BookTrust Storytime Prize Shortlist Unveiled

Published on: 13 May 2020

The shortlist for the annual BookTrust Storytime Prize is here. Now in its second year and managed in association with the CILIP Youth Libraries Group, the prize celebrates and promotes the best books for sharing with children.

The Storytime Prize 2020 shortlisted books

To celebrate the announcement, we're working with Libraries Connected and National Shelf Service for a special social media takeover from 11am until 4pm today, with the librarians who were on the shortlist judging panel (plus special guest) talking about each of the shortlisted books every hour.

BookTrust's Storytime Prize recognises the vital role that picture books play in getting children reading from an early age. The shortlisted books were selected by a panel of children's reading experts based on a range of criteria which included having an engaging narrative and illustrations; stimulating the imagination and encouraging interaction; as well as reflecting a diversity of backgrounds.

BookTrust Storytime Prize Shortlist:

  • B is for Baby (Atinuke, Angela Brooksbank, Walker Books)
  • Go Go Pirate Boat (Katrina Charman, Nick Sharratt, Bloomsbury)
  • I Am A Tiger (Karl Newson, Ross Collins, Macmillan)
  • My Hair (Hannah Lee, Allen Fatimaharan, Faber Children's)
  • This Is Owl (Libby Walden, Jacqui Lee, Caterpillar Books)
  • 1,2,3 Do the Dinosaur (Michelle Robinson, Rosalind Beardshaw, Egmont)

To find a winner, the six shortlisted books will be shared with hundreds of children, carers and families via virtual reading sessions by public librarians across the country between end of May and mid-September. Eleven librarians from all English regions,
Wales and NI will be hosting storytime sessions online via Facebook Live and Zoom with the country (until lockdown restrictions lift).

Diana Gerald, BookTrust CEO said:

"BookTrust set up this prize to give credit to the wonderful authors and illustrators that create the books which give families so much pleasure, before children can read themselves or even talk. These are the books that will have families cuddled up on the sofa creating memories that last a lifetime, creating bonds and helping with emotional wellbeing, empathy and character development.
It's always a tough job for the judges but what an incredible selection they have chosen!"

Tricia Adams, Professional Librarian, (has also worked with LoveReading4Schools and CILIP) said:

"From being read to as a child, I grew to love reading as an adult and as it turned out it was a really good for my career too! (being a librarian). My passion for reading really made being a judge for this wonderful prize so much better. I feel that I can 'do my bit' in helping other people's children find their future favourite books.
We think that the books chosen are perfect for your children to cherish and to stay with them forever. They will build the foundation of your little one's escape into reading, as well as helping to build the blocks of their education".

Cressida Cowell, Waterstone's Children's Laureate said:

'It was a pleasure to judge this award which celebrates the best book for sharing – and great to do it with such distinguished group of librarians together with an expert in early years education. Just ten minutes of reading together each day from the earliest age is hugely beneficial, not only for a child's language development and understanding, but also for bonding.
Some of my favourite memories as a parent are reading aloud to my children. As sharing stories is so crucial, it's wonderful to have a prize that celebrates the quality of picture books currently being published. Happy reading, everyone.'

The overall winner of the BookTrust Storytime Prize award will win £5,000 and will be announced in November.