Wednesday, November 16, 2016

National Non-Fiction November 2016

To celebrate National Non-Fiction November 2016 The Federation of Children's Book Groups has drawn up a list of 100 of the most exciting, intriguing, eye-opening non-fiction books for
children and young people of all ages, books to delight, inspire and make you gasp (or even giggle) in wonder.

With the support of a wide range of non-fiction publishers, The FCBG has teamed up with World Book Day for a spectacular giveaway - the sort that will instantly create an incredible library packed with true adventures through time and space, bursting at the seams with titles to feed curiosity, amazement and delight in the real world.

Prize A: 1 set of all 100 books featured in the booklist, '100 Brilliant Non-Fiction Books for Children and Young People'

Prize B: 1 set of 33 books aimed primarily at 0-7 year olds, all featured in the booklist

Prize C: 1 set of 34 books aimed primarily at 5 - 11 year olds, all featured in the booklist

Prize D: 1 set of 33 books aimed primarily at 9+ year olds, all featured in the booklist

Groups, schools, libraries and other institutions are eligible for the 100 book giveaway (Prize A). Members of the public are being encouraged to nominate the groups/school/library they work in, or know about (for example - though not restricted to - schools with dedicated school librarians, extra curricular clubs, education teams in hospitals, charities and other non- governmental organisations), who they believe would relish a brand new set of incredible non-fiction books.

The giveaways for prizes B,C and D are open to individuals.

Find full details of the giveaway (including how to nominate organisations or enter as individuals) and download the full '100 Brilliant Non-Fiction Books for Children and Young People’ list at :

National Non-Fiction November is the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ annual celebration of all things factual. Born out of National Non-Fiction Day, the brain child of Adam Lancaster during his years as Chair, the whole month now celebrates all those readers that have a passion for information and facts and attempts to raise awareness and appreciation of non-fiction books for children and young people. Extensive resources for exploring and celebrating non-fiction books can be found at #NNFN

The Federation of Children’s Book Groups was set up as a charity by Anne Wood, the originator of The Teletubbies. It acts as an umbrella organisation for local Children’s Book Groups all over the UK. The groups organise a variety of activities including author events and other activities that promote the enjoyment of children’s books. The Federation co-ordinates The Children's Book Award (now in its 35th year) and also produces numerous specialist book lists, organises National Share-a-Story Month each May, and holds an annual conference each spring. @Fcbgnews

World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) of encouraging a love of reading for pleasure. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world. On 2nd March 2017 children and young people of all ages will come together across the UK and Ireland to celebrate 20 amazing years of the campaign. World Book Day is a registered charity, no. 1079257. @WorldBookDayUK

For more information about National Non-Fiction November please contact: Zoe Toft,
Federation of Children's Book Groups, 10 St Laurence Road, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1JG
Registered Charity no. 268289

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Stratford Literary Festival and The Salariya Book Company launch Debut Children’s Picture Book Prize

Stratford Literary Festival and The Salariya Book Company launch Debut Children’s Picture Book Prize

To mark its 10th anniversary in 2017, the Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival is launching a Prize, in partnership with children’s book publisher The Salariya Book Company, to find the next big children’s author/illustrator. The winning story will be published in the UK and the winner or winning team will receive an advance of £5000 against royalties.

The Prize, which will form part of the Festival’s 2017 Sharing Stories Project to encourage reluctant readers and parents to read with their children, is unique in offering guaranteed publication by Scribblers, an imprint of The Salariya Book Company, and is being supported by some of the biggest names in children’s writing and illustration.

The judging panel includes David Salariya, Founder and MD of The Salariya Book Company; Annie Ashworth, Director of The Stratford Literary Festival; the award-winning author/illustrators Nick Butterworth and Sarah McIntyre, who is also the Festival’s Guest Children’s Director for 2017, as well as Tamara Macfarlane, owner of the multi-award-winning Tales on Moon Lane Bookshop and Ashley King, illustrator and bookseller at Waterstones. The winner or winning team will also receive advice and guidance as part of the prize from the children’s literary agent Jodie Hodges of United Agents.

The Stratford Literary Festival/Salariya Book Company Children’s Picture Book Prize 2017 is open to author/illustrators or author and illustrator teams aged 16 and over based in the UK who have not previously been published and distributed online or in bookshops.

