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Breakfast Friday, 13 June, 2003, 04:48 GMT 05:48 UK
Children's book award
Nick Sharratt's book Pants
Nick Sharratt's book is nominated for the award
They are the sternest critics of books written for them, so this year two children will join the judging panel for the best book in the Red House Children's award.

Sarah Johnston, age 10; and Liam Punshom, age 11 from Prae Wood School in St Albans, Hertfordshire have been selected to sit on the judging panel for this year's Red House award.

  • They were live on Breakfast, and were joined by short listed author Nick Sharratt


  • If you want to find out more about the awards, click on the link below

    Nick Sharratt

    One of the books on the short list is Pants by Nick Sharratt who also does the illustrations for his books.

    He trained at Manchester Polytechnic and St Martin's School of Art where he graduated in Graphic Design.

    Since then he has illustrated children's books as well as producing humorous illustrations for magazines, most notably Playdays and Cosmopolitan.

    He says he enjoys the contrast of his work and "the variety of working for both children and adults."

    His work for Cosmopolitan has appeared in the United States, South America, Australia and the Far East and he has also exhibited in London, Italy and Japan.

    His most recent project has been in packaging design: illustrating sweet packets and Easter eggs, creating novelty boxes for cakes and designing lollipops.

    Nick says, "Food is definitely a favourite subject", a fact reflected in his popular picture books Don't Put Your Finger in the Jelly, Nelly and Ketchup on Your Cornflakes.

    The history of the awards

    The Red House website says: "In 1980 author and librarian Pat Thomson had a revolutionary idea - start a book award that actually involved children in the judging process.

    "At the time Mrs.Thomson was on the executive of The Federation of Children's Book Groups, a small charity devoted to bringing children and books together.

    "Other awards were given on behalf of librarians or publishers, but no other major children's award in 1980 involved children as judges even in a 'shadowing' capacity."

    A network of schools and families who tested the books was developed, using a simple review form.

    The results are collected centrally, and from this process a winner emerges.

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