An initiative of the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS), the Hedwig Anuar Children's Book Award (HABA) is presented biennially to an outstanding, published children’s book by a Singaporean author or authors. Inaugurated in 2011, the award is open to all categories of children’s books from young children’s picture books through middle-grade chapter books to young adult books. The writer, illustrator and translator (if applicable) of the winning entry will share a $10,000 cash prize. The award is named after Mrs Hedwig Anuar, who was the first Singaporean Director of the National Library of Singapore from 1960 until 1988. A pioneer who implemented the modern library system in Singapore's libraries, she is recognised in this award for her outstanding contribution to children’s librarianship in the promotion of books and reading for children.

In this third iteration of the award, six books have been selected from a total of 63 submissions, and they are, in alphabetical order by title:

  • Hidden in Plain Sight, by Su-Lin Ang
  • Letters to Aly, by Lee Ann
  • The Mango Tree, by Hidayah Amin and Idris Ali
  • Not in the Stars, by Pauline Loh
  • The Rock and the Bird, by Chew Chia Shao Wei and Anngee Neo
  • The Travel Diary of Amos Lee: Monkeying in Malaysia!, by Adeline Foo and Stephanie Wong

The winner will be announced on 30 May during the Opening Ceremony of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) at the Mochtar Riady Auditorium at the Singapore Management University, and be presented by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs.

Four of this year’s shortlisted books have previously won or been shortlisted for other Singaporean and international awards:

Hidden in Plain Sight won third place in the 2012 Scholastic Asian Book Award.
The Mango Tree was shortlisted for the 2014 Singapore Literature Prize in the English Non-Fiction category.
Not in the Stars won second place in the 2012 Scholastic Asian Book Award (under its original title of The Locked Up Boy).
The Rock and the Bird won First Place, Class A, in the 2009 Commonwealth Essay Writing Competition.

You can visit the official HABA microsite for more information, as well as read an article in the Straits Times about the shortlisted entries.

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