A comic strip with facts, beautifully illustrated fiction and non-fiction, gripping stories and funny books are all on the shortlist for the Blue Peter Book Awards

blue peter

Award-winning author and illustrator Chris Riddell’s latest book on the adventures of Goth Girl is among six children’s books shortlisted for the prestigious Blue Peter Book Awards 2015.

For the first time, a book using comic strips to tell real-life stories is also nominated for an award.

The Blue Peter Book Awards, which are celebrating their 15th year, are special as they ask children to read the shortlisted books and then vote for the two winners.

The shortlist was announced live on today’s (Thursday December 4th) Blue Peter by Michael Morpurgo, author of more than 120 children’s books, including War Horse, and President of the reading charity Booktrust, which manages the Blue Peter Book Awards.

Morpurgo was also presented with the CBBC show’s highest accolade, the gold Blue Peter badge, for inspiring millions of children with his books.

Chris Riddell’s Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death is vying for the Best Story Award along with Boy in the Tower by primary school teacher Polly Ho-Yen and The Spy Who Loved School Dinners written by Pamela Butchart and illustrated by Thomas Flintham.

Adam Murphy’s Corpse Talk, which uses comic strips to tell the stories of scientists, writers, sovereigns and rebels from history, is competing for the Best Book with Facts with Animalium written by Jenny Broom and illustrated by Katie Scott, and The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff written by Andy Seed and illustrated by Scott Garrett.

The four judges – Liz Pichon, Michael de Souza, Anna James and Ewan Vinnicombe – highlighted the quality of illustrations used in many of this year’s shortlisted books, as well as the brilliant stories and imaginations of the authors.

Liz Pichon, author of the Tom Gates series, and winner of the Blue Peter Book Awards Best Story 2013, said: ‘We have a brilliant selection, something for everyone. There’s beautifully illustrated fiction, gripping stories, funny books and the FIRST comic strip style book with facts which is fantastic.

‘We keep hearing that kids don’t read anymore, but if you get the right books in front of them they really will – I’ve seen it!

‘The Blue Peter Awards are a fantastic way of showcasing even more great books.’
Michael de Souza, co-creator of Rastamouse said: ‘We have a great selection of original stories as well as a book using comic strips, which is very different.

‘Books open up a new world for children. If we want to encourage children to read, we need to give them great stories, great illustrations and something they can relate to.’

Blue Peter Editor Ewan Vinnicombe, who was the non-voting Chair of the judging panel, said: ‘In our 15th year of the Blue Peter Book Awards I’m really excited with the judges’ shortlist. There is such a good range of titles in the mix and I can’t wait to find out on World Book Day when the winners are revealed – live on Blue Peter.

‘It was great that we could honour Michael Morpurgo with a Blue Peter gold badge. His stories have inspired so many children over so many years to read and love books.’
Approximately 200 children from 10 schools across the UK will read the shortlisted books and vote for their favourites in each category. The two winning books will be announced on the Blue Peter programme scheduled for World Book Day on 5 March 2015.
The enormously popular Blue Peter Book Awards, which are managed by Booktrust, celebrate the best authors, most creative illustrators and the greatest reads for children.

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 for this year’s Awards are:
• 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

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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: www.booktrust.org.uk/cbw 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