Happy 80th Birthday to the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is celebrating it’s 60th birthday! The medals are the oldest and most prestigious childrens book awards and are the gold-standard in childrens literature.
Andrew Carnegie set up more than 2800 libraries across the english speaking world and by the time of his death over half the library authorities in Great Britain had Carnegie libraries. The Carnegie medal is awarded for an outstanding book written in english for children and young people, it was first awarded in 1936 to Arthur Ransome for ‘Pigeon Post‘ and other recipients include Patrick Ness, Margaret Mahy, Anne Fine and Frank Cottrell Boyce.
Kate Greenaway was a popular and influential nineteenth century artist known for her childrens illustrations and designs. It is the only medal given as a reward for outstanding illustration and was first awarded in 1955 to Edward Ardizzone for ‘Time All Alone’and other winners include Chris Riddell, Quentin Blake, Raymond Briggs and Helen Oxenbury. The medal is awarded for an outstanding book in terms of illustration but both medals are unique in that they are judged solely by librarians.
Now one of the main national reading for pleasure initiatives, the medals engage thousands of children and young people to read books on the list via schools and libraries. The medals are awarded annually with a longlist announced in February, shortlists in March and the winners announced in June.