Pre-school children can vote for their favourite story in the annual Nottingham Children’s Book Award.

The award, which was launched in 2001, has been aimed at pre-school children since 2008 and encourages them to develop a love of books and reading. Last year, nearly 6,000 youngsters voted for their favourite book.

Library staff and local schoolchildren have already whittled down the longlist to a shortlist of three:

  • Walter’s Wonderful Web by Tim Hopgood
  • Dave’s Cave by Frann Preston-Gannon
  • Don’t Wake Up the Tiger! by Britta Teckentrup

Voting starts today, 20 February.  Between now and 9 June, library staff will visit nurseries, schools, preschools and playgroups to read the books and ask children to choose their favourite.

Families can also join in the fun by visiting their local library, sharing the books and using the voting sheets there, or by viewing videos of the stories being read by library staff and voting for their favourite online at .There will also be a picture hunt in city libraries to win a signed copy of one of the shortlisted books.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Nottingham City Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, 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.”

Sandeep Mahal, Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, said:  “What a wonderful shortlist and an amazing time to be a young reader!  One of the greatest joys of life is sharing a book with a child, and promoting quality children’s books is the role of the Nottingham’s annual Children’s Book Awards, now celebrating its 17th year. The Book Award is a wonderful way to share an excitement of reading and serves as an excellent stepping stone towards encouraging parents and carers to be more involved with books and libraries.”