Four books have been shortlisted for the second Derby Book Festival Children’s Picture Book Award, which aims to celebrate picture books that children can relate to and in which the diversity and challenges of modern life are represented. Fourteen Derby primary school teachers selected the books from the original list of nine.

This year’s shortlist comprises:

  • My Hair by Hannah Lee and Allen Fatimaharan (Faber)
  • The Pirate Tree by Brigita Orel and Jennie Poh (Lantana)
  • All are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman (Bloomsbury)
  • Brian the Brave by Paul Stewart and Jane Porter (Otter-Barry)

Children in Years 2 and 3 from six Derby schools will vote for their favourite book after reading them in class over the next half term. Each school will receive copies of the books, provided by the sponsorship of local businesswoman, Deborah Fern. The winner will be announced on 1 May 2020.

Di Smith, who devised and organises the competition, said:

“We had a very high standard of submissions for the Award from 15 publishers and we have an excellent and varied shortlist.  The books give children the opportunity to see a window on their world and a mirror in which to see themselves.”

The Festival, which will be held for the sixth time in 2020, from 29th May – 6th June, invited children’s publishers to submit up to three books, published in 2019, which meet the criteria.

Brigita Orel, the author of The Pirate Tree said:

 “I am delighted and honoured that The Pirate Tree was shortlisted for the Derby Children’s Picture Book Award, particularly because it was chosen by teachers who, I feel, do so much to shape and improve our children’s futures.”

Derby Book Festival has a strong programme of events for children, families and schools with Meet the Author events held at both Derby Theatre and the University of Derby for both primary and secondary schools across the city.