The winners of the Information Book Award 2016 were announced at a special ceremony on 9 November 2016 at the "6th Story" roof cafe, Carmelite House, London.
The overall winner chosen by the judges was The National Theatre by Marina McIntyre et al. (Walker Books); whilst the Children’s Choice winner was If…: A Mind-Bending Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers by David J. Smith, illustrated by Steve Adams (Wayland).
Chris Brown, Chair of the judges said "Among the books submitted for the Awards we found an abundance of superb books, covering a broad range of subjects. As Judges we found this to be a really difficult year in arriving at a reasonable number of titles for our shortlists, and an even greater challenge in making final decisions. It is so gratifying to see so many publishers producing high-quality information-based books for young readers."
Hilary Murray Hill, CEO for Hachette Children's Group said "On behalf of the Hachette Children's Group, I am proud that we continue to sponsor the SLA Information Book Awards. I would like to praise and congratulate all the authors and illustrators on the 2016 shortlist, as well as the information professionals. Their work is encouraging, motivating, informing and inspiring a whole generation of children."
Thanks to all the authors, illustrators and publishers who participated, and special thanks to our sponsor, Hachette Children's Books, who hosted the award ceremony at their London HQ.
The 2016 Winners in each category selected by the judges are:
The 2016 Children's Choice Winners are:
Read the full press release about the 2016 Information Book Award.
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An eye-catching double-sided poster to publicize the 2016 Award is available now as a PDF to download and print. It was also be included in the Autumn 2016 (September) issue of The School Librarian for Members.
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Here are some really useful resources that will enable schools and reading groups to start their work with information groups. Please adapt them for your particular circumstances but also, please credit the original source too.
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For 2016's National Non-Fiction Month in November, FCBG have created a free resource pack available for all to download, to facilitate in brainstorming and planning a session or two around writing and publishing your own non-fiction book as a group.
The Usborne Big Book of Colours by Felicity Brooks et al, illustrated by Sophia Touliatou. Usborne ISBN 9781409582472
This book examines colours not only from the artist’s perspective but also covers quirky information and metaphorical usage. The moveable colour wheel explains colour matching, then each double-page spread looks at how colour is mixed, examples of objects of that colour, various shades and common expressions. The author lists colours associated with different moods too. The illustrations are appealing and witty from the contents page in the form of an artist’s palette to a flappable acetate page to show changing colours. This book will be the start of many conversations with young children. LC.
I (Don’t) Like Snakes by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Luciano Lozano. Walker ISBN 9781406342833
What is there to like about snakes? They’re slithery, scaly and slimy, striking fear into a lot of people, including the little girl at the centre of this book. But her family’s explanations convince her that snakes can be beautiful and interesting, so by the end of the book she really, really likes them!
Nicola Davies is an expert at making natural history accessible for young children, whilst the artwork by Luciano Luzano really complements the text and adds to the readers understanding of the subject.
A fabulous book for all young snake lovers and one to convert those who aren’t. JG
Fabulous Frogs by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Tim Hopgood. Walker ISBN 9781406357417
This book explores frogs from around the world in a most lively and beautifully illustrated way. From the tadpole-filled endpapers to the colourful and sometimes life-size pictures you will learn all about the huge diversity of frogs. The author, a conservation biologist, describes both unusual and familiar frogs, from the African Clawed frog to the male Darwin’s frog that looks after its tadpoles in a pouch in its throat.
There are plenty of fascinating facts about frogs in this stylish and lavishly illustrated book with the added benefits of interesting and informative captions and an index. LC.
A Book of Feelings by Amanda McCardie, illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino. Walker ISBN 9781406355994
A Book of Feelings is a fabulous information book about emotions for a younger audience. It gives really clear examples of the feelings we all encounter and explains why we feel the way we do. We follow Sam and Kate, brother and sister, through a variety of everyday situations, looking at the emotions they encounter, both positive and negative. Importantly, it also shows how we can help ourselves and others to deal with these feelings.
The book reassures the reader that they are normal and that different feelings come and go, change and evolve. Descriptions of emotions are superb, such as jealousy being “a squirmy, scribbly feeling right in his middle.” Rubbino’s glorious drawings have so much movement and life in them and illustrate the content and meaning of the text perfectly. SD.
I Love This Tree by Anna Claybourne, illustrated by Andy Elkerton. Franklin Watts ISBN 9781445130750
This book gives young readers an in-depth look at something we see every day and take for granted. With beautiful illustrations and photographs, we look at the long life of a very old tree, seeing how it has grown and changed and how it also provides a habitat for animals and insects. As well as being extremely interesting, this also ties in nicely with the KS2 Science curriculum requirement to examine plantsand animals withintheir habitat.
With current thinking that the loss of trees has contributed to the increase in flooding, this book is also incredibly topical. I Love This Tree is a delightful, informative and thought-provoking read. SD.
If…: A Mind-Bending Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers by David J. Smith, Illustrated by Steve Adams. Wayland ISBN 9780750293839
This book takes an unusual approach to very large numbers, scaling them down and using everyday situations so that readers can grasp concepts such as the size of the solar system or number of species on the planet. Quirky illustrations compliment the text beautifully, and this really is a book where the more you look, the more you discover. KH.
The Usborne Official Astronaut’s Handbook by Louie Stowell, illustrated by Roger Simo et al. Usborne ISBN 9781409590743
All would-be astronauts should read this comprehensive and informative guide to what it takes to fly into space. There is a lot of hard work and intensive training involved. The book covers all aspects in a light-hearted informal style which belies the depth of research and understanding which will be gained by young readers. JG.
Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary by David and Ben Crystal, illustrated by Kate Bellamy. OUP ISBN 9780192737502
This encyclopedic dictionary not only defines Shakespearian vocabulary but also gives insights into Elizabethan life and attitudes. Pages are dotted with fact boxes, from who the King’s Men were to what were Humours. The illustrations and panels, listed in the contents page, give in-depth coverage of background to the plays. These range from the terminology of parts of a rapier, beautifully illustrated, captioned and cross-referenced, to a map of Shakespeare’s Europe. The dictionary is easy to use, clearly laid out and comprehensive, including a guide to Shakespeare’s use of French, Latin, grammar and pronunciation. Anyone interested in Shakespeare will find this work invaluable. LC.
An absolute essential for Shakespeare scholars young and old, this dictionary explains over 4,000 of the Bard’s words with examples from twelve of the most popular plays. Much more than a list of words, this is an accessible, entertaining book to enhance enjoyment and understanding.
David and Ben Crystal, English language expert and Shakespearean actor respectively, have included insights into Elizabethan society, language and theatrical performances as well as exploring a wide range of topics such as costume, weapons and money. JG.
Being a Girl by Hayley Long, illustrated by Gemma Correll. Hot Key Books ISBN 9781471403903
This is a laugh-out-loud guide to navigating those complex, messy teen years. The genuinely helpful, sensible advice is presented in a very readable style and Correll’s instantly recognisable illustrations complement it perfectly. KH.
The National Theatre by Marina McIntyre et al. Walker ISBN 9781406358698
This comprehensive guide covers every aspect of putting together a production, with an inviting layout and great photographs. A great resource for theatre buffs or anyone interested in what goes on behind the scenes. KH.
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