Where's Mr Lion unveiled as Sainsbury’s children's 'book of the year'

Where's Mr Lion unveiled as Sainsbury’s children's 'book of the year'

Baby and toddler book Where's Mr Lion has been crowned 'book of the year' at the Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards.

The title by Ingela Arrhenius and published by Nosy Crow was named as the overall victor after five category winners were revealed.

Pete Selby, head of books and music at the supermarket, said the winner was an "innovative construction" which reflected the "importance of rewarding books that are designed to engage and delight children at their earliest developmental stages".

Where's Mr Lion won in the Baby and Toddler category, while 100 Things to Know About the Human Body by various authors (Usborne) triumphed in the Learning and Development group.

Tilly and the Time Machine by Adrian Edmondson (Puffin) was victorious in the fiction for children aged five and over category, while the Pokemon Encylopedia won in the Licensed product group. Selby said Edmondson's title "tackles family bereavement with a lightness of touch and humour that heralds the arrival of a bold new fiction author".

Deciding on the winner of the Picture Book Category created "the most debate amongst judges," according to Sainsbury's head of books and music Pete Selby, which went to The Koala Who Could by Rachel Bright and Jim Field (Orchard Books). This book is "beautifully illustrated" and helps children "find their inner confidence through its joyful narrative," Selby added.

Finally, Roald Dahl's Matilda was crowned the Sainsbury's "classic" children's book.

Each winner received a £1,000 prize.

Selby said: "We’re delighted once again to support the very best that children’s publishing has to offer at our annual Children’s Book Awards. The standard of the shortlist was incredibly high this year and caused quite a lot of heated debate amongst the judging panel. The ultimate winners though reflect the diverse, engaging, magical world of children’s publishing."

He added:  "The new categories were introduced to reflect the growing sales trends we are seeing in our stores. The licensing is an increasing part of our overall business as well as children’s publishing, so it was important to celebrate that this year.”

The 15 nominated titles across the five categories were judged by a guest panel including illustrators Axel Sheffler and Tom Percival, author-illustrator Nadia Shireen, Flying Eye Books’ head of marketing and PR, Emma O’Donovan, and The Bookseller's Charlotte Eyre, along with representatives from BookTrust and Sainsbury’s.

Sainsbury’s partnered with reading charity, BookTrust, for the competition's fourth year.

You Must Bring A Hat by Simon Philip and Kate Hindley (Simon & Schuster) was crowned last year’s overall winner beating 11 other shortlisted titles.

The prize was launched in 2014 to both “celebrate and sell books”.