Try the MLS eBook & Audio books library for FREE in your school

We have updated our cookie policy to reflect recent changes in the UK/EU law concerning the use of cookies and tracking technologies. We use cookies on this website (including the page you are currently viewing) to ensure that the site functions smoothly and to help us understand how we can improve it. If you continue without changing your settings, you are agreeing to receive all cookies from the SLA website.

or view our cookie policy to find out more

Show Menu | Show Sidebar (Login/Search)

Information Book Award 2012

Winners 2012

TigerCan We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Vicky White, (published by Walker Books ISBN 9781406319095) swept the board at the Information Book Award, winning its section (7-12) in both the Children’s Choice and the Judges Choice as well as continuing the clean sweep as the Overall Winner in Children’s and Judges Choices.

Winners in each category are –

LondonUnder 7s - A Walk in London by Salvatore Rubbino, published by Walker Books ISBN 9781406337792

7-12 - Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Vicky White, published by Walker Books ISBN 9781406319095

12-16 - Terezin: A Story of the Holocaust by Ruth Thomson, published by Franklin Watts ISBN 9780749695996

Overall Judges' Winner -
Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Vicky White, published by Walker Books ISBN 9781406319095

Children’s Choice winners are –

Under 7s - A Walk in London by Salvatore Rubbino, published by Walker Books ISBN 9781406337792Star

7-12 - Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Vicky White, published by Walker Books ISBN 9781406319095

12-16 - Star: From Birth to Black Hole by Alan Dyer, published by Templar ISBN 9781848771994

Children's Choice Overall Winner -
Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Vicky White, published by Walker Books ISBN 9781406319095

The judges also made a special Award this year:

Faces by David Goodman and Zoe Miller, published by Tate Publishing ISBN 978185439764

Award Ceremony 2012

Ruth Thomson (r) wins 12 to 16 category with Terezin
Ruth Thomson (r) wins 12 to 16
category with Terezin

 

The School Library Association celebrated the 2012 Information Book Award on Monday 22 October 2012 with a prize-giving event at the Free Word Centre in London.

Chris Brown, Chair of the judges said, "This Award is a celebration of the fantastic skills being applied in the creation of the very best information books for our young readers."

Marlene Johnson, Managing Director of Hachette Children's Books, congratulated the authors and illustrators, saying

Salvatore Rubbino wins Under 7 for A Walk in London
Salvatore Rubbino wins Under 7
for A Walk in London

"we are very proud to be sponsoring the SLA Information Book Award, and to support school libraries and students. The SLA Award is a great way to highlight the variety and excellence of the books and information out there, and, through the feedback of students and librarians, to celebrate the very best exponents of the art of creating great non-fiction."

Some views from the judges

At the award ceremony the judges shared their notes and opinions about the qualities of the shortlisted books:

Lucy Forrester

A Walk in London by Salvatore Rubbino (Walker Books ISBN 9781406337792)
I’m going to tell you a story that happened to me last year. My long-term pen-pal, Kim, who is from Montreal, was going to spend a couple of days in London and asked if I’d like to meet up with her there. Great idea! Except neither of us had ever been to the city as tourists before, and we decided that I would buy us a guide book. Well, by some providence, the next day at work, a copy of A Walk in London turned up on my desk and, after looking through it, I decided it would do very well. It featured all the places we wanted to see, it looked lovely, and the text, while light and whimsical, gave a surprising amount of information.

It wasn’t until we actually used it that we realised what a gem it really was. Not only does it give an ideal route between the famous sites for a green tourist, the dual level text, balanced between story and facts, is engaging and very enjoyable. The illustrations, which at first glance seem a bit simplistic, are actually packed with charming detail and have clearly been produced with great attention to the buildings and streets they depict.

I gave the copy we used to Kim and got another for myself, and both of us have lent our copies to various friends since for their trips to London; adults, teenagers and families with children of all ages. And no matter who we lend or recommend the book to, the response we get back is always ‘what a wonderful, useful book!’

