As with so much this year, Covid-19 played merry havoc with our plans to celebrate the 40th Children’s Book Award in London back in July. It didn’t manage to dampen spirits though and at 2pm on Saturday 10th October, we opened our online doors and held the ceremony virtually. Although not exactly as we had planned, it was fantastic to be able to invite without limitations and for anyone who wanted to join the celebrations to be able to do so.
We were lucky enough to be joined again by the wonderful Sarah McIntyre who hosted the 2019 ceremony. This year, she co-hosted with her creative partner, the fantastic Philip Reeve.
They entertained us in style and treated us to a very special short story written and illustrated for the CBA, based on the antics of their fabulous character, Kevin the Roly Poly Flying Pony.
With help from some of our wonderful child voters, Philip and Sarah presented the four category awards and it was lovely to hear from all our category winners.
The winners are;
Books For Younger Children: The Runaway Pea. By Kjartan Poskitt. Illustrated by Alex Willmore. Published by Simon and Schuster.
Books For Young Readers: Mutant Zombies Cursed my School Trip. By Matt Brown. Illustrated by Paco Sordo. Published by Usborne Books.
Books For More Confident Readers: D-Day Dog. By Tom Palmer. Published by Barrington Stoke.
Books For Older Readers: On The Come Up. By Angie Thomas. Published by Walker Books.
It was fantastic to hear from all our shortlisted writers and illustrators through the power of technology!
The last award of the day was for the overall winner which went to the remarkable and well deserving D-Day Dog by Tom Palmer.
Tom was outside his local library to accept his award and shared the happy news with his own dog Finn, who is also a character in the book.
Once the awards themselves were over, we were given a super drawing workshop from Sarah McIntyre who taught us all how to draw the guinea pig double act from the Kevin books, Neville and Beyonce.
What a fantastic afternoon! And it couldn’t have happened without the amazing work of all our local groups, the schools, book clubs, families, libraries and young individuals who read and vote for the books and choose which make the shortlist. I think we can all agree that they have done a wonderful job again this year and picked excellent books.
We also couldn’t hold the awards without the support of the publishers who ensure the books get into the hands of the children who vote.
If you have enjoyed reading any of our twelve shortlisted books then you can show the authors and illustrators just how much you loved their work by sending us a letter, picture, poem, thought cloud, review, or anything else you can think of for inclusion in the portfolios that we award to everyone who makes the shortlist. See the CBA page for more details. Here you will also find the full ceremony which was recorded so that you can watch back whenever you like and share in class, as part of an assembly or in your own homes.
See you again next year!