Nicola O'Byrne's Open Very Carefully wins the Picture Book Prize at the Stockport Children's Book Awards - Nosy Crow Skip to content
Posted by Dom, September 18, 2014

Nicola O’Byrne’s Open Very Carefully wins the Picture Book Prize at the Stockport Children’s Book Awards

Last night Nicola O’Byrne and I were lucky enough to be invited to Stockport for the Stockport Children’s Book Awards. I assured Nicky we were in for a good night because I’d been to the award ceremony with Chris Edge the previous year when he was a winner with Twelve Minutes to Midnight. And we weren’t disappointed – Kay and her team at Stockport libraries organised a cracking event.

The theme of the evening was ‘Glamorous!’ so, suitably attired (Nicky in a GORGEOUS hand-painted silk dress. Mine was at the cleaners…), we were whisked to the Cheshire Conference Centre. Performance poet Ian Bland was our MC for the evening and, to warm things up, he was soon leading the audience in a lively rendition of The Dinner Lady Dance. And at this point I think it’s only fair to say, Nicky and I can MOVE. Those dinner lady hand gestures were OURS: graceful, fluid, impeccably timed…

ANYWAY, then the Mayor of Stockport, Councillor Kevin Hogg took to the stage and was funny and affable, while displaying a real enthusiasm for reading, and especially reading for pleasure. He was eager to enthuse the children present to do the same: read widely and read what you love was his message. If you love a book, and it fires your imagination and takes you into another world, never mind what anyone else says about your choice, just read it. Wise words…

Nicky’s Open Very Carefully won the Picture Book prize, and she was the first author to collect her prize – some beautiful artwork from one of the children involved in the prize. And Nicky, who we can safely say has an eye for these things, complimented its excellent colours and composition.

Nicky and I would like to thank Kay, Wendy and Maria for taking such excellent care of us and organising such a fun night. And we HOPE to see them all again next year.

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