L-R, Hannah Moffatt, Liz Flanagan and Jenny McLachlan.

Children's authors and illustrators crowned at Fantastic Book Awards celebration

A madcap story about a boy on stilts enrolling at a school for giants and a hilarious tale about the world's worst fairy are among the stories most loved by young bookworms in Lancashire.

Lancashire County Council's School Library Service's Fantastic Book Awards 2024 saw thousands of children vote for their favourite read this spring.

The awards are aimed at encouraging a love of reading for pleasure while also promoting independent reading and motivating pupils to read more widely.

During the selection process, more than 4,500 children from years 5 and 6 voted for their preferred books and illustrations, shared stories and got the chance to meet the authors and illustrators.

The 2024 awards culminated with an exciting celebration event held at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), which saw the authors and illustrators of their top reads receiving the accolades.

Notching up the top spots in the Fantastic Book Awards were authors Hannah Moffatt for her book 'Small' along with the illustrator Rory Walker, Jenny McLachlan for 'Stink: worst fairy ever', Jennifer Killick for 'Dreadwood', Katie and Kevin Tsang for ' 'Space Blasters: Suzie saves the universe' with illustrator Amy Nguyen and Liz Flanagan for 'Wildsmith ' with illustrator Jo Todd-Stanton.

FBA winning books

The celebration event was organised by Lancashire School Library Service in partnership with UCLan's library and IT department and attended by the winning authors and their illustrators, as well as more than 400 children from schools across Lancashire.

Also in attendance was County Councillor Alan Cullens BEM County Councillor Alan Cullens; County Councillor Jayne Rear, cabinet Member for Education and Skills; and County Councillor Ashley Sutcliffe, Lead Member for Cultural Services and Skills.

County Councillor Rear said: "It was a pleasure to attend the celebration of the Fantastic Book Awards and to see that there is so much enthusiasm and interest in books and reading generally in our primary schools.

"It's a wonderful way of helping to build high standards of literacy and build a love of reading among children across Lancashire."

The winner of the Brilliant Book Award, which is for Lancashire children aged six to seven years, has also been revealed this week, with author Alex Latimer receiving the accolade for 'Food Fight'.

Hundreds of key stage 1 children who took part in the award will be part of a special virtual celebration with Alex in June.

County Councillor Sutcliffe said: "The Brilliant Book Award 2024 and the Fantastic Book Awards 2024 are great initiatives, and I'm very pleased that so many of our primary pupils have benefitted from them again this year.

"It was a pleasure to see the enthusiasm of the children and I hope that many of them will enjoy a summer of reading. "

To find out more about Lancashire County Council's School Library Service, visit School Library Service - Lancashire County Council