Abergavenny author shortlisted for Blue Peter prize

South Wales Argus: AUTHOR: Nicola Davies AUTHOR: Nicola Davies

AN ABERGAVENNY author is in the running to win a coveted Blue Peter badge, in the literary awards of the flagship children’s show.

Nicola Davies has been shortlisted in the Best Story category of the Blue Peter Book Awards 2014, for Whale Boy - a tale love and friendship between a young boy who lives on a fictional Caribbean Island and wild sperm whale.

An author of several books – and previously a presenter on former BBC children’s favourite The Really Wild Show – Ms Davies is hoping this will be her year, after a nomination for the awards back in 2006.

“Over the last 35 years I’ve spent some of the happiest times of my life on board small boats watching whales, and I wanted to put the delight of those experiences and close encounters into the book,” she said.

“Friendship with a wild animal is what I dreamed of most when I was little and I have enough contact with kids to know that many children today share that dream. I’m hoping readers will relish the time that Michael spends in the company of his whale, and take those moments to their hearts.”

But Whale Boy is also concerned with the welfare of whales.

“That’s the big take home message of the book,” Ms Davies added. “It’s an invitation for people to reflect on the effect of close human contact on whales - timely now in the light of the recent attention being given to captive Killer whales due to the excellent documentary, Blackfish.”

She was announced as one of six finalists for this year’s competition on Blue Peter earlier this week, by Jeff Kinney, author of the phenomenally successful Diary of a Wimpy Kid series - crowned the Best Children’s Book of the Last 10 Years by Blue Peter voters.

Ms Davies called it “fantastic” to be nominated, especially as a panel of 200 children across the country will decide the final winner.

Among those she is battling against is comic actor Tony Robinson, best known for his role as Baldrick in BBC comedy Blackadder, who won the award back in 2007.

The two other finalists in her category are another Blue Peter Book Award winner, Philip Reeve, with Oliver and the Seawigs, and Katherine Rundell, for Rooftoppers.

The winning books will be announced live on Blue Peter, on World Book Day, March 6, 2014.

For more on the awards see www.booktrust.org.uk/prizes/2

Information on Nicola Davies and Whale Boy can be found at www.nicola-davies.com

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