New stars up for Waterstones Children's Book Prize

First-time authors shine in the shortlist for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize

This year's shortlist for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize includes new talent across all age ranges for the first time, including picture books, fiction for five- to 12-year-old children and Young Adult titiles.

Among the 18 shortlisted authors and illustrators are actor Mackenzie Crook for his debut title, The Windvale Sprites (Faber), Phil Earle for his YA debut Being Billy (Penguin), Jonny Duddle, a concept artist for Aardman, for The Pirates Next Door (Templar), and two We Love This Book magazine children's section cover designers Jon Klassen for his writing-illustrating debut I Want My Hat Back (Walker) and Chris Haughton for A Bit Lost (Walker).

The award is chosen by Waterstones’ booksellers. James Daunt, Managing Director of Waterstones, said: “This year the award has been expanded to acknowledge the incredible diversity of books on offer to children today, and reward the wonderful children's authors and illustrators who play a crucial role in enriching our children's lives from the cradle through to adulthood."

Six books will compete within each category to be crowned category winner, with the three category winners then competing for the overall title of Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year 2012. The winners will be announced on 28 March.

Picture from I Want My Hat Back by John Klassen, out now published by Walker.