On 8th June authors, publishers, children, friends and members of the FCBG and our headline sponsor BookLife came to celebrate the Children’s Book Award ceremony 2019 at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in London.
It was an amazing turnout with all bar one of our shortlisted books represented by the author, illustrator or in some cases both!
Children from many of our testing groups came from across the country to meet the writers and illustrators of the books they chose as their top picks of 2019. They had the opportunity to chat with their book heroes and have their books signed.
As well as our Top 10 writers and illustrators we were also delighted to welcome other FCBG favourites who went down a storm with their fans
Sarah McIntyre was our master of ceremonies and entertained everyone with a look at her new book ‘Grumpycorn.’ She also gave us a lesson in how to draw a unicorn wearing a crazy hat and the children and adults alike threw themselves into their own version with great gusto.
Then it was on to the prize giving. The portfolios of work that were presented to every Top 10 author and illustrator went down as well as always with the recipients keen to delve in and see the pictures, letters and inventive ways the children had come up with to express how much they loved the books they chose.
With much excitement our first group of children came up to award the prize for the winner of the ‘Books For Young Children’ category. And the winner is….
MIXED Written and illustrated by Arree Chung. Published by Macmillan.
A wonderfully colourful book about diversity, inclusion and living together.
When we asked Arree how he felt about winning this category he told us,
“It feels amazing because this award I know is voted solely by the kids and it means so much to know that all age groups have loved the book. It’s amazing because younger kids love it for the colours they’re relating to and learning about and the older kids definitely see the message. It’s really about the future and how the world is changing.”
And so on to the ‘Books for Younger Readers’ category.
And the winner is…..
THE DOG WHO LOST HIS BARK Written by Eoin Colfer and illustrated by P.J Lynch. Published by Walker.
A heart-warming story about a boy, his dog and the power of music.
Eoin was unable to attend but had this to say about the awards,
“Hi Everyone – I’m really sorry I can’t be with you today but I am somewhere less cheerful having way less fun. Also I look a little like P.J so if he moves around quickly it will seem like we are both there. I hope everyone enjoys the event and I can’t wait to see what the readers think of this lovely book that P.J and I put together.”
I was able to catch up with P.J and find out what the award meant to him.
“It meant everything to me today to win the award. The Children’s Book Award, for illustrators and writers, is one of the most valued book awards because it’s voted for by kids. So from the word go to get through, even to get shortlisted on the votes of children means a huge amount to me. I’m really thrilled and honoured and then to win a category was just the icing on the cake.”
The final award for the day was presented the winner of the ‘Books For Older Readers,’ category went to…..
ARMISTICE RUNNER Written by Tom Palmer. Published by Barrington Stoke.
A moving story about generations of one family from WW1 to the modern day, united by a love of fell running.
Tom spoke to me about the impact this award will have on his writing,
“It will impact my writing because believing in yourself can be hard. I’m now trying to write more historical books and this award has given me a real confidence boost. Where else do you get that sort of confidence from? It’s the readers. And if the readers like Armistice Runner enough then I have a new self-belief which is amazing so thank you.”
With three such wonderful category winners it was difficult to predict which of the books would go on to be this year’s overall winner. But the winner of the silver oak tree for book of the year went to Arree Chung and his fantastic picture book MIXED.
Huge congratulations to Arree and all of our category winners and shortlisted authors and illustrators.
Now on with the counting for next year’s awards!