The annual Nottingham Children’s Book Award has celebrated its 17th birthday in style. The awards, which were launched in 2001, have been targeted at pre-school children since 2008 and aim to get young children excited about reading.

Library staff and local school children whittled down the long list to a shortlist of three, and between February and June library staff visited early-years settings to read the books and ask children to vote for their favourite. Families were also encouraged to read the Book Award books together in the library and vote for their favourite; sharing books is a great way for young children to experience stories and develop a love of reading.

Over 5000 children took part. The winner of the Nottingham Children’s Book Award 2018 is Neon Leon by Jane Clarke and Britta Teckentrup (published by Nosy Crow)

Jane Clarke and Britta Teckentrup have written and illustrated well over 100 books between them and they won this year’s competition with 38% of the vote.

The runners up were: Bedtime with Ted by Sophy Henn (published by Bloomsbury) and Giraffe and Frog by Zehra Hicks (published by Two Hoots)

Councillor Dave Trimble, Nottingham City Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Localities, said: “Nottingham Children’s Book Award is a great annual opportunity for young children to let us know which books they really enjoy. Introducing children to books at an early age fires their imagination, entertains and educates – and can lead to a lifelong love of reading, as many of the children who voted in the early years of the book award would testify.  Libraries remain a great source of free books for babies and young children and I would encourage parents to take advantage of all they have to offer.”