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The Alligator's Mouth Award 2024

last updated 28 June 2024

Here at Bright, we have the absolute delight of supporting our dear friends Tony West and Margaret Wallace-Jones, co-owners of The Alligator’s Mouth Bookshop, in our Children’s book award for early illustrated fiction: The Alligator’s Mouth Award.

On the 27th June, we celebrated these incredible books with the shortlisted teams, friends and families of the award. Margaret commented: “It’s wonderful to be able to celebrate these books which we love so much. Every year I think what a fantastic shortlist, but this year it has been particularly delightful and given us so much joy. It’s such a beautiful range of books.”


This year’s winner was Adventuremice: Otter Chaos by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, published by David Fickling Books. The trophy was presented by the winner of the 2023 award, author-illustrator Elys Dolan, who also served as a judge for the 2024 award.

Elys commented: “It does that great thing of funny not being the opposite of serious. There’s some really funny writing and really funny illustration in there and they work so well together. I love an ensemble cast, different mice with different skills and backgrounds. It’s such a masterclass on worldbuilding, there’s so much depth to the world that’s created.”


Liz Cross and Meggie Dennis from David Fickling Books accepted the award on behalf of Philip and Sarah, who were unable to make it to the award party, but did send a lovely video message.

On accepting the award, Philip said: “I can take the opportunity to say that she (Sarah McIntyre) is a genius and I’m very lucky to be working with her. We’d both like to thank our brilliant editors Liz Cross and Meggie Dennis, and all the other lovely people at David Fickling Books that make it possible to work together on these books. I hope that there are going to be many more of them! Thank you so much for this award.”


Tony West brought us all to tears as he reminisced on previous years and the importance of the award: “We always enjoy the judges meeting so much, it’s great fun, one of my favourite parts of the year. The award is to recognise these books that help children on their reading journey, which is why we set up the award, and it’s so important to enjoy a range of books and to have something that deserves to be in every school library. Funny is good, friendship is the best, and resilience will be rewarded in stories like these.”


Books wholesaler Gardners returned this year as an official partner of the award and are offering up to 50% discount on both longlisted and shortlisted titles until the end of July.

National reading charity Coram Beanstalk also returned as a partner, running a competition that offered UK schools the chance to win the longlisted titles.

To stay updated with the award, take a look at The Alligator’s Mouth website.

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