The winner will be announced in February 2017, with printed copies available in late Autumn 2017.

‘As a festival, we are passionate about championing new writers and illustrators, and about sowing the seeds of a love of reading at a young age, so a prize seemed the perfect way to do this,’ says Anne Ashworth, Director of the Stratford Literary Festival. ‘We have always been quite ground breaking as a festival, having published a YA novella and run an online interactive story in 148 characters. We also publish a book of winning stories and poems in our creative writing competition each year. This prize, however, will be more ambitious than anything we have done before.’

‘We are very excited to be working with Stratford,’ says David Salariya, founder and managing director of The Salariya Book Company. ‘To the best of our knowledge this is the first time a publisher and a festival have collaborated on a prize, and we are looking forward to seeing some very creative submissions.’

The deadline for entries is Thursday, 12th January 2017 and full details, including rules of entry, can be found at and at


For further press information, please contact:

Antonia Wilkinson Tamsin Williams, Wigwam PR Email: Email:
Tel: 07703 538554 Tel: 01483 563562 / 07939 651252

Dreams, doubles and doppelgangers

Dreams, doubles and doppelgangers  – Newcastle University designs new virtual reality author exhibition for mobile phones
The clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in - now is the perfect time to delve into the unsettling world of Catherine Storr.
Her spooky stories have been brought to life in a new exhibition experience designed especially for mobile phones.
Experts from Newcastle University’s Culture Lab have been working with Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children‘s Books, which houses the writer’s archive, to create an online experience about her work.
Catherine Storr is probably best known for her novel Marianne Dreams and the Clever Polly series. Her stories often revolve around children confronting fears and feature recurring themes of doubles, doppelgangers and dreams.
The Catherine Storr Experience is loosely based around the house Marianne draws in Marianne’s Dream. Mobile phone motion sensors let the user navigate around the 3D property, learning more about Storr’s work as they visit the different rooms and examine different items.
Kim Reynolds, Professor of Children’s Literature, in the University’s School of English, Literature, Language and Linguistics, provided the content for the experience.
She said: “Storr is an author whose work lends itself perfectly to a project like this. She trained as a doctor, worked as a psychotherapist and was married to a psychiatrist.  She understood what was going on inside the minds of children and young people - their fears and desires.
“This made her exactly the kind of subject we needed for this innovation. We wanted to do something really new, which could help audiences get inside the creative process behind great children’s books.
“Using mobile phone technology means that people anywhere in the world can explore some of the wonderful material held in the Seven Stories archives in Newcastle. The three-minute Virtual Reality experience is accompanied by additional materials based on the archives and additional objects and memories provided by Storr’s daughters.”
The experience uses experimental technology to combine animation with the idea of a guided tour, allowing you to stop at set points and hear more about objects you’re looking at.  While this technology is still in its infancy it is already proving very powerful for creating web-based experiences like this.
Tom Schofield, Lecturer in Digital Cultures at Newcastle University said: “This contributes to our ongoing work into the fusion of cultural heritage with new forms of creativity through digital technologies.
“We hope that this experimental work encourages new experiences of Catherine Storr’s books and the characters and environments and the Catherine Storr archive at Seven Stories.”
Kris McKie, Archivist at Seven Stories: the National Centre for Children’s Books said: “Working with Culture Lab on this project has given us the opportunity to use digital innovation to present our Catherine Storr archive in a completely unique and highly original way. We’re excited by the potential for future projects and collaboration.”
The experience launched online on Saturday 5 November, You can visit it at

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

World Book Day 2017


David Walliams, Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Julia Donaldson among the “national treasures” writing new stories to mark the occasion

