Oliver Jeffers yesterday (19th May) won the Irish Children’s Book of the Year award for Once Upon an Alphabet (HarperCollins Children’s Books).
Once Upon an Alphabet was also awarded the children’s choice award, after children from across Ireland chose the book from 10 shortlisted titles by Irish authors.
The awards, which are now in their 25th year, are organised by Children’s Books Ireland (CBI) open to books written in English or Irish by authors and illustrators born or resident in Ireland and published between 1st January and 31st December each year.
Other awards given yesterday include the Eilís Dillon Award for a first children’s book, which went to YA Book Prize-winner Louise O’Neill for Only Ever Yours (Quercus), and the Honour Award for illustration, which went to Chris Haughton for Shh! We Have a Plan.
Two Irish language books picked up prizes; Daideo by Áine Ní Ghlinn (Cois Life) won the Honour Award for fiction and Haiku Más é do thoil é! by Gabriel Rosenstock, illustrated by Brian Fitzgerald (An Gúm) won the judges special award.
Ciara Ní Bhroin, chair of the judging panel, said: “It was a delight to spend the past few months reading 80 or so award entries in the company of this year’s incredibly dedicated judging panel. The books being celebrated today highlight the excellence that children both at home and abroad can expect from Irish books. We are exceptionally lucky to be able to enjoy the skills and talents of Irish authors and illustrators writing for children.”