Annual awards for British children's books, 1985–2007, administered by Booktrust, reader ages 0–5, 6–8, 9–11
The Nestlé Children's Book Prize, and Nestlé Smarties Book Prize for a time, was a set of annual awards for British children's books that ran from 1985 to 2007. It was administered by Booktrust, an independent charity that promotes books and reading in the United Kingdom, and sponsored by Nestlé, the manufacturer of Smarties candy. It was one of the most respected and prestigious prizes for children's literature.There were three award categories defined by audience ages 0 to 5 years, 6 to 8 years, and 9 to 11 years (introduced in 1987 after two years with no single prize). Silver and bronze runners-up in each category were introduced in 1996 and designation of one overall winner was abandoned at the same time
Eligible books were written by UK citizens and residents and published during the preceding year (not precisely the calendar year). The shortlists were selected by a panel of adult judges, finally chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children's books editor for The Guardian. First, second, and third places were determined by British schoolchildren—at least finally, by vote of "selected school classes"The prize was discontinued in 2008 by what was described as a "mutual" decision from Booktrust and Nestlé, with "no hostility". Explaining their reasons for this decision, Booktrust stated it had "been reviewing the organisation's priorities and how prizes and awards fit in with its strategic objectives", while Nestlé was "increasingly moving its community support towards the company strategy of nutrition, health and wellness." Additionally, they said that it was a "natural time to conclude" and that were "confident that increased importance has been placed on children's books."
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