From the Storylines website:


The 2020 Storylines Notable Book List, for the highest quality books in five genres of children’s literature published during 2019, is compiled from more than 110 entries from publishers by expert panels of authors, teachers, librarians, book sellers and academics.

The annual list was begun by Storylines in 1999 and selection is eagerly sought by authors, illustrators and publishers. It provides a useful reading and purchasing guide to families, schools and libraries and to young readers.

The following lists are compiled in age order, from youngest to eldest.


Storylines Notable Picture Books Picture books (from birth to 18 years)

I Had a Brother (One Tree House) by Diana Menefy, illustrated by Malena Laugesen

Song of the River (Gecko Press) by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Kimberly Andrews

Granny McFlitter: A Country Yarn (Penguin Random House) by Heather Haylock, illustrated by Lael Chisholm

The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo! (Scholastic NZ) by Elaine Bickell, illustrated by Raymond McGrath

Things in the Sea are Touching Me! (Scholastic NZ) by Linda Jane Keegan, illustrated by Minky Stapleton

The Gobbledegook Book (Gecko Press) by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Giselle Clarkson

Mr Kiwi Has an Important Job (Potton & Burton) by Heather Hunt

Bess the Brave War Horse (Scholastic NZ) by Susan Brocker, illustrated by Raymond McGrath


Storylines Notable Junior Fiction books(from 7 years to 13 years)

Prince of Ponies (HarperCollins) by Stacy Gregg

Avis and the Promise of Dragons (The Cuba Press) by Heather McQuillan

Tūi Street Heroes (Wildling Books) by Anne Kayes

#Tumeke! (Massey University Press) by Michael Petherick

Hazel and the Snails (Massey University Press) by Nan Blanchard, illustrated by Giselle Clarkson

The Telegram (Pipi Press) by Philippa Werry

Bullseye Bella (Scholastic NZ) by James T Guthrie

Lizard's Tale (Text Publishing) by Weng Wai Chan

To Trap a Thief (Scholastic NZ) by Des Hunt


Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction books (from 13 years to 18 years)

A Place of Stone and Darkness (Penguin Random House) by Chris Mousdale

White Lies, Maori Legends and Fairytales written and published by Falstaff Dowling-Mitchell

Invisibly Breathing (Penguin Random House) by Eileen Merriman

Ursa (Walker Books Australia) by Tina Shaw

Wynter's Thief (One Tree House) by Sherryl Jordan

Afakasi Woman (One Tree House) by Lani Wendt Young


Storylines Notable Non-Fiction books(from 13 years to 18 years)

Dinosaur Hunter: Joan Wiffen's Awesome Fossil Discoveries (Penguin Random House) by David Hill, illustrated by Phoebe Morris

Tohorā: The Southern Right Whale (Potton & Burton) by Ned Barraud

Wildlife of Aotearoa (Penguin Random House) by Gavin Bishop

Mophead: How your Difference Makes a Difference (Auckland University Press) by Selina Tusitala Marsh

Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi (Lift Education) by Ross Calman and Mark Derby, illustrated by Toby Morris, te reo Māori text by Piripi Walker

Māui's Taonga Tales: A Treasury of Tales from the South Pacific (Te Papa Press) edited by David Brechin-Smith, illustrated by Rewiti Arapere, Arika Brightwell, Te Hana Goodyear, Miriama Grace-Smith, Isobel Joy Te Aho-White, Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho, Josh Morgan, Munro Te Whata

The Adventures of Tupaia (Allen & Unwin) by Courtney Sina Meredith, illustrated by Mat Tait

Three Kiwi Tales: More Fabulous Fix-it Stories from Wildbase Hospital (Massey University Press) by Janet Hunt

New Zealand Nature Heroes (Potton & Burton) by Gillian Candler

First Map: How James Cook Charted Aotearoa New Zealand (HarperCollins) by Tessa Duder, illustrated by David Elliot


Storylines Notable Te Reo Māori books

(original texts or translation into Te Reo Māori, any genre)

Te Kī Taurangi a Puanga: He pūrākau Matariki (Scholastic NZ) by Kirsty Wadsworth, illustrated by Munro Te Whata


He Paki Taonga i a Māui: He putunga kōreo mai i Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa (Te Papa Press) edited by David Brechin-Smith, illustrated by Rewiti Arapere, Arika Brightwell, Te Hana Goodyear, Miriama Grace-Smith, Isobel Joy Te Aho-White, Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho, Josh Morgan, Munro Te Whata


2020 Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal winner


Maria Gill 2015 217-191

Congratulations to Maria Gill, winner of the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal 2020, the country’s top award recognising achievement in and contribution to New Zealand children’s literature. Maria’s body of work (more than 60 books) is impressive and her impressive list of awards highlights the exceptional quality of the work she produces. In addition, her support for other writers, her drive to boost a love for reading and writing (among children and adults) and her tireless efforts in the world of children's literature make her a superbly worthy recipient of the award. Maria is recognised here and in Australia for her publications and teaching; she has been regarded for the past decade and a half as one who “puts words into action, pushes up the shirt sleeves and gets into the work” kind of person for the writing, reading, and children’s education communities. She is highly regarded and admired among fellow writers for the worthiness of the work she produces for children, and her quiet determination to use her talents and gifts to enhance the lives of others – especially children of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Maria will present the 2020 Margaret Mahy Lecture at the Storylines Margaret Mahy National Awards Day on the afternoon of 5 April.