The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell and Real-Life Mysteries written by Susan Martineau, illustrated by Vicky Barker, have been revealed as this year’s Blue Peter Book Award winners.
The winning titles were voted for by over 500 children from 12 schools across the UK.
A delighted Cressida Cowell said: ‘Blue Peter was a huge part of my childhood, and I’m thrilled as nine-year-old me, as well as the grown-up author.’
‘The Wizards of Once was 5 years of research, writing, re-writing and illustrating, and it’s nerve wracking publishing a book set in a new world, so I’m especially gratified to receive this recognition. Thank you so much to the kids who took the time to read and vote, the teachers and librarians who do so much to support the award in schools, BookTrust for all their dedicated organisation, and Blue Peter not only for setting up the award but for putting reading and creativity at the heart of its programming. To Blue Peter viewers who enjoy reading, telling stories and drawing – keep going! We need you to be the writers and illustrators of the future.’
Winner of Best Books with Facts, Real-Life Mysteries explains case files backed up with evidence about the mysterious unsolved cases and encourages you to make up your own mind.
Author Susan Martineau said: ‘I’m so thrilled that it was the Blue Peter viewers themselves who voted for the book. It’s brilliant there is an award for a book with facts as well as a fiction prize. Non-fiction doesn’t just tell you stuff, it can fire your imagination and get you thinking in new ways too.’
On Thursday 1st March, the winning three authors/illustrators will appear on a special World Book Day edition of Blue Peter, the UK’s longest running children’s programme in the world. Also appearing on the show are pupils from Church Vale Primary School, who judged the award. Judith Kerr will be a special guest and be presented with a rare Gold Blue Peter badge for her contribution to children’s literature.
Judith Kerr said: ‘What a wonderful surprise to be given a Gold Blue Peter Badge. My daughter received a Blue Peter badge many years ago, so I’m one up on her with my Gold one!’
The Blue Peter Book Awards were established in 2000 and are now managed by BookTrust. The 2017 winners were Kieran Larwood and David Wyatt who won Best Story with Podkin One Ear and David Long and Kerry Hyndman who won Best Book with Facts for Survivors.