The Littlest Yak, written by Lu Fraser and illustrated by Kate Hindley (Simon & Schuster Children's Books), has won Book of the Year at the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards 2021.
The awards, sponsored by BookTrust, were created to celebrate the best children’s books that families can share together. The Littlest Yak won the Picture Book category before taking the overall prize.
Danika Cave, books buyer for Sainsbury’s, said of the win: "The Littlest Yak is a heart-warming tale filled with hope. Lu Fraser’s beautiful rhyming text is brought to life by Kate Hindley’s captivating and accessible illustrations. The message to children of enjoying your childhood and not rushing to grow up is approached delicately and we’re sure both parents and their little ones will want to read this lovely book again and again."
S&S Children's m.d. Rachel Denwood said: "We are so incredibly proud and delighted to see The Littlest Yak recognised with this award. We always knew it was going to be a special book but knowing that families across the UK will be falling in love with little Gertie is absolutely wonderful."
Fraser said: "I was completely stunned when The Littlest Yak made it onto the shortlist for the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards—I certainly never thought we stood a chance of winning! To scoop the picture book award against such tremendous competition is a huge honour but to also be awarded the Book of the Year prize is, frankly, completely overwhelming. I can’t thank the judges enough for believing in our book or the teams at Sainsbury’s and BookTrust for supporting us so wholeheartedly. I’m utterly delighted!"
Hindley added she was "completely surprised and delighted to hear the news that The Littlest Yak has won the Sainsbury's prize! [It was] such a strong shortlist, full of our favourites from the year. I'm so pleased to hear people have been enjoying Gertie's story. Thank you very much!"
The other category winners included Let's Go for a Walk by Ranger Hamza (The Ivy Press) for Activity; Sometimes Babies by Charlotte Trounce (Nosy Crow) for the Baby & Toddler prize; and Minecraft Epic Bases by Mojang A B (Egmont) for License.
M G Leonard won the Fiction category with Twitch (Walker Books), while Marcus Rashford and Carl Anka scored the Learning & Development award with You Are a Champion (Macmillan Children's Books). Elsewhere, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler won the Classics category with Fox's Socks (Macmillan Children's Books).
Sainsbury’s stores across the UK will feature the winning titles, with point of sale installations on display from 16th September.