Nadine Kaadan’s ‘Tomorrow’ Nominated for Kate Greenway Medal

Nominations have been published for the UK’s oldest children’s book awards, which recognize “outstanding writing and illustration in books for children and young people”:

The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded annually by CILIP for an outstanding book written in English for children and young people; and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded for distinguished illustration.

Syrian author-illustrator Nadine Kaadan’s Tomorrowtranslated by the author and published by Lantana, is one of the latter.

According to organizers, 254 books have been nominated for the 2019 Medals; 137 books are in the running for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and 117 for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Books can be nominated by CILIP members, BookTrust, CLPE, Commonword, IBBY, Inclusive Minds, National Literacy Trust, and RNIB.

What next? According to prize organizers:

Each nominated book is read by every member of the judging panel − 14 children’s and youth librarians representing all regions of CILIP’s Youth Libraries Group − who volunteer their time as judges.

From these nominations the judging panel will decide the long and shortlists and finally, the 2019 Medal winners, based on the official Medals criteria. The long and shortlists identify a range of outstanding books for children and young people, recognising excellent literature and illustration from new and established authors and illustrators.

The awards shadowing scheme engages thousands of children and young people in schools and libraries in the UK and overseas through reading groups that ‘shadow’ the judges as they read and engage with the shortlists. Shadowers critically and creatively explore the shortlisted books, through group participation and online engagement: posting reviews, blogs, artworks, videos, exploring human rights and participating in visual literacy based creative activities.

The winners’ ceremony in June will see one book from each shortlist awarded the first children’s choice prize, voted for and presented by shadowers, alongside the winners of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals.

The longlist will be announced February 18, 2019, with the shortlist following on March 18, and the winner June 17, 2019.

More at the Carnegie Greenaway website.


Picture Books

Answer Me, Leila

ArabKidLitNow recommends Nadine Kaadan’s Answer Me, Leila

answer me leila

Author’s awards: 2011 Anna Lindh Foundation prize for the best fiction book for children with special needs

Author: Nadine Kaadan

Illustrator: Nadine Kaadan

Publisher: Box of Tales Publishing

For English translation contact: Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

For teaching resources contact:

Buy in Arabic: Box of Tales Publishing

This beautifully illustrated picture book is a playful retelling of the fairy tale Rapunzel, but with a twist: Leila is deaf, so she can’t hear her suitor calling to her.

Leila and Sami keep missing each other: she sits up in her high tower waiting for him, but no matter how many times he comes and calls for her, she doesn’t answer. Things look better for them both once Sami realises that he needs to learn her language, sign language, in order to win her heart.

With its swirling illustrations, bright colours, and cheeky sideways glances, it’s a refreshing story about overcoming hearing difficulties. Leila’s lovely, ornate flowing hair, looping and curling like the Arabic letters it conceals, suggests the beautiful physicality of her language. And the book ends with Leila giving the readers a beginners’ lesson in sign language.

Answer me, Leila! was cited by The Guardian as a ‘badly needed story for young people’ in its feature on disability inclusive books which should be available in English.

The British charity Outside in World has produced some excellent classroom resources for Answer Me, Leila! to encourage teachers to explore issues of inclusivity and accessibility with their pupils. See the OIW website for a helpful report on how Answer Me, Leila! was used as a case study with deaf and hearing primary school pupils, demonstrating how stories such as this can empower deaf pupils, encourage mutual understanding and inspire children to improve their storytelling skills.

Nadine Kaadan is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator from Damascus, Syria, now living in London where she completed her MA in Art and Politics at Goldsmiths, University of London, and MA Illustration at Kingston University.

Two of her picture books are published in English by Lantana Publishing: The Jasmine Sneeze and Tomorrow.

Nadine in the media: