By Dennis Abrams
The Bookseller reports that following the “closure” of the Roald Dahl Prize last month, Scholastic will introduce “a new series of awards for funny children’s books in the UK.”
The Laugh Out Loud Book Prize (which shall be known as the “Lollies”), will be presented in three categories: Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book, Best Laugh Out Loud Book for ages 6-8, and Best Laugh Out Loud Book for ages 9-13.
Publishers have until November 6th to submit titles here. The shortlist, chosen by a panel headed by children’s book author and poet Michael Rosen, will be announced in March. The prizes will be awarded in September 2016.
Scholastic’s books are eligible for awards, but the winners will be chosen by children who will be voting online.
In a statement, Rosen said: “Everyone who is interested in children’s reading knows that for many, many children, the thing that gets them going is a book that makes them fall about laughing. Weirdly, they’re not always that easy to find. This prize will be like a great big signpost saying ‘this way laughs’ and that could be the moment that a child who doesn’t read, turns into one who does. I think that’s really exciting.”
At The Bookseller, Charlotte Eyre reported that while Scholastic will be partially funding the award, publishers whose books are on the short list will be asked to contribute. Scholastic will also help promote the prize on social media with the hashtag #lollies, as well as, in conjunction with the Book Trust, organizing events in schools to promote the prize.
The Chief Executive of the Book Trust, Diana Gerald, told Eyre that, “We’re delighted to be partnering with Scholastic and Michael Rosen on the new Lollies and look forward to working together to bring the awards and the very best funny books to the largest possible audience.”
Luke Kelly, MD of Dahl’s estate said that the Roald Dahl Funny Prize did not fit with the estate’s plans, but that it had decided to launch a new children’s book prize in the United States.