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The Alligator's Mouth Award Longlist 2021

last updated 25 March 2021

We’re thrilled to share the longlist for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2021!


Ten books have been longlisted for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2021, which champions both authors and illustrators of highly-illustrated children’s fiction. Now in its third year, the children’s book prize created by The Bright Agency and The Alligator’s Mouth children’s bookshop, celebrates the best books for 6-8-year-olds.

Bright Director Arabella Stein, joins the judging panel of children’s book experts who selected the longlisted titles, alongside author Smriti Halls and author-illustrator Adam Stower.

Arabella said: ‘There were so many strong contenders submitted for this year’s award, and it was a pleasure to read the wealth of books that have been keeping children entertained and engaged during lockdowns and school closures. I am delighted by the exciting range of books selected for the 2021 longlist.’

The full longlist for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2021:

Agents of the Wild: Operation Honeyhunt written by Jennifer Bell, illustrated by Alice Lickens, published by Walker Books

Attack of the Heebie Jeebies written and illustrated by Tom Percival, published by Macmillan Children’s Books

Claude at the Palace written and illustrated by Alex T. Smith, published by Hodder Children’s Books

Leo’s Map of Monsters: The Armoured Goretusk written by Kris Humphrey, illustrated by Pete Williamson, published by Oxford University Press

Pizazz written and illustrated by Sophy Henn, published by Simon & Schuster Children’s UK

Super Happy Magic Forest and the Humongous Fungus written and illustrated by Matty Long, published by Oxford University Press

The Hat Full of Secrets written by Karl Newson, illustrated by Wazza Pink, published by Stripes Publishing

Wigglesbottom Primary: Break Time Bunnies written by Pamela Butchart, illustrated by Becka Moor, published by Nosy Crow

The Worst Class in the World written by Joanna Nadin, illustrated by Rikin Parekh, published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Zombierella: Fairy Tales Gone Bad written by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Freya Hartas, published by Walker Books

Adam Stower, 2021 judge, and winner of the 2020 award with King Coo: The Curse of the Mummy’s Gold commented: ‘It is so heartening to see this area of children’s fiction thrive. Illustrated early fiction offers such a wonderful bridge for young readers who are moving on from picture books into longer and more complex narratives. These books are packed with illustrations that can lure the most reluctant of readers and gently introduce them into the marvellous world of longer fiction, hopefully instilling in them a lifelong love of reading. These books should be celebrated, and how lovely it is that The Alligator’s Mouth Award does exactly that. Long may it continue!’

Books wholesaler Gardners returns as an official partner of the award, and are offering independent bookshops across the UK a 50% discount on all ten longlisted titles until the end of July 2021.

The shortlist will be announced in May 2021. The winner will be announced in July 2021.

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

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