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Oscar's Book Prize Shortlist

publication date: Apr 26, 2018

Oscar's Book Prize shortlist

Oscar's Book Prize has announce its 2018 shortlist – the fifth time it has chosen the best book for under-fives. After more than 100 submissions, five titles compete for the £5,000 early-years award. 

The prize was set up to celebrate the best of children's literature and is supported by Amazon and the National Literacy Trust. It is named after Oscar Ashton, who died in 2012 at the age of three and a half from an undetected heart condition.

The prize’s 2018 judging panel, comprising TV and radio presenter Katie Derham, Julia Eccleshare, Children’s Director of the Hay Festival, Brigitte Ricou-Bellan, UK Director of Books at Amazon, and Oscar’s parents, James Ashton and Viveka Alvestrand, has searched for the best in children’s stories and stories Oscar himself would have loved.

  • Lucie Gooseby Danny Baker and Pippa Curnick (Hodder)
    Judge Viveka Alvestrand says, “Such fun to read aloud and make all those roaring noises with children, especially when they already know some of the classic fairy-tales.”
  • There's a Pig up my Nose!by John Dougherty and Laura Hughes (Egmont)
    Judge Julia Eccleshare says, “The surprise comes right at the start and what a wonderfully dotty premise to begin a story with, about problem-solving in the classroom. Brilliantly structured too.”
  • The Secret of Black Rockby Joe Todd Stanton (Flying Eye Books)
    Judge Katie Derham says, “Hugely imaginative, intriguingly bonkers, linguistically rich and I absolutely loved the gorgeous illustrations.”
  • Sunk!by Rob Biddulph (HarperCollins)
    Judge Brigitte Ricou-Bellan says, “I fell for this vibrantly illustrated story about friendship and teamwork, and I can imagine young children leaping on the tempo and quickly learning the rhymes.”
  • That Bear Can't Babysit by Ruth Quayle and Alison Friend (Nosy Crow)
    Judge James Ashton says, “The chaotic and mischievous storyline will appeal to small children, while the debate about what they can get away with is beautifully addressed in this lovely story with a happy ending.”

The winner of the £5,000 award will be revealed at a ceremony at St James's Palace on 14 May, 2018.