Winner: Children's Fiction Book of the Year
The Ice Monster
HarperCollins Children's Books
To say The Ice Monster was the biggest children’s book of 2018 is something of an understatement. Its TCM sales of 625,000 copies were a quarter of a million more than the second top seller—which, inevitably, was written by Walliams, too.
Critics sometimes complain that Walliams’ celebrity status gives him an unfair advantage in a children’s market that is full of talented but neglected writers. But that is a disservice to his supremely engaging writing and his instinct for what children want from their stories and characters. He is often pitched as the modern-day Roald Dahl and, aside from him and J K Rowling, it is hard to imagine that anyone has had a greater impact on children’s reading in recent memory.
Criticism also overlooks HarperCollins’ contribution to the phenomenal numbers. Its children’s team put together their best Walliams campaign yet, including superb collaboration with retailers, creative social media and mass market PR. Walliams himself was very active too, touring chat-show studios and taking on a long run of public events.
Children of Blood and BoneTomi Adeymi, Rich Deas (cover illustrator & design)
The House with Chicken LegsSophie Anderson (author), Elisa Paganelli & Melissa Castrillon (illustrators)
Head KidDavid Baddiel (author), Steven Lenton (illustrator)
The Skylarks' WarHilary McKay (author), Dawn Cooper (cover illustrator)
My Mum Tracy BeakerJacqueline Wilson (author), Nick Sharratt (illustrator)
The Ice MonsterDavid Walliams (author), Tony Ross (illustrator)