Bisto Book of the Year 2009 | Shortlist

And here it is, the moment some of you have been waiting for. The announcement of the Children’s Books Ireland Bisto Book of the year Shortlist 2009!

  • Airman - Eoin Colfer (Puffin)
  • An Phleist Mhór - Ré O’Laighléis, Susan Edwards & Emily Colenso (Móinin)
  • Anila’s Journey - Mary Finn (Walker)
  • Bog Child - Siobhan Dowd (David Fickling)
  • Brionglóidí - Áine Ní Ghlinn & Carol Betera (Cló Mhaigh Eo)
  • Creature of the Night - Kate Thompson (The Bodley Head)
  • Her Mother’s Face - Roddy Doyle (Scholastic Books)
  • Highway Robbery - Kate Thompson (The Bodley Head)
  • The Gift of the Magi Illustrated - PJ Lynch (Walker Books)
  • The Great Paper Caper - Oliver Jeffers (Harper Collins)

Congratulations to everyone shortlisted - and if you’re craving more - have a read of my navel gazing about being a judge.

Written by david. in: awards, childrens books | Tags: ,


  • Bob

    At first glance it looks like a strong list. Interesting to see who wins.

    Comment | March 11, 2009
  • Helen

    Congratulations to all who made the shortlist; there are some very good books on it.

    It’s disapponting that no English-language, Irish-published books made the list. I don’t think there were last year either.

    Comment | March 11, 2009
  • Celine

    Great list of reads, all well deserving of recognition! Congratulations guys!

    Comment | March 11, 2009
  • You lied to my actual face.

    Comment | March 11, 2009
  • @Bob - it really is a huge list and ye won’t have to wait too long to find out the winner (Early May I think)

    @Helen - It was one of my criticisms last year and is one of the reasons I’d advocate for CBI to publish the judges longlist.

    Comment | March 11, 2009
  • @Celine - Hello Ms White Raven :)

    @Sinéad - Of course I did. I think the CBI crew would hunt me down if I told ye the truth.

    Comment | March 11, 2009
  • Helen

    @David — it would be really interesting to see the longlist. Quite apart from seeing which publishers’ books made the list, it would be interesting to see the spread across age groups and the variety of authors who made the longlist. I suppose when there are heavyweights like Roddy Doyle and Kate Thompson writing for children they are bound to dominate, so it would be really nice to see some of the emerging writers on the longlist.
    Thanks for posting the list; I’m looking forward to seeing who wins.

    Comment | March 11, 2009
  • Helen

    Also, ‘Anila’s Journey’ has a GORGEOUS cover.

    Comment | March 11, 2009
  • At some point they will have to rename the thing to the Kate Thompson Award…

    Comment | March 11, 2009
  • @Claire - I think the idea was floated but CBI thought it might seem a little too bias so it was shot down…

    @Helen - You’re right. Anila’s Journey has a great cover (and if you squint just right it looks like the girl on the cover is using a mobile phone) I think there is a strong merit in seeing the longlist - it would be a useful way of showing the judges thought processes for starters.

    Comment | March 11, 2009
  • juliette

    Is the long list the result of some selection or does that contain all the books Irish-related of the year?

    Comment | March 11, 2009
  • Hi Juliette - There is some selection for the longlist, this years list was nearly 20 (I think).

    Comment | March 11, 2009
  • juliette

    Thanks, that makes more sense to me now. I agree it would be good to show that, perhaps announce it in advance of the short list ? That might be more complicated than anybody bargained for though. Oh and my little man’s vote goes to the GReat Paper Caper because it has penguins in it if you look hard enough and he’s got this things with penguins. So go Oliver!

    Comment | March 11, 2009
  • Damn - I very nearly typed the winners! Baby Eamonn is smarter than he looks ;)

    Comment | March 12, 2009
  • It’s bad, isn’t it, that I only recognise two of the names on that list? Not any reflection on the authors, just on how none of them have come to my attention…

    I need to read more.

    Comment | March 13, 2009
  • Take it for granted that outside of those two that ye recognise (I’m guessing Roddy Doyle and Eoin Colfer) the writers listed write mainly and most successfully for younger markets.

    It’s not a bad thing that ye don’t recognise the names - and the shortlist is not a bad place to start if ye want to read some great children’s books.

    Comment | March 13, 2009
  • May I just make a quick comment - I think The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan deserved to be on the shortlist. I read a lot of books last year, and it really stood out for its originality, language and cracking characters.

    My money’s on Creature of the Night to win - and Mary Finn for the Eilis Dillon (as she only wrote a non fiction book for adults does she still qualify - I do hope so?).

    Airman stands a good chance too, as does Oliver, Oliver. But for me, Creature was the best ‘Irish’ book published last year.

    Sarah X

    Comment | March 19, 2009

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