Nature Adventures by Mick Manning and Brita Granström (Janetta Otter-Barry Books ISBN 9781847800886)

I was fortunate enough to have a rural childhood; wandering about in the woods, learning the names of wildflowers, listening to bird song and getting attacked by geese. But not every child has the opportunity to share these valuable experiences and, living in a city as I do now, I have begun to realise what a difference they have made to me, and to my interaction with nature. As cities grow and the countryside shrinks, it becomes ever more important to teach children how to engage with and appreciate the wealth of wildlife on our little island.

For such a goal, this book is ideal, helping to nurture an interest in and affection for wildlife, as well as an accessible guide for identifying plants and animals with ease. It even helped me work out what was screeching in my garden at night!

The best part is that you don’t have to be out in the woods with the wildflowers and kill-crazy geese to enjoy it. No sylvan glades or sweeping grasslands required. A garden, a park, a school field, and this book, are all that is needed to go on a little adventure.

Afghanistan: From War to Peace? by Philip Steele (Wayland ISBN 9780750265737)

How many times as a child did you ask an adult to explain something, only to be fobbed off with ‘it’s complicated’? Because some things are too complicated to be expressed with a simple conversation, some things take expertise to explain clearly. How do you explain to a young person, who doesn’t remember events that set certain things into motion, who doesn’t read newspapers or watch the news, how such a complex and delicate a situation as a war begins and plays out?

This book is an excellent example of how it should be done.
The information and delivery is thorough and well researched, yet approachable and clear as a bell, simple but never condescending. It reports bias and prejudice while maintaining precise balance and neutrality. All in all, it is an admirable guide to a complex and precarious conflict, an ideal tool to explain with.

Jayne Gould

Dolphin Baby! by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Brita Granström (Walker Books ISBN 9781406321197)

This is a beautiful introduction to the life of a dolphin for young children. It is told through pictures suffused with the colours of the sea and a charming, gentle and informative story. Clear and engaging, there is much to be learned from joining the baby dolphin in his explorations. Facts are cleverly incorporated into the illustrations. The world under the sea is seen from the dolphin’s perspective as he learns the skills needed to survive. A book which is ideal for sharing.

Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Vicky White (Walker Books ISBN 9781406319095)

This second collaboration between Martin Jenkins and Vicky White has produced another stunning book. The understated text and detailed pictures combine in a touching plea for the world’s endangered species, ranging from the tiger of the title to the, perhaps easy to overlook, partula snail. The clarity of the drawings means you can almost feel the bison’s coat under your fingers. Though it may be too late for many creatures there are details of success stories and current projects which are ‘just in time’, so the reader is left with a sense of optimism and hope.

Charles Dickens: A Lifetime of Storytelling; A Legacy of Change by Catherine Wells-Cole, illustrated by Ian Andrew, Caroline Anstey and Diz Wallis (Templar ISBN 9781848771178)

I have a confession to make – I’m not a huge fan of Dickens. My knowledge of his work has been mostly acquired through film and television adaptations rather than the books. But thanks to this book, I’m rapidly becoming a convert. There is a wealth of information, much from contemporary sources, skilfully brought together to tremendous effect, leading the reader through the facts of Dickens’ life, how his experiences informed his writing and giving an insight into Victorian society. With its innovative, imaginative production this is a book to be pored over and one with which to occupy several hours.

Karen Horsfield

Who Has What? All About Girls' Bodies and Boys' Bodies by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott (Walker Books ISBN 9781406336771)

Children ask lots of awkward questions and often we 'fob them off' with some very strange answers.

'Sugar and spice and all things nice,
that's what little girls are made of.
Slugs and snails and puppy dog's tails,
that's what little boys are made of.'

I am please to say that there is no sugar and spice or slugs and snails in this book but we do meet a puppy dog.

During a visit to the beach Nellie and Gus discover the difference between girls and boys in a straightforward way. The illustrations by Nadine Bernard Westcott add a light touch without compromising the information.

