The Pounds 500 prize, now in its fifth year, is given to the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum for the 160-page Anthology of Scots and Gaelic intended to appeal to young readers of prose and poetry and their teachers. The Kist, which also comprises cassettes and teacher materials, was produced by the curriculum council in conjunction with the former regional authorities.
The judges said that among the 23 titles submitted for the award, the Kist Anthology stood out for its range of sometimes lavish materials. Publishers of books that might have been winners in other years were unlucky in having to compete with the Anthology.
The award was set up to encourage publications for Scottish pupils from nursery age to S6. It recognises that publishers have to make a commitment to what is a limited commercial market compared with that for the national curriculum south of the border, especially in areas like Scottish writing and history or for other courses where few cross-border sales are likely.
The judges - Elizabeth Adrian, former development officer with Fife advisory service, Lindsey Fraser, chief executive of Book Trust Scotland, Gerry Mortimer, convener of the educational publications panel of the Saltire Society, and Willis Pickard, editor of The TESS - applauded the overall standard of entries this year The work of three publishers has been commended: Hodder and Stoughton for Shouting it Out, an anthology of new stories for teenagers edited by Tom Pow, and Scotland's Changing Landscapes by Kenneth Maclean and Norman Thomson, aimed at environmental studies for the 10-14 age-group; Scottish Children's Press for Kendric Ross's Classic Children's Games; and Longman for A Sense of History, a 5-14 series focused on four topics in the People in the Past strand of environmental studies.