Penguin Random House | London, 01/21/2022

DK Sponsors New ‘Woke Babies Book Awards’

Subject: Society
Country: Great Britain
Category: Project

DK is the sponsor of Britain’s new “Woke Babies Book Awards.” The prize explicitly honors Black authors and illustrators. The Woke Babies initiative works to promote the literacy skills of children, especially in Black families. The new book awards are presented in partnership with the Book Trust, the National Literacy Trust, and World Book Day.

DK is sponsoring the Woke Babies Book Awards, a new British book prize to support and encourage Black authors and illustrators. The award was initiated by Woke Babies, a British initiative dedicated to promoting children’s reading skills, especially in Black families. To this end, for 20 British pounds per month it sends subscribers its “Woke Babies Boxes” which contain selected picture books and children’s books tailored to the respective ages of the family’s children.

The new book awards were initiated with the support of the literacy organizations Book Trust, National Literacy Trust, and World Book Day. There is a clear need for special support for Black authors, according to the organizers of the prize. A report published by the Book Trust in 2020, for example, showed that not even three percent of children’s book authors are British people of color. And the London-based Centre for Literacy in Primary Education found that only 15 percent of children’s books published in the U.K. in 2020 feature black, Asian or minority ethnic characters.

The Woke Babies Book Awards will honor books with positive and uplifting themes by Black creatives. The awards will have four categories: “Author of the Year,” “Illustrator of the Year,” “Picture Book of the Year,” and “Special Recognition Award.” The Special Recognition Award, sponsored by DK, will celebrate a self-published author, who will receive a cash prize to support the funding of their next book. An independent jury of experts decides on the award winners. “I am thrilled to be a part of these fantastic and very important awards,” said Francesca Young, Publisher at DK Children’s. “Everything that Kelly and her team do at Woke Babies is always creative, fun and engaging and I can’t wait to see what new talent we find.”