World Book Day UK has today (Friday 9 Sept) announced an all-star line-up of authors and illustrators to help it celebrate its 20th anniversary, with the goal of encouraging greater engagement with reading and ownership of books by children.
The reading for pleasure charity has recruited “national treasures” including David Walliams, Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Julia Donaldson to help it reach more children and young people than ever. These authors will each contribute an official World Book Day £1 book, which children can get for free in exchange for the £1 book token available to all schoolchildren in the UK and Ireland.
Over the past 19 years, World Book Day UK has delivered 13 million £1 books into the hands of young people across the country. In 2016, the number of £1 books given away was 789,738. The charity’s aim for its 20th anniversary is to increase this number to one million.
World Book Day was first designated an international event by UNESCO in 1995 after being observed for over 70 years in Catalonia, where giving books to friends and family had become an annual tradition. It was first marked in the UK two years later in 1997, in response to an increasing concern over poor reading and writing standards.
Founder of World Book Day UK, Baroness Gail Rebuck, also Chair of Penguin Random House UK and founder of Quick Reads, says: “In 1997 the level of children’s engagement with reading was at a point of national crisis. The previous year a Government report had been released showing that 42% of 11-year-olds failed to achieve level 4 in reading and writing on entry to secondary school. We wanted to do something to reposition reading and our message is the same today as it was then – that reading is fun, relevant, accessible, exciting, and has the power to transform lives. I’ve seen first-hand how World Book Day has affected social change and long may it continue.”
World Book Day Director Kirsten Grant says: “World Book Day is about creating readers for the future by igniting a love of books and reading in children and young people. It’s about encouraging them to visit their local bookshop and empowering them to make their own choices about the kinds of books they want to read. What better way to do this than offering them stories from the best writing and illustrating talent being published in the UK and Ireland today? We couldn’t be happier to have so many national treasures on board for our 20th anniversary - nobody can better capture children’s imaginations.”
The ten official World Book Day £1 books cater for all ages from pre-school through to young adults. In 2017, the titles for the nation’s youngest book lovers will feature beloved characters Peppa Pig and extraterrestrials from the Aliens Love Underpants series. For readers at Key Stage 1, Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks will contribute a new Princess Mirror-Belle title and Martin Handford has made one of his Where’s Wally? adventures available. They can also pick up some tips from Horrid Henry or catch up with the Famous Five, whereas Key Stage 2 readers will be able to enjoy something new from beloved British authors David Walliams or Dame Jacqueline Wilson. Young Adult titles will come from Michael Grant and David Almond, and the official World Book Day 2017 illustrator is Liz Pichon, children's book writer and illustrator/creator of the Tom Gates series.
The £1 World Book Day books for 2017 in full:
  • Peppa Loves World Book Day (Ladybird)
  • Everyone Loves Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)
  • Where’s Wally? The Fantastic Journey by Martin Handford (Walker Books)
  • Princess Mirror-Belle and Snow White by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks (Macmillan)
  • Horrid Henry: Funny Fact Files by Francesca Simon (Orion Children’s Books)
  • Good Old Timmy and Other Stories by Enid Blyton (Hodder Children’s Books)
  • An as yet untitled book by David Walliams (HarperCollins)
  • Butterfly Beach by Jacqueline Wilson (Corgi)
  • Island by David Almond (Hodder Children’s Books)
  • Dead of Night: A Front Lines Story by Michael Grant (Egmont)

Ireland only:
  • Fast Forward by Judi Curtin (O’Brien Press)
World Book Day will be celebrated on Thursday 2 March 2017. From January 2017, children in the UK and Ireland will be given a £1 (€1.50 in Ireland) book token in their nurseries and schools, which they can use to claim their World Book Day title in participating bookshops and supermarkets from 27 February to 26 March.
Visit from Friday 9 September 2016 for more information and to subscribe to the free monthly World Book Day e-newsletter. Search #WorldBookDay20 for the latest news

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Philippa Pearce Lecture 2016 - 1 September. Cambridge

The Philippa Pearce Lecture celebrates excellence in writing for children.  
1 September  5.00 pm  in the Mary Allan Building,  Homerton College, Cambridge , followed by a wine reception 

MUCH LOVED, best-selling, author, Allan Ahlberg, will give the Pearce lecture in 2016 on September 1st in the Mary Allan Building, Homerton College, Cambridge.
Allan is author of more than a hundred books for children, translated into many languages, and winner of many awards, including two Greenaway prizes for Each Peach Pear Plum and The Jolly Postman(with his late wife, Janet Ahlberg). Allan’s range is extraordinary and encompasses some of the best books ever produced for babies, and for older children.  These include wonderful versions of fairy tales, brilliantly funny stories and fine collections of poetry.Always warm, inventive, creative, his output connects powerfully with young readers. We know his lecture will be a rare treat.

