2014 Shortlist

The Red House Children's Book Award is the only national book award that is entirely voted for by children. Children across the UK have been reading and reviewing books all year long and the shortlist below is drawn up from the most popular nominations across three categories - Books for Younger Children, Books for Younger Readers and Books for Older Readers.

Younger Children

Walter and the No-Need-to-Worry Suit by Rachel Bright

HarperCollins ISBN 9780007445486

Rachel Bright is a very talented author and illustrator and Walter and the No-Need-to-Worry Suit is the first fantastic tale from the new and exciting Wonderful World of Walter and Winnie series. We all worry, but not quite as much as Walter. As the Seriously Competitive Sports and Funday approaches, Walter's worries begin to spiral out of control. Will his best friend Winnie and the other Woollybottomers be able to help him? A heart-warming and laugh-out-loud adventure that will relate to young children as they encounter 'first experiences', this picture book shows that as long as you have friends around you, there really is no need to worry.

Rachel Bright

  Rachel Bright  
Rachel is a writer of words, drawer of pictures and thinker of happy thoughts. With a cacophony of quirky characters tumbling tirelessly from her imagination, she is one of the South West’s most prolific talents. Creating a growing portfolio of beautifully imagined children’s stories, an award-winning card and gift empire and a smorgasbord of delicate etchings, silk-screens and hand-printed poems, Rachel brings her own unique sunshine to the very young and the slightly older alike. Rachel was chosen to be 2013’s World Book Day illustrator and was also recently selected for the Top 100 Courvoisier/ Observer ‘Rising stars to watch’ and is soon to be featured in a book about creative entrepreneurs as a result.
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Superworm by Julia Donaldson

Scholastic Ltd ISBN 9781407132358

Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler, the brilliant team behind The Gruffalo, have created a new exuberant character who is sure to delight young readers - and their parents - in this eagerly anticipated hardback, Superworm. The funny and fantastically-illustrated story is full of bouncy rhyming verses and has a fun chorus that is sure to have preschoolers joining in as they follow Superworm's adventures as he faces up to the wicked Wizard Lizard and his sinister servant Crow. When Superworm is kidnapped by them, it is up to his animal friends to save him. The quirky illustrations are full of charming details and the unlikely hero of the tale has immense appeal for children aged 3 and over.

Julia Donaldson

  Julia Donaldson  
Julia Donaldson is the author of over 40 books for children and teenagers. Her 1999 picture book The Gruffalo, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, is now a children's classic and publishing phenomenon; selling over 3 million copies worldwide and was voted Great Britain's favourite bedtime story on BBC Radio 2 and was adapted and broadcast as an animation on BBC 1 on Christmas Day 2009. Julia Donaldson's most recent books with Axel Scheffler include Superworm (2012), The Highway Rat (2011), Tabby McTat (2010), Stick Man (2009) Tiddler (2008), and she has also published work with David Roberts, Nick Sharratt, Lydia Monks, and in 2010 with Emily Gravett. She was acclaimed in her role as Children’s Laureate from 2011 - 2013. Julia lives in Glasgow.
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How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens

Scholastic ISBN 9781407121611

How does a very small girl hide a very large lion? It's not easy, but Iris has to do her best, because mums and dads can be funny about having a lion in the house. Luckily, there are lots of good places to hide a lion - behind the shower curtain, in your bed, and even up a tree. But Iris can't hide her lion forever, and when her mum discovers him, he has to run away and hide all on his own. When the lion sees three robbers stealing from the town hall, it's his chance to show everyone that he is, after all, a kind (and very brave) lion - just like Iris always said.

Helen Stephens

  Helen Stephens  
Helen Stephens studied illustration at The Glasgow School of Art and, since writing her first book in 1998, has gone on to create many popular children's titles. She has garnered an impressive clutch of awards, particularly for the much-loved How to Hide a Lion and Fleabag. Helen lives with her family in Berwick-Upon-Tweed. You can keep up to date with Helen's news by following her blog www.ohiforgottosay.blogspot.com.
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Hippopotamus by Jeanne Willis

Andersen Press Ltd ISBN 9781849394161

Poor Hippopotamus has a spot on her bottomus and it simply won't go away, despite the best efforts of the numerous animals who come to examine it, offer diagnoses and suggest a wide range of treatments. She tries sunbathing standing on her head, wearing woolly pants, scrubbing herself and other more unpleasant remedies but nothing works. Until, that is, a small boy has a sneaky peek and discovers something he thought he had lost... This is a hilarious rhyming tale to tickle small children. An inventive, wacky and very funny story from Jeanne Willis that is perfectly complemented by Tony Ross' vivid illustrations, Hippospotamus is sure to keep both adults and young readers entertained as they enjoy sharing this delightful picture book.

