Last night we celebrated as Rachel Bright and Jim Field were announced as the winners of Oscar’s Book Prize 2017 for their heart-warming tale, The Koala Who Could. Chosen from a shortlist of five titles in a search for the best book for under-fives, Oscar’s Book Prize is a celebration of children’s literature that we, alongside the National Literacy Trust, proudly support.
The award was created in honour of Oscar Ashton, who unexpectedly passed away at the age of three and a half from an undetected heart condition in 2012. His parents James Ashton and Viveka Alvestrand created the prize to look for the best in stories that would capture the imaginations of children everywhere, and stories Oscar himself would have loved, the prize is now in its fourth year running.
This year’s judging panel, which included Dan Mucha, our UK Director of Books, alongside Claudia Winkleman, Cathy Rentzenbrink and Oscar’s parents, found the winning title full of important messages for children, including that change can bring new and wonderful things.
The £5,000 cash prize was awarded to Rachel Bright by the prize’s royal patron Princess Beatrice who said of the prize’s entrants, “They are all treats for the imagination and we’re here to celebrate the opportunities that come when you give a child that sense of wonder. With my struggles with dyslexia over the years, it was the power of story that got me to where I am today.”
Judge Claudia Winkleman said, “I was really impressed with the quality and quantity of entries this year. They were all full of warmth and wit and we had an incredibly tough time choosing the winning title as they all set our imaginations alight.”
To learn more about the prize, click here.