The Children’s Book Award run by the Federation of Children's Book Groups is special, as it is the only national book awards that is voted for by children. As avid readers, my son and I were therefore delighted to be invited by Toppsta to the award ceremony held in London on 10th June 2017. The event was attended by most of the nominated authors and illustrators and 14 of the children's reading groups from around the country. Held in the impressive setting of the Union Jack Club, there was an air of excitement and awe on arrival. We were soon put at our ease by the warm welcome of the organisers, and there was a relaxed and informal feel to the event.
We were able to freely mix and chat with the authors and illustrators, and we soon set off around the room to meet them. Having brought a bagful of books with us, my son was delighted to meet his favourite authors, chat to them and get his books signed. All were also happy to have their picture taken with my son, who was beaming with happiness! It was great to meet Michael Foreman, who told us that one of the books we had brought with us (‘The Saga of Erik the Viking’) was a former Children’s Book Award winner. And Steve Cole was thrilled to see that we had brought his book, ‘Stop those Monsters!’ - a book my son had received from Toppsta to review.
We were then invited to take our seats for lunch. A nominee was sat at each table alongside children and their parents. We were with the utterly charming Korky Paul (illustrator of Winnie the Witch books) who merrily chatted with everyone. He invited suggestions for alternative broomsticks for Winnie the Witch to sit on, and enthusiastically spent most of lunch drawing pictures for the children. My son is now the very proud owner of a sketch of Winnie the Witch perched upon a cucumber.