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The Alligator's Mouth Awards Longlist 2022

last updated 28 March 2022

We’re thrilled to share the longlist for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2022!


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

Sophy Henn, winner of the 2021 award with Pizazz (Simon & Schuster Children’s UK), returns this year to join rapping teacher and literacy advocate MC Grammar on the judging panel, which is made up of children’s book experts who selected the longlisted titles.

Sophy Henn commented: “Some might say I am biased, but the Alligator’s Mouth Award is such a special award, celebrating an often-overlooked genre in children’s books; illustrated fiction. These books can act as a bridge for keen readers, a helping hand for those less sure and a starting point for reluctant readers. They play such an important part in so many children’s reading journeys. I am thrilled they are celebrated with an award all of their own!”

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

An Alien in the Jam Factory, written by Chrissie Sains, illustrated by Jenny Taylor, published by Walker Books.

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

Cally and Jimmy: Twintastic, written by Zoe Antoniades, illustrated by Katie Kear, published by Andersen Press.

Genie and Teeny: Make a Wish, written and illustrated by Steve Lenton, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books.

Grimwood, written and illustrated by Nadia Shireen, published by Simon & Schuster Children’s Books.

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.

Will Jakeman’s Marvellous Mechanimals, written and illustrated by Nick Ward, published by Guppy Books.

Joining MC Grammar and Sophy Henn on the judging panel are: award-winning author Joseph Elliott; primary teacher, 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:“It’s another fantastic longlist for our fourth Alligator’s Mouth award. These books are inventive, original, exciting, witty and imaginative, and they will create lifelong readers. Well done to everyone longlisted!”

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 will run in April 2022, and schools can find out more and enter via the Coram Beanstalk site.

The shortlist will be announced in May 2022. The winner will be announced in July 2022.

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

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