Debut author, Jim Whalley and Guardian cartoonist and illustrator, Stephen Collins have scooped the Dundee Picture Book Award 2019 for their book ‘Baby’s First Bank Heist’ in front of a packed audience of school pupils at the Whitehall Theatre. The book follows Baby Frank, the world’s most unlikely criminal, as he masterminds his very own bank heist.
The book came out on top after a pupils' vote of 4 shortlisted titles, took place to decide the winner. The award is the culmination of a project in schools across the city that ran from January until March this year. Primary 6 pupils got to know the books really well before reading them to Primary 1 classes.A vote was then organised for Primary 1 and Primary 6 pupils, and displays by the children were also put up in their local Community Libraries.
Other books included on the shortlist were: Dave the Lonely Monster by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie; Dressing up Dad by Maudie Smith and Paul Howard; and Ruby’s Worry by Tom Percival.
Winner, Jim Whalley said
“Just had the most extraordinary morning at the Dundee Picture Book Awards. It was all presented by brilliant children and then... We won! Thanks so much to everyone involved. It’s a knowledgable and incredibly enthused audience. For this moment I assume this is what celebrities feel like. It’s been fantastic.”
Elaine Hallyburton, Manager of the School Library Service said
“Baby’s First Bank Heist is a worthy winner. All 4 deserved to win but this book just had edge, and was incredibly popular with the children. There is a commitment from the authors and illustrators to come up to Dundee to be part of the award ceremony this is what makes it so exciting. The buzz is through the roof once all the children are in the auditorium and when they actually see the authors and illustrators they get even more excited because they know the books inside out.”
The Dundee Picture Book Award has been running for 13 years and is delivered in partnership with Dundee City Council and Leisure & Culture Dundee.