Maycock wins  ALCS Educational Writers' Award with 'tender' title on emotions

Maycock wins ALCS Educational Writers' Award with 'tender' title on emotions

Sarah Maycock has won the 2021 ALCS Educational Writers’ Award for her children's book Sometimes I Feel: A Menagerie of Feelings Big and Small (Big Picture Press.)

This year the £2,000 award focused on books published in 2019 and 2020 for five to 11-year-olds. Written and illustrated by Maycock, the winning book explores bravery, timidity, curiosity and happiness – through a collection of animal similes and poetic prose, accompanied by paintings of animals which embody each emotion. Maycock said she wanted to "explore the universal nature of animals and how we can relate them to our own experiences and characteristics”.

The judges praised the “tender and touching” book for deftly translating complex emotions into relatable animal illustrations, and for the way the carefully chosen words of the text help put universal feelings into perspective. Maycock beat off strong competition from five other shortlisted authors, including Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy. 

This year’s judges were children’s author Trish Cooke, junior school librarian Hazel Forbes and former primary headteacher Katie Purdey They said: “Linking feelings to relatable characteristics of animals is a fantastic way to teach children about the power of emotions; their temporary nature, and how we can respond to them in a healthy and helpful way. This book is a must-have for any primary classroom."

Runner-up for the award is I Am Not a Label (Wide Eyed Editions), written by Cerrie Burnell, illustrated by Lauren Baldo. The judges praised the book for encouraging young people to accept and embrace others for who they truly are. 

“The empowerment this book could give to young people living with a disability or chronic illness is fantastic, with the potential to really make an impact in overcoming misconceptions and celebrating difference," they said.