Jonny Duddle, a concept artist for the new Aardman Animation film "The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists" starring Hugh Grant and Salma Hayek, has won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for his picture book The Pirates Next Door, published by Templar.
The book, which also won the "Best Picture Book" category in the retailer's awards, is a tale of a family of pirates who move to the quiet seaside town of Dull-On-Sea.
This is Duddle's second picture book pirate adventure, following the success of his first, The Pirate Cruncher. He said his inspiration came, in part, from the year he spent working on a square-rigger vessel, and his work as an artist on the Pirates of the Caribbean computer game.
The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize celebrates new and emerging talent in children’s writing. Announcing the award, Melissa Cox, children’s new title buyer at the chain, said: “The Pirates Next Door is full of the anarchic wit and invention children love in a picture book. It’s fresh and fun and has been a huge hit in Waterstones’ shops across the country, and had an incredible reception from booksellers, parents and, most importantly, children. Jonny is a huge new talent in the picture book field.”
Liz Pichon won the award for "Best Fiction for 5-12s" for The Brilliant World of Tom Gates (Scholastic) and Jenny Downham was awarded "Best Book for Teenagers" for her novel You Against Me (David Fickling Books).
The winning authors win a cash prize and can expect to see a significant boost in sales, and the promise of an ongoing commitment to their writing career in Waterstones nationwide.