The five children’s books shortlisted for Oscar’s Book Prize 2017 have been revealed.
Having the courage to be different, extinct animals and suburban tigers were just some of the themes that thrilled and excited this year’s judging panel.
Claudia Winkleman, presenter of Strictly Come Dancing and one of the 2017 judges, said she fell in love with the hero Leo of The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight, an engaging story about the power of reading.
“A beautiful story and incredibly easy to read. Even the title hooked me in,” she said.
It has been a record year for admissions, with more than 70 entries from publishers. From these a long list of 13 books were chosen, with help from the Eveline Day Nursery in Wimbledon. This is the nursery that book-loving Oscar, to whom the prize is a tribute, attended.
The final five books are Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph; Hello, Mr Dodo by Nicholas John Frith; The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty; The Koala Who Could by Rachel Bright and Jim Field; and There’s A Tiger In The Garden by Lizzy Stewart.
The other judges of this year’s prize are Cathy Rentzenbrink, books editor of the Bookseller magazine and author of the forthcoming A Manual For Heartache; Dan Mucha, director of books at Amazon; and Oscar’s parents, Viveka Alvestrand and Evening Standard columnist James Ashton.
The winning book will be announced at an event in London on May 15. Oscar’s Book Prize patron HRH Princess Beatrice will present the winner with the £5,000 prize, which is supported by Amazon and the National Literacy Trust.
To celebrate the announcement of the shortlist, the first 50 London nurseries or primary schools to email firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a complimentary set of the five books.
More on the 2017 shortlist: Read today's article on Oscar's Book Prize published in the Evening Standard here