The Alligator's Mouth Award 

for illustrated early fiction


Press Release 10/3/20

Longlist announced for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2020


  • Laura Ellen Anderson, Katherine Woodfine and Ali Pye join ten longlisted titles

  • Themes of friendship, bravery and adventure all feature prominently in the line-up of books for 6 to 8-year-olds


  • Official partners Gardners offer independent bookshops up to 52.5% discount on longlisted titles for a second year


  • Egmont claims two titles on the longlist


  • Swapna Haddow and Sheena Dempsey make the longlist for second year in a row with the latest title in the Dave Pigeon series


  The Alligator’s Mouth children’s bookshop and The Bright Agency launched the children’s book prize last year to celebrate the best books for 6-8-year-olds. Ten books have been longlisted for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2020, which champions both authors and illustrators of highly illustrated children’s fiction.


  Nick Sharratt, who won the inaugural award with Nice Work for the Cat and the King (Alison Green Books, Scholastic Children’s Books), returns this year to join author and illustrator Yasmeen Ismail on the judging panel, which is made up of children’s book experts who selected the longlisted titles.


  Nick Sharratt commented: ‘It was a real pleasure to read the entries for this year's award and to have the opportunity to get fully immersed in the latest illustrated fiction that's available for early readers. Drawing up a longlist from an impressive array of books was quite a challenge, and it's going to be some task whittling those ten great reads down to just five!’


  The line-up of books feature themes of friendship, diversity, bravery and fantastical adventure, along with a lot of humour and fun. 

The full longlist for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2020:


  • The Adventures of Harry Stevenson written and illustrated by Ali Pye (Simon & Schuster) 


  • Amelia Fang and the Half-Moon Holiday written and illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson (Egmont) 


  • Dave Pigeon (Royal Coo!) written by Swapna Haddow and illustrated by Sheena Dempsey (Faber & Faber) 


  • Hotel Flamingo written and illustrated by Alex Milway (Bonnier Piccadilly) 


  • King Coo: The Curse of the Mummy’s Gold written and illustrated by Adam Stower (David Fickling Books) 

  • Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue written by Paula Harrison and illustrated by Jenny Løvlie (Oxford University Press) 


  • The Naughtiest Unicorn written by Pip Bird and illustrated by David O’Connell (Egmont) 


  • Sophie Takes to the Sky written by Katherine Woodfine and illustrated by Briony May Smith (Barrington Stoke)


  • Teacup House: The Twitches Meet a Puppy written by Hayley Scott and illustrated by Pippa Curnick (Usborne) 


  • Two Sides written by Polly Ho-Yen and illustrated by Binny Talib (Stripes, Little Tiger Press) 

Books wholesaler Gardners, an official partner of the award for 2020, are offering independent bookshops across the UK up to 52.5% discount on all ten longlisted titles throughout March, April and May. 


Nigel Wymen, Head of Business Development at Gardners said: ‘Having supported the inaugural Alligator's Mouth Award in 2019, Gardners is delighted to now be an official partner as it returns for 2020. Beautifully illustrated works of fiction are a great way to encourage young children to read, and this award celebrates this perfectly.’


Tony West and Margaret Wallace-Jones of The Alligator's Mouth said: ‘It is a highlight of our year to see the submissions for this award. We are so excited by the quality and range of the longlist - every school should have copies of these beautiful and engaging books, which will help children to become confident readers.'


Arabella Stein, Director at The Bright Agency commented: ‘We are delighted with the diverse range of books selected for the 2020 longlist. There were so many strong candidates submitted and it shows the wealth of highly illustrated books available for early readers. We are pleased to be able to champion such exciting stories from such talented authors and illustrators.’


The shortlist will be announced on Thursday 30th April. The winning book will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on Thursday 4th June.

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


About The Alligators 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 children 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 this year joins us as an official partner.

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Previous Shortlist 2019

WINNER 2019:

Nice Work for

The Cat and the King

by Nick Sharratt

Alison Green Books

The Judging Panel

Nick Sharratt


Yasmeen Ismail


John McLay

author, founder of Bath Festival of Children's Literature

Richard Charlesworth


Arabella Stein

director of The Bright Agency

Margaret Wallace-Jones

co-director of The Alligator's Mouth

Tony West

co-director of The Alligator's Mouth

The Alligator's Mouth

2a Church Court, Richmond TW9 1JL

Email: Tel: 020 8948 6775

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