Children's Fiction Book of the Year

Winner: Children's Fiction Book of the Year

Ice Monster by David Walliams

The Ice Monster

David Walliams (author), Tony Ross (illustrator)

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.

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Shortlist

  • Children of Blood and Bone
    Tomi Adeymi, Rich Deas (cover illustrator & design)
    (Macmillan Children's Books)
  • The House with Chicken Legs
    Sophie Anderson (author), Elisa Paganelli & Melissa Castrillon (illustrators)
    Usborne
  • Head Kid
    David Baddiel (author), Steven Lenton (illustrator)
    (HarperCollins Children's Books)
  • The Skylarks' War
    Hilary McKay (author), Dawn Cooper (cover illustrator)
    (Macmillan Children's Books)
  • My Mum Tracy Beaker
    Jacqueline Wilson (author), Nick Sharratt (illustrator)
    (Doubleday)
  • The Ice Monster
    David Walliams (author), Tony Ross (illustrator)
    (HarperCollins Children's Books)