21st Bisto Children's Book Of The The Year Awards Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the 21st Bisto Children’s Book of the Year Awards was revealed today. The winners will be announced at a ceremony held in The National Library of Ireland on Monday 16th May.

Each of the ten titles will compete for six awards which include, for the second year running, the ‘Children’s Choice Award’ voted for by ten junior juries located across the country.

Keith O’Sullivan, chair of the judging panel who this year read more than 70 titles said, ‘This year we have ten exceptional titles from a mix of established names and new talents. Irish authors and illustrators have shown exceptional skill in tackling both classic texts and contemporary themes. The shortlist offers something that all readers, young and old will enjoy.’

To mark the 21st anniversary of the Awards, Children’s Books Ireland who administer the Awards in partnership with sponsors Bisto, will be staging a travelling exhibition documenting the history of the Awards and the previous 20 winning titles, authors and illustrators. Members of the public are also being asked to vote for their favourite winning title in a national ‘Bisto Ballot’, the results of which will be announced in the autumn. The exhibition will be located at The National Library until Monday 16 May when it will then travel to a number of libraries across the country.

Nuala Naughton, Senior Brand Manager at Premier Foods Ireland, the owners of the Bisto brand which has sponsored the Awards since their inception in 1990 congratulated each of the shortlisted authors and illustrators. ‘We are delighted to continue the Bisto Children’s Book of the Year Awards and to support the promotion of excellence in children’s writing and illustration. Books provide us with an opportunity to learn, be entertained, discover new places and people and make for a great companion on long journeys. Children’s literature is hugely important as it plays a key role in developing not just language skills and critical thinking but also in nurturing real enjoyment in reading. We look forward to the announcement of the winners and hearing what the ten junior juries thought of the shortlisted titles.’

This year’s total prize fund is €19,000, with the overall winner of the Bisto Book of the Year Award receiving €10,000. The winner of the Eilís Dillon award, which is presented to a first time children’s author or illustrator, will receive €3,000 and the winner of the Children’s Choice Award €1,500. The remaining prize fund will be split equally between the three Bisto Honour Awards, one for writing, one for illustration and a Judges Special Recognition Award.

The shortlist is below:
A Bit Lost by Chris Haughton
Dancing in the Dark by Peter Prendergast
Mac Rí Éireann by Caitríona Hastings and Andrew Whitson
Prim Improper by Deirdre Sullivan
Taking Flight by Sheena Wilkinson
The Heart and The Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
The Lunatic’s Curse by F E Higgins
The Owl and The Pussycat illustrated by Kevin Waldron
Tiny Little Fly illustrated by Kevin Waldron
Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers