Cogan Diversity Picture Book Award 2019 Winner announced

Published Thu 16 May 2019 - By Literature Wales
The Girls, by Lauren Ace and Jenny Løvlie
The Girls, by Lauren Ace and Jenny Løvlie has won the first Cogan Diversity Picture Book Award.

From a shortlist of seven inclusive picture books, the children of Cogan Primary School voted for The Girls (Caterpillar Books) as the winner of the Cogan Diversity Picture Book Award.

The award began as a way to encourage and promote equal representation in children’s picture books, and has swiftly grown into an example of a small school doing big things. Ruth Morgan, Additional Learning Needs Coordinator at Cogan Primary School, has been chronicling the journey in a number of blogs; from how the award came into existence (read Ruth’s first blog here), to providing advice to other schools interested in setting up similar projects (read here), and announcing the long-list (click here).

Lauren Ace is from south Wales, studied Drama at the University of Exeter and now lives in London, where she has worked in publishing for ten years. The Girls is her first picture book. The award-winning book is illustrated by Jenny Løvlie, a Norwegian illustrator, designer, creative, storyteller and bird enthusiast. Lauren and Jenny will be awarded trophies specially made by the children at an award Ceremony on 2 July 2019, at Cogan Primary School.

On winning the award, Lauren said:

“We feel very honoured to have won this pioneering new award in its first year. We’re so grateful to the readers of Cogan, big and small, for celebrating picture books, especially those with diverse characters. We hope that The Girls inspires the children to tell their own stories, and we can’t wait to meet you all in July!”

The children of Cogan Primary School spent the spring term reading, rating and reviewing all 68 titles of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and were delighted to announce the winner.

Some of the children spoke about the selection process:

Myan (7) said: “I liked that friendships can be found and when someone felt sad, they all felt it too.”

Elisabeth (9) said: “I liked the bit near the start when it tells you about the girls and their personalities and what they did together.”

Nina (6) said: “Me and my friends are all different and the girls in the story are all different. I like that!”

Sue Sibert, Headteacher of Cogan Primary School said: “When she read The Girls for the first time, one of our pupils turned to her teacher and said excitedly, ‘That girl looks like me!’ Representation is so important in children’s literature.  Every child should have the chance to relate to characters who are like them.’

To find out more about the Award, visit Cogan Primary School’s website here.

Literature Wales