The shortlist for the annual James Reckitt Book Award has been announced.

James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Awards 2022 shortlist announced

Favourites from the world of children’s literature have been announced as part of the shortlist for the 15th James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award.

The awards, aimed at fostering a love of reading by introducing young people to new writers and titles they might not normally pick-up, sees the addition of a new picture book category this year.

Children from around Hull, from schools signed up to the city’s Schools’ Library Service, will once again be receiving a delivery of exciting newly published books and will also be given the opportunity to meet their authors in the coming months.

It will be then up to the pupils to vote for their favourite story in National Storytelling Week and at The Big Malarkey Festival in June.

Separated into three age categories, the shortlists are as follows:

EYFS/KS1 Picture Book Award:

  • All I want is an Octopus- Tracy Gunaratnam and Valentina Fontana
  • Free Range Freddy– Rachel Bright and Izzy Evans
  • The Lipstick– Laura Dockrill and Maria Karipidou
  • Old Macdonald Had a Phone– Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross
  • When Jelly had a Wobble– Michelle Robinson and Tom Knight


  • The Boy who Made Everyone Laugh – Helen Rutter
  • The Day the Screens Went Blank  –  Danny Wallace 
  • Harklights – Tim Tilley
  • Felix Unlimited – Andrew Norris
  • The House at the Edge of Magic – Amy Sparkes


  • When the Sky Falls – Phil Earle
  • Twitch – G. Leonard
  • Digger and Me – Ros Roberts
  • The Invisible Boy – Alyssa Hollingsworth
  • The Girl in Wooden Armour – Conrad Mason

 Councillor Marjorie Brabazon, chair of Hull Culture and Leisure, said: “We are delighted to start 2022 by announcing the shortlisted entries for The James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award, and thrilled that this year we will be bringing such fantastic books to a wider audience.

” Creating life-long readers is a pivotal part of the work of Hull Libraries and Hull Schools’ Library Service, so the introduction of a picture book award for younger readers is vitally important.

“It is hoped that this new category, created especially for children between the ages of three and six will start them on their journey of reading for pleasure.”

Over the course of last year, newly published titles, suitable for young people throughout the primary age range and into KS3, were read by Hull Libraries’ army of volunteers, who reviewed and scored each title. This information was then used to draw up the shortlist.

You can find out more about the James Reckitt Library Trust and the James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award here.