The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize is an annual award given to a work of children’s literature published during the previous year. First awarded in 2005, the purpose of the prize is “to uncover hidden talent in children’s writing” and is therefore open only to authors who have published no more than three books. Since 2012 it has been divided into three categories, Illustrated books, Younger Fiction and Older Fiction with an Overall Winner. The prize is voted for by the booksellers from all around the country. Past winners include Sally Nicholls, Katherine Rundell and Rob Biddulph.
|Illustrated Books winner|
Gretel the Wonder Mammoth by Kim Hillyard. (Puffin) ISBN: 978-0241488560
Gretel has just woken up after eons under ice and everything and everything has changed. She feels scared, embarrassed, different. This is a lovely subtle way for children to explore their own feelings of anxiety in stressful situations and how the best way of coping is to tell someone and ask for help. The illustrations are colourful and Gretel is a very endearing character
|Younger Fiction winner|
Nura and the Immortal Palace by M.T.Khan. (Walker). ISBN: 978-1529503494
A breathtaking magical adventure rooted in Muslim culture and tradition which follows a young girl’s journey from child exploitation in a mica mine in modern-day Pakistan into the wonderfully described, colourful world of the jinn. A terrible accident buries her best friend below ground and Nura goes in search of him and crosses into a whole new world. She finds her way to a palace, where great riches and a whole new life are on offer. But it’s not long before Nura discovers this world to be as unfair as the real one, and that trickster jinns will always live up to their reputation.
|Older Fiction and Overall Winner|
The Cats we Meet Along the Way by Nadia Mikail (Guppy Books). ISBN: 978-1913101596
With the world due to end imminently, Aisha and her brilliantly drawn companions including her mother, her boyfriend, Walter and his parents (and Fleabag the stray cat), undertake an eventful road trip across Malaysia to find her estranged sister June in this stunningly fresh, original moving and at times hilarious debut that manages to be hopeful and life affirming despite the end of the world scenario.