Two teachers win Blue Peter Book Awards voted for by children

blue peter

The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff and The Spy Who Loved School Dinners win children’s book prize

Two teachers, who have written funny and silly books, are top of their class as they win Best Book with Facts and Best Story in the Blue Peter Book Awards 2015, voted for by hundreds of schoolchildren.

Pamela Butchart, who teaches philosophy at secondary school, won Best Story with her latest title The Spy Who Loved School Dinners, which was illustrated by Thomas Flintham.

Andy Seed, a former primary teacher and deputy head for 17 years, won Best Book with Facts with The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff, illustrated by Scott Garrett.

Both were delighted to be crowned this year’s winners and viewers will be able to see them receive their awards on Blue Peter tonight from Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2013-2015 Malorie Blackman, as the show celebrates its 15th anniversary of the prize.

Pamela, who did a book-signing for The Spy Who Loved School Dinners on her wedding day, exclaimed: ‘WOW! Is this real-life?! I’m shocked and utterly over-the-moon about winning this fantastic award! It means the world to me that children voted for my book! Thank you.’

Andy, who grew up watching Blue Peter, said: ‘To win a Blue Peter Book Award is a proper thrill not just because it revives all those happy childhood memories but because the show today does a truly significant job in raising the profile of books and reading at a time when this is needed more than ever. To win any award is a delight but to win the Blue Peter Book Award sets my spine tingling like nothing else.’

The illustrators of the books also expressed their excitement about winning the prize.

Thomas Flintham said: ‘Hooray! What fantastic news! It was exciting enough just to be nominated but to have won has forced me to do a little dance!’

Scott Garrett said: ‘I was so excited to hear that we’d won the Blue Peter Book Award! Blue Peter was a big part of my early years. We’ve all grown up with it and to be part of it AND get an award is something very special to me- I can’t wait to get my badge! Illustrators don’t get inundated with awards, so I’m over the moon to have been awarded this one. Here’s to books!’

A panel of judges including Tom Gates author Liz Pichon, Rastamouse creator Michael de Souza, The Bookseller journalist Anna James, and non-voting chair of judges, Blue Peter editor Ewan Vinnicombe, selected the shortlist from publishers’ submissions.

These were then read and voted on by more than 200 children from ten schools across the UK to decide the winners in each category. The winners were announced on a special World Book Day morning bulletin of Newsround.

Pupils at Perry Wood Nursery and Primary School in Worcester said it was an ‘honour’ and ‘exciting as only ten schools in the whole of England can choose the winners of the Blue Peter Book Awards.’

The enormously popular Blue Peter Book Awards are managed by reading charity Booktrust, which works with schools to get more children reading for pleasure. The Awards celebrate the best authors, most creative illustrators and the greatest reads for children.

Ewan Vinnicombe, Editor, Blue Peter said: ‘It’s fantastic that in our 15th year of the Blue Peter Book Awards we have given 200 children across the UK the chance to vote for their favourite books. Pamela and Thomas, Andy and Scott should be really proud and Blue Peter will continue to promote children’s books and our viewers’ love of reading.’

The shortlist:

Best Book with Facts

Animalium written by Jenny Broom and illustrated by Katie Scott (Big Picture Press)

  • Corpse Talk: Season 1 by Adam Murphy (David Fickling Books)
  • The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff written by Andy Seed and illustrated by Scott Garrett (Bloomsbury)

Best Story

  •  Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen (Doubleday Children’s)
  • Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death by Chris Riddell (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • The Spy Who Loved School Dinners written by Pamela Butchart and illustrated by Thomas Flintham (Nosy Crow)

The judges:

  • Michael de Souza – Co-creator of the Rastamouse book series and co-founder of Little Roots Ltd
  • Anna James – Editor, We Love This Book and Media Editor, The Bookseller, and former school librarian
  • Liz Pichon – author of the Tom Gates series, and winner of the Blue Peter Book Awards Best Story 2013
  • Ewan Vinnicombe (non-voting chair) – Editor, Blue Peter and Head of Presentation for CBeebies and CBBC

Keep up-to-date with the Awards at and on Twitter by following @Booktrust and #BPBA

The Blue Peter Book Awards have been celebrating children’s literature since 2000. The reading charity Booktrust has managed the Blue Peter Book Awards since 2008. The 2014 winners were Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell for Best Story and Tony Robinson’s Weird World of Wonders: World War II by Tony Robinson and illustrated by Del Thorpe for Best Book with Facts

Blue Peter is the longest running children’s magazine programme in the world. As well as the Book Awards, the show’s family of presenters, live studio home, amazing competitions, incredible challenges, live music, interviews with celebrities, access behind the scenes, pets, makes and bakes, free games online and most importantly its commitment to the audience are all long standing elements of this iconic show.

