26th May 2020

Each year a group of Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) students and staff take part in the children’s book award for the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA).

They select a category of books and, from a shortlist of titles within that category, they vote for a winner. They then send our choice forward to the UKLA to join the votes from other shadowing groups at schools and universities around the country. The overall winner from each category is announced at the UKLA’s Conference which takes place in the summer.

This year a new category, non-fiction books for children, was added to the awards and the BGU shadowing group have chosen to explore its titles. Dr Mary-Louise Maynes, Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies, and Janice Morris, Teaching Resources Librarian, explained what makes the shadowing exercise worthwhile and why the new category appealed to the group:

“The process is an enjoyable and interesting one: we have the chance to read a range of new and exciting children’s books and to debate and discuss our choices over tea, coffee and biscuits! We explore books we might not have chosen to pick up and share some often very different reactions to them. Seeing a book from a different perspective can help to develop our critical thinking around texts and broaden our understanding of children’s literature.

This year we chose to focus on non-fiction books for children. This was a new category introduced just this year to the book award. The introduction of the category reflects the rich and diverse range of non-fiction books being published for children at the moment and an increased interest in this category of texts. Unlike the other categories, books in the shortlist are suitable for children aged from 3 to 14+ years. They cover a wide range of topics and styles and a preference for artistic illustrations rather than photographs and beautifully presented texts is a feature of these new books. The shortlist is given below and all of the books can be found in the Teaching Resources Collection: we look forward to sharing them with you when the library re-opens and will let you know who the winner is when this is announced in the summer!”

Unfortunately, the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 has meant that the group have been unable to carry on with their usual shadowing group meet ups this year, but they fully intend to get involved again for next year’s book award. All students and staff are very welcome to join, look out for information about the group if you are interested early in 2021.

Full Shortlist of Information Books 3 -14+

Mary and Frankenstein written by Linda Bailey and illustrated by Jũlia Sardὰ, (Andersen Press) (Print version only)

A Book of Bears written and illustrated by Katie Viggers (Laurence King) (Print version only)

A Child of St. Kilda written and illustrated by Beth Waters (Child’s Play) (Print version only)

Counting on Katherine written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Dow Phumiruck (Macmillan) (Print and Kindle version available)

Questions I am asked about the Holocaust written by Heidi Fried (Scribe) (Print and Kindle version available)

Once Upon a Raindrop written by James Carter and illustrated by Nomoco (Caterpillar Books) (Print version only)