Blue Peter Book Awards 2019

Since 2000, the enormously popular and influential Blue Peter Book Awards have been recognising and celebrating the best authors, the most creative illustrators and the greatest reads for children.

The Blue Peter Book Awards 2019 celebrates children's books published in the last year in two categories: the Best Story and the Best Book with Facts. Previous Blue Peter Book Award winners include Cressida Cowell, Michael Morpurgo, Katherine Rundell, Oliver Jeffers and Liz Pichon.  

We now have a shortlist! The two winning books will now be picked by judging schools around the country and announced live on Blue Peter on World Book Day on Thursday 7 March 2019.

Shortlist – Best Story

The Boy at the Back of the Class

Author: Onjali Q Raúf

This is the story about how four classmates have a massive impact on the life of Ahmet, a boy that comes to their school as a refugee from Syria. An inspiring and sweet tale that should help children be the best they can be and realise the power of kindness.

Read more about The Boy at the Back of the Class

The Clockwork Crow

Author: Catherine Fisher

Orphan Seren Rhys has been sent to live with her mysterious Godfather after living for 12 years in an orphanage. The possibility of her first happy family Christmas seems like it might finally be within her reach.

On her solo journey to Wales, Seren is given a mysterious package to look after by a stranger and ends up feeling obliged to take it with her. But…

Read more about The Clockwork Crow

The House With Chicken Legs

Author: Sophie Anderson

A story of death, magic and the afterlife told by Marinka, who is desperate not to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and wants to find her own destiny. Loosely based on the Slavic myth of Baba Yaga, this story is delightfully macabre and utterly engrossing.

Read more about The House With Chicken Legs

Read blogs from the authors

Using your Mind Banks: How to create a new world from the one you live in right now...

How to write a fascinating fantasy story

Could you live in a House with Chicken Legs? Take this quirky quiz!

Longlisted books in this category

Shortlist – Best Book With Facts

Professor Astro Cat’s Human Body Odyssey

Author: Dr. Dominic Walliman Illustrator: Ben Newman

Everyone's favourite cat-astronaut investigates the human body in this beautiful, graphically illustrated look at everything from eyes to muscles, genetics to reproduction and the immune, endocrine and lymphatic systems.

Read more about Professor Astro Cat’s Human Body Odyssey

The Colours of History

Author: Clive Gifford Illustrator: Marc-Etienne Peintre

Full of fascinating facts about colour, this book focuses on a topic that is not often covered in children’s books. It offers a wide range of opportunities and new ideas for parents and schools, working across the curriculum through art, history and beyond.

Read more about The Colours of History

The Element in the Room: Investigating the Atomic Ingredients that Make Up Your Home

Author: Mike Barfield Illustrator: Lauren Humphrey

Professor Ohms, a scientific detective, takes you on a journey of discovery around the periodic table. Packed with many weird and wonderful facts, it's perfect for any aspiring scientists (or detectives!). 

Read more about The Element in the Room: Investigating the Atomic Ingredients that Make Up Your Home

Read blogs from the authors

Favourite facts about the human body: from the crew of Professor Astro Cat

Top ten facts about colour and their role over the centuries

Try-at-home-science: Can you solve the case of the cunningly concealed carbon?

Longlisted books in this category

  • Absolutely Everything! A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots and Other Things Too Numerous to Mention by Christopher Lloyd
  • Alastair Humphreys' Great Adventurers: The Incredible Expeditions of 20 Explorers illustrated by Kevin Ward
  • Ancient Warriors by Iris Volant and Joe Lillington
  • Flying Colours: A Guide to Flags From Around the World by Robert G Fresson
  • Peace and Me: Inspired by the Lives of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates by Ali Winter and Mickaël El Fathi
  • The Bacteria Book: Gross Germs, Vile Viruses and Funky Fungi by Steve Mould
  • The Beetle Collector's Handbook by M G Leonard

Who judged the shortlist? 

Ewan VinnicombeEwan Vinnicombe
Editor, Blue Peter

Ewan Vinnicombe has been Blue Peter Editor since 2013. Ewan is also the Head of Presentation for CBeebies and CBBC and, in his 17 years at the BBC, has worked on shows including Record Breakers, The Saturday Show and Live & Kicking.



Darren Chetty
Teacher, writer and researcher

Darren Chetty has published academic work on philosophy, education, racism, children’s literature and hip-hop culture. He is a contributor to the bestselling book The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla and published by Unbound. Darren is co-author, with Jeffrey Boakye, of the forthcoming What Is Masculinity? Why Does It Matter? And Other Big Questions, published by Wayland. Darren tweets at @rapclassroom.   


Louise Pentland
Author, parenting, lifestyle and beauty blogger and vlogger

Louise Pentland's two YouTube channels have amassed over 3.7 million subscribers. In 2015, Louise released her debut non-fiction book, which became a Sunday Times Number 1 Bestseller. In 2017, Louise turned her hand to fiction writing with the release of her debut novel, Wilde Like Me, which also became a Sunday Times Number 1 Bestseller. And the follow-up, Wilde About the Girl, which was published in August 2018, also went straight into the charts as a top 5 bestseller.


Alex T Smith
Author-illustrator

Alex T Smith is the award-winning creator of the bestselling Claude series, which is published in 16 languages worldwide, and is now a TV show on Disney Junior. Alex's newest series, Mr Penguin, launched in 2017 to widespread praise. Alex's quirky, witty writing and illustrations are instantly recognisable, critically acclaimed and as popular with adults as children. Alex is also widely praised for his work illustrating children's classics. Alex has won the UKLA Picture Book Award and the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award, and been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award. He has also been the official World Book Day illustrator.

Who will pick the winners?

The winners for the Blue Peter Book Awards will be picked by schoolchildren across the UK, who will select their two favourites from the above shortlist.

The winners will be announced on World Book Day 2019: Thursday, 7 March. 

Looking to see which schools are judging? Check out our news story

Past winners

Find out about the winners, shortlisted books and judges from previous Blue Peter Book Awards.

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More about the Blue Peter Book Awards

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