Entertainment & Arts

Penguin book picks up children's book prize

Rob Biddulph and Blown Away book jacket Image copyright Harper Collins
Image caption Biddulph is an author and illustrator, as well as the Observer magazine's art director

A book about a penguin who flies to the tropics with the aid of a kite has been named the overall winner of the 2015 Waterstones Children's Book Prize.

Blown Away, by Rob Biddulph, is only the second picture book to win the £5,000 prize in its 11-year history.

Biddulph's story was named the year's best illustrated book before going on to be named overall winner.

Two other titles won £2,000 each after winning awards for younger and teenage fiction respectively.

The award for best younger fiction went to Robin Stevens' Murder Most Ladylike, in which two boarding school girls investigate the murder of a teacher.

Cambridge-based Stevens has already written a sequel, Arsenic for Tea, with a third instalment, First Class Murder, due out in July.

Image copyright Penguin/Random House
Image caption Green (top) and Stevens (bottom) have since written follow-ups to their category-winning titles

The best book for teenagers prize went to Sally Green's Half Bad, the first part of a fantasy trilogy about warring clans of witches.

Green, a former accountant based in Warrington, published the second instalment, Half Wild, this week.

The winners were announced on Thursday ay Waterstones' Piccadilly bookshop in central London.

Biddulph, the Observer magazine's art director, was recognised for his debut novel, as were Stevens and Green.

James Daunt, Waterstones' managing director, said it was "particularly exciting" to see children's books, his company's "engine of sales growth... driven by debuts of such calibre".

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