About the Lectures

At THE START of 2007, a small group of Philippa Pearce’s friends, family and colleagues began organising a series of memorial lectures to be delivered by various distinguished speakers with an interest in children’s books.
The inaugural lecture was held on 11th September 2008, at Homerton College, Cambridge, and focused on Philippa Pearce ’s own writing and contribution to children’s literature.  Subsequent lectures have been given by Michael Rosen (2009) Michael Morpurgo (2010) Philip Pullman(2011) Malorie Blackman (2012) Kevin Crossley-Holland (2013) Frank Cottrell Boyce (2014) and Meg Rosoff (2015).
For more details and to book see     The lectures remain free and are funded entirely by donations.  Booking is essential.

For further information contact:
Nicky Potter 

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

SCBWI British Isles' Annual Conference. 19-20 November: Winchester

David Almond, Leigh Hodgkinson and Sarah Davies to deliver keynotes at the 
SCBWI British Isles’ Annual Conference.
19-20 November, 2016 in Winchester

The British Isles Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators announces speakers for its 9th Annual Conference in its celebratory 20th year.

Cracking Characters!

The British Isles chapter of the SCBWI, a professional organisation of writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, librarians, educators, booksellers and others involved with literature for young people, announces a star-studded line-up for their 9th annual conference, to be held on 19-20 November, 2016 at the University of Winchester.  Keynote speakers this year are author David Almond, author/ illustrator Leigh Hodgkinson and founder of The Greenhouse Literary Agency Sarah Davies. Special guests to mark the 20th anniversary of SCBWI British Isles include Lin Oliver, author and co-founder of SCBWI.

The theme of this year’s conference is Creating Characters that Leap off the Page. 

Saturday’s keynote talks will be given by Carnegie Medal winner David Almond and award-winning animator and illustrator Leigh Hodgkinson. An action-packed day follows, filled with specialist industry panels, discussions and interactive workshops led by a wide range of industry professionals. The day closes with ‘The Hook’, a Dragons’ Den style panel competition event in which five brave delegates pitch it out to hook an agent. Saturday evening’s exclusive industry party will not only feature a Mass Book Launch of members’ 2016 publications and the awarding of the Crystal Kite Award but also mark the 20th anniversary of SCBWI British Isles with SCBWI co-founder Lin Oliver.

Sunday opens with Industry Keynote, Sarah Davies, founder of The Greenhouse Literary Agency, a transatlantic agency for children’s literature. Among its clients are two New York Times bestsellers, a Morris First Novel Award winner and Kirkus Prize Finalist.

The rest of the day is dedicated to craft intensives: writers can create a comic character with Lin Oliver, hone their heroes and villains with author Cliff McNish or learn how to develop a story for television with scriptwriter Roland Moore. Illustrators can get hands-on with author/ illustrator Viv Schwarz. The popular PULSE stream will offer published members, opportunities to further their careers: learn creative storytelling techniques to add character to your school presentation with Margaret Bateson Hill and get tips on creating cracking school resource packs. And in the SPARK self-publishing stream: Carnegie winner Susan Price, author of ‘Self Publishing and Marketing Children’s Books’ Karen Inglis and Independent Bookseller Tamara McFarlane will offer a workshop on the nuts and bolts of self-publishing.

One-to-one manuscript and portfolio reviews with agents and editors will also be offered at a small additional cost. 

A juried illustrator showcase and portfolio exhibition will also take place.

Admission to the entire conference is £220 for SCBWI members and £250 for non-members. More information and a registration form can be found at our website:

·Author keynote David Almond is the author of Skellig, My Name is Mina, The Savage, The Tightrope Walkers, A Song for Ella Grey and numerous other novels, stories, picture books, opera librettos and plays. His work is translated into 40 languages, and is widely adapted for stage and screen. His major awards include The Carnegie Medal, two Whitbread Awards, The Eleanor Farjeon Award, The Michael L Printz Award (USA), Le Prix Sorcieres (France) and The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. In 2010 he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world’s most prestigious prize for children’ authors. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and lives in Northumberland.‘A writer of visionary, Blakean intensity.’ The Times.‘A Tyneside Dylan Thomas, and it is impossible not to be swept up in the power of his storytelling.’ Daily Telegraph ‘A master storyteller.’ The Independent. ‘David Almond’s books are strange, unsettling wild things – unfettered by the normal constraints of children’s literature. They are, like all great literature, beyond classification.’ The Guardian.

