Seven books have made the shortlist for the £5,000 BookTrust Storytime Book Prize after judges found narrowing the shortlist down to six titles "an incredibly difficult decision".
Stories of pet dragons, tantalising treats and hungry beasts have made the shortlist, unveiled today at Hay, for the award that celebrates the best books for sharing with babies and children aged 0-5. The seven books chosen by a panel of expert judges transport children into new worlds and teach them about inclusivity, friendship, family and the world.
Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett (Two Hoots), Billy and the Beast by Nadia Shireen (Jonathan Cape) and Cake by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet (Macmillan Children's) made the shortlist alongside Amazing by Steve Antony (Hodder Children's) and Can’t you Sleep Little Owl by Jo Lodge (Campbell Books). Hat tricks by Satoshi Kitamura (Scallywag) and If All the World Were by Joe Coelho and Allison Colpoys (Frances Lincoln Children's Books) round off the shortlist.
Judge Baroness Floella Benjamin said: “Narrowing the shortlist was an incredibly difficult decision, so difficult that we added a 7th book to the shortlist! We hope that the stories we’ve chosen will make kids (and adults) laugh, sing, dance and snooze. These books set the perfect platforms to start conversations about the importance of understanding and acceptance and will give families the perfect opportunity to bond. We cannot wait to see what the public decide!”
Baroness Benjamin is joined on the judging panel by illustrator James Mayhew and librarians Amy McKay, Alison Brumwell, Jake Hope, Joy Court and Julia Hale.
The winning book will be announced at a special ceremony in London in November 2019, with a prize of £5,000.