Michael Morpurgo and Lauren Child, two of Britain’s best-loved children’s authors have been awarded national prizes for their work.
In a genuine show of appreciation from his young audience rather than the opinion of professional critics, Morpurgo has won the Children’s Book Award, a prize chosen and voted for exclusively by children.
It is the fourth time Morpurgo has been awarded the title, one of the most prestigious in the industry, this year for his novel ‘An Eagle in the Snow’, inspired by the true story of one man who might have stopped World War II.
He last won the prize in 2011 for ‘Shadow’, the story of boy who is befriended by an army sniffer dog in Afghanistan, and in 2000 and 2004 for ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ and ‘Private Peaceful’ respectively.
An Eagle in the Snow, illustrated by Michael Foreman, was described by the Guardian newspaper as: “Heartwarming and blood-pumping, this will definitely go in your top twenty favourite books.”
Previous winners of the award include JK Rowling, Patrick Ness, Malorie Blackman and Anthony Horowitz.
The author and illustrator of the cult children’s book series Charlie and Lola, Lauren Child, has been named the 10th Waterstones Children’s Laureate, in recognition not just of her of amazing story-telling skills, but also her innovation in children’s books and for raising the profile of illustration as an art form for all ages.
The Charlie and Lola books, along with characters Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort have become a favourite with parents as well as children and play a key role in emphasising the value of visual literacy and the importance of quality picture books for children. In 2015, Charlie and Lola celebrated 15 years since the first picture book, and 10 years of the subsequent TV series.
Child, who previously worked with the renowned artist Damien Hirst, was awarded an MBE and appointed as an Artist for Peace by UNESCO in 2008. She will stay in the Laureate post until 2019.