Derby Book Festival launches Children’s Picture Book Award

Published: 27 December 2019

People reading books

Derby Children’s Picture Book Award has been launched for the second year by Derby Book Festival

Derby Children’s Picture Book Award has been launched for the second year by Derby Book Festival to celebrate picture books that children can relate to, and in which the diversity and challenges of modern life are represented.

The Festival, which will be held for the sixth time in 2020 from 29 May to 6 June, has invited children’s publishers to submit up to three books, published in 2019, which meet these criteria.  For the first Award, over 20 books were submitted with four books then shortlisted.  The winning entry was The Girls by Lauren Ace and illustrated by Jenny Løvlie.

A shortlist  will be drawn up by Derby school teachers.  Schools are invited to apply to take part and the participating teachers are briefed about the books.  Children in Years 2 and 3 from six Derby City schools will then read the shortlisted books and vote for their favourite, which will be announced on 1 May 2020.  The winning author and illustrator will be invited to visit the six schools in the summer term to meet the children and receive their Award.

The Award is sponsored by local businesswoman, Deborah Fern:

I’m delighted to continue my support for this important Award. Imagine being a child, opening the page of a book and finding yourself within the pages.  I was privileged to visit the schools when the authors visited – it was clearly a highlight of the children’s year to meet the author of their favourite book. I can’t wait to see which book they choose next.

A recent report from the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education has revealed that only 1% of children’s books have black and minority-ethnic (BAME) main characters. Derby is a diverse city with a significantly higher number of BAME residents than the national average (19.7% compared to 14.6%).

The Festival is chaired by Liz Fothergill, who is also Chairman of Pennine Healthcare.  Liz said:

The Festival aims to celebrate the joy of books and reading.  We want children in Derby to be inspired by books, to discover different worlds and better understand their own.  It is important that they can relate to the characters in the books they read.  The Derby Children’s Picture Book Award aims to do just that.


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