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The shortlist for the 13th annual Bishop's Stortford Picture Book Award, part of the Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature



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Bishop's Stortford College Prep School librarian Lizzie Hall writes about the magic of storytelling...

Now in its 13th year, the annual Bishop's Stortford Picture Book Award invites schools to participate by sharing the shortlisted books and casting votes for their favourite titles.

You can find out more information about the award as well as the Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature - which will run from January 31 to February 11, 2022 - by visiting www.festivalofliterature.co.uk.

Here are this year's shortlisted books...

Albert Upside Down by Ian Brown (author) and Eoin Clark (illustrator)

Albert the pet tortoise has a problem: trying to reach a tasty treat, he has ended up on his shell, upside down and stuck!

Albert Upside Down by Ian Brown (author) and Eoin Clark (illustrator) (52743322)
Albert Upside Down by Ian Brown (author) and Eoin Clark (illustrator) (52743322)

Can the other garden creatures overcome their rivalry, team up and help him get back on his feet?

Packed with comical, charming illustrations and vibrant colour, this timeless tale shows the power of working together, thinking creatively and how even the smallest amount of assistance can make a very big difference.

Also included are fascinating facts about the real-life tortoise called Albert, who inspired this story, and tortoises around the world - a modern-day mini-dinosaur living life on the veg!

My Beautiful Voice by Joseph Coelho (author) and Allison Colpoys (illustrator)

Follow a child who is so shy she doesn't speak.

With the encouragement of an enchanting and magical teacher, she writes a poem. But a poem is meant to be read aloud!

She musters all her courage, stands at the front of the class and shows her classmates that she does have a voice. And her voice is BEAUTIFUL!

My Beautiful Voice by Joseph Coelho (author) and Allison Colpoys (illustrator) (52743347)
My Beautiful Voice by Joseph Coelho (author) and Allison Colpoys (illustrator) (52743347)

Alone! by Barry Falls (author and illustrator)

One day Billy hears the squeak of a mouse – destroying his perfectly peaceful existence.

So he gets a cat to catch the mouse. But the cat and the mouse make friends.

So he gets a dog to chase the cat. But they all play together too.

So then he gets a bear... then a tiger... and on it goes, until Billy's house is so filled with characters that he has to move out.

Will he find that he still craves peace and quiet, or is it actually quite lovely to have company and friends?

Alone! by Barry Falls (author and illustrator) (52743345)
Alone! by Barry Falls (author and illustrator) (52743345)

Charlie Chooses by Lou Peacock (author) and Nicola Slater (illustrator)

Charlie does NOT like to choose.

He can't make up his mind between chocolate or vanilla ice cream, stripy or spotty underpants, or whether he wants the lights on or off at bedtime. It's much too hard!

The trickiest thing of all to choose is a birthday present - how will he ever make up his mind?

But when a new friend with a waggy tail chooses HIM, making choices gets a little easier.

Charlie Chooses by Lou Peacock (author) and Nicola Slater (illustrator) (52743342)
Charlie Chooses by Lou Peacock (author) and Nicola Slater (illustrator) (52743342)

Maybe... by Chris Haughton (author and illustrator)

Three little monkeys, and their big monkey, are sat high up on their branch in the forest canopy.

"Ok, monkeys! I'm off," says the big monkey. "Now remember. Whatever you do, do NOT go down to the mango tree. There are tigers down there."

Mmm … mangos! think the little monkeys. They LOVE mangos.

Hmm ... maybe … maybe they could just look at the mangos? That'd be ok, right?

Maybe by Chris Haughton (author and illustrator) (52743340)
Maybe by Chris Haughton (author and illustrator) (52743340)

Saving Mr Hoot by Helen Stephens (author and illustrator)

A beautiful owl lives in the tree outside Ben's house. Ben calls him Mr Hoot.

When grown-ups want to chop down Mr Hoot's tree, Ben has to act fast to save him.

This warm, funny and inspiring story shows how we can all protect the wildlife that lives all around us.

Saving Mr Hoot by Helen Stephens (author and illustrator) (52743338)
Saving Mr Hoot by Helen Stephens (author and illustrator) (52743338)

Ten Delicious Teachers by Ross Montgomery (author) and Sarah Warburton (illustrator)

Ten silly teachers have missed the last bus home.

But look – a shortcut through the forest! They'll be back in time for tea! Off they skip, unaware that in the woods a hungry horde of mischievous and hilariously goofy monsters is waiting…

Ten Delicious Teachers by Ross Montgomery (author) and Sarah Warburton (illustrator) (52743335)
Ten Delicious Teachers by Ross Montgomery (author) and Sarah Warburton (illustrator) (52743335)

The Duck Who Didn't Like Water by Steve Small (author and illustrator)

Duck is not like other ducks. Duck doesn't like water and is perfectly fine alone, thank you very much.

But then, one dark and stormy night, an outgoing, water-loving and very lost Frog turns up at Duck's door.

Can this odd couple find Frog's home? And will they find friendship along the way?

The Duck Who Didn’t Like Water by Steve Small (author and illustrator) (52743333)
The Duck Who Didn’t Like Water by Steve Small (author and illustrator) (52743333)

The Invisible by Tom Percival (author and illustrator)

Isabel and her family don't have much, but they have what they need to get by.

Until, one day, there isn't enough money to pay their rent and bills and they have to leave their home full of happy memories and move to the other side of the city.

This is the story of a girl who goes on to make one of the hardest things anyone can ever make - a difference.

And it is the story of those who are overlooked in our society, who are made to feel invisible, and why everyone has a place here. We all belong.

The Invisible by Tom Percival (author and illustrator) (52743331)
The Invisible by Tom Percival (author and illustrator) (52743331)

The Witchling's Wish by Lu Fraser (author) and Sarah Massini (illustrator)

The Little Witchling lives alone in her mountain top and, more than anything else, she wishes for a friend.

So when her spell book tells her that the secret ingredient is the fur from a little girl's favourite teddy, she knows what she must do.

But the teddy belongs to Lily, who can't bear to part with him.

Will the Little Witchling give up her dream of a real friend? Or, just maybe, is there a way for her and Lily to make the wish come true, together?

The Witchling’s Wish by Lu Fraser (author) and Sarah Massini (illustrator) (52743328)
The Witchling’s Wish by Lu Fraser (author) and Sarah Massini (illustrator) (52743328)


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