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Royal Society success

Tresham College Art & Design Technician Katie Brosnan

Tresham College Art & Design technician Katie Brosnan has been shortlisted for the Royal Society “Young People’s Book Prize.”

Gut Garden: A Journey into the Wonderful World of Your Microbiome by Katie, is a visual exploration of the universe that exists within human bodies.

Tresham College Art & Design Technician Katie Brosnan book

Bodies hide an entire world of organisms called microbes. They boost immune systems, digest food, regulate metabolism and even impact on mental health.

Through Katie Brosnan’s personable illustrations, the book follows the digestive process from the moment food enters the mouth to when waste leaves. Along the way the book explains about this fascinating scientific frontier and gives an insight into the vast ecosystem that exists inside the human body.

The shortlist was selected by an adult judging panel, chaired by Professor Mike Kendall FRS, including Cressida Cowell, the Waterstones Children’s Laureate and author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon books, and former Blue Peter presenter and author Konnie Huq.

Judge Cressida Cowell, Waterstones Children’s Laureate, 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.” 

Tresham College Art & Design Technician Katie Brosnan

Katie Brosnan is an author and illustrator who has ‘always been a little bit short’ and appreciates the smaller things in life. She has a long-standing fascination with microbes and their superpowers. She loves absorbing information and trying to make it as fun and accessible as possible.

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.

When she isn’t drawing or working on books, she helps to run workshops for children and likes to make her own fermented foods full of microbes in her home in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

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

The Young People’s Book Prize aims to promote literacy in young people and to inspire them to read about science. It also supports the writing of excellent, accessible STEM books for under-14s. The prize is unique in that the winner is selected by judging panels made up of young people at schools across the country from a shortlist curated by an adult judging panel.

Now it’s over to the scrutinising eyes of over 13,000 young judges, drawn from over 500 schools, science centres, and community groups from across the UK, to read and declare their champion. The winner will be announced at a virtual award ceremony in February 2021.

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