I wish that I had come across this book forty years ago when a teacher announced to my class that boys and girls weren't that different. I had to stuff hanky in my mouth so that I didn't explode with laughter! Thanks to Robie I think I now understand what she meant!

North: The Greatest Animal Journey on Earth by Nick Dowson, illustrated by Patrick Benson (Walker Books ISBN 9781844287758)

In the dark Arctic winter few species can survive but in the short summer millions of animals endure a long and intense journey to return to the top of the world to feed and breed.

Lyrical prose and striking illustration combine to convey the magic and mystery of this barren landscape and tell of creatures who make astonishing journeys from all over the world. Terns from Antarctica, grey whales from China and caribou from Canada and many other all join to make the greatest journey on Earth.

Star: From Birth to Black Hole by Alan Dyer (Templar ISBN 9781848771994)

There is something in this book for everyone. It's packed with facts, stunning illustrations, is complimented by a graphic novel on the life of Galileo and includes a computer game. There is even a pop up of the Big Bang! The reader can discover how stars are born, how they die, witness an exploding supernova and get inside the Hubble telescope.

Alan Dyer is one of Canada's best known astronomy writers and I promise you that his work tackles some very difficult subject matter in a most digestible way.

Lesley Martin

A Stork in a Baobab Tree: An African 12 Days of Christmas by Catherine House, illustrated by Polly Alakija (Janetta Otter-Barry ISBN 9781847801166)

I will not attempt to sing this, but you could if you wanted to! Design uses Christmassy colours and scenes which reflect classical nativity paintings, but the scenes depicted are African traditions from around the continent and they capture the feel of the African landscapes and people. Each double spread stands alone but the whole tells a lovely story of a young couple having a baby. Lots of detail on each spread and notes at the back give information about the countries and traditions represented.

Beatrice's Dream: A Story of Kibera Slum by Karen Lynn Williams, illustrated by Wendy Stone (Frances Lincoln ISBN 9781847800190)

We have a picture of African poverty; this reflects the urban poverty we don’t so often see. Personalises the concept of poverty. Text is matter of fact; detail is gleaned from the photos. Shows more similarities than differences between Beatrice’s life and the life of a child in this country – focuses on what they have in common.

Unsentimental but moving, especially the epilogue showing that Beatrice is on the way to achieving her dream.

I took both these books to Malawi this summer where they were well received by children in rural schools.

Terezin: A Story of the Holocaust by Ruth Thomson (Franklin Watts ISBN 9780749695996)

Deals with a most dreadful episode in modern history in a fresh way. A lesser known story of the Holocaust which deserves our attention. The layout and use of artefacts, pictures and writing of the victims humanises them and gives them a voice – they are telling us their own story. Shows how the human spirit survives even unimaginable horrors.

Shortlist for 2012

Under 7s
  • A Stork in a Baobab Tree: An African 12 Days of Christmas by Catherine House, illustrated by Polly Alakija, published by Janetta Otter-Barry Books (Frances Lincoln). ISBN 9781847801166
  • A Walk in London by Salvatore Rubbino, published by Walker Books. ISBN 9781406337792
  • Dolphin Baby! by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Brita Granström, published by Walker Books. ISBN 9781406321197
  • Who Has What? All About Girls' Bodies and Boys' Bodies by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott, published by Walker Books. ISBN 9781406336771
7-12
  • Beatrice's Dream: A Story of Kibera Slum by Karen Lynn Williams, illustrated by Wendy Stone, published by Frances Lincoln. ISBN 9781847800190
  • Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Vicky White, published by Walker Books. ISBN 9781406319095
  • Nature Adventures by Mick Manning and Brita Granström, published by Janetta Otter-Barry Books. (Frances Lincoln). ISBN 9781847800886
  • North: The Greatest Animal Journey on Earth by Nick Dowson, illustrated by Patrick Benson, published by Walker Books. ISBN 9781844287758
12-16
  • Afghanistan: From War to Peace? (Our World Divided) by Philip Steele, published by Wayland. ISBN 9780750265737
  • Charles Dickens: A Lifetime of Storytelling; A Legacy of Change by Catherine Wells-Cole, illustrated by Ian Andrew, Caroline Anstey and Diz Wallis, published by Templar. ISBN 9781848771178
  • Star: From Birth to Black Hole by Alan Dyer, published by Templar. ISBN 9781848771994
  • Terezin: A Story of the Holocaust by Ruth Thomson, published by Franklin Watts. ISBN 9780749695996

Judge's Comments

Comments on shortlisted titles from one of the Award judges, Lucy Forrester of Peters Bookselling Services.