·Illustrator keynote by Leigh Hodgkinson is an award winning animator, author and illustrator with a passion for day dreaming. She graduated from the University of Hull in 1998 with a first in graphic design and went on to study Animation Direction at the National Film and Television School. Her picture books include Colin and the Snoozebox, Limelight Larry and Scrummy! All published by Orchard Books. As well as Goldilocks and Just the One Bear, Troll Swap and The Big Monster Snoreybook published by Nosy Crow. Most recently Bloomsbury published Are You Sitting Comfortably? Her picture books have been translated into many languages around the world. Leigh is an award-winning animator and worked as art director on the BAFTA-award winning animated series, Charlie and Lola. She is currently art-directing an exciting new animated pre-school television show for Cbeebies which is due to hit the screens in spring 2017. She co-created the show with her husband Steve Smith (of Beakus).

·PULSE keynote by Sarah Davies was a London publisher for 25 years, latterly as Publishing Director and on the management board of Macmillan Children’s Books where she worked with authors such as Philip Pullman, Julia Donaldson, Judy Blume, Sharon Creech, Meg Cabot, Frank Cottrell-Boyce and many others. In 2007 she moved to the USA and launched The Greenhouse Literary Agency, a transatlantic agency specializing in fiction for children and teens. Greenhouse quickly built a reputation as one of the leading boutique-sized agencies on both sides of Atlantic and is well known for discovering and helping to develop new talent. Among its clients are two New York Times bestsellers, a Morris First Novel Award winner, a Kirkus Prize Finalist, and its authors regularly achieve starred reviews and critical acclaim, as well as deals around the world. Sarah and her colleague Polly Nolan are open to all genres of fiction and represent young stories upwards through YA, but also sell picture books, non-fiction and even adult novels by existing clients. What they seek most of all is quality writing complementing a unique premise. Now back in the UK, Sarah divides her time between her new home “somewhere east of Oxford”, London, and New York, and she works with authors across many timezones!

·The faculty also includes:

Margaret Bateson-Hill, Author and Storyteller, Ruth Bennett, Commissioning Editor at Stripes, Louise Bolongaro, Publisher at Nosy Crow, Helen Bryant, Literary Consultant at Cornerstones, Jane Clarke, Author, Candy Gourlay, Author, Karen Inglis, Independent Author, George Kirk, Educator, David McDougalan, Senior Art Director at Walker Books, Tamara McFarlane, Independent Bookseller, Cliff McNish, Author, Roland Moore, Script Writer, Roxie Munroe, Author/Illustrator, Lin Oliver, Author, Susan Price, Author, Viv Schwarz, Author/Illustrator, Benjamin Scott, Author, Paul Stickland, Author/ Illustrator, Sarah Towle, Independent Author, Becky Tudor, Educator, Caroline Walsh, Agent, Polly Whybrow, Commissioning Editor at Bloomsbury.

On Friday 18th November there is a programme of optional fringe events culminating in an evening critique meet. There is also an open portfolio exhibition on Saturday 19st November and various other competitions for authors and illustrators. Delegates and invited industry guests will be celebrating 20 years of SCBWI British Isles as well as our members’ 2016 publishing successes at our exclusive party and Mass Book Launch on Saturday night!

Two scholarships will be awarded, based on need and merit, which include tuition and accommodation costs, and a 1-1 with an editor, art director or agent.

The Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards will be presensented to the 2016 winner.

For more information about the conference programme visit

Booking closes at midnight, Monday 31st October 2016. 

About SCBWI:  SCBWI British Isles is a chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, a group form in 1968 by some Los Angeles-based writers for children. It is the only international organisation to offer a variety of services to people who write, illustrate, or share a vital interest in children's literature. It has over 22,000 members worldwide working in all areas of writing and illustrating for children, from picture books to YA. It is the only professional organisation for those specifically working in mediums of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia, and makes an annual presentation of the Golden and Crystal Kite Awards, the only award presented to children’s book authors and artists by their peers.

SCBWI British Isles hosts a number of events during the year, from a professional development lecture series to masterclasses and writing retreats. It also supports local critique groups and events with regional festivals.

