We Sat Down LOVES children's book awards.* + **
For years, book award lists (not just the winners) have informed our reading - and especially our book purchases. The lists just make browsing easier. They are often a starting block for our browsing, and there're generally a whole bunch of books on there that we like (as well as a whole bunch of books we don't). We keep an eye on all sorts of awards (you can see the links on our right hand sidebar). Other than award lists, trusted word of mouth is what tends to guide us.
Different awards aim to achieve different things. And so of course, we love some awards more than others and that's how it is. Humans are generally all relatively critical: we make preferences to filter things and choose. Whatever floats your boat.......
For us, at the moment, the big one is the Carnegie, for obvious and multiple reasons: it has a well-developed Shadowing scheme, its juding criteria is published and the award is for literature written for children. In addition to a 'list', all of these factors mean that both of us can actively follow the award process - and enjoy it. Other awards, like the Red House Children's Book Award, let readers nominate and vote - and this is a whole different ball game (which we take part in too, when we're eligible).
There is a lot of mumbling and grumbling about the fact that it is adults who both choose and judge the Carnegie & Greenaway medals. It's run by CILIP, the UK's librarian association, and is nominated and judged by CILIP members (who are adult librarians). For me, more than anything, what distinguishes the type of books shortlisted for the Carnegie is that adults and children can often both relate to them (this flavour is probably precisely because adults - who were once children - have selected them). They're mostly an intergenerational read and I love this. There are plenty of books that Little M reads, which I don't and vice versa. Currently, the Carnegie medal is an exciting meeting place for us both.
Now, I'm also keen to see how the new Booktrust Best Book Awards works. It's arguably going head-to-head with the Carnegie in the world of UK children's book awards. The timings of the award process looks similar and it's planning some sort of 'following' scheme. But, it's involving children directly in the process and it has many award categories divided by age and genre/type. I have lots of respect for Booktrust, so this award's on our radar (though whether it'll match my intergenerational preference, I'll have to wait and see).
*PS. Actually, we just love AWARDS!!!
**PPS. There are plenty of yummy books that don't make award lists. We've read (and bought) more than a fair few of those too.