How utterly terrific that a picture book has been crowned as this year's winner of the Waterstone's Children's Book prize.
Rob Biddulph's 'Blown Away' is a beautiful example of everything a picture book should be. It's a short story in miniature, with an engaging main character (a penguin) and a plot that draws you on through the story that is imaginative, bold and unexpected.
The Waterstone' prize is to recognise new and emerging talent and always manages to shortlist books that children can really relate to and love to read.
So congratulations also to Sally Green who was crowned winner of the best book for teenagers with her enthralling tale of warring witches, 'Half Bad'. And to the winner of best young fiction, Robin Stevens, with 'Murder Most Unladylike' a boarding school mystery - both of which are building a fantastic fanbase and should be on everyone's recommended reading list this year.
But with such hot competition it's a real tribute to talent that the overall winner was a picture book.
Picture book writers have so few words to convey all the essential elements a story should contain.
And with Drew Daywalk and Oliver Jeffers' fantastic picture book 'The Day the Crayons Quit' having recently scooped the overall Red House Children's Book Award, hopefully we might be seeing real recognition of just what talent and craft goes into making a picture book that you want to read time and again.