Titles from Simon and Schuster and Egmont/Jelly Pie have won the 2013 Roald Dahl Funny Prizes, awarded today (10th November) at a ceremony in London.
I Am Still Not a Loser by Jim Smith (Egmont/Jelly Pie) won the prize for the funniest book for children aged seven to 14, while Monkey Nut by Simon Rickerty (S&S) triumphed in the six and under category.
The winners received their prize of £2,500 each at a ceremony at the Cambridge Theatre in London, home of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda the Musical.
Rickerty said the award was a big surprise. “It won’t sink in until tomorrow,” he told The Bookseller. “You want to win but when they call your name out it’s still a shock.” Smith also said he was surprised to win the seven to 14 category award, commenting that the last time he won a prize was when he was eight, the same age as the hero in his book, Barry Loser.
During the ceremony pupils from Newchurch primary school on the Isle of Wight performed a medley of stories from Roald Dahl Books. Lisa Davina Phillip, the actress who plays librarian Mrs Phelps in the musical Matilda, then joined the stage with Michael Rosen to present the awards.
The books were chosen by the judging panel, chaired by Michael Rosen, and 400 school children from across the country. This judges were comedian John Kearns, columnist Marina Hyde, illustrator Sarah McIntyre and author Jamie Thomson, who won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize last year in the 7-14 category.
The prizes were created in 2008 by Booktrust and the estate of Roald Dahl as part of Rosen’s work as children’s laureate.
This year’s shortlists:
The Funniest Book for Children Aged Six and Under
Do Not Enter the Monster Zoo by Amy Sparkes, illustrated by Sara Oglivie (Red Fox, Random House Children’s Books)
Monkey Nut by Simon Rickerty (Simon and Schuster)
Noisy Bottoms by Sam Taplin, illustrated by Mark Chambers (Usborne)
Spaghetti With the Yeti by Adam and Charlotte Guillain, illustrated by Lee Wildish (Egmont)
Troll Swap by Leigh Hodgkinson (Nosy Crow)
Weasels by Elys Dolan (Nosy Crow)
The Funniest Book for Children Aged Seven to Fourteen
Fish-Head Steve! (DFC Library) by Jamie Smart (David Fickling Books)
Geek Girl by Holly Smale (HarperCollins)
The Grunts All At Sea by Philip Ardagh, illustrated by Axel Sheffler (Nosy Crow)
I Am Still Not a Loser by Jim Smith (Egmont, Jelly Pie)
My Parents Are Out of Control by Pete Johnson (Yearling, Random House Children’s Books)
Pants Are Everything by Mark Lowery (Scholastic)