Jan Dean

NSTBA Past Winners- Poetry Category

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Here at NSTBA HQ, we love poetry and value sharing it in our classrooms. Hugely versatile, poetry is so appealing and can be performed as well as created, discussed and enjoyed. There are so many styles of poems from so many cultures and eras and yet, this is the category we have to search the hardest for!

Here is a reminder of the winners from the past four years…

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Our first winner was ‘Buzzing’, a wonderful collection of poems about insects by Anneliesse Emmans Dean. Full of energy and enthusiasm, Anneliesse was as lovely as her poetry which is illustrated with her stunning photography. This book has been an excellent as a guided reading text. You can read our review here.

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In 2016, ‘Flo of the Somme’ was our choice. Beautifully illustrated with Martin’s wonderful watercolours, Hilary tells the story of Flo, one of the many animals used in war, in rhyming text. It is a beautiful book in so many ways and is perfect for sharing. Martin was able to attend the awards and it was a delight to meet him. You can read our review here.


Three poets won our 2017 award with this marvellous collection of poems celebrating women. The range of women written about from diverse backgrounds and historic periods and the use of different styles makes this a real treasure trove. Liz Brownlee and her wonderful dog, Lola, were able to join us for the awards.

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A wonderful collection to use with children, you can read our review here.


In 2018, Liz was back, accompanied by fellow poets Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens with their wonderful collection of shape poems which won the award. They are a wonderfully friendly crowd and we were delighted that they were all able to attend- with Lola!


You can read our review here.


Each of these books has been widely used in our schools and each has ideas for a book event and /or teaching notes to go with them which are available to our members. It is a pleasure to see them being used in classes and enjoyed by so many children!

We will revisit the Read Aloud Category next!

North Somerset Teachers' Book Award 2017, part 3


So here are all the fabulous authors and illustrators who attended the North Somerset Teachers' Book Awards 2017. You can find reviews of each of their books on the website- and each comes highly recommended! 


The winners of the 2017 North Somerset Teachers' Book Awards are:


Quality Fiction Category: A Song for Will and the Lost Gardeners of Heligan by Hilary Robinson, illustrated by Martin Impey. Read our review here.


Picture Book Category: Superbat by Matt Carr. You can read our review here.


Read Aloud Category: S.C.R.E.A.M. The Mummy's Revenge by Andrew Beasley. Read our review here.


Moving On Category: Black Powder by Ally Sherrick. You can read our review here.


Information Category: Lesser Spotted Animals by Martin Brown. You can read our review here.


Poetry Category: Reaching the Stars: Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls by Jan Dean, Liz Brownlee and Michaela Morgan. Read our review here.

Thank you once again to everyone who came and supported us.

So many wonderful books! And yes, in answer to the question I've already been asked, we are already looking for books for next year! Only 52 weeks to go!

North Somerset Teachers' Book Award 2017, part 2


And then it was time to open the envelopes and reveal the winners.


First category... picture book. From an amazing selection, the winner was the lovely Matt Carr for his wonderful story, 'Superbat'. He could not have been more surprised- or pleased! He was almost lost for words!


Next, the Poetry Category. So important, yet often neglected in schools, the short list offers a brilliant selection with something for every occasion. The winner was 'Reaching the Stars' by Jan Dean, Liz Brownlee and Michaela Morgan.


Although Michaela and Jan were unable to attend, Liz Brownlee and the lovely Lola, her medical alert dog, were with us to accept the award. 


Next...the Read Aloud Category. Great books for engaging a class at story time, each of these books is a treat. The winner was 'SCREAM The Mummy's Revenge' by Andrew Beasley. 


Andrew was delighted to win and told us all how he had always dreamed of being an author. 


Next, the Information Category. Four excellent titles- each beautifully illustrated and fascinating-perfect for National Non-fiction November, the winner was Martin Brown's 'Lesser Spotted Animals'.


Well known for illustrating the very popular 'Horrible Histories' (celebrating 25 years!), Martin wrote and illustrated 'Lesser Spotted Animals' and was very pleased to win. 


The Quality Fiction Category is all about those books which lend themselves to inspiring children in their work. As with each of our categories, this year's short list was extremely strong. Each of the authors in this category was able to attend and so the atmosphere was particularly tense as Will opened the envelope...


And the winners were Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey with their book 'A Song for Will and the Lost Gardeners of Heligan'. Winners last year of the Poetry Category with 'Flo of the Somme', Hilary and Martin spoke passionately about this very special book which commemorates the life of the gardeners of Heligan, particularly William Robins Guy who died in the war. Showing us all a book once owned by Will, Martin explained that Will's nephew, Trounce Guy, had given it to him when he was writing the book.


Last, but definitely not least, was our Moving On Category. Many children in Y6 moving to Y7 are ready for a challenging read, yet not really ready to move on to YA fiction: these books are to help teachers with suggested reads. 'Black Powder' by Ally Sherrick won this category. Ally was delighted to win and know that we enjoyed her book.


It was such a lovely occasion. Everyone was so kind and said how much they had enjoyed the day- no one was keen to leave! Already people are talking about next year...perhaps we'll have a week off before we start planning!