Oscars book prize winner revealed

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Oscars book prize winner revealed


The Koala Who Could by Rachel Bright and Jim Field has been announced as the winner of Oscar’s Book Prize 2017. Chosen from a shortlist of five titles in a search for the best book for under-fives that have been published in the past year, Oscar’s Book Prize is a celebration of children’s literature supported by Amazon and the National Literacy Trust.   



 
Penned by Rachel Bright in Dorset and illustrated by Paris based Jim Field, the pair are no strangers to Oscar’s Book Prize, having been shortlisted for the award in 2016. Beating out 70 other titles to the top, the winning story tells the tale of Kevin the Koala, an incredibly relatable character, who learns that change can bring new and wonderful things.  
 
Princess Beatrice, the royal patron of the prize, awarded the £5,000 prize to Rachel Bright last night in an award ceremony at The Ned in London. Thanking all the entrants to the prize, Princess Beatrice said, “They are all treats for the imagination and we’re here to celebrate the opportunities that come when you give a child that sense of wonder. With my struggles with dyslexia over the years, it was the power of story that got me to where I am today.”  
 
The judging panel included presenter Claudia Winkleman, Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of the 2015 memoir The Last Act of Love, Dan Mucha, Director of Books at Amazon and Oscar’s parents Viveka Alvestrand and James Ashton.  Praise for the winning book: 
• Dan Mucha - “The pictures are so endearing and I love the story’s idea that you can’t control everything around you – and that it’s not so bad.” 
• James Ashton - “I loved the lush outback, all the lead characters and how you can sympathise with Kevin. ”
• Cathy Rentzenbrink - “A pleasure to read aloud. A really good message that enables children to think that to be frightened is OK which is why it’s so lovely. The idea that you can’t eradicate fear but can learn to manage it is a complex message made wonderfully accessible.”  
Commenting on the award, panel judge Claudia Winkleman said, “I was really impressed with the quality and quantity of entries this year. They were all full of warmth and wit and we had an incredibly tough time choosing the winning title as they all set our imaginations alight.”  
 
The award was created in honour of Oscar Ashton, who passed away at the age of three and a half from an undetected heart condition in 2012 by his parents James Ashton and Viveka Alvestrand. Looking for the best in children’s stories, stories that would capture the imaginations of children everywhere, and stories Oscar himself would have loved, the prize is now in its fourth year running. For more information on Oscar’s Book Prize visit: www.oscarsbookprize.co.uk.

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