Jeanne Willis

  Jeanne Willis  
Jeanne Willis is one of the most successful children's picture book authors. She also writes for television and video companies, and has two children. Amongst her many other prize-winning books, she has written Who's in the Loo? which won the Red House Children’s Book Award for Younger Children in 2007 and was shortlisted for the Nottingham Children's Book Award, as well as being named the overall winner at the Sheffield Children's Book Award.
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Younger Readers

The Land of Neverbelieve by Norman Messenger

Walker Books Ltd ISBN 9781844287796

Discover the extraordinary plants and animals found in the fantastical Land of Neverbelieve in this exquisitely illustrated and beautifully told story. When Norman Messenger stumbled upon the island of Neverbelieve, he couldn't quite believe his eyes: here was a world where chocolate grew on trees, mountains whispered stories, and fish flew in the sky at night, and that's just the beginning. An enchanting and interactive book which will let the imagination of young readers run wild as they explore Neverbelieve, the incredible land full of gentle, doll-like inhabitants, flowering meadows, magical lakes and spooky dark mountains. Shortlisted for the Red House Children's Book Award 2014, this imaginative and page-turning book really does create a world that children (and adults!) will never want to leave.

Norman Messenger

  Norman Messenger  
Norman Messenger’s reputation as an illustrator became established with work for books, magazines and design groups. His books for children include Annabel’s House (winner of the U.S. Redbook Award), Making Faces and Imagine. He was a founder member of the Association of Illustrators and lives in Redmarley D'Abitot, Gloucestershire.
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Atticus Claw Breaks the Law by Jennifer Gray

Faber and Faber ISBN 9780571284498

When Atticus receives an anonymous message summoning him to a meeting in a sleepy English coastal town, he packs his bags and sets off. The world's greatest cat burglar likes a good mystery and this time curiosity has got the better of him. The writer of the message, it turns out, is none other than gang leader Jimmy the Magpie. He is mourning the death of his friend Beaky, who has been run over by a Rolls Royce. Now he wants Atticus to steal all the jewels in town and leave the humans baffled. What could be more straightforward? But when Atticus moves in with Inspector Cheddar and his family, he starts to wonder if a life of crime is really for him? Shortlisted for the Red House Children's Book Award 2014 and written by Guinea Pigs Online co-author Jennifer Grey, Atticus Claw Breaks the Law really is the purrfect read for children aged 7+.

Jennifer Gray

  Jennifer Gray  
Jennifer has been writing children's comedy for a couple of years. A former barrister, she knows how to spot a cat burglar when she sees one, especially when he's a large tabby with a chewed ear and a handkerchief round his neck that says Atticus Claw. Jennifer's other books for children include Guinea Pigs Online, co-written with Amanda Swift and published by Quercus. Jennifer lives in London and Scotland with her husband and four children, and of course Henry, a friendly but enigmatic cat.
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Claude in the Country by Alex T. Smith

Hachette Children's Books ISBN 9781444909289

The fourth title in Alex T. Smith's hilarious Claude series, this Red House Children's Book Award 2014-shortlisted story finds a quiet walk in the countryside turning into a busy day on the farm when Claude ends up mucking out the pigs, feeding the chickens, and even bravely lassoing a fearsome bull! Great for sharing with a highly lovable lead character, Claude is a rather extraordinary little dog who appeals to this age range immensely. Along with his best friend, Sir Bobblysock, the duo partake in a number of adventures that don't always go quite to plan...

