Books by David Walliams and Tony Ross, Joshua Seigal with Tim Wesson, and Michelle Robinson with Tor Freeman have won prizes at this year’s Laugh Out Loud Book Awards.
The annual children’s book award ceremony, created by Scholastic and known as the Lollies, was held at the Bloomsbury Ballroom in London on 6th February. Attended by children from seven primary schools, alongside authors, illustrators and publishing professtionals, it was hosted by Radio 1’s Katie Thistleton and with special guests including Julia Donaldson and Roman Kemp.
In the Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book category, Robinson and Freeman triumphed for Ten Fat Sausages (Andersen Press). Robinson, who turned up in a sausage costume, told the audience: "I’ve wanted to be on this shortlist and in this room for ages and I can’t quite believe I’m here among such amazing company. I’m kind of waiting for someone to tap me on the shoulder and say ‘Sorry Michelle Robinson you’re definitely in the wrong place’. It’s amazing."
Walliams and Ross took the prize for Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 6–8-year-olds with The World’s Worst Children 3 (HarperCollins). Walliams did not turn up to the event but sent a video message, while Ross collected the award for both of them.
I Bet I Can Make You Laugh by Seigal and Wesson took home the Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9–13-year-olds award. In his short speech, Seigal thanked all the others who had contributed to the book, saying: "This is very important, the book was not written just by me. I wrote about a third of the poems in the book and I edited the rest. So there are many poems in the book by other authors and poets, so can we give them a round of applause as well.”
The books were chosen by teachers on behalf of their classes and children via the Popjam app from shortlists drawn up a judging panel chaired by Michael Rosen.
Rosen said: "Funny books are a fantastic springboard into reading for pleasure for all children that’s why the Lollies Book Awards are so important. The prize is unique in that winners are selected by children themselves, and as such holds up a mirror for what they are looking for in books and what they really want to read. The prize creates a real buzz and many talking points about humour, children and, of course, literacy."
The judging panel also featured Books For Topics founder Alison Leach, teacher and blogger Scott Evans, Andria Zafirakou, winner of the $1m Global Teacher Prize 2018, and Kate Newport, product director for Scholastic book clubs and book fairs.
Rachel Partridge, group marketing and PR director for Scholastic UK, added: “Once again we’ve been blown away by the excitement and engagement that the Lollies generate with children and teachers. We know that schools love to read and discuss the shortlisted books before casting their votes and it’s fantastic to be able to create a real moment where everyone comes together to celebrate funny books and reading for pleasure.”
The full shortlists were:
Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book:
Baby’s First Bank Heist by Jim Whalley and illustrated by Stephen Collins(Bloomsbury)
Spyder by Matt Carr (Scholastic)
Ten Fat Sausages by Michelle Robinson and illustrated by Tor Freeman (Andersen Press)
You’re Called What? by Kes Gray and illustrated by Nikki Dyson (Macmillan)
Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 6–8-year-olds:
Bad Nana: Older Not Wiser by Sophy Henn (HarperCollins)
The Legend of Kevin by Philip Reeve and illustrated by Sarah McIntyre (OUP)
The Nothing to See Here Hotel by Steven Butler and illustrated by Steven Lenton(Simon & Schuster)
World’s Worst Children 3 by David Walliams and illustrated by Tony Ross (HarperCollins)
Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9–13-year-olds:
I Bet I Can Make You Laugh by Joshua Seigal and illustrated by Tim Wesson (Bloomsbury)
I Swapped My Brother on the Internet by Jo Simmons and illustrated by Nathan Reed (Bloomsbury)
Kid Normal and the Rogue Heroes by Greg James and Chris Smith, illustrated by Erica Salcedo (Bloomsbury)
Planet Stan by Elaine Wickson and illustrated by Chris Judge (OUP)