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Best Pre-Schooler Book 4-6 yrs | Junior Design Awards 2020

This years pre-schooler book category showcased some amazing titles that not only delight but, teach children at this key stage of development.

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JUNIOR DESIGN AWARDS 2020 GOLD WINNER: Best Pre-Schooler Book 4-6 yrs

WHO: ‘Miffy X Rembrandt’ (Thames & Hudson)

WHAT: As part of last year’s celebrations to mark 350 years since the death of Rembrandt, this new book Miffy x Rembrandt explains the Dutch Master’s art to young children with the help of Dick Bruna’s classic bunny character, Miffy. The book is a collaboration between Mercis bv, Dick Bruna’s Amsterdam-based publishers, and the Rijksmuseum and is published in both English and Dutch.

WHY: Who doesn’t love Miffy? This classic square format book uses arguably two of Holland’s most famous figures to cultivate an interest in art amongst young children.  Using Miffy to explore Rembrandt’s art, it reveals the similarities and differences between his works and Dick Bruna’s classic illustrations helping to de-mystify the Dutch Master’s painting style and 17th century symbols.  The judges were smitten with this title – and asked if there would be more Miffy at the museum titles?

This is such a cute book, but it also has details for the reader (caregiver) as well! I love this idea of mixed art concepts but bringing the similarities together as well!
Alissa Bertrand, founder of @jabellafleur
I loooove Miffy and combining it with art so children so young get to know famous artists is brilliant!!!
Bonnie Van Geel, Photographer and Stylist @pepper.pics

WHERE: Miffy X Rembrandt

puppy
JUNIOR DESIGN AWARDS 2020 JOINT SILVER WINNER: Best Pre-Schooler Book 4-6 yrs

WHO: ‘Puppy in My Head: A Book About Mindfulness’ by Elise Gravel (Ups!de Down an imprint of Trigger Publishing)

WHAT: Puppy in My Head is a bold, eye-catching and design-led picture book for children which helps them identify and deal with anxiety in an age-appropriate and clever comic-style format. The book features a young, gender-neutral child who claims they have a puppy named Ollie running around inside their head.

WHY: This book was a hit with many of the judges – who loved how it showed young readers, step-by-step how breathing, exercise, and listening can help them manage their anxiety. Especially after the year we have had they felt it made mindfulness simple for kids.

I absolutely love this book and I can completely imagine my youngest daughter really taking hold of the concept of the puppy and us being able to talk more about her emotions thanks to it.
Gemma Metcalfe, founder of Mutha. Hood @mutha.hood
A fun way to address a really important subject.
Fatima Truscott, Fashion Stylist and writer @the_ft_times

WHERE: Puppy in My Head

JUNIOR DESIGN AWARDS 2020 JOINT SILVER WINNER: Best Pre-Schooler Book 4-6 yrs

WHO: ‘How Frank Helped Hank’ written by Suzanne Hemming and Illustrated by Jacquie Hughes (Thea Chops Books)

WHAT: How Frank Helped Hank is a beautifully illustrated rhyming story that teaches boys (and girls!) that it’s ok to cry and feel your feelings. Hank, who was taught to “man up” and “never cry in a public place!” by his parents (who in turn were taught that by theirs), passes on these outdated ideas of masculinity to his son, and his daughter but frank has other ideas…

WHY: The judges were very moved by the concept of this book. In the awards entry notes the author  notes that in ‘the UK, suicide is one of the biggest killers of men under the age of 45 and that 84 men a week take their own life’. The panel felt that using this knowledge and penning a book that challenges toxic masculinity and the messages that boys must be ‘strong’ and ‘manly’ and shouldn’t act ‘like a girl’ and that in turn girls are less than boys was hugely positive and important.  The judges agreed that if we want our children to live happy lives and look after their mental health, we must allow them to be themselves and be proud of that and that this book would definitely help deliver that message.

Love the idea of all the concepts throughout this book! Teaching our children starts young, and what better way than through reading and practice!
Alissa Bertrand, founder of @jabellafleur
We need more of this kind of narrative in our children's reading books! Bravo!
Fatima Truscott, Fashion Stylist and writer @the_ft_times
I absolutely love that this book is opening the conversation about what is expected of boys and how they should be free to feel all of the emotions and be able to feel confident talking openly about them.
Gemma Metcalfe, founder of Mutha. Hood @mutha.hood

WHERE: Thea Chops Books, Amazon

JUNIOR DESIGN AWARDS 2020 BRONZE WINNER: Best Pre-Schooler Book 4-6 yrs

WHO: ‘Captain Fantastic: I’ve Got You’ by Tommy Balaam and illustrated by Daniel Howard (Captain Fantastic)

WHAT: The first in an exciting new series of intergalactic adventure books, based on the awesome and educational parties from Captain Fantastic. In this debut book we meet Captain Fantastic, the affable hero and Winston, his best friend (& spacedog). Readers follow the duo as they travel the galaxy, exploring astonishing worlds and resolving the incessant troublemaking of the terrible Dr Zob & his ghastly gorilla sidekick, Big Bo.

WHY: The judges were amazed that I’ve Got You was only launched  in June (to help children with loneliness during lockdown). They enjoyed the lovely story about friendship and fears, about being there for each other and being able to face our fears when we have someone to face them with. The judges commented that it was such an important message for children to read about and reflected friendship, teamwork & curiosity.

As big fans of the Captain Fantastic parties and the work they did during lockdown to help children feel connected and less alone, we were excited to read this book, which further builds on the brand's ethos that heroes are not infallible, bravery is born from learning and strength is drawn from relationships.
Bonita Turner, Editor of Junior
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WHERE: Captain – Fantastic