Today, I made my way to the Union Jack Club in Waterloo to discover who had won the 2017 Children's Book Awards. Many children in North Somerset voted for their favourite books- mainly in the Picture Book Category- and will be keen to know which book won in each category and which book is the overall winner.
It was lovely to see so many familiar faces gathering for the event and the award team had done an amazing job of getting the room ready. The atmosphere was warm, friendly and full of excitement as children (and adults) bustled round the room, asking the authors to sign their books.
It was great to catch up with the wonderful Michelle Robinson, winner of last year's NSTBA Picture Book Category with 'A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting'. Having a chat with her was a real pleasure!
A lovely lunch was followed by Jane introducing Steve Cole, 'Master of Ceremonies' for the awards. He was fantastic- lively, full of humour and he played the ukulele!
Steve read us sections from his work when he was at school and kept us all beautifully entertained until it was time to open the envelopes!
First, the Picture Book Category... The short listed books were 'Grandad's Island' by Benji Davies, 'Chicken Nugget' by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by Tom McLaughlin, 'Oi Dog' by Kes and Clare Gray, illustrated by Jim Field and 'Gracie Grabbit and the Tiger' by Helen Stevens. Each of the authors and illustrators were presented with beautiful portfolios of work by the children who voted.
The winner of the Picture Book category was... 'Oi Dog'. Kes Gray accepted the award, calling his work a very 'silly' story!
In the Younger Reader Category, the short listed titles were... 'The Accidental Pirates (Voyage to Magical North)' by Claire Fayer, 'An Eagle in the Snow' by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Michael Foreman and 'The Jam Doughnut that Ruined my Life' by Mark Lowery, illustrated by Hannah Shaw.
Michael Morpurgo was on holiday in Crete so he wasn't able to attend, but the lovely Michael Foreman was there as were Claire Fayer and Mark Lowery. Each collected their portfolio of work and then the winner of the category was announced... 'An Eagle in the Snow'.
Finally, it was the Older Readers Category. The short listed books were... 'One' by Sarah Crossan, 'Carjacked by 'Ali Sparkes and 'Mistletoe and Murder' by Robin Stevens. Again, each author was given a portfolio of work. The winner in this category was 'One' by Sarah Crossan.
Then the party blowers came out! The noise level rose to a crescendo of enthusiasm as the overall winner was announced!
'An Eagle in the Snow' was declared the overall winner this year. Michael Foreman accepted the award and there was a recorded message from Michael Morpurgo.
It was a lovely occasion! Thank you so much to the team at FCBG for a brilliant event which was enjoyed by everyone.