For more information:


SCBWI British Isles:


·         Jonny Wood

Conference and Press Enquiries: 
·         George Kirk and Becky Tudor, Conference Co-Chairs,
·         Natascha Biebow, Regional Advisor (Chair),

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Society of Authors events

two SoAvents that you may like to attend.

Adventures in the real world: factual books and reading for pleasure
19 July, 5.45-8pm,  Waterstones Piccadilly, 203-206 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HD

Children love reading about pirates, animals, robots, space, monsters... anything and everything wondrous and exciting. They love adventurous stories and bizarre inventions. And they don't love it any less if what they read is true - so why does Reading for Pleasure so often focus on fiction? 

Our panel of experts discusses the huge benefits of reading factual books for pleasure, engaging young readers who might not enjoy fiction, and broadening the horizons of those who do. 
Jenny Broom is a publisher at Quarto, producers of the award-winning Atlas of AdventuresDawn Finch is President of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, a vociferous library campaigner, trained librarian and children’s author; Nicola Morgan, Society of Authors’ Children’s Writers and Illustrator Group Chair, author of award-winning novels, factual books and an expert in the science of readaxation and reading for wellbeing; and Zoe Toft of the Federation of Children’s Books Groups, an independent children’s book consultant who oversees Non-Fiction November. Chaired by Anne Rooney, author of around 150 children’s information books on many subjects and Chair of the Society of Authors’ Educational Writers Group.

The talk will be followed by a drinks reception. Tickets for Carousel subscribers cost £10 
online booking as SoA members using an offer code SOA16 or £12 offline by calling the Society of Authors on 0207 373 6642. Please quote event code 571.
Diverse voices:  children's literature in translation 
20 October 2016, 2-4pm,  English Speaking Union, Dartmouth House, 37 Charles Street, London, W1J 5ED.

Some of the most loved children’s books in the UK have been translated into English from their original language - Pippi LongstockingEmil and the DetectivesHeidi, as well as Tintin and Asterix. Despite this, translated  literature makes up a very small percentage of the total number of children’s books published in the UK each year. In an globalised world, where intercultural exchange is widespread and multi-faceted, this lack of access to children’s literature which has been produced outside the English-speaking world could be seen as a problematic gap in young people’s cultural education; as Skellig author David Almond puts it: "children need to read the best books by the best writers from all parts of the world… (or) our children are missing out."

After the discussion with panellists Annie Eaton (Penguin Random House), Gill Evans (Walker Books), Sarah Odedina (Pushkin Press) and chair  Joy Court (Schools Library Services) the shortlist for the 2017 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation will be announced. 

Refreshments (tea and cakes) will be served. Tickets are £10, with a concession of £5 available for students. Book now

Saturday, July 09, 2016

BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 Winner - Judith Kerr

Tiger Who Came to Tea and Mog author wins
BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award 2016

Author and illustrator Judith Kerr, who escaped from Hitler’s Germany as a child and went on to write over 30 children’s books, including one of the best-selling of all time, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, has been named BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, 2016.

The award, which BookTrust set up to celebrate the body of work of an author or illustrator who has made an outstanding contribution to children’s literature, is being presented to Judith at a ceremony hosted by former Children’s Laureate and BookTrust President, Michael Morpurgo, at London Zoo on Wednesday 6 July 2016. {For more information on this please see contact details.}

The judges of the Book Trust Lifetime Achievement Award were:

·         Nicolette Jones, writer, critic and broadcaster, specialising in literary and arts journalism
·         Shami Chakrabarti, human rights campaigner and chair of the Baileys Prize for Womens’ Fiction in 2015
·         Cressida Cowell, author and illustrator of twelve books in the popular How to Train Your Dragon series which has sold over seven million copies worldwide
·         Chris Riddell, prolific writer and illustrator, Children’s Laureate
·         John Agard, one of the most exciting poets writing in the English language today and winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2013
·         Diana Gerald, BookTrust chief executive.

Judith Kerr said: “I am honoured and delighted that I have been chosen to receive the BookTrust’s Lifetime Achievement Award. I thank them very much, and as the presentation is to be at London Zoo, I’ll also be able to thank the tigers in the tiger enclosure who started it all.”

Judith is best known for her children's books, including the 17-strong Mog series and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and her biographical trilogy Out of the Hitler Time, that tells the story of her family’s flight from Nazi Germany, and travel through Switzerland, France and eventually settling in England. She has sold more than nine million books world-wide and her works have been translated into 25 different languages.

