I was extremely excited to be invited by Scholastic to be on the judging panel for this year’s Lollies. Although the short-list is decided by the judges, the winners are decided purely by readers, librarians and teachers so make sure you visit www.scholastic.co.uk/lollies to vote!
So without further ado, let me introduce to our 3 categories and 12 amazing nominees:
Oi Cat! By Kes Gray and Jim Field (Hodder Children’s Books)
The third hilarious book in this brilliant rhyming series based around a cheeky frog who refuses to play the rhyming rules. An absolute delight to read aloud with guaranteed laughs for adults and children alike. The bold illustrations only make the jokes funnier.
Mr Bunny’s Chocolate Factory by Elys Dolan (OUP)
Ever wondered what really happened inside a chocolate factory or how chocolate eggs are so egg-shaped? Step into Mr Bunny’s factory and meet a quality-control unicorn and a plucky flock of chickens who are prepared to stand up for their rights. Packed with clever gags, hidden details and an introduction to the power of collective action and worker’s rights.
I Can Only Draw Worms by Will Mabbitt (Puffin Books)
On the fluorescently-coloured face of it, this is simply a worm-based counting book. Except it’s not. Cleverly devised around the premise that its author can only draw worms, the reader follows the adventures of ten ( or nine and two-halves) worms as they ride on unicorns (almost) and fly to space (not). Educational and excellent fun for children and fans of the Lumbricus Terrestris.
The Squirrels Who Squabbled by Rachel Bright and Jim Field (Orchard Books)
Greedy squirrels, ‘Spontaneous’ Cyril (who has not bothered to build up a store of food) and ‘Plan-ahead’ Bruce (who has amassed a mountain of goodies), both have their eyes set on the same delicious nut – the very last pine-nut of the season. The problem is, only one of them can have it and neither want to share. After putting themselves in mortal peril, the two finally come to an agreement in this gorgeously-illustrated tale about friendship and learning to share.
There’s A Werewolf in My Tent by Pamela Butchart, illustrated by Thomas Flintham (Nosy Crow)
Izzy and the gang are super-excited to be heading off on the school camping trip (except for Maisie, who had written a comprehension ‘Dangers’ list). It’s all going brilliantly until they hear a strange howling at night. Then they notice their gym teacher’s exceptionally hairy legs and her cravings for meat and come to the only logical conclusion: she must be a werewolf! They’re doomed!
Barry Loser and the Birthday Billions by Jim Smith (Egmont)
It’s Barry’s birthday and he got the mega-keel Shozinator 9000! The problem is, he only managed to enjoy it for a few seconds before his little brother mistook it for a potty. Determined to buy himself a replacement, Barry sets about trying to earn himself billions by becoming an inventor. Predictably, this isn’t quite as easy as Barry imagines. A highly illustrated chapter book for lovers of madcap fun.
The Big, Fat, Totally Bonkers Diary Of Pig by Emer Stamp (Scholastic)
Pig’s back in another unbelievable adventure told in his own inimitable style and full of huge stinky farts. Fearing that he has accidentally eaten his turkey pal, Ki-Ki, in his sleep, Pig becomes inconsolable. The vast amounts of snot running down his face make his temporary owner think he has some of terrible disease and call the team from Deathra. Can his friends rescue him before he gets taken away in the white van of doom?
Lyttle Lies – The Pudding Problem by Joe Berger (Simon and Schuster)
Sam Lyttle has complicated relationship with the truth. Sometimes it’s easier to stretch it slightly than stick entirely to the facts. Sometimes it’s just too big to deal with and should just be skirted around. When Sam finds himself on the wrong side of school bully, Peter Feeny, only a truly spectacular lie will do. Cue the mind-bending ‘Imaginary Cheeseburger Lie.’ Told partly in a comic-style making it highly engaging for readers.
Football School Season 2 – When Football Saves the World! By Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton (Walker Books)
It’s brilliant to have this engaging non-fiction book on the short-list. Jam-packed full of trivia, facts, quizzes and science, inside you will find the answers to questions like: What is a vomitory and why are footballs NOT round? This is not just a book for football fans (although they’ll love it), it’s also a very interesting read for anyone who’s just interested in things. The second in a great series – I hope there’ll be many more.
My Mum’s Growing Down by Laura Dockrill, illustrated by David Tazzyman (Faber & Faber)
A rib-tickling poetry collection about mums behaving badly (according to their children) which hit a little too close to home when I read it! I think I’m going to enjoy ‘growing down.’ My son was also chortling as he read which is always a sign of a good book. A clever take on the trials of adulthood which will turn children onto the delights of poetry.
Tom Gates Epic Adventure by Liz Pichon (Scholastic)
Tom’s setting out on what he hopes is going to be an epic journey with his grandparents (aka The Wrinklies). Mainly because they’re very good at giving presents so he just knows it’s going to be a great day out even if Delia does have to come. It will be a perfect day, just so long as Tom gets back in time for the school’s Tropical Disco… Another doodle-packed instalment in the best-selling Tom Gates series. Sure to be loved by funny book fans.
Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure by A.L. Kennedy, illustrated by Gemma Correll (Walker Books)
Poor Badger Bill has been kidnapped by two, frankly repulsive, old ladies who are about to make him enter a boxing match against three terrifying hounds. Someone just HAS to rescue him. And the four fed-up llamas who were lured to the foulsome McGoonies’ farm under false pretences. Enter Uncle Shawn who just happens to sniff trouble and sets about coming up with an almost, sort of, kind of plan. Bursting with slightly surreal madcap humour unlike anything I’ve ever read before!
Phew! What a line-up! Now it’s up to you to get voting for your favourite in each category. To cast your vote, visit www.scholastic.co.uk/lollies or vote via the Lollies PopJam channel. Voting closes on the 14th of December and and teachers can place up to 35 votes for their classes.
Make sure you keep checking back here (and on twitter as @BookSuperhero2) for more #Lollies2018 info and giveaways.