Thousands of children vote for best author

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CHILDREN’S author Preston Rutt has scooped Hampshire County Council’s prestigious 2010 Illustrated Book Award.

Preston won the award with illustrator Ben Redlich for Tortoise Vs hare: The Rematch – a humorous reworking of the original fable.

His book was judged overall winner from a shortlist of six titles by 5,000 aged nine and 10 from 104 Hampshire primary schools.

All shortlisted books were chosen for their potential to support literacy, music and art in the curriculum.

Cllr Keith Chapman, executive member for culture, said: ‘My congratulations go out to Preston Rutt and Ben Redlich for winning.

‘This award is a fantastic way of getting thousands of children reading and talking about a different genre of book that everyone can relate to, no matter what their ability.’

Karen Allerton, teacher at Northern Juniors, in Fareham, said more than 70 per cent of her year five pupils would now choose to look at picture books, which they wouldn’t have done prior to judging the award.