Friday, 9 January 2009

New Children’s Book Awards & more

The Witch’s Children go to SchoolTwo new Children’s Book awards were launched in the past year. The Big Picture Campaign was aimed at promoting picture books and their illustrators. Art schools, teachers, libraries and literary festivals became involved in choosing ‘new’ picture book artists, all of whom were first published in or since the year 2000, to become the top ten illustrators in the field of Picture Book illustration today. Three of the best known authors who were included in the list of Top Ten Picture Book Illustrators are Oliver Jeffers, Emily Gravett and Mini Grey. Acclaimed children’s picture book author Shirley Hughes sums up the importance of this prize… “In an era in which we are bombarded by moving electronic imagery, looking at picture books is not only a vital part of learning to read but offers a lifelong pleasure in itself.”

The winners of the inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize were announced in London on November the 13th. The winner of the Funniest Book for Children Aged Six and Under was The Witch’s Children go to School by Ursula Jones and the winner of the Funniest Book for Children Aged Seven to Fourteen was Mr. Gum and the Dancing Bear by Andy Stanton. Meanwhile Dublin author, Derek Landy, was chosen as the overall winner of the Red House Children’s Book Award, the only children’s book award voted for by children, for his book Skulduggery Pleasant, which will be released on film in 2010.

And in the coming year….

Ribblestrop by Andy Mulligan is to be the next big children’s book if we are to heed the previews in the British Press. A story about a bunch of kids in a boarding school, "Andy Mulligan’s Ribblestrop is a hilarious and morally questionable tale about a disastrous school whose pupils can be counted on the fingers of one hand" The Independent. It is already long-listed for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2009 along with The Thirteen Treasures by Michelle Harrison, which is being marketed as a dark faerie fiction with a classic feel. A new series of Horrible Histories will be launched in 2009. The new editions will be called High Speed History and will feature historical tales in a comic-strip format. Terry Deary will be writing and recording the text for a new "Ruthless Romans" computer game planned for Nintendo DS and Wii and PCs. Look out for it in the gaming shops in 2009.

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