The CBC is proud to host the annual Eleanor Farjeon Award, which recognises an outstanding contribution to the world of children’s books by an individual or organisation. Librarians, authors, publishers, teachers, reviewers and others who have given exceptional service to our industry are eligible for nomination. CBC members nominate suitable candidates and then vote for the winner. The award ceremony itself is an enjoyable evening, with the winner’s acceptance speech being a particular highlight.
The award was established in memory of Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965). Though best known for her hymn "Morning Has Broken," later recorded by Cat Stevens, she is also beloved as the author of Elsie Piddock Skips in her Sleep, Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard, Nursery Rhymes of London Town, and The Little Bookroom, which won the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award and the Carnegie Medal. Her poetry still appears in anthologies, with such favourites as "Mrs Malone","Cats" and "It was Long Ago" often included; while "Kings & Queens" written in collaboration with her brother, Herbert Farjeon, is still a best-seller. While Eleanor Farjeon was the first recipient of the Regina Award of the American Catholic Library Association, she did turn down another honour - Dame of the British Empire - explaining that she "did not wish to become different from the milkman." At her death, the Children's Book Circle established the Eleanor Farjeon Award in her honour.