Princess Beatrice is joining the panel of judges for Oscar’s Book Prize 2016.
"I’m really excited to be involved as a judge for Oscar's Book Prize,” the princess said as the call for entries was announced. “I’ve always loved picture books, so I’m looking forward to having a chance to review all the brilliant entries."
The prize has also won support from culture minister Ed Vaizey, who will speak at the prize-giving ceremony in London on May 23.
“Reading is such an important part of childhood and it is crucial that we encourage youngsters to love books from an early age,” Vaizey said. “I’m very proud to support Oscar’s Book Prize, which celebrates the magical works that help introduce our children to the joy of reading.”
The £5,000 award has two more new judges. Rebecca Nicolson, publisher and co-founder of Short Books and Nicky Dunne, chairman of Heywood Hill Books, will help choose the best book published in 2015 for children aged five and under. As in previous years, Rupert Thomas, marketing director of prize sponsor Waitrose, and Oscar’s parents, James Ashton and Viveka Alvestrand, will also sit on the panel.
Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands said: “This is our third year of running Oscar’s Book Prize and the award has become loved and valued in the book publishing trade. First reading books are the gateway to a life of possibilities and delight and I like to think of Oscar standing at that gate, waving thousands of children through.”
UK publishers may submit up to three books per imprint by 5pm on March 18. A shortlist will be announced in April. Princess Beatrice will announce the winner at May’s prize-giving ceremony.