Last night we attended the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2012 at Waterstones Piccadilly.
Templar was out in force to support the brilliant Jonny Duddle who had been shortlisted for the Picture book award with The Pirates Next Door. Hosted in the Champagne bar on the fifth floor nominees, agents, publishers and friends gathered as they anxiously awaited the announcement. Greeted by free flowing champagne, we made our way in to the bar and munched happily on smoked salmon blinis, 'posh' cocktail sausages and duck crostinis. (All in a days work!)
The prize, now in its eighth year, was created to celebrate new and emerging talent in children's writing. For the first time this year the prize was split in to three categories: Picture books, Fiction 5-12 and Teen books. The nominees for the picture book category included I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (Walker), A Bit Lost by Chris Haughton (Walker), I Don’t Want to be a Pea! By Ann Bonwill & Simon Rickerty (Oxford University Press), No! By Marta Altes (Child's Play), Good Little Wolf by Nadia Shireen (Jonathan Cape) and of course The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle (Templar). As we waited with baited breath to hear the winner announced of the Picture book category, James Daunt noted: "The books we read in our formative years are of crucial importance. Our prize recognises this fact, championing exciting new writing and illustration and bringing the classics of the future to a huge audience."
Last years winner, Sita Brahmachari with Artichoke Heart, spoke about how the award had helped her book reach many children due to the positive exposure and support from Waterstones. Then Sita announced the award… drum roll…. The Pirates Next Door! Massive smiles and cheers of jubilations came from the Templar direction as Jonny went to collect his award.
Once the other two category awards were announced we all waited patiently to hear who had won the overall award for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2012. In the running for the prize was The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon who won the category Ficton 5-12, You Against Me by Jenny Downham who won the category Teen Fiction and of course our own The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle. Again…drum roll…the winner… THE PIRATES NEXT DOOR.
Cheers of elation were followed by a very humbling speech by Jonny Duddle and acceptance of the award. This was followed by many more glasses of champagne and a cocktail sausage or two!
A brilliant time had by all and by all a good night!