The Alligator's Mouth Award for illustrated early fiction 

in partnership with Bright Illustration Agency and Gardners Books

Update 18th Nov '20

Judges Announced for the Alligator's Mouth Award 2021

  • Smriti Halls and Adam Stower join the judging panel for the children’s book prize

  • Submissions for the award close Friday 20th November 2020

  Now in its third year, The Alligator’s Mouth Award celebrates the very best in highly illustrated children’s fiction. Acclaimed children’s author Smriti Halls, who is currently the BookTrust’s writer in residence, will be on the judging panel this year, alongside last year’s winner, Adam Stower. Adam won the 2020 award with King Coo: The Curse of the Mummy’s
Gold (David Fickling Books).

Joining them on the judging panel will be: award-winning book blogger and primary school librarian Jo Clarke (Book Lover Jo); primary school headteacher and book blogger Simon Smith; co-owners of The Alligator’s Mouth children’s bookshop, Margaret Wallace-Jones and Tony West; and Arabella Stein, Director at The Bright Agency.


Smriti Halls commented: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled to be helping judge this brilliant prize. Illustrated fiction is a glorious funfair where children delight in language and art, build joy and confidence in reading and take another step towards becoming lifelong readers and lovers of books. Having a prize which celebrates this key area of writing, illustration and reading is completely wonderful and I can’t wait to dive in and discover the gems in this year’s selection.’

The children’s book prize, launched by The Alligator’s Mouth and The Bright Agency in 2018, celebrates the best books for 6-8-year-olds, and champions authors and illustrators. Books wholesalers, Gardners, who offered independent bookshops a discount on the longlisted and shortlisted titles last year, will be continuing their support of the award as an official partner.

Margaret Wallace-Jones and Tony West of The Alligator’s Mouth commented: ‘We are so excited to be embarking on the third year of The Alligator’s Mouth Award. It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate books we love, and which are crucial to creating future readers. We can’t wait to read the submissions!’

Arabella Stein of the Bright Agency commented: ‘There have been so many incredible highly-illustrated books published for young readers in the last year. I am thrilled to be joining such a wonderful panel of judges for our third year, and I am very excited to see which titles have
been submitted for the award.’


Nigel Whyman from Gardners commented: ‘This year’s award has attracted another fine panel of judges to go through what I’m sure will be another great list of titles in this category. Gardners are pleased to again support this important award for the 3rd  year, and cast light on titles for this hugely important reading age.’

Submissions for the 2021 award close this Friday 20th November. The award is open to books first published in the English language on a children’s list by a UK publisher between 1st October 2019 and 31st December 2020. To enter the awards, publishers are invited to
submit highly illustrated fiction aimed at readers aged 6-8, with illustrations on the majority of internal spreads. The longlist will be announced in March/April 2021, and the shortlist will be announced in
May 2021. The winner of the award will be announced in June 2021 and they will receive The Alligator’s Mouth Award trophy.

For further details please visit:

About The Alligator’s Mouth Children’s Bookshop
The Alligator’s Mouth is an independent bookshop in Richmond-on-Thames. Our mission is to connect children with the best and most exciting books and encourage them to become lifelong readers.

About The Bright Agency
The Bright Agency is a collective of specialist agents, working across all areas of children’s publishing and representing the best in global talent. Dedicated to discovering, developing and promoting exceptional creative talent in children’s publishing.

About Gardners Books
Gardners Books is a leading international wholesaler of books, eBooks, music and film to retailers around the world. Gardners enthusiastically supported the inaugural Alligator's Mouth Award and joins us for the second time as an official partner.

Contact Details:
The Alligator’s Mouth: / 0208 9486775
The Bright Agency, Katie Blagden: / 0207 326 9140


Previous Shortlists

WINNER 2020:

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

WINNER 2019:

Nice Work for

The Cat and the King

by Nick Sharratt

Alison Green Books

The Alligator's Mouth

2a Church Court, Richmond TW9 1JL

Email: Tel: 020 8948 6775

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