Booktrust is Britain’s largest reading charity. It has a vision of a society where nobody misses out on the life-changing benefits that reading can bring. Booktrust is responsible for a number of successful national reading promotions, sponsored book prizes and creative reading projects aimed at encouraging readers to discover and enjoy books.

Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime Begins in Childhood



“A bucket list of books to create a well-read life, chosen by Amazon editors”

Amazon UK have followed their couterparts across the pond and released their list of the 100 books to read in your lifetime.  The idea is to promote reading as a joy, rather than presenting a list that makes you feel inadequate. It is not meant as homework, or as a challenge but, rather to inspire a love of reading from childhood through adulthood.

Of course, as Amazon recognises, everyone will have their own opinion as to which books should appear on the list. They are encouraging the debate and hoping that readers will register at Goodreads  to list their own favourites.

Whether you agree or not, check out the list and if the children’s books on the list aren’t in your library, you might consider adding them to your list for the next birthday in your family.


Booktrust’s 100 Best Children’s Books – Is Your Favourite On the List?

Booktrust unveiled their choices for the top 100 books for kids from pre-school age to 14 for Children’s Book Week (October 7-11). They’d like you to have your say about their list. You can download the poster with the whole list here (sample shown below).

Part of Bookstart Poster for the Ultimate 100

Part of Bookstart Poster for the Ultimate 100

Booktrust is an independent reading and writing charity based in the United Kingdom. Many of you will know their Bookstart programme which gives free packs of books for babies and toddlers. They are supported by government, book publishers and the public and donate millions of books every year. They work to inspire a love of reading and writing in everyone.

In compiling their list of 100 books, they have drawn on over 90 years’ experience in choosing books for children, as well as sales figures and recommendations from previous years. The list comprises both traditional classics and modern greats and Booktrust feels all the choices will fire children’s imaginations and inspire a life-long love of reading.

They hope that their choices will encourage everyone to join in the debate. Claire Shanahan, Head of Arts at Booktrust, said: “We know there will be some debate around the list, and we welcome it! Has your favorite childhood read been left out? Would your child whole-heartedly agree with us, or be dismayed by an oversight? We’ve tried to include stories for everyone – whether it’s an old picture book, a classic adventure story, or a modern tale tackling contemporary issues – the emphasis for us is on wonderful, wacky, and world-changing narratives.”

So get involved by voting online for your favourite at: before Friday November 15, 2013. The results from the poll will be announced on the 25th of November.

Herewith, Booktrust’s 100 Books to Read Before You’re 14 List in its entirety:

