Today, The Littlest Yak, the debut book from Hampshire-based Lu Fraser and Bristol-based illustrator Kate Hindley has been announced as the winner of Oscar’s Book Prize 2021!
The duo topped the six-strong shortlist to secure the esteemed £10,000 literary prize, which was revealed earlier today by award Patron, Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice.
The Littlest Yak (Simon & Schuster Ltd ), a joyous, rhyming caper that teaches little ones to celebrate their own unique talents, follows the journey of Gertie, the littlest yak in the whole herd. Feeling like she’s stuck in her smallness, bursting to grow up big and tall, Gertie soon learns there are things only she can do, and her smallness can do something big after all. This is a heart-warming and uplifting story from fledgling author, Lu Fraser and much-loved illustrator, Kate Hindley.
Lu Fraser is an exciting new voice in children’s books. Based in Hampshire where she lives with her husband and daughter, Fraser draws on everyday inspiration for her stories. Writing from a small shed in her garden, she revealed that the character of Gertie came to life as she spent time with her daughter.
Bristol based, award-winning illustrator Kate Hindley is the much-loved illustrator of both picture books (including the award-winning You Must Bring a Hat, written by Simon Philip) and fiction (The Royal Rabbits of London, written by Santa Montefiore and Simon Sebag Montefiore), as well as the author-illustrator of new board book series, Treacle Street.
The award celebrates the best in storytelling for under-fives, supported by our charity and Amazon and comes at a time where encouraging children to read is more important than ever. Our research found that a third of adults have been reading with their children aged 0-5 more since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, affirming the important work by early-year authors to educate, inspire and spark joy.
HRH Princess Beatrice, the award’s Patron since 2017, announced this year’s winner via video message, on the Oscar’s Book Prize website and streamed on the prize’s YouTube channel.
Speaking about the winning book, HRH Princess Beatrice said, “This is a beautiful book, and the winners should be so proud of everything they’ve achieved in pulling together this beautiful story”.
The judging panel this year included: TV presenters Lorraine Kelly and Angellica Bell, animator & illustrator Axel Scheffler, Simon Johnson, Director, Amazon EU Books and Viveka Alvestrand and James Ashton, founders of the award and Oscar’s parents.
Oscar’s Book Prize is awarded in memory of Oscar Ashton, who loved children’s stories and died aged three-and-a-half of an undetected heart condition. This year, the prize received the highest number of entries in its eight-year history with 143 submissions from children’s writers and illustrators from across the UK. To recognise and reward the vital work by early-years authors and illustrators in encouraging young children to read, this year’s prize fund doubled in size.
Check out the six shortlisted stories in the booklist we have made for families with children aged 0-5 on Words for Life.
Watch the winner’s announcement and a reading of The Littlest Yak by HRH Princess Beatrice and the Oscar’s Book Prize 2021 judging panel visit: www.oscarsbookprize.co.uk.
The Littlest Yak is available to buy on Amazon.