This award celebrates the creativity and craft involved in producing books for younger children aged up to 5,  in which illustration plays a key and dominant part. The winning entry will surprise and delight, combining pictures with words to create an engaging tale that lends itself to being read aloud.


  • Storytelling: A story with a strong beginning, engaging plot and satisfying ending 

  • Prose Clear, engaging and age-appropriate language that lends itself to being read aloud.

  • Originality e.g. of story/character/ style/ perspective

  • Accessibility: Clear, well organised pages that place priority on readability (e.g. selected fonts)

  • Artwork: Impact of illustrations on the reading experience - e.g. adding meaning, conveying information, delivering messages, driving narrative

  • Diversity and respectful representation: People and experiences are portrayed authentically and with sensitivity, without stereotyping, generalising or trivialising.

  • Appeal: Design and layout of the book is eye-catching, engaging and accessible. Consider use of colour, composition, originality and innovation (e.g. interactive elements).

  • Impact: A pleasurable reading experience overall that leaves a lasting impression and stands up to being read on repeat.