New award champions books for babies and under-fives

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A new book prize for the early years has been launched.

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BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, has announced a prize for the best books for sharing with babies and children under five.

The BookTrust Storytime Prize has been launched in partnership with Youth Libraries Group.

Public librarians will be part of the specialist panel which will help select the shortlist of six new books, which must be first published between 1 March 2018 and 28 February 2019 to be eligible.

The shortlist will be revealed on 27 May 2019 at the Hay Festival in a special event with all the shortlisted authors and illustrators present.

The shortlisted books will be trialled with families in libraries across the UK during the summer, with the winner of the prize announced at a ceremony in London in November.

The winning author and illustrator will receive a prize of £5,000.



Diana Gerald, chief executive of BookTrust, said, ‘We’re delighted to be launching a brand new prize to help find wonderful books for young children. Sharing books with babies and young children is crucial to their development as readers. 

'Our prize showcases great books with wide appeal and celebrates the joy of reading with under fives.'


Jake Hope, head of Youth Libraries Group, added, ‘The BookTrust Storytime Prize is a really exciting development – and it’s wonderful to celebrate books that are read at a stage of children's development – socially and in terms of educational aspirations – when sharing is absolutely key!’







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