These wonderful picture books are cherished by children and adults alike and have deservedly won prestigious awards, including the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the Nestle Smarties Book Prize. See below for our favourite award-winning picture books, ordered by target age.
Winner of the 2015 Waterstones Book of the Year Award, this magical, poignant tale - told through captivating text and dazzling illustrations - is all about friendship, loss and courage. Fox lives in a deep, dense forest, and for as long as he can remember, his only friend has been Star, who illuminates the forest paths each night. But one night, Star disappears, and Fox must face a daunting journey through the shadowy forest alone, in order to find his missing Star... An enchanting and beautiful tale for readers of all ages.
Rob Biddulph | 3+
Winner of the 2015 Waterstones Illustrated Book Prize and the overall 2015 Waterstones Children's Book Prize, this enthralling picture book stars a fearless little penguin who embarks on an unexpected journey. Penguin Blue is very excited to try out his new kite - but where's he going on his maiden flight? He ends up on a gloriously-illustrated adventure that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old, conveying the heart-warming message that there's no place like home.
This gorgeous picture book has won several awards, including the gold award of the 1999 Nestle Smarties Book Prize (0-5 category) and Blue Peter's Best Book to Read Aloud Award in 2000. Featuring the famous half-grizzly bear, half-buffalo, this tale follows a brave little mouse who believes the Gruffalo is nothing but a figment of his own imagination - until he comes face-to-face with him! Complete with distinctive illustrations by Axel Scheffler, this story is guaranteed to delight little readers and be remembered forever.
Winner of the 2016 English 4-11 Picture Book Award and the 2016 Little Rebels Children's Book Award, this unique picture book features an enlightening story about individuality, courage and making a difference. Perfect for budding philosophers of all ages, the protagonist is Henry Finch, a loveable little bird who strives for greatness, gets it all a bit wrong, and then makes it right again in a very surprising way, becoming truly great in the process. This inspirational and amusing book is sure to delight children and parents alike.
David Litchfield | 4+
This poignant picture book won the 2016 Waterstones Illustrated Book Prize. It follows a young bear who stumbles across something he's never seen before in the forest. Over time, he teaches himself to play the strange instrument, and one day, beautiful sounds are heard by a father and son who are picnicking in the woods. The bear joins them on an incredible journey to New York, where his amazing piano-playing earns him fame and fortune - but he misses the friends and family he left behind in the woods. This moving story features themes of diligence, exploration and belonging.
Lizzy Stewart | 4+
Winner of the 2017 Waterstones Illustrated Book Prize, this beautiful book stars Nora, who doesn't believe her Grandma when she says she's seen a tiger in the garden. Nora knows that tigers live in jungles - not gardens! So even when Nora sees butterflies with wings as big as her arm, and plants that try to eat her toy giraffe, and a polar bear that likes fishing, she knows there's absolutely no way there could be a tiger in the garden... could there?
Levi Pinfold | 5+
This moving and emotive picture book won the 2013 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal. When a black dog appears outside the Hope family's home, each member of the household sees it and hides - and the dog gets bigger and bigger! Only Small, the youngest Hope, has the courage to face it. She shows no fear when the black dog chases her through the forest - and it grows smaller and smaller. Finally the size of a normal hound, the black dog is welcomed into the family. This book conveys the message that confronting our fears can help us to overcome them.
Jon Klassen | 5+
Winner of the 2014 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, this wry tale follows a tiny fish, who shoots into view wearing a round blue top hat (which thankfully fits him perfectly). But trouble could be close on his tail, so it's a good thing the enormous fish won't wake up - and even if he does, it's not like he'll ever know what happened - will he...? Visual humour swims to the fore with this deadpan-funny tale, which is also a thought-provoking reflection on the nature of crime and punishment.
Levi Pinfold | 7+
This engrossing story won the 2016 English 4-11 Picture Book Award. When Mr Barleycorn picks a green baby growing on his land, he doesn't realise he has let loose the immense power of nature. Melons grow in the kitchen, apples sprout out of the television, and Mr Barleycorn decides that the Greenling has to go. But the bounty and beauty of nature has a strange but wonderful power - the power to bring a whole community together...
William Grill| 9+
With stunning pencil illustrations and a rich, atmospheric narrative, Shackleton's Journey won the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal. This keepsake book provides a detailed visual account of Shackleton's famous expedition to Antarctica, evoking the excitement, spirit and ambience of a thrilling adventure in history.
Award-winning picture books
- The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith
- Blown Away by Rob Biddulph
- The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
- I am Henry Finch by Alexis Deacon and Viviane Schwarz
- The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield
- There's a Tiger in the Garden by Lizzy Stewart
- Black Dog by Levi Pinfold
- This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
- Greenling by Levi Pinfold
- Shackleton's Journey by William Grill