I’m a bit ashamed to admit I had no idea this prize existed. I’m glad to know about it now! Any prize that rewards writers who want to make kids laugh as well as read is just about the best prize ever.
The Roald Dahl Funny Prize has been rewarding funny books for kids aged 1-14 since 2008 in England, and this year’s winners have just been announced. The winner for kids six and under is Cats Ahoy! by Peter Bently (illustrated by Jim Field). Taking the prize in the age 7-14 category is The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon.
The prize was created by Michael Rosen, and, according to the Book Trust website, aims to:
> promote laughter and humour as a feel-good factor when reading, by encouraging families to read together and discover the pleasure of funny books. This in turn will reinforce the message that reading together promotes family well-being.
> draw attention to funny books as readable and enjoyable books. We hope that the prize will enable these books to gain a profile that makes them more accessible to children and young people. The prize will work to achieve this through a range of activities supported by libraries, teachers and parents.
> reward and encourage authors (and illustrators) who write and illustrate books using humour in their stories, poetry and fiction. By creating these awards we hope to promote a vibrant area of publishing often overlooked by other awards.
Sounds good to me. I think Roald Dahl would highly approve.
You can visit the Book Trust website, here, to learn more about the prize and past winners. And here’s a poster that includes the 2011 short-list. Online bookseller AbeBooks has an archived blog post about the awards in 2009, along with some reading suggestions. And here’s a link to my review of the recent Roald Dahl biography Storyteller, which also includes a few book suggestions.