Adam Stower has become the second person to win the Alligator's Mouth Award for illustrated fiction.
Stower received the trophy for King Coo: The Curse of the Mummy's Gold (David Fickling Books), described by the judges as "thrilling, witty and subversive".
The book prize recognises highly illustrated fiction for children aged six to eight, and is run by the Richmond-based Alligator's Mouth bookshop and The Bright Agency. The award has been supported this year by Gardners, who joined as its official partner.
Stower said: "It is such a joy to win The Alligator’s Mouth Award. Illustrations play a huge part in my story-telling, so winning this award that celebrates highly illustrated children’s fiction is truly an honour. Thank you so much. I will treasure it."
Nick Sharratt announced the winner via an online video released on the bookshop's account today (25th June). He joined the 2020 judging panel following his 2019 win of the inaugural prize with Nice Work for the Cat and the King (Alison Green Books).
He said: "What a treat it was to be able to explore and enjoy the wide range of Illustrated Early Fiction for Children this year. We judges had lots of really great books to read, and there was a splendid amount of brilliant illustration too. Illustration is one to the things that makes this category of books special, so that was wonderful to see. King Coo: The Curse of the Mummy's Gold has got it all. It is a rip-roaring, hilarious tale of adventure. It's got bags of humour and loads of warmth. It also has, at the heart of it, a fantastically unconventional character: King Coo, the girl with the beard!"
Alongside Sharratt, the panel of children’s book experts who picked the winning title included award-winning author-illustrator Yasmeen Ismail, founder of the Bath Festival of Children’s Literature John McLay, specialist literacy teacher Richard Charlesworth, co-owners of The Alligator’s Mouth children’s bookshop Margaret Wallace-Jones and Tony West, and Arabella Stein, director at The Bright Agency.