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Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award winners

Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award Previous winners

2021 winner

The Girls in the Kapa HakaThe Girls in the Kapa Haka by Angie Belcher, illustrated by Debiie Tipuna, published by Penguin Random House, is the 2021 Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a much-loved book.

The Girls in the Kapa Haka is a picture book first published by Reed in 2006, by Puffin in 2008, and re-issued by Penguin Random House in 2019.

The story celebrates the performance of kapa haka through telling the story of the girls who sing in a kapa haka group.

Angie Belcher is a New Zealand writer, teacher and adventurer. She is widely published and her several books for children, including The Girls in the Kapa Haka and its companion, The Boys in the Waka Ama, celebrate the culture and natural wonders of Aotearoa. Originally from Maketu, the landing site of the great Arawa canoe, Angie now lives in Rotorua.

Debbie Tipuna is a children’s author and illustrator, a children’s librarian and a cool nana. She lives in Tauranga, with her husband, approximately 63 seagulls and a couple of pūkeko. Her home studio has inspiring views of the harbour and is a short walk from the beach and Opopoti (Maungatāpu) Marae. She has won a number of awards for her art and in 2017 was the inaugural recipient of the Tautoko Māori Foundation’s Basilicata art residency in Italy. A mixed media artist, Debbie especially loves working with gouache paints to convey her vibrant representations of the flora, fauna and folk of Aotearoa.


2020 winner

big-block-of-chocolate-2017-hr-454-953The winner of the 2020 Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a much-loved book is The Big Block of Chocolate, written by Janet Slater and illustrated by Christine Dale.

Storylines was unable to hold an in-person awards presentation in 2020. See the digital presentation of their award here.

2019 winner

The Christmas Caravan - model IMG 3740-36The Christmas Caravan, written by Jennifer Beck and illustrated by Robyn Belton was named the 2019 Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award winner, the 20th much-loved book to be honoured by this award in memory of author Gaelyn Gordon.
Jennifer and Robyn were both present to receive the award from Tessa Duder, and delighted that this heart-warming story had received this recognition. Robyn had brought to Auckland with her some of the original artwork for the book, which was on display.


2018 winner

Nicketty Nacketty Noo Noo Noo-118Joy Cowley and Tracey Moroney's Nicketty-Nacketty Noo-Noo-Noo, first published by Scholastic in 1995, was announced as the winner of the 2018 Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book. Like other Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award winners,  Nicketty-Nacketty Noo-Noo-Noo has never won a major award, but testament to its enduring popularity and appeal is the fact that it remains in print 23 years after its first publication.

In announcing the winner, Tessa Duder noted that that the title reflected the special part of Joy's life with her grandmother as Nicketty-Nacketty Noo-Noo-Noo was one of her grandmother's sayings.

2017 winner

Mr McGee-563The 2017 Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book, funded by David Ling Publishing, HarperCollins and Scholastic, was Pamela Allen, for Mr McGee, published by Penguin Random House NZ in 1987.

Mr McGee is the first of several picture books about Mr McGee (who lives under a tree). Pre-schoolers love the simple rhyming language, the fun of his misadventures and Pamela Allen’s distinctive illustrations. Read more about Pamela’ Allen here.



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



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