The Waterstones Children's Book Prize

the Waterstones Children's Book Prize

 
NO HEAT-VISION REQUIRED AS DEBUT AUTHOR BAGS THE WATERSTONES CHILDREN’S BOOK PRIZE 2016 WITH A HILARIOUS, FRESH SUPERHERO FANTASY!
 

The friend of Waterstones and Children’s Laureate, the wonderful Chris Riddell, was on hand tonight to award screenwriter David Solomons the overall Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2016 for his debut novel My Brother is a Superhero at a ceremony held at our fabulous flagship shop in Piccadilly, London. This same evening also saw Chris recognise three further category winners – Best Younger Fiction, Best Older Fiction and Best Illustrated – with David additionally walking away with the Best Younger Fiction trophy. 

Everything we do at Waterstones has your reading pleasure at its heart, but - being so in love with what we do - there are times when we are desperate to celebrate those books that have genuinely meant something to us as fellow readers. Well over a decade ago, we sought a way to recognise excellence in the field of publishing that most defines our past, present and future.

Incredibly, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize is now in its twelfth year and has given us the annual opportunity to triumph the very, very best in new and emerging talent for children’s writing and illustration. Uniquely, it’s a prize argued over and voted for by the most books-passionate of people; our extraordinary booksellers.

This year’s winners resolutely mirror the exciting, boundless world of children’s literature you can find in any branch of Waterstones today. As concluded by our Managing Director James Daunt, ‘that our winners were all first books, and each from an independent publisher, reflects how blessed we are currently by the breadth of creative talent in this country.’

In turn, our victors for our very favourite children’s publishing of the last year were…

The winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2016:
David Solomons’ My Brother is a Superhero

My Brother is a Superhero
£6.99   £5.99

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Simultaneously bagging the night’s Best Younger Fiction category, My Brother is a Superhero is a hugely funny riot of a book, charting the misadventures of desperate-wannabe superhero Luke Parker and his actual – by a cruel twist of fate – superhero brother Zack.  Penned by Five Children and It screenwriter David Solomons, our Children’s buyer Florentyna Martin was left deeply impressed by the sheer quality of its writing. ‘It is infused with the spirit of larger than life heroes and colourful comic book trivia,’ she noted, ‘yet at its heart is a touching relationship between siblings… so brilliantly plotted that one never knows what to expect next.’

 


 

The winner of the Best Illustrated Book Category:
David Litchfield’s The Bear and The Piano

The Bear and the Piano (Paperback)
£6.99   £5.99

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David Litchfield’s The Bear and the Piano is the launch of an incandescent new talent into the lively and always-surprising arena of the picture book. In a series of gorgeously rendered images, Litchfield manages to weave a properly-affecting tale of fulfilling dreams and the importance of friendship, all via an amazing bear that just happens to play the piano. ‘Litchfield’s moving tale is full of light and shade, warmth and emotion,’ said Florentyna, ‘and the layers of beautifully detailed illustration make it a joy to read again and again.’

 


 

The winner of the Best Older Fiction Category:
Lisa Williamson’s The Art of Being Normal

The Art of Being Normal (Paperback)
£7.99   £5.99

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In a time when issues of gender and identity cut to the quick in challenging society’s current values, Lisa Williamson’s The Art of Being Normal couldn’t have arrived at a more important or receptive moment. Its gripping narrative of two friends, bound by their very differences to the ‘normal’, will strike a chord in many. For Florentyna, ‘books like this help young people going through the uncertainties of growing up to understand they are not alone, whilst at the same time delivering a compelling story with characters that could have stepped out of your local school.’

 

The Prizes

The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize is not just about kudos, however – David Solomons as our overall winner was presented with a cheque for £5000 to recognise his category and overall wins, whilst David Litchfield and Lisa Williamson received £2000 each for their respective category victories.

 

The 2016 Shortlist

The crowning three were selected after much agony from a field of eighteen, eighteen that included some simply enormous Waterstones favourites as the all-conquering Darkmouth from Shane Haggerty and Katherine Woodfine’s bestselling The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, a book particularly significant for us as (like so many authors) Katherine was once one of our own. In turn, those eighteen are from a potential collection of many thousands, so you can be assured that every title that made it through to the shortlist is absolutely exceptional. Take time to browse its wonders and let us know which book ultimately found something in you.

Remember to join us here at Waterstones.com over the next three weeks as we examine these incredible debuts in more detail. It’s a privilege to help support this level of talent and of course we’ll be absolutely fascinated to see what this mighty trio come up with next. 

​Browse the list

Illustrated books

Hector and Hummingbird
Click & Collect
Super Happy Magic Forest
Click & Collect
The Bear and the Piano
Click & Collect
The Crow's Tale
Click & Collect
Naomi Howarth
£5.49 Paperback
Have You Seen Elephant?
Click & Collect
​Browse the list

Younger fiction

Bird
Click & Collect
Crystal Chan
£5.99 Paperback
My Brother is a Superhero
Click & Collect
Witch Wars
Click & Collect
Sibeal Pounder
£5.99 Paperback
Darkmouth
Click & Collect
Shane Hegarty
£5.99 Paperback
The Blackthorn Key
Click & Collect
​Browse the list

Older fiction

The Accident Season
Click & Collect
I'll Give You the Sun
Click & Collect
The Sin Eater's Daughter
Click & Collect
Thirteen Days of Midnight
Click & Collect
Seed
Click & Collect
Lisa Heathfield
£5.99 Paperback
The Art of Being Normal
Click & Collect
​Browse the list

Previous prize winners 2008 - 2015

Within the pages of these previous prize winners, you will find magical tales of musical bears, frolicking unicorns, witches and superheroes. The casts of characters will evoke laughter and tears, while fantastical plots whisk you off on adventures, intrigue you with their mysteries and help shape a different point of view.
Blown Away
Click & Collect
Rob Biddulph
£6.99 Paperback
Rooftoppers
Click & Collect
Katherine Rundell
£5.49 Paperback
Ketchup Clouds
Click & Collect
The Pirates Next Door
Click & Collect
Artichoke Hearts
Click & Collect
The Great Hamster Massacre
Click & Collect
The Thirteen Treasures
Click & Collect
Ways to Live Forever
Click & Collect
Darkside
Click & Collect
Tom Becker
£7.50 Paperback