Nick Sharratt’s Shark in the Park wins prize

Nick and Aoife (3) read Shark in the Park on a Windy Day.

Nick and Aoife (3) read Shark in the Park on a Windy Day.

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Author Nick Sharratt has been announced as the winner of the very first Bookbug Picture Book Prize for Shark in the Park on a Windy Day.

Sharratt beat off stiff competition from the other two short-listed authors, Ross Collins and Alison Murray, to win £3,000 and the coveted Bookbug Picture Book Prize trophy. Around 19,000 children across Scotland, aged 3-7, took part in the voting, with 662 of those from Angus.

The prize was set up in 2016 to celebrate the most popular picture books by Scottish authors or illustrators, and is run by Scottish Book Trust with support from Creative Scotland.

Commenting on the prize, Nick said: “I am absolutely delighted that ‘Shark in the Park on a Windy Day’ has won the 2017 Bookbug Picture Book Prize. It was wonderful to have my book included in the Bookbug bag as part of Scottish Book Trust’s brilliant Bookbug project and to win this award really is the icing on the cake. I’ve had the pleasure of going into scores of Scottish schools, nurseries and libraries to work with hundreds of children over the past few years, so the fact that the voting was decided upon by the country’s young readers makes the prize all the more special.”

A free copy of each of the three books on the shortlist, There’s a Bear on My Chair by Ross Collins, Hare and Tortoise, The Favourite Aesop’s Fable by Alison Murray and Shark in the Park on a Windy Day by Nick Sharratt was given to every Primary 1 child during Book Week Scotland 2016, in the Bookbug P1 Family Bag.

Describing the experience as ‘fin’-tastic, Nick continued: “A couple of things make this award special. It’s the creation of Scottish Book Trust, an amazing organisation whose work I really admire. And the way the award is administrated, a huge number of children get a terrific opportunity to experience new books, enjoy loads of related activities and be at the heart of the voting process. I think it’s terrific that it’s children who are the decision makers with this prize.”

Heather Collins, Schools Programme Manager, said: “It’s fantastic to see our brand new Bookbug Picture Book prize get off to such a strong start, with children up and down the country reading, sharing and voting for their favourite title.”