Friday, 21 December 2018

The scores are in, the choices have been made, it's our massive "Book of the Year / Publisher of the Year" blowout for 2018!

We're going to get straight into it this year, as we're sure you don't want to read a huge wall of text. Once again we've decided to both choose a Picture Book / Comic of the Year and a Chapter Book of the year EACH (which cuts down on the arguing a bit) before we launch into our "Book of the Week" roundup for the entire year, counting up the totals to name our Publishers of the year in both Picture Book / Comic and Chapter Book / Early Reader categories. Phew! With us so far? OK let's do this...

C is up first with her Picture Book of the Year choice and we zip back to April for a compendium of chaos, a snort-fest of a comic collection from a master of mayhem.

Unsurprisingly, C's choice for Picture Book / Comic of 2018 is: 

"Looshkin Book 1" by Jamie Smart (David Fickling Books)
(I think it took her all of about 5 seconds to decide!) Rarely have we seen a funnier comic than this, it's just absolutely hatstand. It's easy to exaggerate kids' reaction to funny books but read the review and you'll see why poor C nearly broke something giggling at this one.

For me, a picture book that managed to convey a complex multi-layered and endlessly beautifully upbeat message within the pages of a story that, for many of us, has a real air of familiarity to it.

My Picture Book / Comic of 2018 is: 

"Cicada" by Shaun Tan (Hodder Children's Books)
It was very, very difficult to choose from such a blisteringly brilliant list of books that have wowed us this year.

We have nominated a whopping 124 Picture Book / Comic of the Week winners this year, sometimes with no choice but to cram in as many on a friday as we can.

We've also nominated a whopping 41 Chapter Book of the Week winners too, with an amazing range of titles. So who were our Chapter Book of the Year choices for this year?

C first, with her choice of Chapter Book of the Year 2018: 

Alice Dent and the Incredible Germs by Gwen Lowe (Chicken House)

She thoroughly enjoyed this intoxicating and original mix of germs, brilliant story hooks, and of course a mighty girl with a very odd 'super-powered' ailment that has the most unexpected side effects. Alice Dent is fab, but I think for both of us the sinister minister and his nasty masked henchmen was a truly inspired creation. Fantastic stuff from Gwen, we can't wait to see what she cooks up next!

My Chapter Book of the Year Choice for 2018: 

"Station Zero" by Philip Reeve (OUP / Oxford Children's Books)
A completely satisfying, enthralling and blisteringly paced end to a trilogy which I'm rooting for as Philip's next cinematic outing (after all, we're all completely blown away by "Mortal Engines" hitting the big screen). Smart sci-fi for middle graders is a rare bird indeed, but Philip has wrought a tightly knit universe here full of amazing technology, the galaxy spanning trains, and characters that you can truly bond with and even grow with over their book journeys across the three Railhead novels. Absolutely fantastic stuff, can't wait to see what Philip comes up with next.

Last but not least we've got two more awards to dish out - this time the Publisher of the Year awards in picture book / comic and chapter book categories.

Each winner racked up the most number of "Book of the Week" wins in each category but we'll start in reverse order with 3rd, 2nd and 1st for each.

Picture Book / Comic Publisher of the Year 2018: 

In third place: Thames and Hudson with 6 Book of the Week wins in 2018

In joint 2nd place: Hodder Children's Books, Frances Lincoln / Lincoln Children's Books and Walker Books - each with 7 Book of the Week wins in 2018.

In 1st place - our Children's Picture Book / Comic Publisher of the Year 2018 with a whopping 12 Book of the Week wins is David Fickling Books. Congratulations all at DFB!

Now on to Chapter Book Publisher of the Year. We have chosen the publisher of Middle Grade and YA books notching up the most Book of the Week wins in 2018 but starting in reverse order.

In 3rd place: 5 publishers each notched up 3 Chapter Book of the Week wins in 2018, so congratulations to David Fickling Books, Chicken House, Nosy Crow and Scholastic. 

In 2nd Place: HarperCollins with 4 Chapter Book of the Week wins in 2018.

Lastly in joint first place, two publishers nabbed 5 Book of the Week wins in our Chapter Book category this year so massive congratulations to both Simon and Schuster, and OUP / Oxford Childrens Books - our Chapter Book Publishers of the Year. Congratulations all, a hard fought contest with two clear winners at the end! Well done!

Here are our stats, so you can see all the other publishers who nabbed Book of the Week wins this year. Makes for interesting reading, and as you can see, it was quite a close contest!

Join us again in 2019 for even more brilliant books, more reviews and editorials, and hopefully lots and lots more Book of the Week wins for all our winners, and all the other authors, illustrators and publishers who came out swinging with some truly brilliant titles this year.