I've had a very exciting email from Egmont Children's Books...
I am thrilled to be able to tell you that A Lark in The Ark has been shortlisted for this year's Red House Children's Book Award!
For those who don't know the story, the animals in the ark play hide-and-seek, but hide in Noah's bedroom, which is out of bounds! You have to lift all sorts of flaps to find them, but the thing that makes it so brilliant, is that you discover them dressed up in Noah and Mrs Noah's clothes! Not only that, but everything rhymes: bears in flares, goats in coats, llamas in pyjamas...
So for example, this is what you see before you open the flaps:
And this is what you discover underneath:
The Red House is a bit special, as all the voting is all done by children and the award is run entirely by volunteers from all over the country, belonging to the Federation of Children's Books. I really admire the Federation: mounting the award each year is a humongous task, involving massive commitment from people who give their time simply because they are passionate about children's reading.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony on June 6th, but in the meantime, if you want to vote, click here.
I have been shortlisted a couple of times before, so I know how lovely the day is. All the shortlisted authors and illustrators are invited, along with some of the very children who have done the voting: groups travel from all over the country to meet their favourite authors, and we all sit down to a meal together.
I really enjoyed illustrating Peter's wonderfully silly text, so I'm chuffed to bits to hear that children obvious love it too.