Chan, Cook and Sirdeshpande shortlisted for Blue Peter Book Awards

Chan, Cook and Sirdeshpande shortlisted for Blue Peter Book Awards

Children's books by Maisie Chan, Lan Cook and Rashmi Sirdeshpande are on the shortlist for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2022, in a line-up that focuses on climate change, diversity and spotting misinformation. 

Organised by BookTrust, the UK's largest reading charity, the awards are designed to celebrate "amazing authors, imaginative illustrators and the greatest reads" for primary school-aged children. The shortlist was revealed live on "Blue Peter".

Competing for the chance to be crowned Best Story are Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths by Maisie Chan, illustrated by Anh Cao (Piccadilly Press), The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen Rutter (Scholastic Children’s Books), and The Last Bear by Hannah Gold, illustrated by Levi Pinfold, (HarperCollins Children’s Books).

Commenting on her book being shortlisted, Chan said: “I am totally amazed and can't believe it! It means so much to me to be shortlisted for this particular award. I used to watch 'Blue Peter' as a child and my children watch it, I am also so happy that Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths has made an impression. I hoped it would and for someone of British Chinese descent like me, it's a big deal to have my novel nominated for this amazing award. It's my homage to my home city of Birmingham, and I'm so happy to see a British Chinese boy on the cover of my book and that people seem to love Nai Nai, his grandmother.”

Up for the the Best Book with Facts are 24 Hours in the Stone Age, by Lan Cook, illustrated by Laurent Kling (Usborne), Good News by Rashmi Sirdeshpande, illustrated by Adam Hayes (Wren & Rook) and Invented by Animals by Christiane Dorion, illustrated by Gosia Herbia (Wide Eyed Editions).

Hayes said: “Being shortlisted is a huge surprise, and definitely not something my younger self would have imagined as he was scrawling over his school books. I'm just really grateful to be part of Rashmi’s book, and play my part in helping kids learn through reading. Oh, and my kids might even think their dad is ‘cool’ for a few minutes!”

The selection has been whittled down to six books by a panel of experts. The final winners will be chosen by more than 300 schoolchildren across the country from 12 different schools. In spring 2022, the winning authors and illustrators will appear on a special awards episode of the show.

Diana Gerald, c.e.o. of BookTrust, said: “Congratulations to all of this year’s shortlisted authors and illustrators for creating an incredible selection of books filled with funny and heart-warming stories and awe-inspiring facts. Books provide such an opportunity to touch on important topics that children are interested in, whether it is spotting misinformation, diversity or climate change, and bringing these issues to life in a fun, engaging and entertaining way.

"At an age when children are starting to grow and develop their interests, the Blue Peter Book Awards play an important role in showing children, families and teachers that there is a book out there to grab the attention of every child, no matter what their interests, and inspire even the most reluctant of readers to pick up a book.

“Now the shortlisted books face their toughest critics yet — the children themselves who will choose the eventual winners. We hope all those children taking part in the judging process will discuss the books with their friends, families and teachers and this can go some way in supporting their reading habits in the future.”