Alex T. Smith

  Alex T. Smith  
After briefly considering careers in space travel, cookery and being a rabbit, Alex T. Smith finally decided to become an illustrator. In 2006 he graduated from Coventry University with a degree in Illustration and won second place in the Macmillan Prize for Children's Illustration. For such a young newcomer, Alex has already achieved great things. His first fiction series - Claude - has been selected for the Richard and Judy Children's Book Club 2011 and Bella and Monty recently won the Dundee Award. Eliot Jones, Midnight Superhero (Scholastic) was the first picture book Alex illustrated and it won the Coventry Inspiration Book Award, and was longlisted for the Greenaway Medal in 2009. Alex was also shortlisted for The Best Emerging Illustrator by The Book Trust in 2008.
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Older Readers

Killing Rachel by Anne Cassidy

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC ISBN 9781408815519

Rose's mother and Joshua's father have disappeared. Police inquiries have gone nowhere and the case, it seems, is closed: Rose and Joshua have been told that the police believe their parents are dead. But Rose and Joshua still hold out hope that they are alive. Joshua is determined to follow up his own inquiries, which includes working out the meaning of the cryptic notebooks - the murder notebooks - they have discovered. Then Rose is distracted by odd, desperate messages she receives from Rachel, a former best friend from her school, followed by the terrible news that Rachel is dead. But perhaps Rachel's death will provide one more piece of the puzzle about what has happened to Rose and Joshua's parents ...A taut and pacy thriller in The Murder Notebooks series, from an acclaimed writer for teens.

Anne Cassidy

  Anne Cassidy  
Anne Cassidy lives in Essex. She was a teacher for twenty years before becoming a full-time writer. She has published over twenty teen novels and is best known for the Booktrust Teenage Book Award winner Looking for JJ, which was also shortlisted for the Whitbread Award and the Carnegie Medal.
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W.A.R.P.: The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer

Penguin Books Ltd ISBN 9780141341750

W.A.R.P The Reluctant Assassin tells the story of Riley, a Victorian boy accused of murder who has suddenly been transported into the 21st century... Pulled into the covert Witness Anonymous Relocation Program, Riley teams up with young FBI Agent Chevie Savano and the pair are forced to flee from the terrifying assassin Albert Garrick, a man who will stop at nothing until he's hunted Riley down. The first book in the new series from bestselling Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer, this story has excitement, action and humour and also mixes startling sci-fi themes with more traditional storytelling. A thrilling read for children aged 9 and over.

Eoin Colfer

  Eoin Colfer  
Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen!) was born and raised in South East Ireland. Eoin was a primary school teacher in Wexford up until he secured the largest ever advance for a children’s novel by an unknown author in October 2000. Artemis Fowl, his first book featuring the young anti-hero, was an immediate international bestseller and won several prestigious awards. The final book in the series The Last Guardian won the Irish Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year 2012. Eoin has written a number of other successful books for both adults and children, including Half Moon Investigations, The Supernaturalist, Airman and And Another Thing – the sixth book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. W.A.R.P.: The Reluctant Assassin is the first in a major new time-travel series. He lives with his family in Ireland.
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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Penguin Books Ltd ISBN 9780141352558

The 1st wave took out half a million people, the 2nd put that number to shame. Rick Yancey's frightening dystopia is now anticipating its 5th hit and no one knows what to expect. Cassie has lost everything, her parents are dead, her little brother has been captured, to be alive in her world is to be alone. She runs from Them on a daily basis as they kill anyone they find scattered across Earth's desolate countryside. Then she meets Evan. Is he her only hope to rescue her brother and save herself? In this gripping young adult epic, shortlisted for the Red House Children's Book Award 2014, The Hunger Games meets I Am Number Four to create the ultimate page-turner. Action-packed, intense and just waiting to be made into a blockbuster movie!

Please be advised that some of the content in this book contains mild profanities and themes that are not suitable for younger children.

Rick Yancey

  Rick Yancey  
Rick Yancey was a tax collector before his wife encouraged him to become a full-time writer. He is the author of several adult novels and the memoir Confessions of a Tax Collector. His first Young Adult novel, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, was a finalist for the prestigious Carnegie Medal. In 2010, his novel, The Monstrumologist, received a Michael L. Printz Honour, and the sequel, The Curse of the Wendigo, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Rick has three sons and lives in Florida with his wife, Sandy.
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