Children's Book Award 2019


The Children’s Book Award is owned and coordinated by the charity the Federation of Children’s Book Groups. Inaugurated in 1980, it is the only national award voted for solely by children from start to finish. The Headline Sponsor for 2019 is BookLife Publishing. You can vote for the winner if you are under 18 years of age. You will need to read all the books in the category you’re interested in first. To get your hands on a set at a discounted price visit our sponsor BookLife.

Details of how you can vote can be found on


The full shortlist for the Children’s Book Award 2019 is as follows:
Books for Younger Children

Mixed Written and illustrated by Arree Chung Published by Macmillan
The Last Chip Written and illustrated by Duncan Beedie Published by Templar
The Wondrous Dinosaurium Written by John Condon and illustrated by Steve Brown Published by Maverick
What Do You Do if Your House is a Zoo? Written by John Kelly and illustrated by Steph Laberis Published by Little Tiger

Books for Younger Readers 
Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets by Alex T Smith Published by Hodder
The Dog Who Lost His Bark by Eion Colfer Published by Walker Books
Funny Kid Stand Up by Max Stanton Published by HarperCollins
Books for Older Readers
The Light Jar by Lisa Thompson Published by Scholastic
The Stormkeeper's Island by Katherine Doyle Published by Bloomsbury
Armistice Runner by Tom Palmer Published by Barrington Stoke


I enjoyed this book - it really made me think and the simple approach is suited to a wide age range, so it makes an excellent basis for discussion and to stimulate thinking. To start with, the Blues, Reds and Yellows lived in harmony... but then Reds decide they are best and discord breaks out. Soon, each colour has its own part of the city but eventually, they decide they miss each other and soon the colours are all mixed up - and very happy. The black and white line drawings with their spots of colour are extremely effective and offer lots of detail to enjoy. An unusual and effective way to encourage compassion and acceptance.


Percy is a very hungry little pigeon. The trouble is, life on the streets is tough, and all the other pigeons are bigger than him, so they get all the food. Poor little Percy tries everywhere but he's about to give up when help comes from a very unexpected source. This is a touching and uplifting story about struggle against adversity and the kindness of strangers, illustrated with great feeling and compassion. It's good to know that 10% of the profits from the sale of the book go to The Trussell Trust, supporting a network of 435 food banks across the UK. It makes you think.


Maverick Arts never fail us in providing exceptional stories, superbly illustrated. This debut picture book is another excellent addition to their range. Danny wants a pet... but no ordinary pet. He wants a dinosaur. Trouble is, dinosaurs don't exactly make the perfect pet as he learns through a series of hilarious trials, all vibrantly illustrated by Steve Brown to capture the humour and unexpectedness. Does Danny get his dinosaur in the end?


Being funny is a serious business. At home, Max is the Chief-Walburt-Entertainer (CWE) and at school, he’s the funny kid. So when the Redhill Talent Quest comes to town, Max is confident that his jokes will make everyone laugh, win him the competition and a ten-million-pound book deal. That is until Tumbles the Clown auditions, who everyone thinks is hilarious. But who is the strange clown and why was he hiding in the bush on the day his granddad was kidnapped? With the help of his temporary best friend and life coach, Hugo, will Max solve the mystery of his grandfather’s whereabouts and overcome the pressures of fame and entertaining?


Right from the start, children will be laughing aloud at the antics of Mr Penguin and Colin. They've crash-landed on a snowy mountain and need to solve the mystery of the missing pets and the abandoned fortress? Mr Penguin is a gorgeous character, superbly depicted through the text and also in the stand-out orange, white and black illustrations; the presentation of the book is really striking and it's good to see a hardback. Children will warm to the slapstick humour and be drawn in to the wonderfully descriptive story as they too try to solve the mystery alongside Mr Penguin and Colin. It's the ideal way to enthuse young readers, whether they read it alone, or share the fun with adults.

The Dog Who Lost His Bark by Eion Colfer

This is a warm-hearted, feel-good read that will leave the reader with a warm glow as the book is completed. Patrick has always wanted a dog of his own, and he is especially lonely this summer as his father is away, so the timing seems perfect to fulfil his dream. When he encounters Oz, who has suffered a great deal in his life, could his dream come true? The book is heart-breaking at the start and young readers might find it hard but if they persevere, they will be well rewarded. Oz believes that somewhere, there is a special boy for him... and maybe, when the two meet, Oz will get his bark back. The power of music could just have the answer... Touchingly illustrated in light charcoal by two-time Kate Greenaway Medallist P.J. Lynch, this is a poignant and beautifully written story.

 The Light Jar by Lisa Thompson

When Nate's mother wakes him at 1am and they set off on a journey, Nate knows there is something really momentous happening. The pair find themselves hiding in a tumbledown cottage in the middle of a forest. That's scary enough, but the day comes when Mum goes shopping and doesn't come back; Nate is left alone in the dark. But then along comes a mysterious girl trying to solve the clues of a treasure hunt, and an old friend appears. Nate must summon all his courage to face the troubles of his present and face the future with confidence. An empathetic approach to the characters, strong friendships and a rich story that flows superbly make for a compelling read.




For readers of 8+ This is a moving story about a situation that some many families face today. Lily is having an anxious time, struggling to compete in her fell-running races and dealing with the fact her Gran has Alzheimer's. But unexpected help is at hand when she discovers her great-great-grandfather's diaries from the First World War. He was a runner-messenger on the front line and reading his incredible memories may give Lily just what she needs to reconnect with her Gran and to give her the inspiration she needs to push through and win. The links are excellently made and the story is warm-hearted and inspiring.



This is an atmospheric story which instantly draws the reader in to its mystical world. Once in a generation, Arranmore Island chooses a new Storm Keeper to wield its power and keep its magic safe from enemies. Now Fionn's grandfather is stepping down and there must be a new keeper. hen Fionn first sets foot on the island, he instantly feels enveloped by the island - "Come home", it says. Deep underground, someone has indeed been waiting for Fionn and as the battle to become the new Storm Keeper intensifies, a more sinister magic is waking up, intent on rekindling an ancient war. A gripping story with superbly drawn characters who compel you to read on to find out what happens to them.



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