The North Somerset Teachers' Book Award 2016

What an amazing day! The second North Somerset Teachers' Book Award ceremony was held at Bournville Primary School in Weston and it was made so special by all the lovely people who attended.

The day started with the JAB team setting up. The rain had stopped and everyone was in excellent spirits as we unloaded cake, cake and more cake from our cars. Having learned from last year, all the balloons ended up on the tables instead of some floating against the very high hall ceiling!

The awards were ready and the golden envelopes were sealed and in place on the table.

Special 'cake' thanks must go to Torie (ably supported by her parents!) for her wonderful cupcakes. Our little owl looked amazing and was much admired.

Even the books were in party mood!

The celebrations started with ...cake! Everyone had a lovely time, chatting and getting to know each other. Books were bought and signed. Messages from classes were passed to our visitors and some amazing pictures were drawn!

And then the awards were announced!

Michelle Robinson was delighted to win the Picture Book Category for 'A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting'. She commented on how wonderful it was to have won an award voted for by teachers and how amazing it was to have won against such tough competition. Michelle said she was working on the next book in the series- 'A Beginner's Guide to Dinosaurs'. At this point, there was a spoiler from the audience- her son told us that the book after was 'A Beginner's Guide to Aliens'!

Martin Impey accepted the award for the Poetry Category which he won with Hilary Robinson. He illustrated the gorgeous, 'Flo of the Somme' which was written by Hilary, who was not able to attend. Martin spoke very movingly about those who gave their lives in conflicts and the two great uncles who had inspired the series. Martin thanked Kibo, a dog from the local garden centre, who modelled as Flo and who is now famous- but doesn't know he is famous for being a girl!

The Read Aloud Category was won by Swapna Haddow and Sheena Dempsey. No one was more excited than Phoenix, Swapna's number one fan- and son! They were delighted to have won and said how pleased they were that 'Dave' is being enjoyed in schools. They were also thrilled to have broken their short list curse and to be taking home an award.

'Professor Astro Cat's Atomic Adventure' won the Information Category and Ben Newman accepted the award for himself and co-author, Dominic Walliman. Ben commented on how exhasted he is after spending a couple of hours in school when on a visit and recognised the commitment of teachers who work with classes day in and day out. He was delighted that Professor Astro Cat is being read and used by teachers.

Nicky Singer was very touched tohave won the 'Moving On' category with her novel, Island. She said how grateful she was that, after all the negative comments about her book from publishers, teachers and librarians recognised the fact that today's children are not too stupid to understand the complex issues tackled in her story. She also thanked and praised her illustrator, Chris Riddell, who has generously asked that any procceds from the book due to him, be donated to Greenpeace.

The Quality Fiction Category was won by 'Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot' by Horatio Clare who, unfortunately, was unable to attend. He is thrilled to have won, however, and Penny, from Firefly Press, on hearing Aubrey had won, rang us after the ceremony to express her delight .

Everyone who attended was amazing! The quality of books on the short list is incredible and we urge everyone to read as many as possible and share them!

Thank you to Bournville Primary for letting us host the awards in your school.

Thank you to Waterstones for providing books for our bookshop.

Thank you to the wonderful children who presented the awards: William and Jessica, Guy, Erin, Henry, Lily and Nathaniel.

Thanks to JAB!

But most of all, thank you so much to all our amazing authors and illustrators for attending; it was a real joy to meet you and share the afternoon with you. Thank you for your wonderful books.

We're now on the look out for next year's award! What will we discover?