login login

Storylines Kids' Pick, in association with What Now

Storylines Kids' Pick Competition 2020

Storylines and the producers of the popular TV show What Now have again run a competition to encourage young New Zealanders to read the best books by New Zealand children’s writers.

For the second time Stacy Gregg, author of Prince of Ponies, received the most votes and will receive the Storylines Kids’ Pick Trophy at the Storylines Margaret Mahy National Awards Day in September.

The competition was tight, with votes for the top six books being very close. The five runners up were: Tui Street Heroes by Anne Kayes; Hazel and the Snails by Nan Blanchard, #Tumeke! by Michael Petherick; Bullseye Bella by James Guthrie; and To Catch a Thief by Des Hunt.

Children in schools from all over New Zealand voted for the book they would most like to read. This year was a record for What Now competitions, with 800 children from Invercargill in the south to Kaitaia in the north and everywhere in between voting for the Storylines Junior Fiction Notable Book .

Votes were cast based on a review of each of the nine Storylines Notable Junior Fiction Books by nine students from a school selected by What Now. This year it was Kirkwood Intermediate School in Christchurch. The reviews were on the What Now website for the four weeks of the voting campaign and promoted weekly on the What Now programme

Two children, who had voted for the winning book, received a pack of the nine Storylines Junior Fiction Notable Books for their school, based on a lucky draw. The winners this year live in Gore and Rotorua.

The What Now team is enthusiastic about the Storylines Kids Pick competition, saying that “the campaign is celebratory, fun and ensures children are front and centre”. They are thrilled that the voting campaign provides an opportunity for children all over New Zealand to engage with books and say the competition is “a platform for readers and reading” and "an excellent way to talk about books at length on live TV".

Ragavi Meiyalaghan of Kirkwood Intermediate School Christchurch was the author of the review on the What Now website​ of Prince of Ponies ​by Stacy Gregg, the book selected as the 2020 Storylines Kids' Pick.

Prince of Ponies-14-914
Ragavi of Kirkwood Intermediate Kids Pick reviewer 2020-305-849


Storylines Kids' Pick Competition Background

The online competition encourages viewers to participate in a vote for a “Kids’ Pick” from the annual Storylines Junior Fiction Notable Books list; a great way to encourage the What Now audience to read Storylines' selections for the best books published in the previous year.
What Now is a top-rating, much-loved, madcap, live two-hour show. Broadcast on Sunday mornings on TV2, its target audience is primary school children.

The competition invites young readers to choose which they think would be the best book for kids aged 8-12 years.

To enter the competition young readers are invited to go to the What Now website (https://houseoffunge.tv/home), where there is a link to review, presented by an intermediate school aged reviewer, of each of the Storylines Notable Junior Fiction Books. Viewers watch the reviews, or read the books themselves, and vote for their favourite book. They then decide which they will nominate the Storylines Kids’ Pick Award for the year. They enter the draw for the book they would most like to read, or tell their friends about, on the What Now website. The vote is promoted live on air over three weeks, with presenters directing viewers to the What Now website and the video reviews.

All entries go into the draw to win a full set of that year's Storylines Junior Fiction Notable Books for their school.
Teachers are encouraged to watch the video reviews as a class activity or encourage their students to watch at home.

A full list of the Storylines Junior Fiction Notable Books is on the Storylines website.
Tui Street Heroes-204
Tui Street Heroes was one of the close contenders for the 2020 Storylines Kids Pick award.

Storylines Kids' Picks 2019


The winner of the 2019 Storylines Kids Pick, in association with What Now, was:
The Fire Stallion by Stacy Gregg, published by HarperCollins.
The runner-up books were Lyla by Fleur Beale, published by Allen & Unwin and
1918 Broken Poppies by Des Hunt, published by Scholastic.

Author Stacy Gregg, winner of the 2018 Storylines Kids’ Pick award, featured at a special event held at the Manukau Vodafone Events Centre in Auckland on 19 August. Stacy’s book The Fire Stallion was voted by young viewers of What Now as their ‘ Storylines Kids’ Pick’ from the ten books listed in the 2019 Storylines Notable Books Junior Fiction list.

Edited highlights of the presentation to Stacy Gregg and the celebration of Storylines Notable Books was broadcast on What Now.

The Fire Stallion and author  Stacy Gregg with the Storylines What Now Kids' Pick Trophy 2019 IMG 2118-652



What's now logo-778


Storylines Trust Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki and Friends of Storylines Te Pou o Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki together form New Zealand’s only national organisation working year-round to promote New Zealand children’s and young adult literature through activities that include a major national Story Tour to schools, early childhood centres and communities, and awards for writers, illustrators and those who work in the area of New Zealand children’s literature



for  Storylines e-news and updates
First Name*
Last Name*
In order to assist us in reducing spam, please type the characters you see:


Storylines welcomes your support for all its activities and events. Whether as a volunteer or sponsor for annual events or specific activities, your support (large or small) towards helping young New Zealanders love books is greatly appreciated.