The countdown is on and there’s only 3 days left for children to vote for their favourite book from the past twelve months to win the Red House Children’s Book Award 2013. A prestigious prize in the literary industry, and the only national book award that is voted for entirely by children, the 2013 shortlist may well be the strongest yet. The winner will be announced during a magnificent awards ceremony at London Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, during the final weekend of this year’s Imagine Children’s Festival.

The Books for Younger Children category sees a range of animals, including snakes, aliens, monsters and dogs all vying for the top prize. Sam Usher’s Can You See Sassoon? features a lovable snake who just likes to hide and the search-and-find pages have delighted toddlers, while Dog Loves Drawing is a charming tale from Louise Yates all about a little dog who discovers a passion for art. Written by Andrew Weale and illustrated by Lee Wildish, Spooky, Spooky House is packed with petrifying pop-ups and a spooky surprise on the last page and Welcome to Alien School is a wacky tale from Caryl Hart and Ed Eaves all about Albie, a boy who takes a crazy journey through space – meeting a number of crazy aliens along the way.

The Books for Younger Readers category features three wonderful fiction titles. David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny further established the popular comedian as the modern day Roald Dahl, and Jonathan Meares’ The World of Norm: May Contain Nuts is an exceptionally funny read similar in style to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Laced with humour, Elen Caldecott’s Operation Eiffel Tower is a touching and poignant story about a family on the verge of breaking up, and the children’s plan to get their parents back together with a trip to Paris – even though they have no money…

The Books for Older Readers category sees heartfelt reads, action-packed thrillers and stylish sci-fi all acknowledged. Suzanne LaFleur’s Eight Keys is a sympathetic and reassuring story that brings to mind Jacqueline Wilson, while Sophie McKenzie will be hoping to repeat her 2009 Red House Children’s Book Award triumph for Girl, Winning with The Medusa Project: Hit Squad. Just as gripping is Pittacus Lore’s The Power of Six, the follow-up to the bestselling I Am Number Four.

If your child wants to vote for their favourite, head over to the Red House Children’s Book Award site before 27 January and get them to pick their favourites from each category.

Part of Imagine Children’s Festival and hosted by James Campbell, the Red House Children’s Book Award ceremony takes place at 2.30pm on Saturday 23 February at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London’s Southbank Centre. You can buy tickets to the Awards Ceremony, and other events taking place at the festival here.

Red House Children's Book Award - Imagine Children's Festival