Strathie and Byrne win Bookbug prize

Strathie and Byrne win Bookbug prize

Chae Strathie and Nicola O’Byrne have won this year’s Bookbug Picture Book Prize, run by Scottish Book Trust and voted for by children.

The author and illustrator pair was given the award for Gorilla Loves Vanilla (Scholastic), about a gorilla who chooses vanilla at the ice-cream shop, unlike his friends Mouse, who wants a blue cheese sundae, and Hen, who asks for a worm cornet.

Strathie said: “I am absolutely over the moon to have won the Bookbug Picture Book Prize along with Nicola O'Byrne. Just to have been shortlisted… was an honour in itself, so this is simply gob-smacking.

“Of course, the most important thing is that the prize is decided by the children who read the books, rather than a panel of grown-up judges. It's those children I write for, so getting the seal of approval from them means a great deal.”

According to the charity, more children got involved than last year, with  22,857 votes cast in total.

Scottish Book Trust launched the prize last year when it said it was replacing its annual Children’s Book Awards with two new prizes; the Bookbug Picture Book Prize and the Scottish Teenage Book Prize.

A free copy of each of the three books on the shortlist, Gorilla Loves Vanilla along with The Fourth Bonniest Baby in Dundee by Michelle Sloan and Kasia Matyjaszek (Picture Kelpies) and Little Owl’s Egg by Debi Gliori and Alison Brown(Bloomsbury Children’s Books), was given to every Primary 1 child during Book Week Scotland last year.