The Book of Bees (Thames and Hudson) has won the 2017 Educational Writers’ Award.
The 72-page exploration of the insects and their history was written by Wojciech Grajkowski, illustrated by Piotr Socha, and translated into English from the Polish by Agnes Monod-Gayraud.
The announcement for the UK’s sole award for creative educational writing took place on Tuesday (5th December) at the All Party Parliamentary Writers Group (APWG) Winter Reception at the House of Commons. John Whittingdale MP, chair of the APWG presented the winning author and illustrator with a cheque for £2,000.
This year’s judges included school librarian Marion Le Lannou, London school headteacher Mike Reeves and Annemarie Young, a writer, editor and publisher of books for young people.
They praised the “quite magnificent” title and said it provided “a wonderfully imagined and wittily illustrated compendium of information all about bees their central role in our world, which pitches contrasting elements together in just the way that children love”.
The judges said: “Full of humour, it takes in the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, entomology, botany, the Bible, design, technology and more, breaking the subject of bees out of its traditional confines. Everything is beautifully explained in detail on a double-page spread for a deeper understanding.”
The 2017 Educational Writers’ Award focuses on books for five to 11 year-olds, published in 2015 and 2016. The winning title beat off competition from They were Secrets of the Sea, written by Kate Baker and illustrated by Eleanor Taylor (Big Picture Press) Fluttering Minibeast Adventures, written by Jess French and illustrated by Jonathan Woodward, with paper engineering by Keith Finch (Red Shed), Genius! The Most Astonishing Inventions of all Time written by Deborah Kespert and designed by Karen Wilks (Thames & Hudson), How to Code in 10 Easy Lessons written by Sean McManus and illustrated by Venitia Dean (QED Publishin) and Tree of Wonder: The Many Marvelous Lives of a Rainforest Tree written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Simona Mulazzani (Chronicle Books).
Now in its 10th year, the Educational Writers’ Award was established in 2008 by the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) and the Society of Authors (SoA) “to celebrate educational writing that inspires creativity and encourages students to read widely and build up their understanding of a subject beyond the requirements of exam specifications”.