Newarthill author and illustrator Alison Murray has been shortlisted for this year’s Scottish Children’s Book Awards.
Run by Scottish Book Trust with support from Creative Scotland, these are Scotland’s largest book awards, celebrating the most popular children’s and young adult books by Scottish authors or illustrators.
Split into three age categories, with a total prize fund of £12,000, shortlisted authors and illustrators receive £500 per book, and the three winning books receive £3,000 each.
Over the next five months, children the length and breadth of Scotland will be reading the three shortlisted books in their age category and voting for their favourite.
Alison, a former Braidhurst High pupil, is nominated in the Bookbug Readers (3-7 years) category for her picture book Princess Penelope and the Runaway Kitten, published by Nosy Crow.
This is a charming romp which follows the princess of the title through her palace as she tries to catch her errant cat.
A graduate of Glasgow School of Art, Alison has now published four picture books, and was previously nominated for the Scottish Children’s Book Awards in 2011 for Apple Pie ABC.
She said: “I am really excited to be nominated for the Scottish Children’s Book awards.
“I am really thrilled because there are so many brilliant illustrators working in Scotland at the moment.
“This has become a real hotbed of extremely talented children’s picture book makers so it’s a real honour to be shortlisted for this prize.”
Alison’s book will be gifted to every Primary 1 child in Scotland, along with the two other books shortlisted in her category - Robot Rumpus by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Ross Collins, and Lost for Words by Natalie Russell.
Jasmine Fassl, head of schools at Scottish Book Trust, said: “The Scottish Children’s Book Awards are much more than a celebration of Scottish literature.
“They are about expanding children’s horizons far beyond their physical boundaries and barriers simply by reading.
“We hope that children, teachers, parents and librarians across Scotland will take this journey with us and get lost in these wonderful stories.”
The winning books will be announced at a special ceremony in March.