Celebrating books which inspire and reflect modern Britain and that enable children to identify with the book’s characters and stories
In 2018 we launched Derby Children’s Picture Book Award to mark the fifth anniversary of our Festival. The Award is chosen by children from Years 2 & 3 in a group of Derby schools.
We believe it is vitally important for children to read books which reflect themselves, their lives and the world around them. Derby is a diverse city with a significantly higher number of BAME people than the national average (19.7% compared to 14.6%) and the second largest population of D/deaf people in the UK.
Each year we invite publishers to submit books that meet the criteria. Teachers decide on the shortlisted books that the children in the Award Schools will read.
The children read the books in class (and can take them home) in the summer Spring term and then vote for their favourite. The winner is announced in May each year just before the Festival.
The winning books to date are:
2023: Human Town by Alan Durant & Anna Doherty, published by Tiny Owl
Chosen by 1,886 children from 51 city schools in Derby.
2022: The Tale of the Whale by Karen Swann and Padmacandra, published by Scallywag Press
Chosen by 1,158 children in 45 city schools.
2021: All Kinds of Families by Sophy Henn (author and illustrator), published by Egmont
Chosen by 750 children in 25 classes at eight city schools
2020: Brian the Brave by Paul Stewart & Jane Porter, published by Otter-Barry.
Chosen by 727 children in 27 classes at eight city schools
2019: The Girls by Lauren Ace & Jenny Løvlie, published by Little Tiger Press.
Chosen by 640 children in 25 classes at seven city schools
How the Award works
We invite all the city’s infant, junior and primary schools to apply to take part in the Award each year and the schools receive sets of the shortlisted books. Year 2 and 3 classes read the shortlisted books in class with their teacher (and can take books home to read with their parents) in the spring term.
In 2022 over half of the city’s primary schools were involved with the Award.
On Voting Day, we provide the children with a voting slip and they choose their favourite book.
We invite the winning author and illustrator to visit the participating schools at virtual events in the summer term, giving them the chance to meet all the children and teachers and enabling the children to ask questions. The author/illustrator are awarded a joint cash prize of £500.
Terms and Conditions for the Award
- Publishers are invited to submit up to three different books which reflect the diversity and issues of modern Britain.
- The Award is open to all published writers and illustrators whose book was published in the current calendar year.
- The publisher must send three copies of each book they want to submit.
- The Award targets books for 6 - 7 year olds (Years 2 & 3), subsequently the picture books should be appropriate for this age group.
- The author/illustrator will be awarded a joint cash prize of £500.
Derby Children's Picture Book Award is very special because the only people who decide the winner each year is the school children who read the shortlisted books.
Derby Children's Picture Book Award winners to date
All proceeds from our sales go towards helping the work of Derby Book Festival, a registered charity.
Purchase our Books
You can purchase past winners of the Derby Children's Picture Book Award here: