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The Alligator's Mouth Award
in partnership with the Bright Agency and Gardners Books

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Update 1st May 2024

Shortlist Announced for the Alligator's Mouth Award 2024

  • Jarvis, Alan MacDonald and Elissa Elwick among authors and illustrators of the five shortlisted titles.

  • Five different publishers featured in the 2024 shortlist.

  • Official partner Gardners offer independent bookshops up to 50% discount on shortlisted titles.

  • Schools competition run by Coram Beanstalk offers the chance to win the full Longlist. Competition closes 2nd June.

Five books have been shortlisted for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2024, which champions both authors and illustrators of highly illustrated children’s fiction. Now in its sixth year, the children’s book prize created by The Alligator’s Mouth children’s bookshop and The Bright Agency celebrates the best books for 6-8-year-olds.

The shortlist was selected by a judging panel of children’s book experts, including Founder of BooksForTopics, Alison Leach, who commented: “Illustrated fiction for younger readers deserves the spotlight and this year’s strong shortlist for the Alligator’s Mouth Award is a testament to the remarkable quality of publishing in this genre over the past year. On the shortlist readers will be met with animal adventures, mythical creatures, journeys across the sea, science experiments, and fairy tale quests. These stories have been imaginatively brought to life through a vibrant balance of text and illustration – a hallmark of this important genre for newly independent readers. I'm sure that both children and adults will discover exciting new favourites among the gems on this year's shortlist, just as the judges have.

The full shortlist for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2024:

  • Adventuremice: Otter Chaos written by Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre, illustrated by Sarah McIntyre (David Fickling Books)

  • Huxley and Flapjack: Race to the Rescue written by Alan MacDonald, illustrated by Francesca Gambatesa (Little Tiger)

  • Bear and Bird: The Picnic and Other Stories written & illustrated by Jarvis (Walker Books)

  • Bibi and the Box of Fairy Tales written by Vivian French, illustrated by Amy Grimes (Zephyr/Head of Zeus)

  • Izzy the Inventor and the Unexpected Unicorn written by Zanna Davidson, illustrated by Elissa Elwick (Usborne Publishing)


As well as Alison Leach, the shortlist was selected by last year’s winner, author/illustrator Elys Dolan, award-winning author/illustrator Sam Usher, librarian and Bookseller Rising Star Zoey Dixon, and co-owners of The Alligator’s Mouth bookshop Margaret Wallace-Jones and Tony West.

Tony West and Margaret Wallace-Jones of The Alligator's Mouth said: “This wonderful shortlist offers a masterclass in illustrated fiction for younger readers. The books are funny, inventive, sweet, exciting, and bursting with engaging illustrations. We love every single one, and so do our customers!”

National reading charity Coram Beanstalk return as a partner, running a competition that offers UK schools the chance to win the longlisted titles. The competition will run until 2nd June, and schools can find out more and enter via the Coram Beanstalk website.

Books wholesaler Gardners returns as an official partner of the award and are offering up to 50% discount on both longlisted and shortlisted titles until the end of July.

The winner will be announced at a special awards ceremony at the end of June 2024.

Keep up to date with the awards at www.thealligatorsmouth.co.uk/award and on X by following #AlligatorsAward

Previous Winners and Shortlists

WINNER 2023:

Rex: Dinosaur in Disguise by Elys Dolan (Walker Books)

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WINNER 2022:

Indigo Wilde & the Creatures at Jellybean Crescent by Pippa Curnick

(Hodder Children's Books)

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WINNER 2021:

Pizazz by Sophy Henn

(Simon & Schuster)

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WINNER 2020:

King Coo The Curse of the Mummy's Gold by Adam Stower

(David Fickling Books)

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WINNER 2019:

Nice Work for

The Cat and the King

by Nick Sharratt

(Alison Green Books)

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