Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012 judges announced
The Great British Bake Off and Light Lunch presenter Mel Giedroyc and journalist and author of The Reluctant Bride Lucy Mangan are two of the judges announced for the fifth year of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Joining them on the panel tasked with seeking out the funniest children’s books of 2012 are Liz Pichon, winner of the 2011 Prize for 7-14 years with The Brilliant World of Tom Gates, and Ed Vere, award-winning picture book author of Chick and Mr Big. Children’s book royalty and author of a new Roald Dahl biography – Fantastic Mr Dahl – Michael Rosen returns to lead this gloriumptious selection of human beans in their quest to find two splendiferous winners: for children aged 6 years and under, and children aged 7–14 years categories.
Michael Rosen comments:
‘Every bit of research that anyone does anywhere shows that 'reading for pleasure' has a huge effect on children's achievement. So this fantastic team of judges are not just mucking about having a laugh (which they are doing, by the way); they are doing the intensely serious job of seeking out hysterically funny books which will give children the biggest and best reasons for wanting to read, to read more, to read more and more and more. Hard work, but someone has to do it.’
Following on from last year, the Prize will see schools involved in the judging process. Around 400 pupils from across the UK have been selected to read the shortlisted titles, discuss with their classmates, and pick their favourite funny book in the relevant category for their age. Their votes will then be combined with the votes of the adult judging panel to find the two winners for 2012. Classes who participate will also win a
chance to attend and perform at the award ceremony.
The Roald Dahl Funny Prize is unique in its quest to honour those books that make young people, and all of us, roar with laughter. Concerned that the really side-splittingly funny books were being overlooked by other book awards, the Prize was created by Michael Rosen in 2008 as part of his work as Children’s Laureate. The Prize aims to reward those authors and artists who write and illustrate their books using humour in their stories, poetry and fiction.
Viv Bird, Chief Executive at Book Trust, comments:
‘Now in its 5th year, the Roald Dahl Funny Prize celebrates books and authors that make children – and adults – giggle with glee, guffaw with gusto and LOL. Not only is it a tremendously enjoyable ‘feel good’ Prize, enriched by the association with Roald Dahl’s name, but it is also one that highlights how fundamentally important funny books are in helping children discover the sheer pleasure of reading for its own sake, and encouragement towards a lifetime’s quest for enjoyable reads.’
The shortlists will be announced on Thursday 20 September, following a week of Road Dahl Week celebrations, which celebrate Dahl’s life, legacy and glorious books with events across the UK. See www.roalddahlday.com for further information.