The shortlists have been announced for the UKLA book awards, with illustrated books nominated in all three age categories for the first time.
The UKLA book awards, the only children’s book prize judged by teachers, is run by the UK Literacy Association (UKLA) and is sponsored by Lovereading4Kids.
The three to six age category is made up of solely illustrated titles, with The Lion Inside, written by Rachel Bright and illustrated by Jim Field (Orchard Books), There's a Bear on MY Chair, written and illustrated by Ross Collins (Nosy Crow), A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals, written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Simon & Schuster), Grandad's Island, written and illustrated by Benji Davies (Simon & Schuster), Tidy, written and illustrated by Emily Gravett (Two Hoots) and The Bear and the Piano, written and illustrated by David Litchfield (Frances Lincoln) all shortlisted for the prize.
Illustrated titles shortlisted in the seven to 11 age category are Little Bits of Sky, written by S.E Durrant and illustrated by Katie Harnett (Nosy Crow), Pugs of the Frozen North, written and illustrated by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre (Oxford University Press), The Wolf Wilder, written by Katherine Rundell and illustrated by Gelrev Ongbico (Bloomsbury), and The Journey, written and illustrated by Francesca Sanna (Flying Eye Books). Also shortlisted in this category are Time Travelling with a Hamster, written by Ross Welford (HarperCollins) and Gorilla Dawn, written by Gill Lewis (Oxford University Press).
Only one illustrated title has been shortlisted for the oldest age category (12- 16): The Marvels, written and illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic). Also shortlisted for this category are The Smell of Other People's Houses, written by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (Faber &Faber), The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen, written by Susin Nielsen (Andersen Press), Orbiting Jupiter, written by Gary. D. Schmidt (Andersen Press), Fire Colour One, written by Jenny Valentine (HarperCollins) and Railhead, written by Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press).
Prize co-sponsor Peter Crawshaw, director and co-founder of Lovereading4kids, said: “The fact that the teacher judges reflect on their students’ responses to the books gives the award huge credibility and trust that schools use to know the books will be loved by their own pupils. The awards are equally valuable for parents. We can't wait to see the eventual winners as the shortlisted books are all simply excellent.”
Awards chair Lynda Graham said: "Teacher judges in education authorities across Scotland clearly delighted in opportunities to discuss the best of newly- published, quality books with teacher colleagues and to share these books with children and young people in their classrooms."
The shortlist was put together by 55 teachers who came from Aberdeen City, North Ayrshire, Dundee, Edinburgh, East Lothian, Falkirk and Renfrewshire. Twelve of those teachers will form the final judging panel, and pick one winning book from each category, before announcing the winners on 30th June at the UKLA International Conference, University of Strathclyde.
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