„Ancient Robot – the children`s book prize for the funniest book of the year“

As a children`s book illustrator, and even more so as the father of two kids,  I have often been quite frustrated when looking for funny stories. Because they are so hard to find inbetween all those serious minded children`s books stuffed with political correctness.

It was two years ago when I first read about Michael Rosen introducing the “Roald Dahl Funny Prize”. He said: „I have sat on judging panels before and what happens is that the funny books get squeezed out, because somehow or other they don’t tackle big issues in the proper way,“ he explained. „They’ll get through to the last four or five books, and then historical fiction, or something about death or slavery or new technology will win out. I think it’s a great shame, because actually when I think about the books I remember from childhood they are the funny books.“

I couldn’t have said it better. And it really got the alarm bells ringing. If England needed a prize for the funniest children`s book of the year –a country renowned for its humour- then, goodness me, Germany urgently needed one too! This is when I started “URZEITROBOTER” (Ancient Robot).

I also felt that there are not enough men involved in children`s book publishing. Nor selling or buying for that matter. So I decided to form an all male panel of judges for this book prize.

I would love to think that, in some way,  this could encourage other men to join the fantastic world of children`s books. If not – we still have eight guys here! Every year. Reading children`s books for fun!

The winner of this award will not receive any money. BUT there is a little wooden sculpture for the authors and illustrators (above). A T-Shirt and some fancy  book prize stickers for the publishers!

Patrick Wirbeleit

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