This year's shortlist for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize includes new talent across all age ranges for the first time, including picture books, fiction for five to 12 years and YA titiles.
Among the 18 shortlisted authors and illustrators are actor Mackenzie Crook for his debut title, The Windvale Sprites (Faber & Faber), Simon & Schuster children’s sales director Phil Earle for his YA debut Being Billy (Penguin) and Jonny Duddle, a concept artist for Aardman, for The Pirates Next Door (Templar).
The award is chosen by Waterstones’ booksellers. James Daunt, M.D. of Waterstones, said: “This year the award has been expanded to acknowledge the incredible diversity of books on offer to children today, and reward the wonderful children's authors and illustrators who play a crucial role in enriching our children's lives from the cradle through to adulthood."
Six books will compete within each category to be crowned category winner, with the three category winners then competing for the overall title of Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year 2012. The winners will be announced on 28th March.