Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards unveils 2019 shortlist in fiercest competition yet

Published on: 08 August 2019 Author: Catriona Wightman

The Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards are partnering with BookTrust for the third year in a row - and the 2019 shortlist has just been announced.

My Pet Star by Corinne Averiss and Rosalind Beardshaw

This year's competition is the fiercest yet, as the judging team received more nominated books than in any other year.

Five categories will be up for grabs in this year's Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards, covering baby and toddler books, fiction, and picture books alongside titles for learning and development and some of our favourite characters.

Adaptations of classic books such as Oi Frog! and We're Going on a Bear Hunt make an appearance alongside characters such as Where's Wally and Star Wars.

The picture book category will see titles My Pet Star, Look Up! and The Same But Different Too fight it out.

Meanwhile, the fiction shortlist celebrates comedian Humza Arshad's Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties (co-written with Henry White and illustrated by Aleksei Bitskoff) along with Shane Hegarty and Ben Mantle's robot tale Boot and Anna Fargher's World War II animal story The Umbrella Mouse.

Inspiring children to read for the joy of it

The awards will be handed out at a special ceremony in London on 28 August, along with the Sainsbury's Children's Classic honour, which celebrates a book that has brought joy to generations of children. Last year, the prize went to Judith Kerr's classic The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

BookTrust's director of children's books Jill Coleman said: 'We're delighted to be partnering with Sainsbury's again on its Children's Book Awards. Sainsbury's shares our passion for brilliant books which excite and inspire a diverse range of children to read for the joy of it.

'This year, we have had more nominations than ever; the shortlist is fantastic and it's going to be a very tough job to pick the winners in August.'

Meanwhile, Sainsbury's books buyer Danika Cave said: '2019 has seen the highest volume of nominations to date and the quality and breadth of titles continues to increase year on year.

'I feel very passionately about the importance of children's literature and its ability to inspire and engage our youngest customers.'

The winner in each category will receive £1000 and all of the shortlisted titles will be promoted in Sainsbury's stores.

Discover the full shortlist

Baby and Toddler

  • Oi Frog! Mix and Match by Kes Gray and Jim Field (Hodder Children's Books)
  • Little World: To the Moon by Ladybird/Stuart Atkinson and Allison Black (Penguin Random House)
  • Nibbles Numbers by Emma Yarlett (Little Tiger Press)

Picture Book

  • My Pet Star by Corrinne Averiss and Rosalind Beardshaw (Hachette Children's Books)
  • Look Up! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola (Penguin Random House)
  • The Same But Different Too by Karl Newson and Kate Hindley (Nosy Crow)


  • Boot: Small Robot, BIG Adventure by Shane Hegarty and Ben Mantle (Hachette Children's Books)
  • Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties by Humza Arshad, Henry White and Aleksei Bitskoff (Penguin Random House)
  • The Umbrella Mouse by Anna Fargher (Pan Macmillan)

Learning and Development

  • You Are Awesome Journal by Matthew Syed, Lindsey Sagar and Toby Triumph (Hachette Children's Books)
  • The Awesome Book of Space by Adam Frost (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • The Everyday Journey of Ordinary Things by Libby Deutsch and Valpuri Kerttula (Ivy Kids)

Favourite Characters

  • We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Let's Discover Baby Animals (Walker Books Ltd)
  • Where's Wally Exciting Expeditions by Martin Hanford (Walker Books Ltd)
  • Where's The Wookiee 2 by Lucasfilm (Egmont Publishing)

Download the full press release

Find out more about the Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards

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