The Koala Who Could wins the picture book Oscars

Oscar’s Book Prize that is.

This is the annual search for the best under-fives book of the year. It was launched in 2014 in memory of Oscar Ashton, who died of a heart condition aged just three-and-a-half.

The little boy loved books so his parents decided this would be a fitting tribute to his life.

Previous winners are The Cow Who Climbed A Tree by Gemma Merino; The Queen’s Hat by Steve Antony; and The Storm Whale by Benji Davies.

The judges – who included TV presenter Claudia Winkleman and Oscar’s parents – not only consider the power of the story and illustrations, but whether Oscar himself would have liked it.

It was a stellar shortlist, which included Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph; Hello, Mr Dodo by Nicholas John Frith; The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty; and There’s A Tiger In The Garden by Lizzy Stewart.

But the 2017 title went to The Koala Who Could by Rachel Bright and Jim Field. Rachel, who was presented the award by Princess Beatrice, told the room: “Opening a book for a child is like opening the door to a new world.”

What a lovely way to put it.

Pic courtesy of Twitter @domdelaking

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