DISCOVER THE 2020 WINNERS

EARLY YEARS

Key criteria

Memorable illustration  Read-aloud-ability  Opportunities for discussion  Encourages language play and development

WINNER

Brenda is a Sheep, Morag Hood

Brenda is a Sheep, Morag Hood

(Two Hoots)

Brenda is the most popular sheep in the flock - but there’s something about her that’s just a little bit different… This hilarious book deals brilliantly with ideas of difference and acceptance, cleverly letting young readers work out the subtext - and possible implications - of the story for themselves. This makes it perfect for using as a springboard for early classroom discussions about inclusion, as well as beginning to consider the notion of the ‘unreliable narrator’ with older children. And of course, it is simply great fun to read, too!

“Quirky and unexpected, with just the right level of peril. Hidden depths for parents or carers to explore with children. Another triumph from Morag Hood!”

Lizzie Jones

RUNNER-UP

A Little Bit Different, Claire Alexander

A Little Bit Different, Claire Alexander

(Quarto Kids - words and pictures)

Children and adults alike are bound to fall in love with Claire Alexander’s adorable Ploofers, who have been practising doing something together, all at the same time. But hang on a minute, what’s happening over there? This sweet celebration of uniqueness, with an uplifting rainbow glow, is a delight from start to finish.

“I loved this! Such a joy to read out loud. Loved the illustrations.”

Lisa Thompson

ALSO SHORTLISTED

Not Without My Tractor, Finn-Ole Heinrich, Dita Zipfel, Halina Kirschner

Not Without My Tractor, Finn-Ole Heinrich, Dita Zipfel, Halina Kirschner

(Little Island Books)
The Last Tree, Emily Haworth-Booth

The Last Tree, Emily Haworth-Booth

(Pavilion Children's)
Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention, Pip Jones/Sara Ogilvie

Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention, Pip Jones/Sara Ogilvie

(Simon & Schuster Children's UK)
The Little Island, Smriti Prasadam-Halls/Robert Starling

The Little Island, Smriti Prasadam-Halls/Robert Starling

(Andersen Press)

KS1

Key Criteria

Breadth of appeal  Use of illustration  Pacy, engaging story  Learning opportunities

WINNER

The Misadventures of Frederick, Ben Manley, Emma Chichester Clark

The Misadventures of Frederick, Ben Manley, Emma Chichester Clark

(Two Hoots)

This playful, gloriously illustrated part-epistolary tale of one child’s attempt to persuade another out of his over-protected bubble to taste a little of the adventure the natural world has to offer is one that pupils will return to time and time again. Handily, it’s also an ideal way to start pupils thinking about the difference between formal and informal language - could they rewrite Emily’s letters in the same style of Frederick’s, and vice versa? How might that change the story?

“I just loved this! Bored posh kid meets sparky life-changing new friend. It wasn’t that I just ‘couldn’t put it down’ – I kept picking it up for another go! Wow! Wonderful! Amazing illustrations. Book of the year for me.”

Brough Girling

RUNNER-UP

Armadillo and Hare and the Very Noisy Bear, Jeremy Strong, illustrated by Rebecca Bagley

Armadillo and Hare and the Very Noisy Bear, Jeremy Strong, illustrated by Rebecca Bagley

(David Fickling Books)

Armadillo and Hare live together in the Big Forest - and are great friends, despite their differences. This charming collection of short stories is witty and engaging, with elegant illustrations; a worthy addition to any classroom shelf.

“A funny, gentle and friendly book with memorable characters.”

Lizzie Jones

ALSO SHORTLISTED

Good Knight Bad Knight and the Flying Machine, Tom Knight

Good Knight Bad Knight and the Flying Machine, Tom Knight

(Templar Publishing)
Madame Badobedah, Sophie Dahl

Madame Badobedah, Sophie Dahl

(Walker Books)
Cookie! …and the most annoying boy in the world, Konnie Huq

Cookie! …and the most annoying boy in the world, Konnie Huq

(Piccadilly Press)
The Snow Dragon, Abi Elphinstone & Fiona Woodcock

The Snow Dragon, Abi Elphinstone & Fiona Woodcock

(Simon & Schuster Children's UK)

KS2

Key Criteria

Originality  Compelling plot  Emotional depth  Something to think about?

