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'This is Not a Maths Book' wins the UK’s only award for creative educational writing

The winner of the 2016 Educational Writers’ Award is This is Not a Maths Book: A Smart Art Activity Book, written by Anna Weltman, and illustrated by Edward Cheverton and Ivan Hissey.

Now in its ninth year, the Educational Writers’ Award was established in 2008 by the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) and the Society of Authors (SoA) “to celebrate educational writing that inspires creativity and encourages students to read widely and build up their understanding of a subject beyond the requirements of exam specifications”.

The result of this year’s Award - the UK’s sole award for creative educational writing - was announced this afternoon by Pete Wishart MP, at the All Party Parliamentary Writers Group (APWG) Winter Reception at the House of Commons. Wishart – Chair of the APWG, presented the winning author and illustrators with a cheque for £2000.

Published by Ivy Kids, This is Not a Maths Book is a multi-dimensional treasury of graphic activities and drawing challenges that have a mathematical basis. From simple geometric patterns to fractal art, anamorphic art, and Celtic knots, discover the beauty in maths, and the maths in beauty. Whether you’re a maths whizz or just a daring doodler, this is an engrossing guide to smart art.

This year’s judges - secondary school English teacher and author Jonathan Lomas; award-winning author and international expert on adolescence Nicola Morgan; and school librarian Nicky Ransley – were unanimous in their praise for the winning title:

“With superb design, this is maths made genuinely exciting - a brilliant page turner of a book which will quite literally give you a new and more beautiful perspective on life and learning. We particularly loved the fact that it is likely to engage people of any level of mathematical aptitude or reluctance, and yet it does so without jumping up and down and shoving a "maths is fun" message at the reader. It was genuinely pleasurable and mind-opening and you can't ask more of a book!”
The 2016 Educational Writers’ Award focuses on books for 11-18 year olds, published in 2014 and 2015. This is Not a Maths Book beat off strong competition from the two other titles shortlisted for this year’s Award. They were Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary, written by David & Ben Crystal and illustrated by Kate Bellamy (Oxford University Press), which was described by the judges as a “visually appealing treasure chest (that) is fun as well as informative, which gives a real insight into Shakespeare’s language and the rich world of his plays with a wonderful variety of layout, colour and pace”. And The School of Art, written by Teal Triggs and illustrated by Daniel Frost (Wide Eyed Editions), described by the judges as “beautifully clear and light-hearted – but never childish, with the potential both to build artists, and help the rest of us understand the techniques of the artworks we encounter”.

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