Award Picture Books

NSTBA Past Winners- Picture Book Category

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It’s our 5th birthday this year and we couldn’t be more excited! Since 2015, we have read and reviewed so many wonderful books- and met so many lovely authors and illustrators. We started the awards to help teachers be more aware of some of the amazing books that are available and that teachers could- and perhaps should- be using in school. Everyone involved in the awards works in education and most of us are teachers, working full time in classes across the primary age range. This puts us in the perfect position for getting these books into the hands of children and for raising their profile with our colleagues.

As submissions for this year must have been received by April 14th, we thought it was a good time to have a look back at our winners in each category from the last four years. So today, we’re starting with the Picture Book Category.

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Our first ever winners in this category were Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton with their wonderful characters, Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam. This book was an instant hit with the team as Shifty and Sam are brilliant and the story is full of fun . There are now four picture books and four chapter books about them- each offering Tracey’s fabulous writing and Steven’s amazing illustrations. A winning team if ever there was one!

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Although Tracey and Steven were not able to attend the ceremony, they came and visited some of our schools shortly after and were a huge hit with staff and children alike! They are both the loveliest people and we have seen them many times since, always enjoying their events. You can read our review here

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In 2016, Michelle Robinson and David Roberts won with their brilliant book, ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting’. Another gem, this caught our eye as it offers something a bit different. We were delighted that Michelle was able to come to the awards- and that she brought her lovely family with her. Michelle is one of those people who always makes you smile- she is full of fun, warm and friendly and it’s always a pleasure to bump into her. You can read our review of ‘Bear Spotting’ here.

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The winner in 2017 was Matt Carr with ‘Superbat’. This book had been a huge success with children in events we had held in schools. Having a really strong message about what really makes each of us ‘super’ as well as ‘Batty Facts’, ‘Superbat’ is great to use with classes. The bold illustrations encourage children to draw their own pictures and create their own superheroes. We were delighted that Matt was able to join us for the awards. You can read our review here.

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Last year, the wonderful Sophy Henn won with ‘Almost Anything’, a wonderful story about George who lacks confidence in himself and is reluctant to try anything. Sadly, Sophy was very poorly on the day of the awards, but sent a lovely video message. Once she had recovered, she came to visit one of our schools and did four amazing sessions with children and parents. It was a fantastic day! It is always a pleasure to see Sophy at festivals as she is so engaging - and genuinely lovely! You can read our review here.

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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. We have thousands of visits to the website each month and often receive feedback, thanking us for our suggestions.

Since the last awards, we have been searching for this year’s long list and are still hunting.When looking at a book, we are always asking ourselves how it could be used as well as thinking about its fun factor. If you have any suggestions or would like to make a submission, please get in touch. Details are available on our home page.

Next, we will revisit the Information Book Category winners!

2018 Picture Book Shortlist

So here it is...

the NSTBA 2018 Picture Book Shortlist.

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Almost Anything    Sophy Henn

Puffin     ISBN: 978-0141385471

Read the long list review here.

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Fairy Tale Pets    Tracey Corderoy, illustrated by Jorge Martin

Little Tiger    ISBN: 978-1848694422

You can read the long list review here.

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Goat's Coat   Tom Percival, illustrated by Christine Pym

Bloomsbury    ISBN: 978-1408881026

You can read the long list review here.

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Look Out, It's A Dragon!       Jonny Lambert

Little Tiger    ISBN:  978-1848698215

You can read the long list review here.

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Lulu Gets a Cat     Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw

Alanna Books    ISBN: 978-1907825163

You can read the long list review here.

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Cyril and Pat     Emily Gravett

Two Hoots       ISBN: 978-1509857272

You can read the long list review here.

Congratulations to all! The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on the 10th November. 

LONG LIST REVIEW: Look Out! It's A Dragon.

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Saffi is not like other dragons. Crushing castles and capturing princesses are not her hobbies. What she is looking for is a pretty woodland home, full of flowers. When she finds her perfect home, the locals are not too friendly- because she's a dragon! Although she tries to convince them she has no dragony intentions, they misinterpret her actions and demand that she leaves.

When a real threat to their safety arrives, however, it is Saffi who leaps into action and saves the day, proving real friends come in all shapes and sizes.

Showing how quick we can be to judge others and make assumptions based on appearance or stereotypes, 'Look Out! It's a Dragon' is a gem of a story, which opens up many discussions about tolerance and acceptance. With a cast of strong characters, it lends itself to role play and the creation of further adventures for this lovely gang in their new home.

The illustrations are a real joy. Set against white backgrounds, the colours of the pictures really shine through and could inspire some fabulous art work in class, using marbled, textured and other papers to create cut outs and collages. 

Beautifully illustrated with fabulous characters, 'Look Out, It's A Dragon!' to sure to be a firm favourite of storytime at home and at school.

Look Out, It's A Dragon!       Jonny Lambert

Little Tiger    ISBN:  978-1848698215

You can read another review of this book here.

You can read our review of 'The Only Lonely Panda' here, Little Why here and Tiger, Tiger here.