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Derby Children's Picture Book Award

Written by Vanessa Cameron

Vanessa is a book lover, play creator, accidental gardener, mother, former teacher and the Children and Young People’s Co-ordinator at Derby Book Festival.

 

Now in its sixth year, Derby Children’s Picture Book Award was started by Di Smith in response to the CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) report that found that picture books published in the UK were not reflecting the diversity of modern Britain. The Award aims to inspire a new generation of readers through books which reflect their own lives and experiences, enabling children to see themselves represented in the books they read.

 

Here is a brief introduction to the three shortlisted books and the book that was highly commended, by a team of Derby teachers in 2024.


The Dress in The Window by Robert Tregoning and Pippa Curnick (Oxford University Press)

Highly Commended: Have you ever seen a dress so sparkly and beautiful that you just had to have it? The boy in this story falls in love with a dress in the charity shop window and dreams of making it his. This story is joyful and affirming and I especially love the page where he imagines all the different people who could have worn it. The delightful rhyme and Pippa Curnick’s dazzling illustrations make this a wonderful book. The teachers were keen to include this book’s messages of working to earn the things that you desire, and family love and acceptance.



Ingenious Edie, Master Inventor of Tiny Town by Patrick Corrigan (Flying Eye Books)

Journey into the tiny town where Edie lives with her friends and works, by herself, to invent solutions to their problems. But when a Magpie thief causes trouble, Edie has to work with her friends to sort things out. The illustrations are delightful and so elaborate, that you'll be spotting new details with each read. A story about the value of friendship, teamwork and finding positive solutions to difficulties.

 

Someone Just Like You by Helen Docherty and David Roberts (Simon and Schuster Kids)

Inspired by the words of late politician, Jo Cox MP, that we have more in common than that which divides us, Helen Docherty encourages us to look for similarities between ourselves and others. Her beautiful words are brought to life through David Roberts’ incredible illustrations. These are a real highlight, being bright and intricate, adding additional empathy to the words. The shortlisting teachers were particularly impressed with how appealing the book is. You will find yourself engrossed!

 

Thunder Boots by Naomi Jones and Rebecca Ashdown (Oxford University Press)

And finally, this year's winner, voted for by the children of Derby. Thunder Boots is the tale of rambunctious Trixie, who enjoys life without fear. She excitedly starts school and loves it, until she begins to find letters very tricky. Inspired by both the author’s and the illustrator's experiences with dyslexia, the story is a joyful celebration of difference and how everyone has a superpower. What’s yours?






Derby Book Festival organises three festivals in 2024, as well as a year-round programme of community projects all aimed at bringing books to life for the people of Derby. We are developing an increasing number of events for children and young people and we’d love for you to join us soon.

 

 

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