Swapna Haddow, Nick Sharratt and Jim Field are among the authors and illustrators shortlisted for the inaugural The Alligator’s Mouth Award for young fiction.
The prize celebrates highly-illustrated fiction for readers aged 6-8 and was launched by independent bookshop The Alligator’s Mouth in Richmond in partnership with The Bright Agency.
Five books are on this year’s shortlist, with Haddow and illustrator Sheena Dempsey in the running for Dave Pigeon (Racer!), published by Faber & Faber, while Sharratt is shortlisted for Nice Work for the Cat and the King, which he wrote and illustrated (Alison Green Books/Scholastic Children’s Books). Lyttle Lies: The Stinky Truth by Joe Berger (Simon & Schuster), Rabbit and Bear: Attack of the Snack written by Julian Gough and illustrated by Jim Field (Hodder Children’s Books/Hachette Children’s Books), and The Legend of Kevin written by Philip Reeve and illustrated by Sarah McIntyre (Oxford University Press) complete the shortlist.
A judging panel including illustrator Axel Scheffler, poet Joseph Coelho and Margaret Wallace-Jones and Tony West (co-owners of The Alligator’s Mouth), will choose a winning title. Scheffler will then present the winner with a trophy at an event at The Bright Agency on 13th June.
Coelho said: “Age 6-8 is such an important time to ensure that children find a love of reading and build upon it. The inaugural Alligator’s Mouth Award shortlist has a fantastic selection of books covering the full range offered by illustrated early fiction; there are books here to delight, make children think and laugh out loud.”
Gardners is offering independent bookshops across the UK a 50-60% discount on all shortlisted and longlisted titles until the end of May.