Six children have been revealed as winners of BookTrust’s Pictures First competition with authors such as John Agard and Geek Girl author Holly Smale writing poems and stories to accompany the images.
The reading charity launched the competition in February when it appointed Sarah McIntyre as its writer-illustrator in residence.
Children were asked to draw a picture using her newly-created Dumpling the Unicorn as the central character.
The young illustrators have been revealed as Janisha Paravastu, Miki S-Y, Silver Sleightholme, Gabriella Unciano, Olivia Snookes and Joe Smith.
The prize for the six winners, aged between eight and 12, is to have their pictures inspire an short story or poem by a writer.
Dumpling and the Cosmic Wind, picture by Silver Sleightholme aged 10
Philip Reeve, Piers Torday, Candy Gourlay have written pieces along with McIntyre, Agard and Smale to accompany each illustration. The pictures show the character, Dumpling, discover mermaids and explore outer space.
McIntyre said: “I love the way each author has taken the children's ideas and added their own style and humour to them. In talking about stories, people so often think first of the writers, imagining that they provided the first creative spark that got the project rolling, but it doesn't always work that way. Sometimes a picture will come first: a drawing or doodle, possibly even an image in a writer's mind."
She added: "Even when the words come first, many illustrators take the stories to completely different levels, showing people all sorts of things with pictures that they won't find in the text. I'm keen for people to pay attention to the pictures in stories, and take note of the people who created them.”
Dumpling and the Magic Mermaid, picture by Janisha Paravastu aged eight
Diana Gerald, c.e.o of BookTrust, said: “Engaging in reading isn’t just about the words of a story. Drawings depict the fun in a story and help bring it to life and we’re pleased so many children got involved to send Dumpling on lots of adventures.”
Smale said: “Nothing sparks a story quite like the imagination of a child, so writing Dumpling the Unicorn with such a creative and ingenious origin was a joy.”
Earlier this month, McIntyre spoke out against Tom Fletcher's copyright ownership of Shane Devries' images in forthcoming middle-grade novel, The Creakers (Penguin Random House Children's).