Authors Ross Collins, Alison Murray and Nick Sharratt have made it onto the shortlist for the very first Bookbug Picture Book Prize.

 The prize, set up to celebrate the most popular picture books by Scottish authors or illustrators, is run by Scottish Book Trust with support from Creative Scotland. Shortlisted authors and illustrators receive £500 per book, and the winner will receive £3,000.


  • There’s a Bear on My Chair by Ross Collins (Nosy Crow)
  • Hare and Tortoise, The Favourite Aesop’s Fable by Alison Murray (Orchard Books)
  • Shark in the Park on a Windy Day by Nick Sharratt (Random House)

 A free copy of each of the three books on the shortlist will be given to every Primary 1 child during Book Week Scotland (21 – 27 November), in the Bookbug P1 Family Bag.

 Ross Collins, based in Glasgow’s West End, is shortlisted for his picture book There’s a Bear on My Chair, a beautifully illustrated tale of one mouse and his increasingly hilarious attempts to get his chair back from an oblivious bear. On graduating from Glasgow School of Art Ross won the MacMillan Prize for his first picture book. Since then he’s illustrated over 100 books for children and written about a dozen or so. Children in over 20 countries seem to enjoy them and several have won enormous glittering awards. Ross’ book The Elephantom has now been adapted into a critically acclaimed play by those clever people at the National Theatre who made that ‘War Horse’ thing. When he’s not creating children’s books he enjoys working on character development for animation studios like Laika and Disney. He also likes walking in the Scottish glens with his dog Hugo, who is an idiot and his partner Jacqui, who is not.

 Commenting on his nomination, Ross said:

 “I’m SO HAPPY to be shortlisted for this year’s Bookbug Picture Book Prize! A book award which is voted for by children is the most honest award any author can hope for.”

 Alison Murray, based in Clarkston, East Renfrewshire, is nominated for her latest picture book, Hare and Tortoise, a retelling of the favourite Aesop’s fable. She grew up in Newarthill, North Lanarkshire and studied Textile Design at Glasgow School of Art. She has had a variety of jobs including selling books for Waterstones, designing rugs for Habitat, and websites for music festivals. She now works as an illustrator and author of picture books and has just finished the artwork for her ninth picture book featuring a hapless dinosaur to be published by Orchard in 2017.

 Commenting on her nomination, Alison said:

 “It’s such an honour to be shortlisted for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize, especially alongside the brilliant Ross Collins and Nick Sharratt. Win or lose, it’s a wonderful scheme because it gives every child in Scotland a bundle of beautiful books. And it’s great for me too, because it opens up so many opportunities to engage with people who love picture books – the children and adults who read them.”

 Nick Sharratt is nominated for his book Shark in the Park on a Windy Day, the third book in the best-selling Shark in the Park series, where little Timothy Pope is blown this way and that as readers join him in peeping through his telescope. Nick has worked as an illustrator and author of children’s books since the late 1980s and has created illustrations for close to two hundred and fifty books.  As well as producing around sixty of his own books (which have been translated into more than a dozen languages) he’s worked with numerous writers including Julia Donaldson, Michael Rosen and Giles Andreae. His most famous collaboration is with Jacqueline Wilson, for whom he has illustrated more than forty fiction titles.

 Commenting on his nomination, Nick said:

“I’m absolutely delighted that my book’s been shortlisted for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize. Experiencing books and being read to from a very early age brings enormous benefits and advantages in life and the Bookbug programme does amazing work in this area.”

 Jasmine Fassl, Head of Schools at Scottish Book Trust, said;

 “A love of books is one of the key building blocks in the early years which helps children to lead fulfilling lives, and the Bookbug Picture Book Prize is a simple, fun way to show young children how much enjoyment and excitement the pages of a book can contain. Our 2017 shortlist showcases some of Scotland’s very best authors and illustrators – their fantastic stories can’t fail to grab the children’s (and teacher’s!) attention.”

Jenny Niven, Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing at Creative Scotland, said;

 “Congratulations to the shortlistees, and to Scottish Book Trust for providing this opportunity to celebrate the magic of children’s books with every Primary One child in the country. The transformative benefits to little lives of having access to books and storytelling just can’t be overstated and we’re thrilled that our support for SBT helps to make this possible. We encourage parents and teachers alike to explore as many as possible of Nick, Alison and Ross’ other books, and those of the other outstanding children’s writers and illustrators who call Scotland home.”

 Children aged 3 – 7 across the country can now vote for the winner by submitting a class vote via the Scottish Book Trust website.

 The winning book will be announced via an exclusive video to all registered groups on 12th January 2017.


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