Alligator's Mouth Award Shortlist Announced

last updated 13 May 2019

Five books have been shortlisted for the first year of The Alligator’s Mouth Award, the new children’s book prize celebrating the best titles for readers aged six to eight.


We are thrilled to finally be able to announce the books shortlisted for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2019, showcasing the best writers and illustrators for highly-illustrated fiction in the UK.

Judge and children’s poet Joseph Coelho shares his thoughts on the final shortlist, ahead of the panel’s challenging task of selecting a winner.

Joseph Coelho

“Age 6-8 is such an important time to ensure that children find a love of reading and build upon it. The inaugural Alligator’s Mouth Award shortlist has a fantastic selection of books covering the full range offered by illustrated early fiction; there are books here to delight, make children think and laugh out loud.”

Bright is delighted to be supporting the Award, with Bright Director Arabella Stein joining the judging panel alongside Axel Scheffler, Joseph Coelho, children’s literature expert Andrea Reece, teacher and blogger Ben Cooper, and co-owners of The Alligator’s Mouth bookshop Margaret Wallace-Jones and Tony West.

The full shortlist for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2019:

Dave Pigeon (Racer!) written by Swapna Haddow and illustrated by Sheena Dempsey (Faber & Faber)

Lyttle Lies: The Stinky Truth written and illustrated by Joe Berger (Simon & Schuster)

Nice Work for the Cat and the King written and illustrated by Nick Sharratt (Alison Green Books, Scholastic Children’s Books)

Rabbit and Bear: Attack of the Snack written by Julian Gough and illustrated by Jim Field (Hodder Children’s Books, Hachette)

The Legend of Kevin written by Philip Reeve and illustrated by Sarah McIntyre (Oxford University Press)


It is a pleasure to be hosting the award ceremony at The Bright Emporium on Thursday 13th June, to celebrate all the talented authors and illustrators involved. Axel Scheffler will be announcing the winner, who will receive The Alligator’s Mouth Award trophy.

It has been fantastic to see the level of submissions in this inaugural year of the Award, and we know the judges had no easy task narrowing down the brilliant longlisted titles from ten to five.

title At The London Book Fair, left to right: Arabella Stein, Tony West, Margaret Wallace-Jones and Nigel Wyman from Gardners announced the ten longlisted titles.

Book wholesalers Gardners have also shown their support, offering independent bookshops across the UK a 50-60% discount on all ten longlisted titles throughout March, April and May.

Keep up to date with the award at and on Twitter by following #AlligatorsAward.

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