Michael Morpurgo has won the overall Children’s Book Award for a record-breaking fourth time. The former children’s laureate has won for An Eagle in the Snow (Harper Collins Children’s Books) alongside illustrator Michael Foreman.
Morpurgo and Foreman also won the "Books for Younger Readers" category before going on to win the overall prize at the ceremony in London on 10th June. An Eagle in the Snow is set in 1940 in a train under attack from German fighters, sheltering in a tunnel and was inspired by the true story of a man who might have stopped the Second World War.
Sarah Crossan won in the "Books for Older Readers" category for One (Bloomsbury) and Oi Dog! (Hachette imprint Hodder Children’s Books), written by Kes and Claire Gray and illustrated by Jim Field, was named the "Books for Younger Children" category winner.
The shortlisted titles were revealed in February with the "Books for Younger Children" category also including Chicken Nugget (PRH imprint Puffin) by Michelle Robinson illustrated by Tom McLaughlin, Grandad's Island by Benji Davies (Simon and Schuster) and Gracie Grabbit and the Tiger (Scholastic) by Helen Stephens. Morpurgo and Foreman reigned truimphant in the "Books for Younger Readers" over The Accidental Pirates (Voyage to Magical North) (Macmillan Children’s Books) by Claire Fayers and The Jam Doughnut that Ruined my Life by Mark Lowery illustrated by Hannah Shaw, (Piccadilly). Crossan’s One was up against Ali Sparkes’ Car-Jacked (OUP) and Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens (PRH) in the "Books for Older Readers" section.
Pamela Butchart and Thomas Flintham were the overall winners of the prize last year My Head Teacher Is a Vampire Rat (Nosy Crow) which also scooped the "Books for Younger Readers" category. Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury Childrens) won for "Books for Older Readers" and Is There A Dog In This Book? by Viviane Schwarz (Walker Books) was named the "Books for Younger Children" winner.
Now in its 37th year, the prize is the only one nationally which is chosen and voted for entirely by young people. It is owned and coordinated by voluntary group, the Federation of Children’s Book Groups, with past winners including J K Rowling, Patrick Ness, Andy Stanton, Malorie Blackman and Anthony Horowitz. Morpurgo previously won for Shadow in 2010, Private Peaceful published in 2003 (both published by Harper Collins Children's) and Kensuke's Kingdom (Egmont) published in 2000.
The Federation is a national voluntary self-funded organisation whose aim is to promote enjoyment in children’s books and reading and to encourage the availability of books for young people.