ormer children’s laureate Cressida Cowell will help pick the winner of a prestigious prize celebrating the best in picture books.
The writer, whose books include the hugely popular How to Train Your Dragon series, is on the judging panel for Oscar’s Book Prize which is celebrating its 10th anniversary and rewards the best illustrated book for young children.
Among the contenders vying for the £10,000 prize are a story about a duck with a mystical teapot and the tale of a bear and fox playing hide and seek.
The shortlisted authors and illustrators include best-sellers Nadia Shireen and Jim Field with the winner announced by the award’s patron, Princess Beatrice, at a ceremony on Tuesday, May 9 in London.
Also on the judging panel are illustrator Dapo Adeola, two-time winner of Oscar’s Book Prize Benji Davies, Amazon’s UK books country manager Lisa De Meyer and the prize co-founder Viveka Alvestrand.
Ms De Meyer said: “It has been such an honour to support Oscar’s Book Prize once again. Over the past 10 years, the prize has brought some outstanding picture books to the fore and this year’s shortlist is no different. We have read some magical stories and we are all extremely proud of the chosen shortlist — any one of them would be a thoroughly deserving winner.”
The prize is supported by Amazon and the Evening Standard. It was set up by James Ashton and Viveka Alvestrand to celebrate magical stories for children in memory of their son Oscar, who was three-and-a-half when he died from an undiagnosed heart condition in December 2012.
Last year’s winner was Chris Haughton whose book Maybe was hailed by Princess Beatrice as “a stunning blend of imaginative storytelling with playful illustration”.
To view the full shortlist visit amazon.co.uk/oscarsbookprize