Mog has featured on bestseller lists for the past 30 years and sold more than four million copies. In December 2015 Mog’s Christmas Calamity was published in association with Sainsburys and was the subject of their Christmas advertising, raising over one million pounds for Save the Children’s literacy campaign. On the week of publication, it was the fastest selling book in the industry reaching No. 1 in the overall book charts for four weeks, making it the bestselling picture book of 2015.

Judith’s first picture book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, was published in 1968 and became a classic, selling over 5 million copies, making it one of the best- selling children’s books of all time.

In September this year Judith will travel to Berlin for the publication of Mister Cleghorn’s Seal in Germany by Fischer-Verlag, the publishers of her father Alfred Kerr’s books in Germany.

In 2012, Judith was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to children's literature and Holocaust Education.

As Britain’s largest reading charity, BookTrust is keen to see children’s authors acknowledged for their part in getting children to adopt a lifelong love of reading, so they can reap the many benefits that reading for pleasure can bring.

Book Trust CEO, Diana Gerald, says:

“Great authors and illustrators bring children to books and books to children. We know that books can be the life-changing milestone in children’s lives and we want to celebrate the work of authors whose books have that kind of impact.
“Judith is one of those people. Her fantastic stories and illustrations have enthralled children and their parents over several generations, and continue to do so to this day. Her remarkable life is only eclipsed by the remarkably enduring tales of her characters and creatures:  Mog, the adventurous and engaging cat, and the tiger who came into so many of our lives when gatecrashing tea-time in Sophie’s household. We are truly thrilled to be here today to honour Judith’s life’s work with this award.”

Lifetime Achievement Award judge chairperson, Nicolette Jones said:
“Judith Kerr created one of our most enduringly loved picture books in The Tiger Who Came to Tea, continuously in print since 1968. In her stories of Mog the cat, who thinks like a child in a grown-up world, in all her picture books, and in her astonishing new departure into illustrated young fiction in her 90s, Mr Cleghorn’s Seal, Judith has shown charm, skill, humour and empathy, while her trilogy beginning with When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit has had a significant impact on a generation’s understanding of the Holocaust, wartime Europe, and the experience of refugees. She is an important witness to history and has made a huge contribution to illustration and to our reading culture.”

·         Comments from some other judges below.

·         Judith Kerr biography here:


UKLA Book Awards

The unique UKLA Book Awards are the only awards to be judged entirely by teachers. Their choice of winning books which, according to the criteria, can “enhance all aspects of literacy learning” clearly demonstrates the fresh perspective that class teachers bring to the judging of book awards.   They are able to share the books with their classes and discover what genuinely works with young readers in each of the three age categories.  As well as endorsing the brilliance of Frances Hardinge’s overall Costa Winner, The Lie Tree for 12-16’stheir 7-11 winner reflects once again the importance of illustration to this age group. The Imaginary by A.F Harrold was double Greenaway medal winner Emily Gravett’s first foray into illustrating a full length novel. The 12 judges who made up the final panel showed the strength and depth of the three shortlists by also Highly Commending books in both the 7-11 and 3-6 categories with Alex. T Smith’s vividly illustrated and wittily diverse twist on a familiar nursery tale, Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion, winning the 3-6 category.
For UKLA, giving classroom practitioners the opportunity to read a number of new quality children’s books is as important as finding an overall winner. Research carried out by members of UKLA (Cremin et al 2008) clearly demonstrated the links between teachers’ knowledge of children’s books and the likelihood of pupils becoming successful readers. Despite this evidence, teachers are seldom given time to read new books or funding to purchase them when they do. As Awards Chair Lynda Graham said:
I am so impressed by the level of commitment shown by teacher judges from Bristol this year.  Work in classrooms based around our shortlisted books has been thoughtful, imaginative, creative and in many instances, quite stunning. It was very moving to hear them describe how being involved in this judging process has had a real impact in their schools and upon their pupils’ enthusiasm for reading”.
This makes these awards particularly useful for co-sponsor Peter Crawshaw, Director and Co-founder of Lovereading4kids, who said:
“Lovereading4schools and its sister site Lovereading4kids are delighted to support the UKLA Book Awards. The fact that the teacher judges reflect on their students’ responses to the books gives the award huge credibility and trust that schools use to know the books will be loved by their own pupils. The awards are equally valuable for parents looking for books their children will enjoy.”
The Award winners for the book categories 3 to 6, 7 to11 and 12 to16+ years will be announced and presented at a wine reception at the UKLA International Conference at the Mercure Bristol Holland House Hotel and Spa in Bristol on July 8th.
Andrew Lambirth, President of UKLA said “I am delighted that the UKLA Book Awards continue to highlight some of the best children's literature available to children and young people. I'm proud that the process of selection of the winners is undertaken within a real spirit of community, involving so many people from within education. Congratulations to all the winners and runners up this year”
The winning book in the 12 to16 + category is the Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge, published by Macmillan.
It is the brilliant powerful language of Frances Hardinge’s wholly compelling, dark mystery that so impressed the judges. The perfectly portrayed Victorian period with the themes of science, religion and the role of women stimulated really interesting class discussion. Despite the fantastically weird story of the Lie Tree itself this is an intensely human novel with young readers able to really relate to Faith and feel her anger and frustration and her growing realization of parental fallibility.

