|Mark and I receiving the Stockport Award|
The award came in the
form of a framed picture.
My thanks to everyone at Stockport Schools Library Service for looking after me so well and putting on such a great event.
Here's me accepting the Sheffield Picture Book Award.
You'll have to take my word that I'm wearing the knickers.
With most children’s book awards, you’re told in advance whether or not your book has won and generally it’s only the authors and illustrators of the winning books that are invited to the ceremony. However the Sheffield Award is one of the few where everyone on the shortlist is invited and you don’t find out who the winners are until they’re announced on stage. Once again, the award was voted for by school children (this time it was over 6,000 from the Sheffield area) a few hundred of which were attending the ceremony. I could tell from the huge cheer that went up when The Pig’s Knickers was read from the shortlist that it was in with a good chance. Nevertheless I was still very surprised to find it had won!
Here I am after the ceremony in all my
But it didn’t end there …
One of the nice things about being a picture book author is that picture book awards tend to be given out first at book award ceremonies, so once you’ve picked it up you can generally relax and enjoy the rest of the presentations without worrying about what you are going to say on stage. However this was not the case at Sheffield, where the book that receives the most votes across all the categories is given the overall book award. So I sat there pleased, but fretting slightly for the rest of the ceremony, wondering if I might have to go through it all again.
The winners in the older categories were Billionaire Boy by David Williams and Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman. Terry Deary also picked up the Teachers’ Favourite Book Award for his second world war novel Put out the Light, which received the most votes from teachers in the 255 participating schools. Terry stunned the audience by telling us that although this was his 200th book it was the first time he had ever won a book award. Given the phenomenal popularity of Terry’s Horrible History books, I can only think this is because there are shamefully few awards that recognise excellence in children’s non-fiction.
I'd thought the Sheffield award might be cast in
Sheffield steel, but it turned out to be carved from wood.
After the ceremony the organisers told me that The Pig’s Knickers had been a runaway winner, with far more votes than any of the other books. Apparently the only other time this has happened was with Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses in 2002.
Once again, my thanks to everyone at Sheffield Schools Library Service for organising such a wonderful event.
It’s always lovely when one of my books receives an award but I am especially thrilled that The Santa Trap has won one for a number of reasons. If you’ve read the author’s note on my web site, you’ll know that it’s quite a personal book. It took three years to find a suitable illustrator and I think the illustrations that Poly Bernatene produced for it are stunning and among the finest from any of my books. Having been first published in 2009, I’d long given up on the book ever being shortlisted for a book award, let alone winning one!
Although the winner was announced last year, the Hampshire presentation ceremony is not until March, so I will try to do another post when I’ve received the award.