Kettering author-illustrator Katie's Gut Garden book goes down a treat

The book has been shortlisted for the Royal Society's The Young People's Book Prize

Saturday, 7th November 2020, 7:00 am

A Kettering illustrator and author's book has been shortlisted for a prestigious literary award for her book about the human digestive system - from chewing to pooing.

Katie Brosnan's book has been shortlisted for the Royal Society's The Young People's Book Prize highlights inspirational books for young people covering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to the under 14s.

Researched, written and Illustrated by Katie, 35, Gut Garden will be judged by panels of pupils from across the UK choosing from a shortlist curated by an adult judging panel including Cressida Cowell, author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon books and Konnie Huq, the Waterstones Children’s Laureate, former Blue Peter presenter and author.

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Katie said: "I'm really excited. I didn't expect it. I have been put forward for a few awards before. It's most exciting - and it's voted for by the children.

"It's all about the digestive journey and the microbes that live inside us.

"I had to research the gut, something I didn't know much about and I visited an exhibition in Amsterdam to find out more."

More than 13,000 young judges, drawn from over 500 schools, science centres, and community groups from across the country will read all six books and declare their champion.

Katie Brosnan with her shortlisted book

Gut Garden tells the story of the universe that exists within the human body exploring the world of organisms called microbes that boost immune systems, digest food, regulate metabolism and even impact on mental health.

Judge Cressida Cowell said: “This book was very interesting, the wonderful little characters brought it to life. The field is growing, with scientists only now beginning to comprehend the significance of our microbiome – it helps to educate the future generation about science fields with emergent interest.”

Gut Garden is Katie's first non-fiction book, and it was also long-listed for the School Library Association Information Book Award in 2020.

Katie's next work-in-progress picture book introduces the idea of groups to four to eight-year-olds with the Doodlethumps and the Quaddlehumps.

The illustrations

She said: "The story is about the joy of diversity, friendship and finding common ground. The story is set in the world of the plant pot folk. When the Doodlethumps are forced to find a new pot to live in, the Quaddlehumps are welcoming at first, however Mayor Quaddlehump's assumption changes things and the Daily Snail news starts to change public opinion."

Recently moved to Kettering from Orlingbury, Katie achieved an MA in Children’s Book Illustration from the Cambridge School of Art in 2018. She was one of the UK winners in the ‘Picture This!’ competition and highly commended in the Macmillan prize for illustration in the same year.

She is working on the illustrations for a new book Tell Tail - the story of a dog with an exuberant tail - sometimes gaining inspiration from the dogs walking in Rockingham Road Pleasure Park.

She added: "Just being on the shortlist is exciting. I'm up against a Nobel Prize winner for Medicine so it's really nice and very exciting"

Open wide

The winner will be announced at a virtual award ceremony in February 2021.

Katie's book is available to order from her Etsy page - for signed copies or from Bookshop.orgYou can download Gut Garden resources by clicking here.

Gut read
The Doodlethumps and the Quaddlehumps