'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 16 November 2012

COOL Awards Announcement with Andy Griffiths

Gungahlin Library was the place to be this morning - Andy Griffiths is in town for the Boundless Festival of Australian Children's Literature - and an ecstatic bunch of kids {and adults!} warmly welcomed him for the COOL Awards announcement.

They also warmly welcomed these cupcakes - how cool are they!?

Sarah Steed from Libraries ACT did the honours introducing Andy, who first regaled us with some very funny tales {things like how to annoy your teacher, upset your parents and irritate your siblings} and then went on to reveal some of his writing processes {with cohort Terry Denton}.

He even revealed some sneak peeks at his next book - The 39 Storey Treehouse, which is out Sept 2013.

It was so amazing to take a peek inside Andy's sketchbooks and how he jots down ideas for his books. Among many other kooky additions, The 39-Storey Treehouse will include a boxing elephant called the Trunkenator, a chocolate waterfall and a rollercoaster so fast and so scary, even dead people are too scared to go on it.

I don't need to tell you the kids loved hearing this. They also came up with plenty of their own amazing and very annoying things that I'm sure we'll see in an Andy book soon!

Next, it was awards time.

The COOL Awards are the annual children’s choice book awards made by young readers in the ACT, choosing from amongst the Australian books they have enjoyed reading during the year. The Awards are a chance to let everyone know what books young people like to read, and to promote the enjoyment of reading Australian books.

Here is Andy, reading out the winners of the first two categories . . .

Winner - Picture Storybooks
The Terrible Plop by Ursula Dubosarsky and Andrew Joyner (Penguin)

Winner - Fiction for Younger Readers
Tashi and the Golem by Anna and Barbara Fienberg, and Kim Gamble (Allen & Unwin)

And here is me reading out the winners of the second two categories . . .

Winner - Years 7 - 9
Phoenix Files - Arrival by Chris Morphew (Hardie Grant)

And it was VERY exciting to announce the winner of . . .

Winner - Fiction for Older Readers
The 26-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Pan Macmillan)

. . . who accepted with a gracious speech, citing inspiration as Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway tree. I shook his hand in congratulations and I think I may have curtsied!?

It's no wonder Andy's work is so adored by children - he is a warm, funny and lovely soul. Congratulations to Andy and Terry Denton, and to all the well-deserving winners of the COOL Awards.

Tomorrow - Saturday 17 November, Andy will be appearing at the National Library of Australia bookshop (ground floor) to meet and greet kids, and close the Boundless Festival of Australian Children's Literature. Stay tuned for my post on this tomorrow.

 - Tania McCartney