The winning book in the 7 to 11 category is The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold and Emily Gravett, published by Bloomsbury

A beautifully written and perfectly illustrated tale that has clever elements of observational comedy and refreshingly candid, engaging characterisation set within a deliciously scary story that completely won over the judges. A.F. Harrold’s poetic language takes readers to the dark heart of imagination where the very nature of friendship is tested. This is a very moving, accessible and yet challenging book which certainly stimulates young readers to use their own imagination.

The judges also presented a Highly Commended 7-11 Award to The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel, published by David Fickling

Judges commended this adventure on a huge scale, with hurtling action beautifully complemented by an unusually reflective hero and a wonderfully vivid supporting cast and setting. A much faster paced read than the length would suggest, helped by the use of present tense, with young readers also stimulated by the imaginative use of language and fascinated by the moral dilemmas portrayed.

The winning book for the 3 to 6 category is Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex.T.Smith, published by Scholastic

Little Red Riding Hood transposed to an African town setting where a lion is really no match for a clever small girl delighted the judges with its exuberant original twisting of the traditional story. The inventive layout of the text and its relationship to the witty, beautifully coloured illustrations really enhance the child friendly storytelling. The empowering portrayal of different cultures and a heroine who is not a naive victim ensure that this will become a classroom classic.
The judges also presented a Highly Commended 3-6 Award to On Sudden Hill by Linda Sarah and Benji Davies, published by Simon & Schuster
Judges commended this poignant tale which approaches difficult areas for children and does so with sensitivity and a real understanding of childhood relationships with each other. Emotive imagery in both the poetic language and the subtle, gentle pictures can prompt useful discussion of restorative justice as well as inspiring imaginative use of cardboard boxes!
The Shortlists in full
This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne (author/illustrator)(Oxford University Press)
The Something by Rebecca Cobb (author /illustrator) (Macmillan Children's Books)
I am Henry Finch by Alexis Deacon (author) and Viviane Schwarz (illustrator)(Walker Books)
The Dad with 10 Children by Bénédicte Guettier (author/Illustrator) (Scribblers Books)
On Sudden Hill by Linda Sarah (author) and Benji Davies (illustrator) (Simon & Schuster Children's Books)
Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex T Smith (author/illustrator) (Scholastic Children's Books)

The Fish in the Bathtub by Eoin Colfer (author) and Peter Bailey (illustrator)(Barrington Stoke)
Hercufleas by Sam Gayton and Peter Cottrill (illustrator)     (Andersen Press)
The Imaginary by A.F Harrold(author) and Emily Gravett(illustrator)(Bloomsbury)
The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel (David Fickling Books)
The Pilot and the Little Prince by Peter Sís (Pushkin Press)
Atlas of Adventures by Rachel Williams (author) and Lucy Leatherland (illustrator)(Wide Eyed Editions)

The Door that Led to Where by Sally Gardner (Hot Key Books)
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children's Books)
There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake (Bloomsbury)
An Island of Our Own by Sally Nicholls (Scholastic Children's Books)
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (Puffin)
The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgewick (Orion Indigo)

Full details of the Awards and the winners (from 7.15pm on 8 July), the shortlist, and reviews of the winning and shortlisted books, are on