000: Taka Ki Ro Wai by Keri Kaa and Martin D Page (Tania&Martin)


- Stuff

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