Release date: 4 March 2021
Today is World Book Day, and to celebrate, the West Sussex Schools Library Service is announcing the winner of their West Sussex Picture Books to Shout About! Award 2020/21.
And this year, the winner is… 'Sneaky Beak', the entertaining and thought-provoking picture book by Tracey Corderoy and Tony Neal.
The winning book tells the tale of Bear and Hamster, firm friends until the arrival of gadget-mad salesbird Sneaky Beak, who persuades Bear that none of his things are good enough and what he really needs is a bubblier bath, a bouncier bed and crunchier cereal.
The colourfully illustrated and funny story was enjoyed for its humour as each gadget goes disastrously wrong, along with its underlying message about materialism and what really matters in life.
Author Tracey Corderoy said: "I'm beyond thrilled to have just heard that 'Sneaky Beak!' (written by me, illustrated by the wonderful Tony Neal and published by Little Tiger Press UK) has won the award. Over the past year, we've all been thinking an awful lot about what's really important to us. Family, friends, those who care have been everything. In 'Sneaky Beak', Bear and Hamster come to realise this too. They discover that they might not have the bounciest beds, the bubbliest bathtubs or the crunchiest cereal, but what they really need has been there all along; they have each other.
"Tony and I would like to say a huge thank you to the marvellous Schools Library Service who get brilliant books into classrooms all around West Sussex. We'd also like to thank teachers and parents who bring these stories to life. Finally, we are always hugely rewarded when children who dive into one of our adventures grow to love our characters."
Schools from across West Sussex enjoyed taking part in the award and Ferring CE Primary School said: “It enabled our school to come together during these uncertain times to enjoy these amazing picture books shared both with pupils in school and our remote learners.”
Duncan Crow, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, summarised the importance of this year’s award by saying: “It is fantastic that in these difficult times our Schools Library Service are able to carry on in the face of adversity and deliver this award in the usual way to school children across West Sussex.
"This award is now in its seventh year and we know it is something that the schools, and their children, look forward to and it is great to see that more schools participated this year, even though we are in the midst of a pandemic.”
The other titles short listed were:
- 'Jeremy Worried about the Wind' by Pamela Butchart and Kate Hindley
- 'The Littlest Yak' by Lu Fraser and Kate Hindley
- 'Mabel and the Mountain' by Kim Hillyard