One thing that’s important to us at Carbon is supporting other businesses and charities where we can. Supporting local causes are especially important to us, not only to have a positive impact on the area we live and work, but also to collaborate with and get to know the people around us, bringing local communities together.

Recently we teamed up with Salford Community Leisure and sponsored their 2018 Salford Children’s Book Award. We chose to sponsor this as we went along to the ceremony last year to show our support, this time we wanted to do a little bit more. Not only is this a great event for children from Salford high schools to discover new books and authors and meet other children alike but it also encourages reading, literacy and creative writing.

Here at Carbon we like to live in the creative world, we think it’s important for our mission to help organisations grow and transform the fortunes of our clients by building beautiful brands and wonderful websites. The importance of children’s literature goes hand in hand with us because reading stimulates a child’s imagination and provides an important visual experience as well as enhancing the development of language skills and other critical thinking skills which provide the foundation of learning.

The nominated books did not fall short in encouraging this imaginative experience for the children. There were six books to choose from – all of different genres – so something for everyone. Even the team at Carbon chose a book each for some bedtime reading.

I read The Elephant Thief by Jane Kerr. This was a fantastic book based on a true story of an elephant called Maharajah, once part of a travelling circus. After being sold at auction in Edinburgh in 1872 to the owner of Belle Vue Zoological Gardens in Manchester, his keeper walked him from Edinburgh to Manchester in ten days.

Jane took the beginning and end of this true life story and adapted the middle for it to become an unforgettable journey.

The best part of the Salford Children’s Book Awards for me was that all of the authors were actually there to meet the children and answer any of the questions they had about the books, plus sign them at the end. It was great to hear Jane talk about her book, I discovered that this was actually the first book Jane had ever published, inspired to write it after she discovered the story when she saw Maharajah’s bones in an exhibit at the Manchester Museum.

Another great part of the ceremony was hearing children from every school present their book of choice to the rest of the audience and tell us all about their favourite parts and what they took from it – as well as learning about the author’s inspiration. We commend anybody who has the imagination to write a book from start to finish, so to be amongst some of the best sellers was a real treat and hopefully it inspired the children there to continue with their love of books.

But there could only be one winner, and the prize went to Fleur Hitchcock for Murder in Midwinter. Fleur was a very deserving winner. She told us that her inspiration came from when she was younger, she felt there were no books to bridge the gap between children and adult books. She wanted to write a thriller for those who like to be gripped and even scared when they’re reading, but aimed at the younger audience. I guess you could say it paid off.

If any of you are looking to inspire a young one to read more, then we’d recommend any of these shortlisted books by any of these amazing authors.

Cogheart by Peter Bunzl

River of Ink: Genesis by Helen Dennis

The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster

Murder in Midwinter by Fleur Hitchcock

The Elephant Thief by Jane Kerr

Beetle Boy by M G Leonard