Our Bedtime Story Competition 2017, which saw children aged between 5 and 11 write a story on the theme of friendship, came to a close recently and now we have our winners. To find out more about the competition and to read all about the shortlist, check out our Winners Announcement blog post. We were amazed by the talent shown in all our entries and so we'd like to tell you a little more about our winner, 9 year-old Frasier Cox from Brighton who won with his story, 'There's a Boy Just Like Me'.
Frasier's story is in written in the form of a poem about a hypothetical friendship between a boy from England and a refugee. The story sees the boy think about their similarities and realise that ultimately both children are the same; it's just their circumstances that are so different.
As this year's winner, Frasier will have his story illustrated by the brilliant children's book illustrator, Alison Brown, turned into a picture book and published by Little Tiger and sold exclusively by us at Book People. Plus, all three of our age category winners will receive 250 pounds worth of books for home, a further 250 pounds worth of books for school and were treated to a fun day out in London. During this day out, Frasier (as winner of the Age 8-9 category), Jackson Mendoza (as winner of the Age 5-7 category) and Amy Chick (as winner of the Age 10-11 category) were given a ride on the London Eye and a trip to Choccywoccydoodah and it was while they were there that Head Judge, Claudia Winkleman, arrived to announce the overall winner. Frasier was thrilled to be named as the winner and you can see his great reaction in the video below. Alison Brown also came along to Choccywoccydoodah to present all three winners with illustrations she had drawn for their stories.
All three stories were terrific but Frasier's story really moved our panel of judges which consisted of Head Judge, Claudia Winkleman, campaign ambassador, Radio DJ and author of the hit book Radio Boy, Christian O'Connell and representatives from Little Tiger Press and Book People.
Here is what they had to say...
Claudia Winkleman: 'I was blown away by the standard of the stories and writing from all the entries into Book People's Bedtime Story Competition. Frasier's story, is incredibly touching and thought provoking and it's absolutely remarkable a 9-year-old boy has written such a thoughtful story. Frasier is a very worthy overall winner and I can't wait to see the final version with Alison Brown's brilliant illustrations once it's been made into a real book next year.'
Christian O'Connell: 'I really enjoyed reading the entries from this year's competition, but Frasier's story was my favourite. The fact a nine-year-old boy showed us what so many people and politicians forget, that we are all connected in this world. We have more in common than we think. Such a big-hearted idea and story all told in a beautifully moving poem. Frasier is a very, very special young man. This actually moved me to tears the first time I read it.'
Alison Brown: 'If a top adult author tried to write these sentiments in a child's voice, I don't think they could have done a better job! It just sounds like it comes from the heart, very authentic and moving. The imagined scenes make for lots of lovely images, too.'
Sarah Walden, Group Buying and Merchandising Director: 'I was extremely impressed at the quality of the writing and imagination shown in this year's Bedtime Story competition. However, Frasier's story stood out from among the crowd. 'There's a Little Boy the Same as Me' contains an incredibly considerate message which really struck a chord with me. We're delighted to be able to bring Frasier's story to life and celebrate his unique and compassionate perspective on one of the most pertinent social issues of our time.'
And, Frasier himself had this to say: 'I'm really pleased and very excited to have won The Bedtime Story Competition and can't wait for my story to be made into a real book. I love reading and writing stories and to know that my book will be read by children all over the country makes me very proud.'
Before returning to school Frasier has had some interviews with BBC South East and Sky News where he spoke about his story and how proud he is to be having his story transformed into a real book.
Check out his interview with Sky News below:
Frasier will now be working closely with Alison and Little Tiger to turn his story into a picture book which will be available to purchase in summer next year. To be notified of when the book is in stock then make sure you click 'Notify Me' on the Bedtime Story Winner 2017: There's a Boy Just Like Me page.