Winners of Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2012 announced
John Fardell, Jonathan Meres and Barry Hutchison win competition voted for by children
The winners of the Scottish Children’s Book Awards were announced at a ceremony in Dundee’s Caird Hall on Thursday 7 March. 31,000 children voted for their favourite books across three age categories, choosing titles by John Fardell, Jonathan Meres and Barry Hutchison for the prize.
Author and illustrator John Fardell won the Bookbug Readers (3 – 7) category for picture book The Day Louis Got Eaten (Andersen Press).
‘The Day Louis Got Eaten started with the idea of being eaten alive and coming out whole, which I remember being fascinated by as a kid,’ John explains. ‘It’s strange when you think about it, but it is something you encounter from a very young age, with stories like Red Riding Hood.’
‘The point of Norm really is normality,’ he says. ‘When I do school visits I always challenge the kids to show me a bit that couldn’t happen in real life. It’s a slightly heightened reality in the books of course – reality with knobs on! I’ve got nothing against fantasy books, but kids seem to like to be able to empathise with what they’re reading.’
Older readers (12–16) chose The 13th Horseman (HarperCollins) by previous winner Barry Hutchison as their favourite.
‘Funny stories have always been my first love,’ he told us. ‘I also really liked the idea of looking at gods and afterlives as if they were all literally real, and exploring the day-to-day running of the whole thing. A sort of look behind the scenes of Heaven, Hell, and everything in between. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse seemed like a good place to start, because I always wondered what they've been doing during their thousands of years spent hanging around waiting for Judgement Day. I've gone on to expand the Afterworlds series with a new book, too - The Book of Doom - which came out last week.’
The Scottish Children’s Book Awards are managed by the Scottish Book Trust in association with Creative Scotland. This year over 1,500 schools took part, and the award ceremony was attended by 1000 children from across Scotland.
‘Being recognised is always nice,’ John Fardell says, ‘but it’s rare for children to get that much say. With these awards they have all the say, and that gives purpose to reading books – it tells them that what they choose counts.’
Hutchison agrees. ‘Any award is nice to get, but this one is all the more important because it's voted on by the people I wrote the book for. Lots of awards are decided by serious adults stroking their chins in small darkened rooms, so you never know if it's a true representation of what readers actually enjoy reading. That's why I'm so excited about winning this one.’
Reviews by young voters and videos of the winning and shortlisted authors reading from their books can be found at www.scottishbooktrust.com