KidGlovz takes the prize

HAPPY ENDING: Winners of the 2016 Queensland Literary Award Children’s Book section author Julie Hunt (left) and illustrator Dale Newman. Picture: Jen Dainer.

HAPPY ENDING: Winners of the 2016 Queensland Literary Award Children’s Book section author Julie Hunt (left) and illustrator Dale Newman. Picture: Jen Dainer.

MORE than five years in the making the children’s book KidGlovz – illustrated by Newcastle artist Dale Newman –  has taken out the 2016 Queensland Literary Award Children’s Book section.

The first two years were story-boarding it, going through and working out what it was going to look like … mapping it out. The publisher said, ‘Just do what you think it needs,’ I was given so much freedom. So I did, I did it the way I saw it and thought it should be done. - Dale Newman

KidGlovz is a graphic novel with more than 280 pages of illustrations. According to Newman, its creation was a painstaking process and a steep learning curve.

 “The first two years were story-boarding it, going through and working out what it was going to look like … mapping it out,” the now Wollongong-based artist said. 

“The publisher [Allen&Unwin] said, ‘Just do what you think it needs,’ I was given so much freedom. 

“So I did, I did it the way I saw it and thought it should be done.”

Newman said she drew on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist during the creative process.

“The character of Shoestring in my mind was based on the Artful Dodger,” she said.

“He is very much that kind of character but with a heart.”

KidGlovz is the story of a young musical genius who is kept prisoner because of his talent. Shoestring helps him escape and the pair set off on a perilous journey. It is a tale about “friendship and freedom”. 

Newman and author Julie Hunt travelled to Brisbane to receive the award and the $10,000 prize-money, which the pair split. 

“The money was really nice, let me tell you,” Newman said. 

The graphic novel was also shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Crichton Award. 

Newman’s artwork also appears on the cover of Hunt’s award-winning novel Song for a Scarlet Runner. 

She studied art at Hunter Street TAFE and the University of Newcastle before working at the Newcastle Herald as an artist. 

The hardcover book KidGlovz is available in book stores and also online. It retails for about $21.

A sequel to KidGlovz is in the works. 

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