You Must Bring A Hat by Simon Philip and Kate Hindley (Simon & Schuster) was today (4th October) announced as the ‘book of the year’ at the Sainsbury Children’s Book Awards 2016.
The book, published in June, is about a boy who is invited to his friend Nigel’s party. The only condition for guests is they must wear a hat. The boy can only find a hat on the head of a nearby monkey, so decides to take the monkey with him along to the party.
You Must Bring a Hat won the ‘book of the year’ prize after earlier winning the picture book award, beating off competition from the other category winners.
Peek-A-Boo A-Z by Gareth Lucas (Little Tiger Press) won the baby and toddler prize, and Claude Going for Gold by Alex T Smith (Hodder) was given the 5-9 fiction award. The prize for fiction 9+ went to another Simon & Schuster title, Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster.
This year a total of 12 books were shortlisted for the awards across all categories.
Pete Selby, head of music and books at Sainsbury’s said Sainsbury’s launched the awards in 2014 to both “celebrate and sell books”. The retailer has sold 87,000 copies of the shortlisted titles to date and last year’s winner, Benji Davies’ Grandad’s Island (Simon & Schuster), sold 6,000 copies in Sainsbury’s shops in the aftermath of last year’s awards.
Selby also said he was “proud” of what his company has achieved as a children’s bookseller. “Our book sales, adult and children, are up 11%, against a market that is up 6%, and we are delighted with how we are continuing to perform.”
He said the retailer has sold so many copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the script book by J K Rowling and Jack Thorne, that they would measure 13.3 miles if laid end to end. He also singled out the “remarkable performance of all things Dahl” this year, saying sales of that author's books added up to the equivalent of 1,375 BFGs this year.
The 2016 shortlist and award winners will now be promoted in 300 Sainsbury’s shops nationwide for a period of two weeks.