BookTrust announce the BookTrust Storytime book of the year for children under five

Published on: 23 Ebrill 2024

Are You a Monster by Guilherme Karsten has been recognised as the best new book for sharing with young children.

Are You a Monster, written and illustrated by Guilherme Karsten and published by Happy Yak, was awarded the prestigious BookTrust Storytime 2024 Prize at an award ceremony today

The awards, which are now in their fifth year, were virtually attended by a host of authors and stakeholders from the children’s book sector.  

The winning book was voted for by librarians and families up and down the country and won against a selection of four other shortlisted titles. 

Helping families to discover their local library

The announcement comes as part of BookTrust Storytime, an annual programme which this year was run in over 2,500 libraries in England and Northern Ireland and last year reached approximately 50,000 children under the age of five.  

The programme, which is free to the publicis designed to support children experiencing disadvantage as these children have the most to gain from becoming regular readers. The programme supports libraries across the UK to encourage families with children under the age of five to visit libraries and begin their reading journey. 

Families who have not used library services before often face barriers such as lack of transportation, economic barriers like being worried about paying surprise fees, and social barriers including feeling nervous about entering a library for the first timeHowever, research found that 71% of libraries said BookTrust Storytime helped support their work engaging with children under five and 70% of participating families returned to their local library after their initial visit.

Instilling the skill and love for reading in children has an impact long into adulthood. Reading regularly with a child from as young as two weeks old has a measurable impact on their development including better mental health, educational outcomes, empathy and creativity, and mitigating socio-economic inequalities.

A child smiling while standing next to the BookTrust Storytime voting poster in a library

A celebration of the power of books

Diana Gerald MBE, CEO of BookTrust, said: "We're committed to helping every child, no matter what their family background, to become a regular reader and reap the benefits which come from reading for pleasure. We know that reading is not only beneficial for a child's development but also provides joy through sparking imagination and encouraging bonding with adults.

"BookTrust Storytime is built around the very best in children’s literature and giving children access to positive reading experiences such as this can be life-changing. 

"We’re incredibly grateful to all our library and local authority partners who share our vision for a future where all children can access books and develop a love for reading. Many congratulations to Guilherme and the other shortlisted authors who have created books that families can keep enjoying together." 

Reflecting on the win for Are You a Monster, Guilherme said:

"Winning this award is like a dream come true. It's a celebration of the power that books have to be a source of learning, connection and fun - lots of fun."  

Libraries who took part in the BookTrust Storytime programme were provided with five specially shortlisted books for children under five and resources that enabled them to create their own interactive, memorable experiences for families that keep them returning to their local libraries. 

The full shortlist included a collection of books that cover foundational aspects of early years learning and development, selected by a panel of expert librarians from across the country: 

Download the press release

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