IBBY SA is delighted to herald in the new year, and the new decade, by announcing the winners of the Exclusive Books IBBY SA Awards 2009.

IBBY - the International Board on Books for Children and Young People - is a non-profit organisation representing a network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together. IBBY SA is the South African national section.

The Exclusive Books IBBY SA Award is given every second year, and is awarded to the best children’s picture book or illustrated children’s story book or illustrated book of poems for children. The selection of the winner is the responsibility of IBBY SA, which appoints a jury of experts in various associated fields, while the Award is sponsored by Exclusive Books. The Award is an amount of R5000.00 for the writer and R5000.00 for the illustrator.

The following four books were shortlisted, mentioned alphabetically by title:

1. Elsa and the little Thingamajig by Niki Daly, illustrated by Joan Rankin (Pan Macmillan)
2. Happy birthday, Jamela! story and picture by Niki Daly (Tafelberg)
3. Liewe land, ’n Olifant! deur Jaco Jacobs, ill. Maja Sereda (LAPA)
4. Siyolo’s Jersey by Mari Grobler, illustrated by Elizabeth Pulles (Tafelberg)

At a by-invitation-only event, hosted by Exclusive Books, at The Vineyard Hotel in Newlands, Cape Town, Colleen Whitfield of Exclusive Books announced that Siyolo's Jersey walked away with top honours. Congratulations to author Mari Groble and illustrator Elizabeth Pulles!

IBBY SA is encouraged by the excellent and uniquely South African works being produced in this country, and is pleased such work can be recognised in this way.