All shortlisted authors will be familiar to children’s book lovers with perhaps the exception of John and Fatti Burke whose beautifully illustrated, entertaining reference book, Irelandopedia, was the runaway publishing success of Christmas 2015.
The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt was the highly anticipated sequel to the hit picture book The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) and featured in Time magazine’s Top 10 children’s books of 2015.
The fantastic collaboration between Oliver Jeffers and Eoin Colfer resulted in the creation of the much lauded Imaginary Fred, the second picture book included in the running for this year’s awards.
Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver is retold by Mary Webb in an exquisitely illustrated publication by The O’Brien Press and is a deserving contender for this year’s awards.
The Wordsmith by Patricia Forde published by Little Island Books is an excellent read for adults as well as children. Indeed this contender along with One by Sarah Crossan are notable for their original concepts as well as their story delivery.
John Boyne is never far from awards shortlists and this time it’s the turn of The Boy at the Top of the Mountain, a thought-provoking book that looks at the very best and worst in human nature through the eyes of Pieter as he and The Führer grow closer.
Asking For It by Louise O’Neill is no surprise inclusion. One of the most powerful books for young adults in recent years the author delivers a harrowing story based on the issue of sexual consent. A wide range of titles and genres in this year’s line-up makes choosing the winners no easy task.