BEST SCOTTISH CHILDREN’S BOOKS OF 2015 REVEALED
Winners of Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2015 Announced
· One of the youngest authors in
with debut novel Scotland
· Two authors score a hat-trick with third win each
· Two of the three winning books explore the subject of robots
Ross Collins, Alex McCall and Cathy MacPhail were today announced as the winners of the 2015 Scottish Children’s Book Awards during a special ceremony at Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms, attended by 600 children.
Over 28,000 votes were cast in this year’s awards, which are judged in three age categories - Bookbug Readers (3-7), Younger Readers (8-11) and Older Readers (12-16). Children across
encouraged to read the three shortlisted
books in their age category and to vote for their favourite. A free copy of each of the Bookbug Category books was
gifted to every Primary 1 child as part of Book Week Scotland 2014. Scotland
Glasgow-based author and illustrator Ross Collins won the Bookbug Reader’s (3-7 yrs) category for the illustrations in picture book Robot Rumpus, written by Sean Taylor. Published by Andersen Press, Robot Rumpus is a hilarious exploration of what might happen in a world where robots cater to our every need. Ross is the author and illustrator of over 100 picture books, and is a previous winner of two Scottish Children’s Book Awards – one in 2008 for Billy Monster’s Daymare and another in 2011 for Dear Vampa. Growing up, Ross attended Primary and Secondary school in Shawlands and then studied illustration at Glasgow School of Art, where he won the Macmillan children’s book prize in his final year. He also works in character development for animators such as Disney and is a regular at the Edinburgh Book Festival.
Commenting on his win, Ross said:
“I'm delighted to win the Scottish Children's Book Award with 'Robot Rumpus!'. It's always amazing to hear about the thousands of children who have read, debated and reviewed the books - it makes this such a special award to win.”
Kintore-based debut author Alex McCall, one of the youngest published authors in
Commenting on his win, Alex said:
“There’s something of a feeling of coming full circle here. This is my first book and it got published through the Kelpies Prize. But the only reason that I found out about the Kelpies Prize is through a previous winning author coming to my school, through the Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature Fund. So while I’m delighted to win I also feel very lucky that Scottish Book Trust exists in the first place. Being able to go into school and meet the children that you are writing for is fantastic enough as it is. Knowing that those kids have voted for you makes it even better. In general participating in the Awards has been a really good experience. It is just hard to believe that I’ve been lucky enough to actually win.”
Greenock-based author Cathy MacPhail, also a previous winner of two Scottish Children’s Book Awards (in 2006 for Roxy’s Baby and in 2010 for Grass) won the Older Readers (12-16 yrs) category for her young adult thriller Mosi’s War. Published by Bloomsbury, it is a taut, brilliantly written novel set in
Commenting on her win, Cathy said:
“I am absolutely delighted to have won the Scottish Children’s Book Award...again! How brilliant is that! There are so many awards now for children’s books, and all of them worthy, but for me, this is the best because it is all down to the children. And if you can write a book that captures their imagination, keeps them turning the pages, keeps them reading, then you have won the lottery. All I have ever wanted to do is write rattling good stories that children will enjoy, and this very special award makes me think I must be doing something right.”
“These awards are built on the simple premise that if children are encouraged to voice their opinions about the books they have read, they tend to get a lot more excited about reading. There is nothing nicer than celebrating the books that children themselves have enjoyed reading, and the continuing success of the awards is down to everyone who is involved in encouraging the children to vote – the authors, illustrators, teachers, publishers, parents and librarians – who are passionate about giving children a love of reading for life.”
Leonie Bell, Director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland, said:
“Congratulations to Ross, Alex and Cathy. It is a huge triumph to win this fantastic award and even better to have been chosen by the children themselves. Thank you to all the young readers across the country who voted and to the teachers, publishers, parents and librarians who encouraged them. The Award not only encourages reading, which impacts on education, wellbeing and imagination but by taking an active role in the vote they are taking steps in their journeys as independent readers. Creative
is delighted to be supporting these awards and the important work Scottish Book
Trust does in promoting the pleasures and benefits of books and reading.” Scotland
The total prize fund is £12,000, with the shortlisted authors and illustrators receiving £500 per book, and the winning authors and illustrators receiving £3,000 per book.
The Scottish Children’s Book Awards are not only about reading but also about writing: the popular Book Review Competition attracted hundreds of high quality entries from budding journalists and authors all over the country, hoping to win book tokens for themselves and an author visit for their school. The list of 2015 winners is available here <insert link>.