Oscar’s First Book Prize – The Final Five

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We are very pleased to announce that not 1, 2, but the work of 3 artists represented by Bright have been shortlisted in the final 5 of the first Oscar’s Book Prize! Benji Davies with ‘The Storm Whale’, Nicola O’Byrne with ‘Open very carefully’ and Lee Wildish (Not to mention Charlotte & Adam Guillain are Bright authors!) with ‘Spaghetti with the Yeti’. ‘The Black Rabbit’ by Philippa Leathers was also a Bright publishing deal.

The final 5 were narrowed down from an original 57 entries by a panel of judges and some very critical young readers. The judges were searching for books that could easily be read by children under 5 as well as being appreciated by their adult counterparts. Judge Charlotte Ross said that the books on the shortlist were “both timeless and original, and we picked tales with images and words that fired the imagination”. The winner of the award will be announced this Wednesday with the winning book receiving a £5000 prize, presented by Dame Marjorie Scardino, former chief of Pearson.

The shortlisted books received some fantastic reviews from the judges:

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The Storm WhaleBenji Davies (Simon & Schuster, £11.99)

‘As soon as I saw this book I fell in love with the cover and hoped that the rest of it would live up to my expectations. It far exceeded them. The sort of book I would be proud and excited to buy as a present for every young child I know.’  Viveka Alvestrand, Oscar’s Mother.

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Spaghetti with the YetiLee Wildish, Adam & Charlotte Guillain (Egmont, £6,99)

‘A feelgood book that will bring a smile to parent and child. Irresistable, with the friendliest monsters you could meet.’ Rupert Thomas, Marketing Director of Waitrose.

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Open Very CarefullyNicola O’Byrne (Nosy Crow, £10.99)

‘At two-and-a-half Alice is a little too young to understand the idea of a crocodile eating words and gobbling up whole sentences but she loved the participatory idea of the book – rocking it to make the crocodile sleepy and pretend scribbling on it as it snored away.’ Viveka Alvestrand, Oscar’s Mother.

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The awards were set up in memory of Oscar Ashton, a lover of stories who sadly passed away unexpectedly aged 3 1/2 years. The books that were chosen for the shortlist were picked because the judges believed Oscar and his vivid imagination would have loved them – and from all of us here at Bright, we are honored and truly humbled to be a part of such an amazing award.

Our Bright illustrators cover over half the shortlist and wish them all the best of luck!

Dame Marjorie Scardino will present the £5000 prize for the winning book tomorrow, Wednesday 14th May 2014.