English Association announces best picture book of 2011

Posted by mjs76 at Apr 30, 2012 03:09 PM |
Ursine headgear lacuna quandary beats out stiff competition.

The English Association, hosted here at the University of Leicester, has today announced the winners of one of the most hotly contested and prestigious literary prizes in the world: the 2012 English 4-11 Awards for the Best Picture Books of 2011.

There are four categories in the awards: for fiction/non-fiction in two age groups. And the winners are:

  • Key Stage 1, fiction: I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (Walker Books)
  • Key Stage 1, non-fiction: Press Here by Hervé Tullet (Chronicle Books)
  • Key Stage 2, fiction: It's A Book by Lane Smith (Macmillan)
  • Key Stage 2, non-fiction: Into the Unknown by Stewart Ross, illustrated by Stephen Biesty (Walker Books)

The New York Times called Klassen’s tale of a polite bear searching for his missing hat “a charmingly wicked little book and the debut of a promising writer-illustrator talent” and there’s even a 45-second trailer for it on YouTube.

Tullet’s simple but delightful book of coloured blobs really does need to be seen on YouTube in order to make sense. It also has a related app!

On the other hand, for any parent worried that their child is too tech-dependent, Lane Smith’s story of a gorilla trying to explain to his friend that the object he is reading doesn’t require logging in or charging is a breath of fresh air. But even that has an online promo clip...

Ross and Biesty’s volume, the only one not represented on YouTube, is an account of how explorers, from Pythaeus to the Apollo 11 astronauts, have found their way when travelling uncharted paths.

The awards were presented at specialist children’s bookseller The Reading Shop in Oadby, Leicesterhire on 30 April 2012. You can read reviews of the winners and the other shortlisted titles on the Association's website.

Ian McEwan and Julian Barnes were once again cruelly snubbed by the awards on the grounds that their books just don't have enough pictures.

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Sue Wicks (l) and Lynn Moore, from the Reading Shop, hold the four winning books after the announcement on 30 April.