Klassen, Magnason and Williams win UKLA book awards

Klassen, Magnason and Williams win UKLA book awards

Hard on the heels of his 2014 Kate Greenaway award, Jon Klassen has picked up a second UK children’s book prize, with This is Not My Hat (Walker Books) receiving a United Kingdom Literary Association's book award.

The UKLA Book Awards are held annually and are the only UK children’s book awards that are voted for by teachers. Klassen picked up the prize in the 3-6 years category, while The Story of the Blue Planet by by Andri Snær Magnason, translated by Julian Meldon D'Arcy and illustrated by Áslaug Jónsdóttir (Pushkin Press) won the 7-11 years award.
 
The 12-16+ years prize went to Now is theTime for Running by Michael Williams, published by Tamarind Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.
 
The judges said This is Not My Hat was destined to become a classic: “Klassen successfully combines elements of pantomime – a moral tale and a horror story with almost unbearable suspense in this outstanding picture book. The clever interplay between text and illustration allows the reader to witness the sheer optimism of a thieving fish while simultaneously observing the inevitable consequence of his actions.”
 
The judges also said their choice of winners - included a book in translation (The Story of the Blue Planet) and one from Tamarind, which was set up by Verna Wilkins to publish multicultural children’s books - demonstrated their commitment to diversity.
 
Alayne Ozturk, president of UKLA, said: “We know that literature broadens the reader’s experience of the world and sense of the possible and thus should have a central place in classrooms and educational contexts. The exceptional quality of the shortlists this year and the truly outstanding winners show that there are many gems to be found amongst the smaller presses.”
 
The judges also awarded a "highly commended"  award for the first time, in the 3-6 category, to Open Very Carefully by Nick Bromley (Nosy Crow), praising the book for its “potential to delight and scare you at the same time”.

The awards were made at a ceremony held this evening (4th July) in Sussex.
 
All the shortlists for this year’s awards can be seen on the UKLA website.