Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand | Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki o Aotearoa

Storylines Notable Book Lists 2021

The 2021 Storylines Notable Books List, for the highest quality books in five genres published between January 2020 and July 2021, is compiled from more than 188 entries from publishers by expert panels of authors, teachers, librarians, academics and parents.

The annual list was begun by Storylines in 1999 and selection is eagerly sought by authors, illustrators and publishers. It provides a valuable reading and purchasing guide to families, schools and libraries, and to young readers, with the books in each genre listed in ascending order of age range suitability within each genre.

The 2021 Storylines Notable Book Award winners are:

Storylines Notable Picture Books (age range from birth to 18 years)

I am the Universe

(Penguin Random House NZ 2020)
by Vasanti Unka

Moose the Pilot

(Penguin Random House NZ 2020)
by Kimberly Andrews

My Elephant is Blue

(Penguin Random House NZ 2020)
by Melinda Szymanik, illustrations by Vasanti Unka

Dozer the Fire Cat

(Scholastic New Zealand 2020)
text by Robyn Prokop, illustrations by Jenny Cooper

Sharing with Wolf

 (Scholastic New Zealand 2020)
by Melinda Szymanik, illustrations by Nikki Slade Robinson

The Hug Blanket

(Scholastic New Zealand 2020)
by Chris Gurney, illustrations by Lael Chisholm

This Is Where I Stand

(Scholastic New Zealand 2021)
by Philippa Werry, illustrations by Kieran Rynhart

Flit the Fantail and the Matariki Map

(Scholastic New Zealand 2021)
by Kat Quin

Mummy Monster

(OneTree House Publishing 2020)
by Stephanie Thatcher

Hare & Ruru: A Quiet Moment

(Beatnik Publishing 2020)
by Laura Shallcrass

Highly commended:
  • Hound the Detective, by Kimberly Andrews (Penguin Random House NZ 2020)
  • BatKiwi, text by Melinda Szymanik, illustrations by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White (Scholastic New Zealand 2021)

Storylines Notable Junior Fiction (age range from 7 years to 13 years)

Mallory, Mallory: The Revenge of the Tooth Fairy

by James Norcliffe, illustrations by Emily Walker

(Penguin Random House NZ – Puffin, September 2020)

The Inkberg Enigma

text and illustrations by Jonathan King

(Gecko Press, August 2020)

Viola Vincent Reporting – Troubled Water

by Anna Kenna

(Tiromoana Publishing, September 2020)

Charlie Tangaroa and the Creature from the Sea

by T K Roxborogh, illustrations by Phoebe Morris

(Huia, September 2020)

Red Edge

by Des Hunt

(Scholastic New Zealand, September 2020)


by Mary-anne Scott

(OneTree House, September 2020)

Three Scoops: Stories by David Hill

by David Hill, illustrations by Lisa Allen

(OneTree House, July 2021)

The Memory Thief

by Leonie Agnew, illustrations by Kieran Rynhart

(Penguin Random House NZ – Puffin, July 2021)

The Tunnel of Dreams

by Bernard Beckett

(Text Publishing, September 2020)

The Ghosts on the Hill

by Bill Nagelkerke, illustrations by Theo Macdonald

(The Cuba Press, July 2020)

Highly commended:
  • Partners in Slime, by Belinda O’Keefe (Scholastic New Zealand 2021)
  • The Forever Horse, by Stacy Gregg (HarperCollins 2020)

Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction (age range from 13 years to 18 years).

Hello Strange

by Pamela Morrow

(Penguin Random House NZ 2020)

A Trio of Sophies

by Eileen Merriman

(Penguin Random House NZ 2020)

The Calling

by Fleur Beale

(Penguin Random House NZ 2021)

The Pōrangi Boy

by Shilo Kino

(Huia Publishers 2020)

Violet Black

by Eileen Merriman

(Penguin Random House NZ 2021)

The King’s Nightingale

by Sherryl Jordan

(Scholastic New Zealand 2021)

Half My Life

by Diana Noonan

 (OneTree House Publishing 2020)


by Cristina Sanders

(Walker Books Australia 2021)

These Violent Delights

by Chloe Gong

(Hachette NZ 2020)

Falling into Rarohenga

by Steph Matuku

(Huia Publishers 2021)

Storylines Notable Non-fiction (age range from 3 years to 18 years).

Kuwi & Friends Māori Picture Dictionary

by Kat Quin. Translator Pānia Papa

(Illustrated Publishing 2020)

Mophead Tu: The Queen’s Poem

by Selina Tusitala Marsh

(Auckland University Press 2020)

My Little Book of Bugs – Taku pukapuka iti mō ngā pepeke  

(Te Papa Press 2020)

Going to Te Papa Asiasiga ‘i le Falemata’aga i Te Papa

by Dahlia Malaeulu. Translated by Niusila Faamanatu-Eteuati

(Te Papa Press 2021)

Egg and Spoon: An Illustrated Cookbook

by Alexandra Tylee, illustrated by Giselle Clarkson

(Gecko Press 2020)

My Name is Henry Fanshaw

by Gillian Torckler, illustrated by Adele Jackson

(Bateman Books 2021)

How Do I Feel? A Dictionary of Emotions for Children

by Rebekah Lipp, illustrated by Craig Phillips

(Wildling Books 2021)

North & South: A tale of two hemispheres

by Sandra Morris

(Walker Books Australia 2021)

The New Zealand Wars

by Matthew Wright

(Oratia 2021)

The Reading Tribe

by David Riley

(Reading Warrior 2021)

Highly commended:
  • How Did I Get Here? Soliloquies Of Youth,  Edited by Ben Brown (The Cuba Press 2020)
  • You’re Joking: Become an Expert Joke-Teller, by Tom E. Moffatt, illustrated by Paul Beavis (Write Laugh Books 2020)
  • New Zealand Disasters: Our response, resilience and recovery, by Maria Gill, illustrated by Marco Ivancic (Scholastic New Zealand 2021)

Storylines Notable Te Reo Māori (original texts or translations into Te Reo Māori, any genre). This list will be announced in November 2021

Kuwi & Friends Māori Picture Dictionary

by Kat Quin. Translated by Pānia Papa

(Illustrated Publishing 2020)

Pipi Kiwi

by Helen Taylor. Translated by Hēni Jacob

(Penguin Random House NZ 2020)

Ngake me Whātaitai

,by Ben Ngaia, illustrated by Laya Mutton-Rogers

(Huia Publishers 2021)

Te Uruuru Whenua o Ngātoroirangi

by Chris Winitana, illustrated by Laya Mutton-Rogers

(Huia Publishers 2021)

Te Whānau Kauri

by Suzy Cato & Arthur Baysting (deceased), illustrated by Craig Fletcher. Translated by Ngaere Roners

(Scholastic New Zealand 2020)

Ko Flit, te Tīrairaka me te Mahere Matariki

by Kat Quin. Translated by Pānia Papa

(Scholastic New Zealand 2021)

He Wheke Wai Mamangu Au

 by Stephanie Thatcher. Translated by Pānia Papa

(Scholastic New Zealand 2021)

Ko Pekakiwi

by Melinda Szymanik, illustrated by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White. Translated by Pānia Papa

(Scholastic New Zealand 2021)

Ko Rona Māhina

by Tim Waitai Tipene, illustrated by Theresa Reihana

(Oratia  2020)

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