WINNER

The Space We’re In, Katya Balen

The Space We’re In, Katya Balen

(Bloomsbury)

Ten-year-old Frank has trouble navigating his relationship with his five-year-old brother Max, who is autistic. Frank longs for the brother he was promised by his parents before Max was born - someone who was supposed to be his biggest fan, so he could be the best brother in the world. But when tragedy strikes, Frank finds a way to try and repair their fractured family and in doing so learns to love Max for who he is. This breathtakingly beautiful book has something special to offer every reader, and could certainly inspire some extraordinary and empowering classroom conversations.

“Astonishing, vivid and raw – an utterly compelling read. Frank’s very original voice is at the same time heartbreaking and life-affirming. As engaging for adults as it is for children. Sensational.”

Ade Edmondson

RUNNER-UP

The Faraway Truth, Janae Marks

The Faraway Truth, Janae Marks

(Chicken House)

Zoe Washington never met her father, who was sent to prison before she was born. So, when she receives a letter from him on her twelfth birthday, it's a huge surprise - and sets her off on a search to find the truth about the crime he’s supposed to have committed. Heartwarming and uplifting, this is an intriguing mystery with real substance (and cake!).

“This gripped me! I thought the story was highly original and educational. A book to promote empathy (I loved the baking too!)”

Lisa Thompson

ALSO SHORTLISTED

Small Change for Stuart, Lissa Evans

Small Change for Stuart, Lissa Evans

(David Fickling Books)
A Sprinkle of Sorcery, Michelle Harrison

A Sprinkle of Sorcery, Michelle Harrison

(Simon & Schuster Children's UK)
The Thirteenth Home of Noah Bradley, Amber Lee Dodd

The Thirteenth Home of Noah Bradley, Amber Lee Dodd

(Scholastic)
A House Without Walls, Elizabeth Laird

A House Without Walls, Elizabeth Laird

(Macmillan Children's Books)

NON-FICTION

Key Criteria

Quality of information  Presentation  Is the writing entertaining and age-appropriate?  Will it provoke futher curiosity?

WINNER

Invisible Nature, Catherine Barr

Invisible Nature, Catherine Barr/Anne Wilson

(Otter-Barry Books)

Sounds no-one can hear, scents no-one can smell, colours we can't see, magnetic waves we can't feel – but some animals can, and use them every day.

Without 'invisible nature' life on our planet would not exist. This fascinating book, combining Catherine Barr's words and Anne Wilson's beautiful illustrations, shows how animals use it, and also how humans have learned how to tap into its powers in all sorts of important ways.

“There is so much going on in the natural world that we humans are only just beginning to understand and marvel at. I hope and expect this book will make the next generation far more respectful and appreciative of every aspect of our planet - and it’s fun and astonishing too.”

Esther Rantzen

RUNNER-UP

Big Ideas for Young Thinkers, Jamia Wilson/Andrea Pippins

Big Ideas for Young Thinkers, Jamia Wilson/Andrea Pippins

(Quarto Kids)

Described as, ‘The book for inquisitive children with big ideas and busy brains’ (so, ‘children’, then!), this absorbing and creative exploration of some of the questions that have stumped philosophers for generations will keep pupils’ curiosity fed all year long.

“Ambitious, profound, clear, this terrific book makes us reflect on the most difficult questions- I loved it.”

Esther Rantzen

ALSO SHORTLISTED

The Missing, Michael Rosen

The Missing, Michael Rosen

(Walker Books)
How to Build a City, Isabel Otter

How to Build a City, Isabel Otter

(Little Tiger Group)
Brain-Fizzing Facts

Brain-Fizzing Facts, Dr Emily Grossman

(Bloomsbury)
The Ancient World in 100 words, Clive Gifford/ Gosia Herba

The Ancient World in 100 words, Clive Gifford/ Gosia Herba

(Quarto Kids)