Our Favourite Award-winning Picture Books

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.

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1. The Fox and the Star

Coralie Bickford-Smith | 3+

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.

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2. Blown Away

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.

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3. The Gruffalo

Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler | 3+

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.

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4. I Am Henry Finch

Alexis Deacon & Viviane Schwarz | 3+

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.

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5. The Bear and the Piano

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.

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6. There's a Tiger in the Garden

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?

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7. Black Dog

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.

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8. This Is Not My Hat

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.

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9. Greenling

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...

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10. Shackleton's Journey

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.

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  • AEUQF
    Levi Pinfold
    • £5.59
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £1.40
    The winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2013, Levi Pinfold's Black Dog is a touching and evocative picture book. A black dog appears outside the Hope family's home. As each member of the household sees it and hides, the dog grows bigger and bigger. Only Small, the youngest Hope, has the courage to face the Black Dog. When it chases her through the forest she shows no fear, so it grows smaller and smaller. Finally, back to the size of a normal hound, the Black Dog is welcomed into the Hope household as their newest addition.
  • AIOOG 9 years +
    William Grill
    9 years +
    • £14.89
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £0.10
    With its stunning coloured-pencil illustrations, Shackleton's Journey, winner of the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, is a keepsake book that provides a detailed visual narrative Shackleton's famous expedition to Antarctica.

    Reminiscent of The Snowman author-illustrator Raymond Briggs and David Hockney, William Grill's visual book manages to evoke the atmosphere, excitement and spirit of the expedition and are wonderfully rich and atmospheric.

    An amazingly presented way for children as young as 7 to learn about an important moment in history.
  • AKENV
    Jon Klassen
    • £5.59
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £1.40
    Winner of the 2014 CILIP Kate Greenway Medal, and from Jon Klassen, the creator of the bestselling, award-winning Want My Hat Back comes a second wry tale - This Is Not My Hat.

    When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue top hat (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it's a good thing that the enormous fish won't wake up. And even if he does, it's not as though he'll ever know what happened, will he...

    Visual humour swims to the fore as Jon Klassen follows his break-out debut with another deadpan-funny tale. This is a second thought-provoking musing on the nature of crime and punishment.
  • AMDTB
    Rob Biddulph
    • £6.39
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £0.60
    Come on an unexpected journey with a fearless blue penguin in the most captivating picture book debut of the year! Meet Penguin Blue!

    The winner of the Waterstones ​Children's Book Prize 2015, it describes how it's a windy day, and Penguin Blue has a brand new kite - but where's he going on this maiden flight?

    Penguin Blue and his friends go on a gloriously illustrated adventure full of good ideas, homesickness and the perils of kites, from the sparkling new talent Rob Biddulph.
  • AVGFT
    Coralie Bickford-Smith
    • £7.99
    • RRP £9.99
    • Save £2.00
    The moving story of a fox, a star and an eternal friendship, written and beautifully illustrated by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith - chosen as Waterstones Book of the Year, selected in Time Out's 100 Best Children's Books and loved by parents and children alike. 'Brilliant ...A delight' Philip Pullman 'A star book for all ages ...the sort you want to keep for ever' Kate Kellaway, Observer 'I would like to frame each page' Lauren Child, Guardian, Books of the Year 'My picture book of the year ...outstanding' Amanda Craig, New Statesman
  • GFO2 3 years +
    Julia Donaldson
    3 years +
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    Julia Donaldson's The Gruffalo has become one of the most recognisable characters in children's picture books and on kids' TV, and this story is an essential addition to any child's bookshelf.

    Witty pictures from Axel Scheffler, a glorious rhyme that will soon be learned by heart, a brave mouse and the most lovable scary monster ever... what's not to love? Readers aged 3 and over, not to mention Mum and Dad, will soon be hooked!
  • AWWLU
    Lizzy Stewart
    • £5.59
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £1.40
    When Grandma says she' s seen a tiger in the garden, Nora doesn' t believe her. She' s too old to play Grandma' s silly games! Everyone 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 and eat her toy giraffe, and a polar bear that likes fishing, she knows there' s absolutely, DEFINITELY no way there could be a tiger in the garden ...Could there?
  • AREXC
    Levi Pinfold
    • £7.89
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £0.10
    Mr Barleycorn picks a green baby growing on his land, letting loose the incredible power of nature. When melons grow in the kitchen and apples sprout out of their television, Mrs Barleycorn says the Greenling has to go. But the bounty and beauty of nature has a strange power - the power to bring a whole community together.

    This book is longlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2017.
  • AQPNU
    Alexis Deacon
    • £6.89
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £0.10
    From award-winning picture book makers Alexis Deacon and Viviane Schwarz comes an enlightening new story about courage and making a difference. For budding philosophers of all ages, this is the uplifting story of Henry Finch the loveable little bird who strives for greatness, gets it all a bit wrong, then makes it right again in a very surprising way - truly becoming great. Henry Finch is a total inspiration. This is an inspirational book. It is also very funny. I Am Henry Finch is a book for everyone - from the very young to the very old. It is for dreamers, philosophers, artists, the foolish and the enlightened. And anyone with a big bright idea. Vegetarians will love it too. A profound picture book experience told with simplicity and style.

    Winner of the 2016 English Fiction 4-7 Picture Book Award.
  • AQXAT
    David Litchfield
    • £5.59
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £1.40
    One day, a young bear stumbles upon something he has never seen before in the forest. As time passes, he teaches himself how to play the strange instrument, and eventually the beautiful sounds are heard by a father and son who are picnicking in the woods. The bear goes with them on an incredible journey to New York, where his piano playing makes him a huge star. He has fame, fortune and all the music in the world, but he misses the friends and family he has left behind. A moving tale of exploration and belonging from an exciting debut author-illustrator.