Monster book scoops top prize at Sheffield Children's Book Awards

Authors Katie Smith, left, and Sarah Alexander with the children at the ceremony.
Authors Katie Smith, left, and Sarah Alexander with the children at the ceremony.

A story about a book monster who makes his way into favourite fairy tales has captured the heart of Sheffield children and scooped a top book award.

Nearly 800 children voted Nibbles: The Book Monster by Emma Yarlett as the overall picture books winner in the city's 29th annual Children's Book Awards.

The ceremony.

The ceremony.

Hundreds of youngsters formed the judging panel and spent several months reading different books, whittling the shortlist down to 25 authors and illustrators.

The overall winner and accolades in seven other categories were given out at a ceremony today at The Crucible Theatre that was also attended by the school children.

The awards are organised by Sheffield Council’s school’s and young people’s library service to encourage children to read more and showcase the best children’s books published each year. Previous winners include JK Rowling, Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Rosen.

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure at Sheffield Council, said: “Congratulations to all the winners today. I hope many more children and young people enjoy reading as a result of taking part in the Sheffield Children’s Book Award.

Intake Primary School pupil Megan Cooper meets up with author and illustrator Sarah McIntyre at Sheffields 29th Childrens Book Awards at The Crucible Theatre . Picture Scott Merrylees

Intake Primary School pupil Megan Cooper meets up with author and illustrator Sarah McIntyre at Sheffields 29th Childrens Book Awards at The Crucible Theatre . Picture Scott Merrylees

“Our library service works incredibly hard at reaching out to children, encouraging them to read.

"It’s wonderful to see hundreds so excited about the awards and the books they have been reading."

Author Katie Smith, whose debut novel The Pumpkin Project won the emerging reads category, said: “It has been such a huge honour to attend the awards.

"What makes them so special is that they are voted for by the children who have read the books. Thank you to all the children who voted. It’s been a fantastic day.”

Children voting included Isabella Eams, aged 11, and Lucy Waller, aged 10, from Intake Primary School.

Isabella said: “The awards were really good and we’ve had a lot of fun.”

Lucy added: “You can express yourself by writing books. The Pumpkin Project is a really good book and I recommend it, five stars.”

The winners are:-

Picture books winner - Nibbles: The Book Monster by Emma Yarlett

Baby books winner - Hoot’s Twilight Adventure by Rowena Blyth

Toddler books winner – The Greedy Goat by Petr Horacek

Emerging reads winner – The pumpkin project by Katie Smith

Shorter novels winner – Beetle boy by M.G Leonard

Longer novels winner – Moth girls by Anne Cassidy

Young adult winner – The art of not breathing by Sarah Alexander

Special category winner – The bean machine by Adam Bestwick