top of page

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

Bright Agency_High_Res.jpg

Update 27th June 2024

Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre Win the Alligator's Mouth Award 2024!

No product

  • Adventure Mice: Otter Chaos is awarded best illustrated early fiction

  • Five different publishers featured in the 2024 shortlist.

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

With their book Adventure Mice: Otter Chaos, Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre have won The Alligator’s Mouth Award, 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 returned as a partner, running a competition that gave UK schools the chance to win the longlisted titles.

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.

Keep up to date with the awards at and on X by following #AlligatorsAward

Previous Winners and Shortlists

WINNER 2023:

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

No product

Alligators_Mouth_-_Shortlist_Announcement-15 edit 2.png

WINNER 2022:

Indigo Wilde & the Creatures at Jellybean Crescent by Pippa Curnick

(Hodder Children's Books)

No product


WINNER 2021:

Pizazz by Sophy Henn

(Simon & Schuster)

No product


WINNER 2020:

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

(David Fickling Books)

No product


WINNER 2019:

Nice Work for

The Cat and the King

by Nick Sharratt

(Alison Green Books)

No product

bottom of page