Egmont title wins Oscar's Book Prize

Egmont title wins Oscar's Book Prize

There’s A Pig Up My Nose by John Dougherty and Laura Hughes (Egmont) has won the Oscar’s Book Prize 2018.

Chosen from over 100 entries, Dougherty and Hughes were presented with the £5,000 by Princess Eugenie at St James’s Palace on Monday night (14th May).

Oscar’s Book Prize, a celebration of children’s literature supported by Amazon and the National Literacy Trust, looks for the best book for under-fives published in the past year.

The award honours Oscar Ashton, a boy who passed away at the age of three and a half from an undetected heart condition, who had an "expansive imagination" and "loved fantastical stories", and was set up by his parents James Ashton and Viveka Alvestrand.

Penned by former primary school teacher turned writer Dougherty and brought to life with comical artwork by illustrator Hughes, There’s A Pig Up My Nose is described as a "delightfully silly" tale about a group of schoolchildren banding together to help protagonist Natalie find a way to get a pig out of her nose. Inspiration for the tale came, for Hughes, from the diversity she sees every day in London, while Dougherty found his inspiration in the classroom after he had teased a girl for her “snorty laugh”.

Presenting the prize, Princess Eugenie said: “I had the best day reading the shortlist and laughing at all the books. I am proud to be here this evening in remembrance of Oscar Ashton.”

The prize’s 2018 judging panel included TV and radio presenter Katie Derham; Julia Eccleshare, children’s director of the Hay Festival; Brigitte Ricou-Bellan, UK director of Books at Amazon; and Oscar’s parents, Ashton and Alvestrand.

Ricou-Bellan said: “It was remarkable to see the swell of enthusiasm and quantity of quality submissions for Oscar’s Book Prize this year. Early years literacy is a key building block in a child’s development and we are incredibly proud to be supporting this cause once more. Congratulations to John Dougherty and Laura Hughes.”