Title Author Age range
The Cat in the Hat Dr Seuss 0 – 5 years
Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak 0 – 5 years
The Tiger Who Came to Tea Judith Kerr 0 – 5 years
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle 0 – 5 years
The Elephant and the Bad Baby Elfrida Vipont 0 – 5 years
Meg and Mog Helen Nicholl 0 – 5 years
Dogger Shirley Hughes 0 – 5 years
Each Peach Pear Plum Allan Ahlberg 0 – 5 years
Would You Rather? John Burningham 0 – 5 years
The Snowman Raymond Briggs 0 – 5 years
Not Now, Bernard David McKee 0 – 5 years
Where’s Spot? Eric Hill 0 – 5 years
Dear Zoo Rod Campbell 0 – 5 years
Gorilla Anthony Browne 0 – 5 years
Hairy Maclary From Donaldson’s Dairy Lynley Dodd 0 – 5 years
The Jolly Postman Allan Ahlberg 0 – 5 years
Princess Smartypants Babette Cole 0 – 5 years
I Want My Potty Tony Ross 0 – 5 years
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Michael Rosen 0 – 5 years
I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato Lauren Child 0 – 5 years
Room on a Broom Julia Donaldson 0 – 5 years
Lost and Found Oliver Jeffers 0 – 5 years
Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears Emily Gravett 0 – 5 years
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes Mem Fox 0 – 5 years
I Want My Hat Back Jon Klassen 0 – 5 years
Pippi Longstocking Astrid Lindgren 5 – 7 years
Winnie-the-Pooh A. A. Milne 6 – 8 years
The Story of Babar Jean de Brunhoff 6 – 8 years
Little House in the Big Woods Laura Ingalls Wilder 6 – 8 years
The Enchanted Wood Enid Blyton 6 – 8 years
Five on a Treasure Island Enid Blyton 6 – 8 years
Finn Family Moomintroll Tove Jansson 6 – 8 years
My Naughty Little Sister Dorothy Edwards 6 – 8 years
Charlotte’s Web EB White 6 – 8 years
A Bear Called Paddington Michael Bond 6 – 8 years
Asterix the Gaul Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo 6 – 8 years
Flat Stanley Jeff Brown 6 – 8 years
The Worst Witch Jill Murphy 6 – 8 years
Mister Magnolia Quentin Blake 6 – 8 years
The Queen’s Nose Dick King-Smith 6 – 8 years
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs Jon Scieszka 6 – 8 years
Amazing Grace Mary Hoffman 6 – 8 years
The Adventures of Milly Molly Mandy Joyce Lankester Brisley 6 – 8 years
Horrid Henry Francesca Simon 6 – 8 years
The Sheep-Pig Dick King Smith 6 – 8 years
Clarice Bean, That’s Me Lauren Child 6 – 8 years
That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown Cressida Cowell 6 – 8 years
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney 6 – 8 years
The BFG Roald Dahl 6- 8 years
The Arrival Shaun Tan 6- 8 years
The Adventures of Tin Tin Herge 9 – 12 years
Swallows and Amazons Arthur Ransome 9 – 12 years
Ballet Shoes Noel Streatfield 9 – 12 years
The Hobbit J R R Tolkien 9 – 12 years
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 9 – 12 years
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe C. S. Lewis 9 – 12 years
The Borrowers Mary Norton 9 – 12 years
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase Joan Aitken 9 – 12 years
Stig of the Dump Clive King 9 – 12 years
Carrie’s War Nina Bawden 9 – 12 years
Goodnight Mr Tom Michelle Magorian 9 – 12 years
The Witches Roald Dahl 9 – 12 years
Matilda Roald Dahl 9 – 12 years
Truckers: The First Book of the Nomes Terry Pratchett 9 – 12 years
The Story of Tracy Beaker Jacqueline Wilson 9 – 12 years
Flour Babies Anne Fine 9 – 12 years
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone J. K. Rowling 9 – 12 years
Skellig David Almond 9 – 12 years
Holes Louis Sachar 9 – 12 years
Artemis Fowl Eoin Colfer 9 – 12 years
Journey to River Sea Eva Ibbotson 9 – 12 years
Private Peaceful Michael Morpurgo 9 – 12 years
Millions Frank Cottrell Boyce 9 – 12 years
Once Morris Gleitzman 9 – 12 years
A Monster Calls Patrick Ness 9 – 12 years
I Capture the Castle Dodie Smith 12 – 14 years
The Fellowship of the Ring J R R Tolkien 12 – 14 years
The Owl Service Alan Garner 12 – 14 years
Watership Down Richard Adams 12 – 14 years
Forever Judy Blume 12 – 14 years
The Ruby in the Smoke Philip Pullman 12 – 14 years
Northern Lights Philip Pullman 12 – 14 years
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging Louise Rennison 12 – 14 years
Witch Child Celia Rees 12 – 14 years
Coram Boy Jamila Gavin 12 – 14 years
Kite Rider Geraldine McCaughrean 12 – 14 years
Mortal Engines Philip Reeve 12 – 14 years
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon 12 – 14 years
Looking for JJ Anne Cassidy 12 – 14 years
Stormbreaker Anthony Horowitz 12 – 14 years
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas John Boyne 12 – 14 years
Noughts and Crosses Malorie Blackman 12 – 14 years
The Graveyard Book Neil Gaiman 12 – 14 years
The Knife of Never Letting Go Patrick Ness 12 – 14 years
Revolver Marcus Segdwick 12 – 14 years
Life: An Exploded Diagram Mal Peet 12 – 14 years
Maggot Moon Sally Gardner 12 – 14 years
Junk Melvin Burgess 12 – 14 years. At top end of age band
How I Live Now Meg Rosoff 12 – 14 years. At top end of age band
The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins 12 – 14 years. At top end of age band