At the award ceremony teacher judge Sally Wilkinson, said the panel loved the tongue twisting bird noises and the way the picture book strikes a perfect balance between words and pictures. The panel felt it is a book young readers will return to again and again. Author /illustrator Ellie Sandall said I’m absolutely thrilled that my first book, Birdsong, has won the UKLA Children’s Book Award- I have seen first hand how picture books can support a child in the early stages of learning to read and I’m so pleased that Birdsong has been enjoyed by the teachers involved this year.
Jason Wallace said he was delighted to accept the award: It is a tremendous honour to be awarded any prize; the UKLA Children’s Book Award is particularly special as it acknowledges not just that I have produced an enjoyable story, but one that is deemed important by teachers. This will shape how I write in future
Wendy Spencer, teacher judge commented: ‘This is a powerful powerful, devastating read for older teens. It captures the moment perfectly, the characterisation is brilliant.’The panel were impressed by the sense of menace in the background and by the powerful, honest writing. One judge’s comment summed up many opinions: ‘Whoever reads it will be transformed in some way. One inevitably knows more about the world and about yourself as a result of reading it.’
David Reedy, President of UKLA said ‘UKLA is committed to the importance of literature for children and young people. We know that literature broadens the reader’s experience of life and sense of the possible and thus should have a central place in classrooms and educational contexts. The exceptional quality of the shortlists this year shows that the book trade continues to publish great titles by established and new authors’.