By Lena De Casparis
The prize, founded earlier this year to celebrate books that make children laugh, was created by Rosen as part of his work as the Children’s Laureate.
“If there had been a prize for funny books when Roald Dahl was writing, he would have won it with every book he wrote! That’s why this award was named in his honour.” Rosen said before the event.
At the ceremony held the Unicorn Children’s theatre, two winners were announced. The prize for books aimed at children under six went to Ursula Jones’ The Witch’s Children Go to School illustrated by Russell Ayto. Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear, by Andy Stanton and illustrated by David Tazzyman, won the prize for seven to fourteen year olds.
Each author was presented with a cheque for £2,500 and received rapturous applause from the audience of local young people.
On the judging panel was Roald Dahl’s supermodel granddaughter Sophie Dahl, comedian Dara O’Briain, author Kaye Umansky and cartoonist Chris Riddell.
Sophie Dahl commented: “Between them, Ursula Jones and Russell Ayto have created a comic caper that guarantees giggles and a general bewitching of all who read it”.
The Roald Dahl Prize is one of many events taking place this year to mark the National Year of Reading.