Nestlé Children's Book Prize

Nestlé Children's Book Prize

August 05, 2005 02:00 ET

Kirsty Young Joins Nestle Children's Book Prize Judging Panel

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 5, 2005) - Channel Five News presenter Kirsty Young will be one of the adult judges in this year's Nestle Children's Book Prize, formerly known as the Nestle Smarties Book Prize. Kirsty and her colleagues on the judging panel will have the task of choosing a shortlist, which will be announced in early October. The hundreds of entries range from picture books aimed at the under-fives through to pre-teen novels with complex plots and characterisation.

Kirsty will be joining Julia Eccleshare, Guardian Children's Book Editor who is the long-standing chairman of the judging panel; Helen Freeman, Editor of Junior Education Magazine and two of last year's prizewinners: authors Liz Pichon and Mal Peet, winners in the 5 and under and 9-11 age groups respectively.

Kirsty commented: "From The Tiger Who Came to Tea to The Peppermint Pig, the books I read as a youngster helped fuel a life-long love of reading and language. And now I have a daughter of my own, I'm reminded every day of the essential part books play in igniting the imagination and enriching the vocabulary of children. I'm delighted to be judge in such a worthwhile competition and am already enjoying the entries...with a little help from a certain four year old!"

The adult judges will now sift through hundreds of entries from authors and illustrators to create a shortlist, which will then be voted on by school-children all over the country. The final selection of the winners rests with the schoolchildren who decide which authors will be awarded the gold, silver and bronze medals. The winners will be announced on Wednesday December 14th before an invited audience of children at the British Library in London. Last year over 42,000 school-children were involved in choosing the winners of Britain's longest-running children's book prize.

This is the 21st year of the prize, which has involved over a half a million school-children and thousands of books since it was launched in 1984. Run by Booktrust, an independent charity promoting books and reading, the prize recognises the nation's best children's books as voted for by children. Further information can be found at: www.booktrusted.com.

For further information and photographs please contact Penny Clifton/Caroline Wade.

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