Monday, November 13, 2017

The Sheffield Children's Book Award 2017 - And the Winner is ...

On Friday November 10th, 2017, the 29th Sheffield Children's Book Award was held in the Crucible Theatre.
Over 700 school children of all ages, authors, illustrators, publishers, library staff, the Lord Mayor of Sheffield and Councillors came together to celebrate books, reading and, of course, libraries, all hosted by the brilliant and gregarious BBC broadcaster Trisha Cooper.

I can tell you now, that there was a LOT of noise, a lot of screams and cheers and even the odd rendition of 'Go Bananas' thanks to Noodle Performing Arts and the audience. It was a truly joyous celebration of books and a demonstration that books and reading are still going strong.

Each year the Book Award team gather together a group of children's book lovers and experts to look through the previous year's releases and select the best of the bunch. This makes up our shortlisted titles. These are then sent out to schools across Sheffield and the children vote for their favourites. The award ceremony celebrates all of our shortlisted titles, and announces the overall winners. The fact that Sheffield children are responsible for picking our final winners is what makes this award really quite special. They are the ones reading the books, so of course they should be the ones to choose the winners? But there was no doubt at all, on the day, how loved every single one of our shortlisted titles was by the school children who came along.

So, without further ado, here are our winning titles!

  • Baby Book  - Hoot's Twilight Adventure by Rowena Blyth . Published by Fourth Wall Publishing
  • Toddler Book  - The Very Greedy Goat  by Petr Horacek. Published by Walker Books
  • Picture Book  - Nibbles the Book Monster by Emma Yarlett. Published by Little Tiger Books
  • Emergent Readers - The Pumpkin Project by Katie Smith, ilustrated by Sarah Jennings. Published by Hodder
  • Shorter Novels - Beetle Boy by M.G Leonard. Published by Chicken House
  • Longer Novels - Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy. Published by Hot Key Books
  • Young Adult - The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander. Published by Houghton Mifflin
  • Special Category of Independent Publishers - The Bean Machine by Adam Bestwick . Published by Fourth Wall Publishing.

Overall Winner - Nibbles the Book Monster by Emma Yarlett and Little Tiger Books. Watch the moment Nibbles is announced as the winner, and plug your ears for the scream.

During the ceremony we had various characters on stage, including Alice and the Mad Hatter (who cause chaos among the crowd) thanks to Noodle Performing Arts, brilliant video messages from some of the authors and illustrators who couldn't make the event, and speeches from head of service Nick Partridge, and The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Anne Murphy. 

We also had a very special moment on stage, when Diana Gerald, Chief Executive of BookTrust, presented out very own Early Years Librarian Anne Frost with the National Bookstart Coordinator Award 2017. We are incredibly proud of Anne for all her efforts, hard work and enthusiasm. Here is Anne collecting her award. Congratulations!
After the award ceremony, the authors and illustrators risked repetitive strain injury to sign many, many ... many books and postcards for excited and keen young readers! They did a marvellous job.
Left-Right: Alan MacDonald, Keilly Swift, Michelle Robinson, Alison Donald, Alexander Willmore, Rob Biddulph, Adam Bestwick.
And if that wasn't enough, many of them then also went out to schools and libraries to hold special events with children. Here you can see Michelle Robinson and Rebecca Ashdown brilliantly bringing to life their book Odd Socks to around 50 captivated youngsters from 3 different schools. And illustrator Sarah McIntyre wowing children at the new Woodseats Library with her pen skills and fabulous outfit.

As you can imagine, it was a brilliantly busy day for all, but also brilliantly bookish! A recognition of the hard work that goes into all the brilliant children's books, the importance of reading for pleasure, and of course, our very own libraries. It was a momentous day. Thank you to everyone who came along, got involved, read and voted. And particular thanks to the School's Library team for putting the whole thing together.

We'll see you next year for the 30th Anniversary Book Award Celebrations!

Sheffield Children's Book Award Winners & Sheffield Libraries Team.

All the Sheffield Children's Book Award shortlisted Authors and illustrators. 

(Blog post written by Alexis Filby. Library and Information Assistant)