Adam Kay is joined by Katie and Kevin Tsang on the shortlists for this year's Laugh Out Loud Awards, better known as the Lollies, celebrating the "funniest children's books".
Former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen announced the shortlists for the awards, which were created by Scholastic UK and are running for the fifth year after a hiatus owing to the pandemic.
Illustrated by Nathan Reed, Katie and Kevin Tsang's Sam Wu is Not Afraid of the Dark (Farshore) is nominated in the six to eight-year-old age category alongside Anisha Accidental Detective: School’s Cancelled by Serena Patel & Emma McCann (Usborne Publishing), Cats React to Science Facts by Izzi Howell (Hachette) and Wigglesbottom Primary: Break-Time Bunnies by Pamela Butchart and Becka Moor (Nosy Crow).
Meanwhile, in the age nine to 13 category, Kay’s Anatomy by Adam Kay and Henry Parker (Puffin) is up against Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties by Humza Arshad, Henry White and Aleksei Bitskoff (Puffin), The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates by Jenny Pearson and Rob Biddulph (Usborne Publishing) and Zombierella by Joseph Coelho and Freya Hartas (Walker Books).
Battling it out for the best picture book title are 101 Bums by Sam Harper and Chris Jevons (Hachette Children's), I’m NOT a Mouse! by Evgenia Golubeva (Child’s Play), Never Show a T-Rex a Book by Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Diane Ewen (Puffin) and Octopus Shocktopus! by Peter Bently and Steven Lenton (Nosy Crow).
Head judge Rosen was joined on the shortlisting panel by actor and writer Stephen Mangan, whose children’s book with sister Anita Mangan, Escape the Rooms (Scholastic), was published on 10th June. Teachers Ceridwen Eccles and Maaria Khan as well as Scholastic product director Kate Newport completed the panel.
Rosen said of the shortlist: “Are you looking for books for children that will get them giggling and wanting to read more? These 12 books will do just that. Funny books are so important because they encourage children to want to read. It gets them into the habit of finding fun and interest in books and the reading habit helps children succeed in life.”
Rachel Partridge, group marketing and PR and schools commercial director said: “We are delighted to have the Lollies back this year. Schools have repeatedly asked about the awards and we know that teachers and children really missed reading and discussing the shortlists. Our Lollies judges have done a wonderful job of selecting three really cracking shortlists this year and we have big plans for the autumn to showcase these brilliantly funny books and their creators in schools nationwide. We cannot wait for classes to get stuck into these books and vote for their winners.”
The winning book in each category will be decided solely by children’s votes. Votes can be cast via the Scholastic website, and children can vote themselves using the PopJam app. The winning books will be announced in early 2022.
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