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Shortlist announced for this years Alligator's Mouth Award

last updated 12 May 2022

We’re thrilled to announce the five top titles shortlisted for the children’s book prize!


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Five books have been shortlisted for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2022, which champions authors and illustrators of highly illustrated children’s fiction. Now in its fourth year, the children’s book prize was created by Bright and The Alligator’s Mouth children’s bookshop to celebrate the best books for 6-8-year-olds.

The shortlist was selected by a judging panel of children’s book experts, including award-winning author Joseph Elliott, who commented: “With all that’s going on in the world right now, the power of books is more important than ever. Children’s books entertain, inspire, and provide a safe space to escape to, which is often exactly what we need. The books on this list are exceptional, and it’s a joy to be able to celebrate them all.”


The full shortlist for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2022:


Bad Panda written by Swapna Haddow, illustrated by Sheena Dempsey, published by Faber Children’s.

Indigo Wilde and the Creatures at Jellybean Crescent written and illustrated by Pippa Curnick, published by Hodder Children’s Books.

Kate on the Case written and illustrated by Hannah Peck, published by Piccadilly Press.

Space Detectives written by Mark Powers, illustrated by Dapo Adeola, published by Bloomsbury.

The Girl Who Talked to Trees, written by Natasha Farrant, illustrated by Lydia Corry, published by Zephyr, Head of Zeus.



Including Joseph Elliott, the shortlist was selected by judges including; author-illustrator Sophy Henn, winner of the 2021 award with Pizazz (Simon & Schuster Children’s UK); rapping teacher and literacy advocate MC Grammar; reading consultant & book blogger Jo Cummins (Library Girl & Book Boy); and co-owners of The Alligator’s Mouth children’s bookshop, Margaret Wallace-Jones and Tony West.

Tony West and Margaret Wallace-Jones of The Alligator’s Mouth said: “We’re so happy to announce this fantastically entertaining shortlist. These books are witty, exciting and beautiful to look at, and we know that they will thrill and enchant children. This is how lifelong readers are made - congratulations and thanks to the hugely talented and creative authors and illustrators for producing such brilliant books.”

Books wholesaler Gardners returns as an official partner of the award, and are offering independent bookshops across the UK up to 50% discount on all ten longlisted titles from the 29th March 2022 until the end of July 2022.

This year the award is also working with Fun Kids, the UK’s only National radio station for 6-12 years old, and Coram Beanstalk, the national reading charity, to run a special competition giving school libraries a chance to win the longlisted titles. The competition is live until Friday 27th May, and schools can find out more and enter via the Coram Beanstalk site here.

The winner will be announced at a special awards ceremony in July 2022.

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