Blue Peter Book Award 2015 Winner for Best Story: illustrator Thomas Flintham

Published on: 05 March 2015

Thomas Flintham/The Spy Who Loved School Dinners Congratulations! Children voted for The Spy Who Loved School Dinners as their favourite Best Story 2015. How does it feel to win the Blue Peter Book Award?

It feels amazing! It's especially great because the winner was chosen by the kids. They're who we made the book for, so its means a lot to know they voted for our book. Also I grew up watching and loving Blue Peter so I'm really excited to get a Blue Peter badge!

Would you like to say anything to the children who voted for The Spy Who Loved School Dinners as their favourite?

Thank you so much! All the other books were great, so its really exciting that you gave us the prize. We hope to keep making books you'll enjoy reading.

In 2015 the winners were both books with illustrations. What do you think is so likeable about the combination of illustrations and words?

When I was a kid I struggled with reading and it always helped me to get into a book to have pictures to go alongside the story. When words and pictures work together they can really help bring a story to life, and help the reader fully immerse themselves in the book's world.

Both winners were also really funny books (that's laugh out loud, fall off your chair, hilariously funny according to the children who voted!) Can you tell us your favourite joke?

Here is a good one my nephew Sam told me:

What is the difference between a teacher and a train?

The teacher says 'Get that chewing gum out of your mouth!', but the train says 'Choo! Choo!'.

Can you tell us something no one knows about The Spy Who Loved School Dinners?

The best part of illustrating this series is that all the characters are a lot of fun to draw. They are always in such crazy situations that I get to draw some really fun expressions! Designing characters can be really hard to get right and it often takes a lot of work before you get it spot on. But when I first got sent the character descriptions for each character from Pamela I opened up my sketchbook to start working out how to draw them Izzy, the main character, was already there in my sketchbook! The last thing I'd doodled was already a perfect fit for her design, and it isn't very different to how she appears in the book.

Do you think you would have enjoyed judging a book award when you were in school?

Definitely! I can remember when I was a kid I always knew with certainty what I did and didn't like, so it wouldn't be as hard as maybe it would be for me now.

The Blue Peter Book Awards turn 15 this year - which books were you reading when you were 15?

When I was growing up I always found reading a lot harder than my friends and it was when I was 15 that I first really got the hang of it. I can remember reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and even though I found it really hard I eventually got all the way through to the end. I loved the book and it really felt like an achievement to read the whole thing. After that I was hooked on books! I started reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld books after that and I loved them too!

If children enjoyed reading your book, what would you recommend they read next?

Well they should of course read the other books in the series, My Head Teacher is a Vampire Rat is my favourite one yet! I also recommend Oliver and the Seawigs By Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, it's brilliant!

Check out Thomas' book

There’s a Werewolf in my Tent!

Author: Pamela Butchart Illustrator: Thomas Flintham

Izzy and her friends are excited about their camping trip - until they realise there may be a dangerous creature in their midst. Full of humour and tension, as the children's wild imaginations construct a hilarious back story to make sense of events.

Read more about There’s a Werewolf in my Tent!

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