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Winner of Derby Children's Picture Book Award 2021

By - 07 August 2021 - 13:52pm

Derby Book Festival has announced the winner of this year's Derby Children’s Picture Book Award 2021.

The winner of the third Derby Children’s Picture Book Award is All Kinds of Families by Sophy Henn, published by Egmont. The Award aims to celebrate picture books that children can relate to and in which the diversity and challenges of modern life are represented.

The three shortlisted books were read by pupils in Years 2&3 at eight Derby primary schools in May and the children voted for their favourite on Voting Day, 25 May.

On receiving the news, Sophy Henn commented: “'I am thrilled that All Kinds of Families has won the Derby Children's Picture Book Award, especially as it is voted for by children. I created this book so children could see that family structures in nature are many and varied, and I hoped that would be reassuring and empowering message. Making the natural world relatable to children is something I feel very strongly about as they will be the guardians of it in the future. The fact that the pupils of the schools across Derby have voted this book their winner makes me very happy that it will be in good hands!”

In total 600 children in 27 classes at the eight schools took part in this year’s Award. Each school received sets of the three shortlisted books for each class in April. A further 25 schools ‘shadowed’ the Award and received a set of the books to read with their pupils. In total, 216 books were shared across all the schools and approximately 2000 pupils took part.

Children and teachers from all the participating schools: Alvaston Infants, Alvaston Juniors, Arboretum Primary, Ashcroft Primary, Bishop Lonsdale Primary, Parkview Primary, Cavendish Close Infants and Cavendish Close Juniors, met Sophy at a series of virtual events in July when she 'visited' their classes and showed them how to draw animals featured in one of her latest books.

Liz Fothergill, Chair of Derby Book Festival said: “All Kinds of Families becomes our third very worthy winner. Lovely, clear, engaging illustrations dominate in this delightful book which will help children to understand the natural world, how other people live and the differences they see in the world as they evaluate the challenges of today’s modern world.

“The Award continues be instrumental in delivering our aim is to bring all Derby’s residents together in a love of books and to inspire a new generation of readers to appreciate the joy that books and reading bring to our lives.

“It is fantastic that so many more schools wanted to join us this year, it’s enabling more and more children to have a voice in their reading preferences.”

Award Co-ordinator, Di Smith said: “The Award has really excited teachers and children in the city despite the huge pressures they have been under this year. It was wonderful to hear the teachers from the Award and Shadowing schools talking in Zoom meetings about their amazingly creative approaches to working with the books – bringing them alive for the children. The winning book is different from the past two winners because of its non-fiction elements. It is a very warm and informative book that gives children an insight into the acceptance of difference in that most familiar part of their own lives: their families.“

Derby Book Festival has always included a strong programme of events for children, families and schools. Each year the Festival organises Meet the Author events in Derby Theatre for the city’s 60 primary schools. In the past five years, over 4000 children have enjoyed this experience.

This year’s events with authors Sophy Henn and Sita Brahmachari were held over Zoom and over 6000 pupils were able to participate.

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