Nicola O’Byrne Wins Waterstones Picture Book Prize 2014!

open very carefully

Last night was the evening reception of the world renowned Waterstones Children’s Book Award ceremony in Picadilly, London. The event which was held at Europe’s largest book store hosted an array of publishing royalty and nominated Bright illustrators Nicola O’Byrne & Yasmeen Ismail were there chomping at the bit to discover who would go home with the prize! And so this morning, we couldn’t be more proud to announce that our Nicola won Best Picture Book for her terrifyingly funny ‘Open Very Carefully’!

An overjoyed Nicola said: ‘I am completely stunned and delighted. A massive thank you to Waterstones, all the staff throughout the chain who have been so supportive, everyone at Nosy Crow, and everyone at Bright but especially Vicki who has worked so very hard for me. This is a dream come true! Thank you!’


Nicola giving her emotional speech!



Nicola basking in reflective glory with the two other Waterstones winners, Katherine Rundell (Best Fiction 5 to 12s & overall winner) & Holly Smale (Best book for Teens). 

Melissa Cox, Children’s New Titles Buyer for Waterstones has said: ‘O’Byrne makes the reader an active participant and confidant in this riotous takeover of Hans Christian Anderson’s iconic tale. The illustrations – some of the boldest I’ve seen – leap off the page with joy.’

With a prestigious publishing prize under her belt, Nicola has another two books coming out this year, Use Your Imagination’ (Nosy Crow) and ‘My Little Star, by Mark Sperring (Bloomsbury).

Although ‘Time for bed Fred!‘ did not win the grand prize, Yasmeen is one of only 6 illustrators to have been handpicked from thousands of potential nominees. Her beautifully inky drawings have earned her a place amongst the creative elite of the publishing industry and we are incredibly proud to support her and her exciting future endeavours! This year is a busy busy busy year for our Yasmeen, with 2 books coming out this Summer and finishing/starting an array of exciting picture books for 2015 release. If you want the chance to meet her, Yasmeen will be attending the Hay Festival this year to do some unique events!
‘Specs for Rex’, (Bloomsbury) – ‘If I Had a Cat’, (Random House) – both books written & illustrated by Yasmeen
Again, a HUGE congratulations to both Nicola and Yasmeen for having been apart of the Waterstones Awards – these are incredible acheivements