Classroom prompts using the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration shortlist

Published on: 10 May 2023

Jake Hope, Awards Executive for the Yoto Carnegies, introduces each shortlisted book, and suggests ways to use it in the classroom.

Illustration can stimulate a curiosity around books, stories and information that helps to ignite and inflame a passion in reading. The Carnegie Medal for Illustration shortlist this year features six books which judges feel offer an outstanding visual reading experience. Each of the books explore ideas around change and our connections to the wider world around us. We explore each of the shortlist.

The Visible Sounds, illustrated by Yu Rong and written by Yin Jianling

The Visible Sounds is inspired by the true story of Chinese dancer Tai Lihua. It explores the changes a little girl, MiLi, makes when she loses her hearing following a childhood illness. MiLi gradually discovers that the vibrations that surround her allow her to engage in a different way with music.

Classroom prompt: Yu Rong uses animal motifs to help visualise different sounds. What creatures would you use to help show some of the noises you hear in your everyday life?

The Comet, illustrated and written by Joe Todd-Stanton.

The Comet focuses on a little girl who moves house and it shows the different people and the aspects that make a place feel a true home.

Classroom prompt: Can you draw some of the things you appreciate most about home? Are there similarities with those which your friends or classmates have drawn?

Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear, illustrated by Jeet Zdung and written by Trang Nguyen.

Like The Visible Sounds, it has been inspired by the author’s own work around conservation and environmentalism. The book is told in graphic novel form and draws upon the aesthetic of journals and manga.

Classroom prompt: Can you think of ways you can make a difference to your local environment?

Alte Zachen, illustrated by Benjamin Phillips and written by Ziggy Hanoar.

Alte Zachen is a graphic novel whichtells the story of Baba, who is shopping in New York and is coming to terms with the way that the city and her world have changed across her lifetime. 

Classroom prompt: Can you see some of the changes that Baba witnesses in the city? What changes have you seen happen in the area where you live? Do you think these have been for better or for worse? 

Rescuing Titanic by Flora Delargy. 

Rescuing Titanic is Flora Delargy's first book. She has written and illustrated this story of the Titanic which is partially seen from the perspective of those onboard the Carpathia, the ship which came to the rescue of the Titanic as it was sinking. Flora felt a particular connection to the story because her own family worked for the shipbuilders who made the Titanic.

Classroom prompt: Can you draw a picture that has a particular connection to your family’s history?

The Worlds We Leave Behind, illustrated by Levi Pinfold and written by A. F. Harrold.

Memory plays a key role in The Worlds we Leave Behind. The book draws on fairy tale landscapes and memories. We feel a particular connection to the books we read as children and they can influence and change us, sometimes in subtle and sometimes in profound ways.

Classroom prompt: Which stories particularly resonate with children that you teach and why?

Illustration can help carve a more direct connection with children. There are lots of ways to connect with the shortlist of the Carnegie Medal for illustration. The website features many activity ideas and teaching resources as well as videos with all of the illustrators and a special creative challenge that they have set. Help change attitudes towards reading and build a stronger connection to books and reading using the shortlist.

Children and young people can take part in choosing the winner of the Shadowers’ Choice for the Carnegie Medal for illustration by registering on the website, showcasing the book they feel the biggest personal connection with! Don’t forget to tune in to the live stream when the winners will be announced on 21 June.

BookTrust Represents

BookTrust Represents has been created to promote and improve the representation of people of colour in children’s books.

It is important that all children have the opportunity to read a diverse range of books where they and their communities are represented.

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