By the time the panel of librarians reached their list of eight books, released today alongside the Kate Greenaway Medal illustrators' shortlist, it was clear that there were no more "issue novels" than in previous years. But it might have seemed like it, with three stepmother stories plus an abandoned baby and brutal treatment of children with disabilities. "Readability" and "accessibility" were the buzzwords in the discussion with many books classified as "more than a shelf-filler, but not an award-winner".
The illustrators shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal will be showing their work alongside Kate Greenaway's in an exhibition to commemorate the 150th anniversary of her birth. The show opens on May 23 at the Centre for the Book, Birmingham Central Library, and also features work by five past medal winners: Edward Ardizzone, Raymond Briggs, Helen Oxenbury, Michael Foreman and Janet Ahlberg.
Granny the Pag by Nina Bawden (Hamish Hamilton) In the Middle of the Night by Robert Cormier (Gollancz) Raider by Susan Gates (Oxford University Press) The Bront Girls by Garry Kilworth (Methuen) The Wreck of the Zanzibar by Michael Morpurgo (Heinemann) His Dark Materials: Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (Scholastic) Thomas and the Tinners by Jill Paton Walsh (Macdonald Young Books) Double Act by Jacqueline Wilson (Doubleday) Kate Greenaway shortlist
Blodin the Beast illustrated by Christina Balit (Frances Lincoln) The Little Boat illustrated by Patrick Benson (Walker) Clown devised and illustrated by Quentin Blake (Cape) Tattybogle illustrated by Ken Brown (Andersen) Nothing written and illustrated by Mick Inkpen (Hodder) The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey illustrated by P J Lynch (Walker) Here Come the Aliens written and illustrated by Colin McNaughton (Walker)