1999 English 4-11 Book Awards for the Best Books of 1998

English 4-11 Best Picture Books AwardsWinner - Key Stage 1 Fiction

Mouse Look Out by Judy Waite, illustrated by Norma Burgin, Magi

This is a most subtle and intriguing text. It looks beautiful, it's haunting and atmospheric: altogether wild and strange. Most importantly, and unusually, it doesn't reveal its secrets. At first glance it would appear to be a conventional pursuit - small mouse disappearing into a mysteriously abandoned home with the black cat in silent chase.

It's a perfect partnership of text and illustration.

Winner - Key Stage 1 Non-fiction

A Seed in Need by Sam Godwin, illustrated by Simone Abel, Macdonald Young Books

This has a difficult task to accomplish: explicating the growth of the sunflower in a clear and inviting way, one which manages to avoid the patronising style which can accompany early investigations into 'scientific' subjects. The non-intervention of the human world and the impression of the large and clumsy scale of the adult dimension is ideal for children.

A hand, a foot, a watering can: 'great creating nature' does the rest.

Winner - Key Stage 2 Fiction

The Lion and the Unicorn by Shirley Hughes, Bodley Head

This is a moving story of a young Jewish boy evacuated from wartime London. Although the story is set very clearly in a particular time and place, it combines within it a number of issues which we recognise as contemporary: racial discrimination, bullying, bed-wetting and the way in which boys and girls are often stereotyped.

The author's illustrations are shrewd, powerful and often moving in themselves.

Winner - Key Stage 2 Non-fiction

The Busy Body Book by Anne Civardi & Ruth Thompson, Macmillian

A most exciting and attractively presented guide to the human body, genuinely informative to anyone who wishes to nkow more about its workings. The book is presented in a genuinely interactive format, with working two-dimensional models of, for example, the eye and the ear, together with some suggestions for experiments.

It very attractively turns the learning of facts into pleasant play.

Short List   

  • Whose House?, by Colin and Jacqui Hawkins, Collins
  • Come on, Daisy!, by Jame Simmons, Orchard 
  • Amazing Animal Alphabet, by Richard Edwards, Oxford 
  • Bear in a Square, by Stella Blackstone, Barefoot 
  • The Time of the Lion, by Caroline Pitcher, Frances Lincoln 
  • Zoo in the Sky, by Jacqueline Mitton, Frances Lincoln 
  • Tom's Rabbit, by Meredith Hooper, Frances Lincoln 
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis, illustrated by Christian Birmingham, Collins 
  • Joan of Arc, by Josephine Poole, Hutchinson 
  • The Paradise Garden, by Colin Thompson, Jonathan Cape  
  • My Family's Changing, by Pat Thomas, Macdonald  
  • Exodus, by Brian Wildsmith, Oxford  
  • Ancient Egypt, by Philip Ardagh, Macmillan

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