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James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award 2022

5th January 2022

The shortlists for the James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Awards 2022 are announced, including an exciting new award

The 'must-read' children’s books of the year have been announced as the shortlist for the 15th James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award is released.

The awards, aimed at fostering a love of reading by introducing young people to new writers and titles they might not normally pick up, sees the addition of a new picture book category this year.

Children from around the city, from schools signed up to the Hull Schools’ Library Service, will once again be receiving a delivery of exciting newly published books and will also be given the opportunity to meet their authors in the coming months. It will be then up to the pupils to vote for their favourite story in National Storytelling Week (Picture Book Award) and at The Big Malarkey Festival in June, to decide who should be crowned the winners.

Separated into three age categories, the shortlists are as follows:


EYFS/KS1 Picture Book Award:

  • All I want is an Octopus - Tracy Gunaratnam and Valentina Fontana
  • Free Range Freddy - Rachel Bright and Izzy Evans
  • Old Macdonald Had a Phone - Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross
  • The Lipstick - Laura Dockrill and Maria Karipidou *WINNER*
  • When Jelly had a Wobble - Michelle Robinson and Tom Knight


The KS2 shortlisted entries include:

  • The Boy who Made Everyone Laugh - Helen Rutter *WINNER*
  • The Day the Screens Went Blank - Danny Wallace
  • Harklights - Tim Tilley
  • Felix Unlimited - Andrew Norriss
  • The House at the Edge of Magic - Amy Sparkes

    The KS3 shortlisted entries include:

    • When the Sky Falls - Phil Earle
    • Twitch - M.G. Leonard
    • Digger and Me - Ros Roberts
    • The Invisible Boy - Alyssa Hollingsworth
    • The Girl in Wooden Armour - Conrad Mason *WINNER*

    Cllr Marjorie Brabazon, Chair of Hull Culture & Leisure Board, explained: “We are delighted to start 2022 by announcing the shortlisted entries for The James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award, and thrilled that this year we will be bringing such fantastic books to a wider audience.

    Over the course of last year, newly published titles, suitable for young people throughout the primary age range and into KS3, were read by Hull Libraries’ army of volunteers, who reviewed and scored each title. This information was then used to draw up the shortlist.

    Marjorie continued: “Creating life-long readers is a pivotal part of the work of Hull Libraries and Hull Schools’ Library Service, so the introduction of a picture book award for younger readers is vitally important. It is hoped that this new category, created especially for children between the ages of three and six will start them on their journey of reading for pleasure.”

    All of the shortlisted books will be available to borrow for free at Hull’s libraries.

    For further information contact [email protected]