We do love a good book award but the Federation of Children's Book Group (FCBG) Book Award is extra special because it's the only national award voted for solely by children from start to finish. And at the end of each year, nearly 12,000 books are donated to hospitals, women's refuges, nurseries and disadvantages schools by the various testing groups.
So you can imagine our excitement to be asked to participate in the blog tour for the shortlist for the 2018 Children's Book Awards and THEN to be told that our book to celebrate is I Dare You by Reece Wykes (Andersen Press), a book already read, reviewed and loved by our reviewers!
I Dare You
I Dare You is the tale of two bored gorillas who decide to play a game of dares. It perfectly captures the language of children with simple language, big, bold illustrations and playful, "I Dare You" scenarios. As the dares escalate and the two gorillas try to outsmart each other, a dry humour knits it together before the final twist (I won't spoil it!).
This is what Toppsta reviewers had to say about it:
"What a beautiful book - the illustration is fantastic and the story is very funny." Read to joshuajames aged 4)
"This a funny and quirky book. 'I Dare You' follows two gorillas in the jungle who are bored. They decide to dare each other to eat things and it gets weirder and funnier as it goes along. This book made us laugh and the twist ending was odd and a little funny." (Read to Flynn aged 4)
"I read this to my 2 year old and she enjoyed turning the pages and the "funny gorillas". We read it 3 times in a row as she enjoyed it so much." (read it to Ap17 aged 2)
"This is a beautifully-illustrated book - the drawings are great. The story line is what happens when two bored gorillas decide to play a game of dare. The words are simple so this is also good to read if your child is learning to read!" (Read to to Ibby aged 5)
What's amazing is that this is Reece's first book and it's an impressive start from a debut author/illustrator. Reece studied illustration and animation at Kingston University. His work has been highly commended by the MacMillan Children's Book Prize and he was joint winner of the Worldwide Illustration Prize, UK category. He now lives and works in London and judging by the dry wit and punchy illustrations of I Dare You, I have a feeling we have another Jon Klassen (I Want My Hat Back) in our midst.
Reece was naturally delighted to be included in the FCBG Shortlist and had this to say, "It came as such an amazing surprise to see my name alongside these other fantastic illustrators nominated for the FCBG Children's Book Award. I Dare You is my first picture book and I was slightly apprehensive about it being released into the world. It's such a great feeling knowing that kids (and maybe some adults) have enjoyed reading it. I want to say a big thank you to Andersen Press for believing in me and my slightly strange book idea."
But now we need your help! I Dare You and the other titles on the shortlist need your votes. In addition to the FCBG tester groups, any child up to the age of 18 can vote for their favourite books on the Top 10 Shortlist, you can find out how, here. And if you'd like to follow the rest of the blog tour, check out The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton (Flying Eye Books) on Fiona Barker's blog, Mrs Mole I'm Home by Jarvis (Walker Books) on the Librarymice.com blog and Edgar the Sausage Inspector by Jan Fearnley on the Playingbythebook blog. You can see the Blog Tour schedule here and keep up to date with all of the FCBG Children's Book Award news on Twitter.