Federation of Children’s Book Groups: Children’s Book Award


Today I have the honour of sharing one of the books which is on the shortlist for the Children’s Book Award with The Federation of Children’s Book Groups. The award is the only national award voted for solely by children, so it is an honour to be involved. 

The book which I have the true joy of honouring is:

The Runaway Pea by Kjartan Poskitt and Alex Willmore

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“It’s time for tea, but one pesky pea has decided to ping himself off the plate in search of a party! The rogue pea shoots, flings and bounces across the kitchen as he embarks on his perilous adventure – but will he find the fun he is looking for or is the kitchen a scarier place than he thought? This quirky caper from debut duo Kjartan Poskitt and Alex Willmore will show you just what can happen when you take your eye off your dinner for a second!”

This picture book by Kjartan Poskitt and Alex Willmore is a wonderfully entertaining story of a rogue pea who just wants to do his very own thing. We’ve all had that one pea who just doesn’t want to get on your fork, doesn’t want to stay on your plate and will roll off into the nowhereness! 

The pea in question in this gorgeously bright picture book thinks he’s the best, most brilliant, most amazing energetic vegetable in the whole wide world world. He does not want to be eaten: he wants to party. He knows that there is so much fun to be had! 

He sets off on a very perilous journey across the kitchen. He knows he can do it. He SPLATs, PLOPs and TWANGs all over the kitchen and is having a ball… but of course the fun of an adventure has to come to an end! And what happens when his adventure ends is done so so brilliantly. 

I adored the rhyming pattern and the hilariousness of this book! It is a story which will appeal to children of all ages – because even Year 6s deserve to have picture books read to them! The incredible illustrations add so much to this story too: you see so much of the pea’s personality from the ways in which he is drawn. You get to meet a lot of his friends too, and some of them are just BRILLIANT. 

This is a gorgeously bright and colourful picture book that is sure to have kids talking about the adventures of food! 

The Children’s Book Award is the only national award voted for solely by children from start to finish. It is highly regarded by parents, teachers, librarians, publishers and children’s authors and illustrators as it truly represents the children’s choice. Thanks to the support of the publishers, over 1,000 new books are donated to be read and reviewed by our Testing Groups across the country every year, with over 150,000 total votes being cast in the process. At the end of each testing year, nearly 12,000 books are donated to hospitals, women’s refuges, nurseries and disadvantaged schools by our groups.

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The overall winner of last year’s CBA Book Award was a picture book.  Mixed by Arree Chung. (which I ADORE)

Voting will be open on the website and any child up to the age of 18 can visit to vote for their favourite books from the top 12. For more details, check out the website here: http://fcbg.org.uk/childrens-book-award/ 

S x 

BLOG TOUR: A Cake for Gestapo

A Cake for Gestapo: a great historical novel full of heart 

A Cake for the Gestapo Children's Fiction by Jacqueline King Review (Sent by ZunTold)

“Slotting in beside THE MACHINE GUNNERS and WAR HORSE, A CAKE FOR THE GESTAPO tells the story of a fictional gang of kids in Jersey during the German Occupation in WW2, weaving in very real islanders’ own stories of the Occupation at its core – A history that has never before been told in children’s literature. June 1940. As World War Two rages on, for Joe, Spinner, Ginger and Clem life continues as normal on the small island of Jersey. Dealing with school bullies and angry parents, none of them really believe the enemy will invade. That is until the island is bombed and Joe is injured. Outrage turns to terror. The grownups avoid the Germans, but the gang have a plan. Playing tricks on the soldiers, they trip them up in their every move until their plan lands them and the whole community in terrible, mortal danger. The threat of starvation begins to hang over the islanders as the German occupiers tighten their grip, but the gang refuse to give up. What if they could take down one of the German s most dangerous leaders? What if they could defeat the cruel and terrifying Viktor?”

This book is set in Jersey and takes place over the space of two years of the German Occupation during World War Two (1940-1941). The focus of the story is a group of school children forming a club who are set on annoying the German soldiers as much as they can. The story follows them through what happens as the war drags on and what happens to them in the 2 years that the book spans. There’s loss, heartbreak, laughter and frienship: a great mix in my eyes! 

As we’ve just read Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll, a lot of my children have been curious about this book! We are digging WW2 stories at the minute. You can’t beat a good bit of historical fiction in our lives!

The dynamic between the children is wonderful to read and definitely sets the scene for some wonderful friendships! Their actions made me chuckle at times. Who wouldn’t want to throw berries at opposition soldiers? Sometimes it is hard to differentiate between children in groups, but each child was written well enough for me to be able to know who was who with ease. They don’t shy away from some threat at times and I was definitely worried for them at different points: their understanding of REAL DANGER was questionable sometimes (but I think this was what made the book more readable because we all know kids who would embrace this!). The children go through a lot in the story with some of them playing more adult roles than they should be playing: carers, defenders, providers, housekeepers and support networks for each other and their parents.

I loved that this story had quite a big focus on the impact the war had on the island and its inhabitants. It didn’t shy away from the fact that war dragged on and the people became more impatient and frustrated with the war. The story was quite difficult to read at times because war is a tough thing. This book has moments of real peril, heartbreak and loss.  

A Cake For The Gestapo is a well written and exciting story filled with danger, peril and heart. You’ll find it hard not to fall for the characters and their shenanigans. 

Have you read A Cake for Gestapo?
Can you recommend me some WW2 fiction?
What time period would you love more fiction from?

A massive thank you to the publishers Zuntold for inviting me to be part of this exciting blog tour! GO check out the other stops on the tour and find out what everyone else thought! 

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S x