Floella Benjamin and James Mayhew join top librarians to judge BookTrust Storytime Prize

Published on: 31 March 2019 Author: Catriona Wightman

The new BookTrust Storytime Prize aims to find the best book for sharing with young children.

Floella Benjamin and James Mayhew

BookTrust has announced the judging panel for the first ever BookTrust Storytime Prize, which celebrates books for babies and children aged 0-5.

The award aims to find the best book for sharing with young children and the judges will be looking for accessible, inclusive titles with wide appeal - and which can be read and enjoyed over and over again.

Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE and author and illustrator James Mayhew will be joined on the judging panel by Youth Libraries Group chair Jake Hope and 2016 School Librarian of the Year Amy McKay.

Librarian and literacy consultant Alison Brumwell will also join the panel along with Julia Hale, who has been a librarian for over 20 years, and Joy Court, the reviews editor for the School Librarian journal and chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals.

Stories to last a lifetime

'Books are such an important part of our children's well-being as it stimulates their imaginations,' Baroness Benjamin said. 'I always encourage children to read so that it becomes a lifelong habit.

'I always give books to babies as presents in the hope that they start a love affair with reading. That's why I'm excited about this new prize to find the best book for sharing with very young children.'

Meanwhile, BookTrust CEO Diana Gerald said: 'We are so incredibly fortunate to have such a passionate and invested judging panel for our inaugural BookTrust Storytime Prize. We are really excited to celebrate the authors and illustrators who inspire little ones to love reading and create stories which last a lifetime.'

Finding the winning book

The judges will choose a shortlist of six books, which will be unveiled by Baroness Benjamin at a special Hay Festival event on 27 May.

The six nominated titles will then be shared with children, carers and families by public librarians in each of the nine English regions, along with Wales and Northern Ireland, to find the winner.

The victorious book will be unveiled at a special ceremony in London in November 2019, with a prize of £5000 up for grabs.

Download the full press release

More about the BookTrust Storytime Prize

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