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The Alligator's Mouth Award 2020 Shortlist

last updated 29 April 2020

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


We are delighted to share the shortlisted titles for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2020 – a prize created by Bright and The Alligator’s Mouth bookshop to celebrate highly-illustrated children’s fiction. This year’s line-up of books for 6 to 8-year-olds features friendship, fantasy, diversity and plenty of humour.

Bright Director Arabella Stein joined the judging panel of children’s book experts who selected the top five books, alongside last year’s winner Nick Sharratt; author and illustrator Yasmeen Ismail; founder of the Bath Festival of Children’s Literature, John McLay; Specialist Literacy Teacher, Richard Charlesworth; co-owners of The Alligator’s Mouth, Margaret Wallace-Jones and Tony West.

The full shortlist for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2020:

The Adventures of Harry Stevenson written and illustrated by Ali Pye (Simon & Schuster Children’s UK)

Hotel Flamingo written and illustrated by Alex Milway (Piccadilly Press, Bonnier)

King Coo: The Curse of the Mummy’s Gold written and illustrated by Adam Stower (David Fickling Books)

The Naughtiest Unicorn written by Pip Bird and illustrated by David O’Connell (Egmont)

Two Sides written by Polly Ho-Yen and illustrated by Binny Talib (Stripes Publishing)

Yasmeen Ismail said: ‘It’s always fantastic to have children’s book awards, but in particular The Alligator’s Mouth award champions the sometimes under represented early fiction titles. It was a great longlist to read, and I am delighted that the shortlist we have chosen reflects some of the funniest and most heartfelt titles published recently. Regardless of who the winner is, I hope children everywhere will get a chance to read all of these great titles.’

Arabella Stein said: ‘I’m so thrilled with the five books chosen for the shortlist. With children at home looking for entertainment and escapism, we hope the shortlisted books will inspire young readers, champion the wonderful creative work in our industry, and bring some much-needed good news in these strange times.’

title Last year’s ceremony: The Alligator’s Mouth Award trophy, and from left to right: Margaret Wallace-Jones, Tony West, Nick Sharratt, Axel Scheffler and Arabella Stein.

Last year’s top prize was awarded to Nick Sharratt for Nice Work for the Cat and the King (Alison Green Books, Scholastic Children’s Books) at a ceremony held at the Bright Emporium. This year, the judges will meet virtually to decide the winner and the prize will be announced in June via a digital ceremony.

Books wholesaler Gardners, official partner of the award for 2020, are continuing to offer independent bookshops across the UK a 52.5% discount on the longlisted titles throughout May.

Read more about the longlisted books in our blog here.

Find out more about The Alligator’s Mouth Award here.

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