Check out these incredible winners from our 'Design a character' competition with Dapo Adeola – with one appearing in a book soon

Published on: 14 February 2022

Last year, our Writer-Illustrator in Residence, Dapo Adeola, launched a competition to design a book character, with a chance to see that character brought to life in a new children's book. You're going to be blown away by the winners...!

When BookTrust's Writer-Illustrator in Residence Dapo Adeola asked primary school children across the UK to design a book character, we didn't realise that we'd end up with over 750 extraordinary entries!

The standard was incredibly high and Dapo had a tough time whittling it down to just a few winners and a few highly commended entries, too. You can now see who caught his eye – and who will end up as an illustration in a future book – below...

Thanks to every child who entered: it was incredibly hard to choose just a few winning entries. Most importantly, keep drawing and creating characters!

The overall winner: Ayesha loves basketball

Imani, age 7, drew this wonderful, vibrant picture of a basketball-loving girl, which swept our judge Dapo away. Ayesha will now become a background character in one of Dapo's forthcoming books!

Five runners-up

The standard of entries was so high and Dapo was so impressed that we ended up with five runners-up, rather than our expected three. All of these brilliant entries will now get a full-colour version of their character, drawn and styled by Dapo Adeola.

Wild Florence by Florence, age 9

Pickle by Francesca, age 10

Thunder Girl by Chaeyoon, Year 3 of Betty Layward Primary School

Wonder Dog by Naomi, age 6

The Flower Warrior by Kenza, Year 5 of Betty Layward Primary School

Just to get a flavour of the quality of entries that came in for Dapo's competition, make sure you also check out our gallery below of highly commended entries. Some of them have quite creative back stories, too!

Highly commended: More wonderful ideas for book characters

Ice Cream Hairdresser by Cotty, age 8
Melvin the Ninja Pig in Blanket by but Zadie, age 6: 'He is a ninja pig in blanket and he fights with his clan of other ninja pigs in blankets to battle the Evil Sprout Squad (ESS).'
Moty Unicorn Cat by Isla from St Helens Medway
Character by Joseph from St Helens Medway
Glinda by Chieyiem, age 9: 'Glinda loves birds and animals so much she wants to become a zoologist and work in a zoo.'
Bow by Midhah, age 11: 'A rainbow sheep who is kind and playful.'
Chicken Hood AKA Bushy Eyebrow Tim by Rufus, age 9: 'He’s got a bit of 'tude, but ultimately he’s a righteous, justice-seeking chicken.'
Character by Tahmid in Year 4 at Sharrow Primary School
Scarlett by Lolia, age 6: 'Scarlett is a girl who likes wearing pretty shoes, is pretty, kind, nice, amazing, and likes music, reading books, and colouring.'
Loosea by Dassine: 'Her mum is an architect and it's fun because she can help her mum come up with ideas.'
Jim by a child at Alder Year 3 at Eccleston Mere Primary School
Ember the artist koala by Blanka, age 8
Bunny Hop Bugs by a child at St Helens Medway
Ice Cream Hairdresser by Cotty, age 8

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Melvin the Ninja Pig in Blanket by but Zadie, age 6: 'He is a ninja pig in blanket and he fights with his clan of other ninja pigs in blankets to battle the Evil Sprout Squad (ESS).'

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Moty Unicorn Cat by Isla from St Helens Medway

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Character by Joseph from St Helens Medway

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Glinda by Chieyiem, age 9: 'Glinda loves birds and animals so much she wants to become a zoologist and work in a zoo.'

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Bow by Midhah, age 11: 'A rainbow sheep who is kind and playful.'

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Chicken Hood AKA Bushy Eyebrow Tim by Rufus, age 9: 'He’s got a bit of 'tude, but ultimately he’s a righteous, justice-seeking chicken.'

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Character by Tahmid in Year 4 at Sharrow Primary School

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Scarlett by Lolia, age 6: 'Scarlett is a girl who likes wearing pretty shoes, is pretty, kind, nice, amazing, and likes music, reading books, and colouring.'

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Loosea by Dassine: 'Her mum is an architect and it's fun because she can help her mum come up with ideas.'

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Jim by a child at Alder Year 3 at Eccleston Mere Primary School

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Ember the artist koala by Blanka, age 8

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Bunny Hop Bugs by a child at St Helens Medway

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Writer in Residence

Our current Writer-Illustrator in Residence is Michael Rosen, who is writing blogs, running competitions and giving us their unique perspective on the world of children's books.

Find out what they're up to