Book designers from Little, Brown Book Group have been to school to share their insight into the publishing industry and to coach children wanting to enter this year’s Design a Picture Book competition. Offered by reading charity ReadingZone, this competition attracts thousands of entries nationally, and is judged each year by a different author/illustrator appointed by ReadingZone. At Saint Cecilia’s we award school prizes of art sets and book vouchers to the best three completed books, as judged by Little, Brown book Group designers, and display some of the work at Southfields Library. This year, we had a celebratory event there, at which the prizes were awarded and children enjoyed an informal careers talk, A Day in the Life of a Book Designer. Congratulations to Ellen R., Emily M.and Beth D. in Year 7, joint winners of the first prize for a book they made together, and Raphaela M. in Year 8, winner of the second prize.
Children were asked what they most enjoyed about Design a Picture Book and mentioned the satisfaction of completing their books, the fun they had doing the artwork and storyline, and being able to choose their own ideas to work on. Challenging aspects described were managing time and balancing the project with school work and commitments, and knowing when to stop adding to the story and re-drafting.
This year the judge for ReadingZone is illustrator Steve Lenton whose work adorns novels by David Baddiel among many others, and the winner will be announced in June. As our students have been shortlisted in the past we hope they will again achieve recognition for their work, and in the meantime they have enjoyed a great boost to their cultural capital. We are very grateful to Little, Brown Book Group and to Southfields Library for their support.