Welcome to the Lollies 2018 – being a judge & introducing the short-list.

I am very honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for the Lollies 2018 – a celebration of some of the funniest children’s reads out there!

I have always believed in the power of funny books to help transform children into readers and to address tricky issues in an accessible way. Unfortunately, some people turn their noses up at them as the don’t seem them ‘worthy.’ This is irresponsible at best, as the recent ‘Kids and Family Reading Report’ by Scholastic revealed that humour was the top thing that boys and girls aged 6-17 (and their parents) looked for when selecting new books.

That is why I was so thrilled to be part of the judging panel for the Laugh Out Loud 2018 Book Awards, organised by the lovely team at Scholastic and legend, Michael Rosen with the aim of celebrating (and raising the profile of) the very best of funny books released in the past year.

My journey as a judge began with much excitement as a box filled with all the long-listed books arrived for me to dive into. I was sworn to secrecy so I couldn’t tell anyone about what was in there, apart from that there was an amazing selection!

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I then had to travel up to Scholastic HQ for short-listing day where I met up with head judge, the legend that is Michael Rosen, CBBC presenter and book-enthusiast, Katie Thistleton, Scholastic Book Fair product director, Kate Newport, and teacher, Jonny Walker.  Jonny had also brought a team of excited child reporters with him to quiz us about books and make us tell our best jokes!

The process of selecting the short-list was very democratically done, with everyone voting for their favourites then tallying up the votes. There were a few debates over which ones should go forward but on the whole, we agreed.

So without further ado, here are the fantastically side-splitting titles we chose:

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Wow! Now the short-list has been chosen, the power to choose the winners has passed over to all the children, parents, librarians and classes across the country.  Voting is open until the 14th December but I’d follow the link HERE to vote now!

Since short-listing I have been busily telling everyone I know about the Lollies nominees and encouraging them to get reading. There’s a book there for everyone – fans of poetry, non-fiction, gorgeous picture books and gag-filled fiction.

I will be giving away a copy of every nominated title on 15th October at 8pm in a very special Lollies 2018 #FunnyBookChat, as well as chatting with some of the authors and illustrators who created them so make sure you join me over on twitter.  Until then, be sure to visit some of the other stops on the blog tour for exclusive rib-tickling content and giveaways.

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Library Girl.

*Huge thanks to Scholastic and Antonia Wilkinson for inviting me to be part of this fantastic award*

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