Poet Kate Wakeling has won this year's CLiPPA award for children's poetry for her debut collection Moon Juice, published by indie The Emma Press.
Moon Juice is aimed at children aged eight plus and includes poems about pirates, dinosaurs and bad moods. The book features illustrations from award-winning young Latvian illustrator Elīna Brasliņa.
Rachel Rooney, poet and chair of the CLiPPA 2017 judges, praised the book as a "skilled and confident" debut collection. "Moon Juice is a book brimming with surprises", she said. "Some of the poems are playful, some are more thoughtful but all of them draw the reader into worlds that both delight and convince. KAte Wakeling tunes us into the musicality of words, the pauses between, and the white space on the page - making the poems equally pleasing to the eye as to the ear. This is a skilled and confident debut collection that demonstrates the power and breadth of poetry for children. Yes, Moon Juice is infused with subtle and unusual tastes and it refreshers - exactly as the title suggests."
Booked by Kwame Alexander (Andersen Press) was highly commended for the prize.
Run by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), the annual Poetry Award encourages and celebrates outstanding poetry published for children. The winner’s announcement was made at the finale of The Poetry Show celebrating 15 years of CLiPPA at the Olivier in the National Theatre.
Louise Johns-Shepherd, chief executive of CLPE, said: “At CLPE we live and breathe poetry. We know it offers a path to literacy learning for all children whatever their age, cultural background or personal experience. This is the 15th Anniversary of CLiPPA, our annual Poetry Award and I am thrilled to report that children’s poetry is thriving. Judging by the increased number of books submitted this year incorporating a variety of poetic forms, I see a bright future ahead for this significant strand of children’s literature. Moon Juice and all the shortlisted titles all deserve their places in this, our largest ever celebration of children’s poetry.”
Wakeling received a cheque for £1,000 and both Wakeling and Alexander received bound copies of their book created by book binder, Mark Cockram.
CLiPPA is supported by Arts Council England, Crest Nicholson, The Ernest Cook Trust and St Olave's Foundation Fund.