Young readers honoured for artistic talent

Creative children who designed book covers in an Aberdeenshire Council competition to encourage young people to read have been presented with awards.

Youngsters’ reading often dips during the lengthy summer holidays, so the Aberdeenshire Libraries Summer Reading Challenge encourages children to read as they receive a sticker for each book they read and a book after reading six or more. 

As well as the reading challenge, Aberdeenshire Libraries also run the Creative Competition, and this year children were given the task of designing a new book cover of their choice. They were allowed to draw, paint or use collage when creating their illustration. 

Three winners were selected from each branch library, then an overall Aberdeenshire winner and two runners-up were chosen from the local prize winners. 

This year’s winners were Ruaridh Cameron in the 0-4 year-old category, Chloe Murray, who came first in the 5-8 years old category and Lucy McManus, who was not only the 9 years old plus winner but was the overall winner as well. 

Branch winner at Newmachar Library, Ruaridh decided to illustrate the book cover of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle; Chloe, Kemnay Library branch winner, chose Little Stars by Jacqueline Wilson and Lucy, Portsoy Library branch winner, opted for Opal Plumstead also by Jacqueline Wilson.

During an event at Aberdeenshire Council’s Woodhill House offices on Saturday, October 7, they were given a book token with the top three winners getting signed books and a family ticket to visit local tourist attractions.

The overall winner, Lucy McManus, won a series of signed books from various authors. 

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Chair, said: “I can honestly say that I am really impressed with the resourcefulness of the winning designs and I would like to congratulate all the children in Aberdeenshire who took part in this year’s competition.

“The standard of entries this year was really high and the judges must have had a really difficult task picking a winner from the 97 entries.

“The children demonstrated they had read the books they illustrated because their designs were really well thought through.”

Cllr Mark Findlater, Committee Vice-Chair, said: “There is a multitude of technology available now to help children learn.

“Although sometimes there is no substitute to picking up a book to help youngsters increase their literacy skills during the summer holidays.

“The standards were really high this year which shows that children in Aberdeenshire are not just avid readers but budding artists too.”

The children also took part in break-out sessions, author and illustrator Debi Gliori gave those aged between five and nine a few writing and artistic tips and photographer Andy Hall showed young people aged over ten how to take the perfect picture. There was also a demonstration of the 3D printer too.

The theme for this year’s Aberdeenshire Council’s Summer Reading Challenge was books and illustrations.