Well- weeks of planning came to fruition on Saturday as the fourth North Somerset Teachers’ Book Awards ceremony took place and it was such a lovely occasion. All our visitors braved the wind and the rain to celebrate the books on our wonderful shortlist, to partake of as much cake as they could eat and to enjoy each others’ company.


The afternoon started with us sharing a little bit about our group, why we started the awards and how they are run. Although we are only a small award, we take it all very seriously, having the votes checked by an independent witness to ensure they are completely accurate. This year, we had a record number of votes which is so encouraging!


We were delighted that Chris, the Chair of the FCBG Executive Committee could join us for the ceremony, bringing the lovely Fed Ted with her. She is visiting each group this year as part of the Federation’s 50th birthday celebrations and we were so pleased she was able to join us.


Tea and cake followed as everyone circulated, got their books signed, looked at the raffle prizes and got to know one another. It was so wonderful to have the chance to chat, make new friends and meet up with old ones. And eat cake…and more cake…and perhaps a bit more!

Then we had the raffle. Many thanks to Plymouth FCBG for donating so many books for our raffle. It was a great success and so good to see so many books being taken home!


In our awards, there are six categories: Picture Book, Information, Poetry, Quality Fiction, Read Aloud and Moving On. Each book is carefully chosen with teaching in mind- how they can be used with classes, which areas of the curriculum they can be used to support and so on.


Each category is announced and presented by a child who is linked to the group. They love doing this and several of our JAB Juniors volunteer for the next year as soon as the ceremony is finished!


This year’s winners are:

Picture Book- Almost Anything by Sophy Henn


Information- The Histronauts: An Egyptian Adventure

by Frances Durkin, illustrated by Grace Cooke

b small publishing

Poetry- Apes to Zebras by Roger Stevens, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Liz Brownlee



Read Aloud- Fabio, the World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective

by Laura James, illustrated by Emily Fox


Quality Fiction- The Mark of the Cyclops by Saviour Pirotta


Moving On- Ella on the Outside by Cath Howe

Nosy Crow


Thank you so much to all of our wonderful authors, illustrators and poets who joined us and to everyone else who came. We had Sunday off…but are now on the look out for books for the long list for the 2019 awards. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Guest post: NSTBA18 by Henry


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No-not quite Christmas and my birthday was in September so it must be the NORTH SOMERSET TEACHERS’ BOOK AWARD CEREMONY 2018!

Always an amazing afternoon and this year did not disappoint.

We stepped in from the cold, murky, wet Weston air into Mendip Green’s warm, chuckling, cake stacked, author packed, dogtastic hall and I immediately did a recky of the cake table, book table and raffle table –in that order.

We found a place to sit, made some new book friends and chatted about books.


On our table was the very nice Saviour Pirotta, who kindly signed my new book- I was already excited to read it but hearing him talk about it means I haven’t put it down since I came home!


After a Welcome from Sue, we were set loose on the cakes and mingled like some Pringles. The first Pringle I met was Frankie the author of The Histronauts ‘An Egyptian Adventure’ She was very lovely …..and very lucky as unbeknownst to her, she was about to win the raffle more times than any other human in the history of raffles! She also- at this point in time- did not know that she and the illustrator, Grace Cooke, would be the winners of the Information Category! Like Frankie said, she should definitely buy a lottery ticket on the way home.


I also met Laura James and Emily Fox – I like these people – they write and draw about Pugs and Flamingos- 2 of the most awesome creatures on the planet- as well as Sloths.

Next Jonny Lambert signed my Mum’s picture book ‘Look Out It’s a Dragon!’- this is a great book to share with some little people you may know. Or some Big people who like Dragons.


After this, I ate cake for quite a while only stopping when the raffle was announced- lucky for all of us Frankie didn’t claim all her prizes ( she was nice like that) and lots of us won some amazing books- me included- Hooray!

Then the really important bit happened – more important than the cake- and we found out who were this year’s prize winners.

It was really obvious how much winning these awards meant to all of these wonderful people. I felt honoured to present the award for the ’Moving On’ Category.


Despite the world’s most stickiest envelope, I finally announced the winner was ‘Ella on the Outside’ by Cath Howe.

Congratulations to everyone who was shortlisted, won an award or organised the event- it was another great year and I loved being part of it.


Did I mention the dogs? There were dogs-I love dogs…. and books….and cake.

Ruby's Worry


Ruby is a happy, adventurous little girl who one day, discovers a worry. It's only a small worry and she tries to ignore it, but little by little the Worry grows until it dominates everything she does and everywhere she goes. Ruby is now worrying about her worry and can't think about anything else. However, a chance meeting with a little boy in the park helps her to control her worry by talking about it. Finally, Ruby stars to feel like herself again with the new found knowledge of how to deal with another worry should one come along.


This is a wonderful book for encouraging children -and adults- to discuss their worries. With mental health issues being a real concern, 'Ruby's Worry' offers an excellent starting point for talking about how we can deal with things when they are troubling us. Ruby does what many of us do when faced with a worry- she bottles up her feelings and tries to pretend there is nothing wrong. Meeting someone who also has a worry allows her to realise that she is not alone- and this makes everyone more likely to talk about things. 


Beautifully illustrated, colour has been cleverly used to focus on the scale of Ruby's worry. The colour is gradually leached from the pages as Ruby's worry grows and then a rainbow surrounds her and her new friend as their worries shrink. Ruby is delightful with a wonderfully expressive face and the her worry is no made to look threatening, just anxious, offering a safe way of visualising problems if needed. 

I really like the way that the story doesn't promise that Ruby will have no more worries or that all her problems will be solved, but that problems can be made more manageable when shared. The story makes worries seem something normal, something which can be coped with. An excellent book- visually appealing and with a lovely sentiment. Every class/ home should have one!

Ruby's Worry     Tom Percival

Bloomsbury      ISBN: 978-1408892138