Before the main event took place, there was a small ceremony and meal where a bunch of specially selected kids from all around the country presented all the nominees with portfolio books in homage to their publications. The boys and girls then got to share a table with the shortlisted candidates and pick there brains on how they write and/or draw each of their books. There was also jelly and ice cream for those not too keen on asking(or answering!) questions.
Soon the main hall was packed in anticipation, the steady rise in noise only added to with all the party blowers placed on each seat. It soon sounded like a football match at the South African World cup.
After the first category for younger readers was completed, the middle category for slightly older readers was announced. The World Of Norm by Jonathan Meres was shortlisted, and that's where Donough comes into the story as all the artwork was done by him.
If you squint your eyes very hard you can just make out Donough squeezed between David Walliams on the far left, and Jonathan Meres with the microphone in hand.
Sadly it was not Norm's day as the award went to Gangsta Gran, but the plus side was that Donough finally got to meet the author of Norm. Geography has put paid to them meeting before, but that has been rectified for once as you can see above.
Not coming away with the award didn't marr what was an amazing day, only made possible by the amazing work done by the organisers, the Federation of children's book groups, the publishers (especially the good people at Orchard) and especially the kids themselves.
Well done to everyone involved and nominated, and well done to the winners in each category, which are as follows:
Younger Children: The Spooky Spooky House by Andrew Weale
Younger Readers: Gangsta Granny by David Walliams
Older Readers: The Medusa Project: Hit Squad by Sophie McKenzie
And overall prize went to The Spooky Spooky House by Andrew Weale.