English 4-11 Picture Book Awards 2023

Established in 1995, the English 4-11 Picturebook Awards are presented by the English Association to the best children’s picture books of the year. The winning books are chosen by the editorial board of English 4-11 journal for primary teachers published by the English Association and the United Kingdom Literacy Association, from a shortlist selected by a panel of teachers and Primary specialists. The Margaret Mallett Award for Children’s Non-Fiction was established by the English Association in memory of Margaret Mallett, a Fellow of the English Association and a long-serving member of the editorial board of our journal ENGLISH 4 – 11, who passed on after a short illness in March 2017. Margaret was a passionate advocate for high quality books for children, and in particular non-fiction books. Each year, one of the books submitted to the English 4-11 Picture Book Awards will be selected as the recipient of the Prize.

Non- Fiction 4-7 Winner: Invertebrates Are Cool  by Nicola Davies and illustrated by  Abbie Cameron (Graffeg) ISBN: 978-1912213696

Another beautiful hybrid of illustration, information and rhyming text. This very attractive and child friendly package follows a young naturalist as she explores her world and covers bugs, mini-beasts and sea creatures. The book ends with a puzzle asking the reader to match the animal to its home. The illustrations are eye-catching, accurate, and enable identification of the features of each invertebrate. A stunning book that encourages interest in the natural world and inspires children to explore their surroundings.

Fiction 4-7 Winner:  Flooded by Mariajo Ilustrajo (Frances Lincoln) ISBN: 978-0711276796

Flooded is the funny and exceptionally illustrated tale of animals who live in a city that is ever so slowly flooding. All the animals ignore the obvious and go about their busy lives, preoccupied by their own concerns. Eventually they can no longer ignore the problem and they must work together to save their city.

This teaches a subtle message about climate change and a warning not to let problems fester. With a little teamwork and community spirit, no problem is insurmountable.

Non-Fiction 7-11 Winner: Real-Life Dragons And Their Stories Of Survival by Anita Ganeri and Jianan Liu (Wayland) ISBN: 978-1526315434 Tells the fascinating stories of ten real-life dragons. There is a stunning close-up photo of each dragon, key data, a picture with captions that indicate special features, and two pages of text describing their origins, the mythology associated with them and how they adapt to survive today. The information is often fascinating and the tone is pitched at just the right level to engage this age group “In one sitting, a dragon can eat up to three-quarters of its own body weight – that’s the same as you devouring about 70 pizzas in one go.”
Fiction 7-11 Winner: Paradise Sands by Levi Pinfold (Walker Books)ISBN: 978-1406383942

A modern fairy tale laced with ambiguities and intrigue which will repay many re-readings and discussion. Four children are on their way to pick up their mother from the hospital. During a stop to gather flowers, the brothers are lured into a mysterious palatial building, leaving their sister to rescue them, but at a cost. Pinfold’s stunning artwork is simply haunting.

The Margaret Mallett Award for Children’s Non-Fiction Winner: Narwhal: The Arctic Unicorn by Justin Anderson and Jo Weaver (Walker Books). ISBN: 978-1406396065

“The mysteries of this most fantastic of beasts are brought to life in a gentle yet epic tale following the springtime journey of an old narwhal of ‘fifty winters’ and his pod. Every year, as the ice melts, they travel north to their artic summer home where the daylight lasts around the clock and the fishing is easy. It is a journey which covers hundreds of miles and takes several months with many dangers to face along the way. Written by a zoologist and BBC filmmaker, this story has the feel of a documentary on the page. Additional facts throughout the book complement the narrative and explore the many puzzles and perils surrounding this curious creature. Dreamlike illustrations by Jo Weaver create the vastness of the artic landscape and the final pages give readers more detail about the future for the narwhal, signposting where interested young readers can find out more. This is a charming book for children with an interest in wildlife – bridging between narrative and factual writing.”


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