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: 2017 Information Book Award Short List announced

The School Library Association announces the shortlist for the seventh annual SLA Information Book Award.

Chair of the Judges Chris Brown said; “This is the 7th year of the Awards and it is an absolute delight to have received more brilliant, attractive and amazing books than ever. Inevitably that wonderful abundance has made judging and choices more difficult and this shortlist reflects the incredibly high standards publishers are achieving in producing information books for our young readers.”

From our sponsor, Hilary Murray Hill, CEO, Hachette Children’s Group commented: “On behalf of the Hachette Children’s Group I am delighted that we will are sponsoring this important award for a further year.   School libraries are an essential part of the development of literacy for many thousands of children in this country and the SLA supports and promotes all that is best in children’s librarianship.   The quality of this year’s submissions is higher than ever before and congratulations are due to the commitment, creativity and skill of all the editors, authors and illustrators whose books have made it to the 2017 shortlist.”

The shortlisted titles in each age category are as follows:

Under 7

  • A First Book of Animals by Nicola Davies Illustrated by Petr Horacek ISBN 9781406359633   Walker Books

  • Our Very Own Dog by Amanda McCardie, Illustrated by Salavatore Rubbino ISBN 9781406356205 Walker Books

  • My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by Various ISBN 9780241224939   Dorling Kindersley

  • The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer ISBN 9780500650677 Thames & Hudson


  • The Great Fire of London by Emma Adams, Illustrated by James Weston Lewis ISBN 9780750298209 Wren & Rook

  • RSPB Wildlife in Your Garden by Mike Dilger, Illustrated by Sarah Horne ISBN 9781472913432 Bloomsbury Children’s

  • Hello World by Jonathan Litton Illustrated by L’atelier Cartographik ISBN 9781848575035   360 Degrees (Little Tiger)

  • Ada’s Ideas; the story of Ada Lovelace the world’s first computer programmer by Fiona Robinson ISBN 9781419718724 Abrams Books for Young Readers


  • Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson with advice from Dr Olivia Hewitt Illustrated by Gemma Correll ISBN 9781471405310 Hot Key Books

  • Who Are Refugees and Migrants? by Michael Rosen and Annemarie Young ISBN 9780750299855 Wayland

  • Survivors of the Holocaust by Kath Shackleton ISBN 9781445150444 Franklin Watts

The winners will be announced at an event at Hachette Children’s Group, Carmelite House, London, on Wednesday 22nd November.

Voting for the Children’s Choice from the shortlists will be open very shortly – announcements will follow on the SLA website www.sla.org.uk and via Twitter [at]UKSLA and on our Facebook page - www.facebook.com/schoollibraryassociation/


Judges’ Comments on the Shortlist Titles

Under 7

A First Book of Animals by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horacek

Nicola Davies is a passionate advocate of the natural world and delights in introducing children to all its glories. Over fifty different animals, birds, insects and marine creatures are brought vividly to life through her words and the accompanying illustrations. Full of vibrant colour and detail, capturing movement and habitat with judicious use of colour, these enhance and extend the descriptive poems, transporting the young reader around the world.

Our Very Own Dog by Amanda McCardie, illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino

From the fluid and colourful pictures of dogs on the flyleaves, the stylish quality of illustrations is instantly recognisable. The story of a rescue dog becoming a family pet is interwoven with factual information, including training techniques.  This is the perfect book for any family considering the implications of getting a pet dog, a perfect balance of fiction and information.

My encyclopedia of very important things by various authors

A lovely bright layout, combining excellent photos and quirky illustrations offers an appealing setting for the text. There are plenty of facts on each page, laid out clearly and using simple, accessible language. There is something to interest everyone here, from dinosaurs to clouds, music to habitats. This is a lovely browser that offers something new every time it is picked up.

The big book of bugs by Yuval Zommer

This engaging large format picture book is ideal for just dipping into or reading from cover to cover. More than an information book, it challenges the reader to spot the hidden fly fifteen times, while searching for other bugs along the way. Full of scientific facts about insects from all around the world, with every page a visual delight.


The Great Fire of London by Emma Adams, Illustrated by James Weston Lewis

Changing the face of the city forever, the story of the Great Fire of London is one which has resonated throughout the past 350 years. In deceptively sparing detail, Emma Adams describes how it started, the efforts to quench the flames, how it was eventually defeated and the impact on the people of London. The bold, print style illustrations, in a limited palette of blazing orange and smoky blues and greys, give a haunting vision of a city ablaze.

Hello World by Jonathan Litton, illustrated by L’Atelier Cartographik

Make friendships across the world by learning basic greetings in around 150 languages from Moroccan Arabic to Ukranian and many others too.  Lifting the language flap reveals transliterations and interesting details; captions highlight information about aspects of life and history and simple maps show basic geographical information.  ‘Hello World’ will fascinate children interested in countries and in how people communicate.

RSPB Wildlife in Your Garden by Mike Dilger, Illustrated by Sarah Horne

Gardens are home to an amazing abundance of wildlife, from birds to butterflies and small mammals. This fascinating and accessible guide, illustrated with photographs, shows the plants and creatures which might be encountered, with tips for young naturalists on how to encourage visitors and where and when to spot them.

Ada’s ideas: the story of Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer by Fiona Robinson

This is an inspirational story of female achievement which also highlights the importance of the imagination when it comes to scientific invention. Published two years after the 200th anniversary of the mathematician’s birth, this beautifully designed picture-book biography introduces the reader to Ada’s world and her pioneering work with Charles Babbage.  A truly empowering story.


Mind your head by Juno Dawson and Dr Olivia Hewitt, illustrated by Gemma Correll

Straightforward advice mixed with a healthy dose of humour make this an excellent book that all teenagers would do well to read. It approaches mental health issues and sources of help in a sensible, non-sensational way with plenty of detail. Correll’s illustrations are as always a delight, bringing a lightness to serious topics but never trivialising the subject.

Who are refugees and migrants? What makes people leave their homes? And other big questions by Michael Rosen and Annnemarie Young

Equipped with all the organisational features of a traditional information book, this also has a distinctive authorial voice which makes it highly readable. This timely book is designed to explain and inform, but also to challenge preconceptions and encourage the reader to develop their own opinions.  The topic is explored through a wide range of personal stories which combine many new voices with some of the more familiar ones.

Survivors of the Holocaust by Kath Shackleton

A very moving and personal take on the Holocaust, describing children’s stories in their own words. The stark illustrations clearly convey the fear, anger and despair that they experienced and work well with the straightforward text. The timeline and ‘what happened next?’ sections tie the stories together and provide context, making this an unusual and compelling look at the subject.

More Details...

0 Comments · Add a Comment


Log In


If you tick this box, you will not need to log in again on this computer. For full details please click the Help link above.

SLA Blog Archives


@uksla on Instagram

@uksla on Twitter