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The Alligator's Mouth Award Shortlist 2021

last updated 27 May 2021

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


Five books have been shortlisted for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2021, which champions authors and illustrators of highly illustrated children’s fiction. Now in its third 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.

Bright Director Arabella Stein once again joined the judging panel of children’s book experts alongside author Smriti Halls, author-illustrator Adam Stower (winner of The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2020), book blogger and primary school librarian Jo Clarke (Book Lover Jo), primary school headteacher and book blogger Simon Smith, and co-owners of The Alligator’s Mouth children’s bookshop, Margaret Wallace-Jones and Tony West.

Arabella commented: ‘It was a very real challenge to narrow down our fantastic longlist to just five books – and a reflection on the outstanding publishing in highly illustrated fiction in the last year! Congratulations to all the authors, illustrators and publishers.’

The line-up of books features themes of wildlife, fantasy, family relationships, as well as humour.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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