Winner of West Sussex Picture Books to Shout About! Award 2021/22 announced

World Book Day was on Thursday 3 March, and to celebrate, the West Sussex Schools Library Service is announcing the winner of their West Sussex Picture Books to Shout About! Award 2021/22.

The overwhelming winner, voted for by 40 primary schools across West Sussex, is ‘Pip and Egg’ by Alex Latimer and David Litchfield.

This moving and empathetic book captured the hearts of the children taking part in the award. The story follows two young friends as they grow into their true selves, yet don’t grow apart. Alex Latimer’s nuanced language coupled with David Litchfield’s luminous illustrations made it the perfect picture book for sharing and reading aloud.

Author Alex Latimer said: “I’m so over the moon that ‘Pip and Egg’ has won the West Sussex Picture Books to Shout About Award! The story of Pip and Egg and their friendship is a story close to my heart and to see so many children enjoying it and connecting with it, really is special. I hope you all find lasting Pip and Egg friendships. Thank you all for your votes and for this wonderful award.”

Illustrator David Litchfield added: “It means the absolute world to me that ‘Pip and Egg’ has won the West Sussex Picture Books to Shout About Award. I am very proud of this book and I had so much fun drawing these two lovely characters and visualising how their friendship developed over the course of Alex’s brilliant story. It is such a prestigious award and it is even more special that it was voted for by the fabulous readers.”

Rudgwick Primary School was one of the schools who took part in the voting. Teacher Katherine Hutchings said: “My class loved all the entries for the award this year and the follow-up author visits allowed them to see how authors and illustrators work to create the books we enjoy. Reading each shortlisted book gave us opportunities to delve into our imaginations as well as discuss issues that are prominent in today’s society. We loved them and having copies to keep in our book corner continues to promote reading for pleasure. Thank you West Sussex Libraries!”

Duncan Crow, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, said: “Who better to decide who should win this annual award than the very audience for whom the books are aimed at. My thanks to all our excellent judges in primary schools across the county and I’m sure they all had great fun in reading each of the shortlisted books and discussing their merits.

“Reading is so important for children and helps open a whole new world of imagination and excitement. Our libraries contain many books for children, and adults, of all ages – we really do have something for everyone. If you and your family haven’t visited for a while, why not drop into your local library and speak to our friendly staff. It’s free to join and to borrow books.”

The other books shortlisted were:

  • The Big Freeze by Pippa Curnick
  • The Invisible by Tom Percival
  • Hom by Jeanne Willis and Pippa Donnelly

All the shortlisted titles, including the winner, are available to borrow from your local library. For more information about the Book Awards and the West Sussex Schools Library Service email sls@westsussex.gov.uk or telephone 01903 704828.

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