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Longlist Revealed for Derby Children’s Picture Book Award 2023

By - 20 January 2023 - 14:51pm

We're delighted to share the longlist for 2023

If you follow us on social media, you might have seen our post revealing the longlist for the 2023 Derby Children’s Picture Book Award, but you might not know what happens next, so we thought we’d put together a short post explaining the process.

Last Autumn, we emailed publishers and invited them to submit up to three different children’s picture books that met the following criteria:

  • Books must reflect the diversity of modern Britain

  • The book must have been published in 2022

  • It should be suitable for 6-8-year-olds (years 2 & 3).

This year was a record-breaking year as we received 51 submissions from 21 publishers. Members of our Education Group, who have a working knowledge of the education system and a desire to encourage children and young people to read, reviewed the entries.

The panel noted the high quality of the submissions received, both in terms of the illustrations and the stories, and their ability to tackle important subjects from climate change to feelings. They then whittled down the 49 submissions to 11 books, which comprise our longlist for this year:

  • ‘The Girl Who Planted Trees’ by Caryl Hart and Anastasia Suvorova (Nosy Crow)
  • ‘Don’t Ask the Dragon’ by Lemn Sissay and Greg Stobbs (Canongate Books)
  • ‘Flooded’ by Mariajo Ilustrajo (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, a Quarto imprint)
  • ‘When the Storks Came Home’ by Isabella Tree and Alexandra Finkeldey (Ivy Kids, a Quarto imprint)
  • ‘The Friendly Mammoth’ by Anna Terreros-Martin (David Fickling Books)
  • ‘Yes You Can, Cow!’ by Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Rikin Parekh (Faber & Faber)
  • ‘Lost in the City’ by Alice Courtley (Orchard Books, a Hachette Children’s Group imprint)
  • ‘My Granny is a Queen’ by Madeleine Cook and Rebecca Ashdown (Oxford University Press)
  • ‘The Invention’ by Julia Hubery and James Munro (Graffeg)
  • ‘Human Town’ by Alan Durant and Anna Doherty (Tiny Owl Publishing)
  • ‘Stop the Clock’ by Pippa Goodhart and Maria Christania (Tiny Owl Publishing)

So, what happens next? We are fortunate to have a great relationship with lots of schools around Derby because of the work of the Education Group and the emphasis on community projects by Derby Book Festival.

With this in mind, we have invited a group of primary school teachers to come along and shortlist the remaining 11 books. This is an annual tradition that we very much look forward to because of the excitement and enthusiasm the teachers bring, along with great insights and perspective. They also give up a Saturday to do the shortlisting!

By the end of the day, the teachers will have voted for their favourite books, which will leave us with a shortlist of three books. After we’ve informed the publishers, authors, and illustrators on the longlist, we will then order sets of the shortlisted books for schools across Derby. Last year we had 45 schools involved with the project – that’s 145 classes and approximately 4,350 children.

The teachers and children then have three weeks to look at the books and read them ahead of Voting Day, which is taking place on Tuesday 28 March 2023. One of the most exciting parts of Derby Children’s Picture Book Award is the fact that the winner will be chosen by children across Derby.

After the winner has been announced, on Thursday 30 March, we will invite the winning author and illustrator to take part in virtual events and activities for the children involved to meet the author and illustrator and help bring books to life.

Find out more about the award and see our previous winners here: https://www.derbybookfestival.co.uk/community/derby-childrens-picture-book-award

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