UNDER 7

Who Has What?Who Has What?

A refreshingly straightforward and appropriately informative first look at the differences between boys and girls, ideal for handling those awkward questions!

Dolphin BabyDolphin Baby!

A charming, gentle story that expresses the facts of dolphins’ lives clearly and engagingly.

A Stork in a Baobab TreeA Stork in a Baobab Tree

Vibrant and full of life, this title covers a huge range of cultural details with relatively little text, perfect for sharing as a group.

A Walk in LondonA Walk in London

Child-friendly approach displays the metropolis as a place of delight and grandeur, a wonderfully informative and witty tour guide.

7 – 12

NorthNorth

Subtle, atmospheric illustrations lend an air of wonder to the expressive text, as enthralling and moving as the best nature documentaries.

Nature AdventuresNature Adventures

The ideal companion for a ramble through the woods or an afternoon bird watching, lovely to introduce children to the natural world around them.

Can We Save the Tiger?Can We Save the Tiger?

Stunning illustrations and understated, clear text combine perfectly in a touching plea for endangered species.

Beatrices DreamBeatrice’s Dream

Eye-opening, inspiring and surprisingly emotive, this well rounded title gives a deep and relatable insight into a different world.

12 - 16

Charles DickensCharles Dickens

A stunning array of sources are brought together to tremendous visual and cerebral effect, a wonderful resource that seizes the imagination.

StarStar

Highly detailed and well researched, attractive leisure-style presentation draws the reader in.

TerezinTerezin

Shocking, inspirational and forthright, without ever becoming sentimental or over-emotional; a striking delivery that will stay with the reader for a long time.

AfghanistanAfghanistan: From War to Peace?

An admirably well balanced and clear-headed account of an immensely complex conflict, fleshed out with cleverly chosen quotes and sources.

Poster download

An eye-catching double-sided poster to publicize the 2012 Award was included in the Autumn 2012 issue of The School Librarian and is available here to download and print (A3 size pdf file suitable for desktop printing at A4 or A3 size).

IBA Poster 2012

PDF file, 2 MB

Requires Adobe Reader

Activity Pack

A 6pp A4 Activity Pack to download with ideas for library sessions and work sheets to accompany the Information Book Award.

IBA Activity Pack

PDF file, 513 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

About the Award Sponsors

The School Library Association is grateful for sponsorship from Hachette Children’s Books and Peters Bookselling Services to make this award possible. The SLA Information Book Award is run entirely on sponsorship kindly donated by friends and supporters of the Award. No money is taken from the SLA budget so all staff time, the cost of the judging, prizes for the winners and the final award ceremony must be covered by the sponsors' donations.

HachetteHachette Children's Books is one of the most successful children's publishers in the UK, with an excellent track record in creating bestselling and award winning books for children of all ages and interests. Our four imprints, Franklin Watts, Hodder Children's Books, Orchard Books and Wayland together form a dynamic list of top quality picture books, fiction and non-fiction. Website: www.hachettechildrens.co.uk

PetersPeters Bookselling Services offers a variety of services to support libraries, schools, nurseries and schemes. Website: www.peters-books.co.uk

Information Book Award 2012 Long List

The Long List for the 2012 Information Book Award was chosen from over 100 books submitted for the award and the judges worked hard to create some excellent and exciting long lists in each age category. 

Longlist Press Release

PDF file, 138 kB

Requires Adobe Reader