Three of the winners of last year’s Laugh Out Loud Awards (The Lollies) are on the shortlist for the 2018 prizes, chair of the judges Michael Rosen revealed today.
Picture book duo Kes Gray and Jim Field, who won the 2017 ‘best laugh out loud picture book’ prize, are shortlisted for the same prize for the next book in the installment, Oi Cat! (Hachette Children’s Group). Field’s The Squirrels Who Squabbled, with words by Rachel Bright (HCG), is also in the running alongside Mr Bunny’s Chocolate Factory by Elys Dolan (OUP) and I Can Only Draw Worms by Will Mabbitt (PRH).
In the 6-8 year-olds category, Jim Smith, who won previously with his book Future Ratboy and the Invasion of the Nom Noms (Egmont), is shortlisted again for Barry Loser and the Birthday Billions. He is competing against The Big, Fat, Totally Bonkers Diary of Pig by Emer Stamp (Scholastic), There’s a Werewolf in My Tent! by Pamela Butchart and Thomas Flintham (Nosy Crow), and Lyttle Lies: The Pudding Problem by Joe Berger (Simon and Schuster).
Four titles are also shortlisted in the 9-13 year-olds category: Tom Gates: Epic Adventure (Kind Of) by Liz Pichon (Scholastic), My Mum’s Growing Down by Laura Dockrill and David Tazzyman (Faber), Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure by A. L. Kennedy and Gemma Correll (Walker), and Football Season 2: Where Football Saves the World by Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton and Spike Gerrell (Walker).
Commenting on the shortlist, Rosen said: “Anyone around children looking for books to have them giggling and laughing over and over again, these 12 books will do the job. They are infectious and contagious and dangerous. Children will want to read them and ask for more. People talk about the importance of getting children reading, well, these shortlisted books do the work all by themselves.”
Rosen and the judging team chose the shortlist from 120 submissions. The final winners will be picked by school pupils and announced in January 2019.