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The Second Derby Children’s Picture Book Award

By - 22 April 2020 - 10:00am

We launched the Award in 2019, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Deborah Fern. Children in Years 2 & 3 in eight Derby schools have voted for their favourite book before the schools closed on 20 March.

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

The Festival organisers 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 book was The Girls by Lauren Ace and illustrated by Jenny Løvlie.

All Derby infant and primary schools are invited to apply to take part and eight schools were successful. The participating teachers were briefed about the books and provided with a number of sets for each class in Years 2 and 3.

The shortlist of books was drawn up by 14 Derby school teachers, who gave up a Saturday in February to read the 10 longlisted books and choose the four books.

The four shortlisted books for the Derby Children’s Picture Book Award

Children in Years 2 and 3 from the eight Derby City schools then read the shortlisted books and voted for their favourite before the schools closed due to Covid-19 on 20 March. The winner will be announced on 1 May 2020. The winning author and illustrator will be invited to visit the eight schools later in the year to meet the children and receive their Award.

The Award’s sponsor, Deborah Fern said: “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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