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Inclusive Books for Children Awards 2024: winners announced!

Awards update!

Image of the 2024 IBC Awards winners: Zanib Mian, Karen George, James Catchpole and Summana Seeboruth

The winners of the first-ever Inclusive Books for Children Awards were announced last Wednesday, 28 February, during a glitzy ceremony at the Barbican Centre in London.

Whittled down from nearly 190 submissions to three, the winning children’s books in each category were as follows:

  • Too Green! by Sumana Seeboruth, illustrated by Maribel Castells (Baby and Toddler Books for ages 1–3)
  • You’re So Amazing! by James and Lucy Catchpole, illustrated by Karen George (Picture Books for ages 3–7)
  • Meet the Maliks, Twin Detectives: The Cookie Culprit by Zanib Mian, illustrated by Kyan Cheng (Children's Fiction for ages 5–9)

The books’ authors and illustrators will each take home a share of the £30,000 prize fund.

Too Green! (Barefoot Books) features an ethnically diverse family and LGBTQIA+ representation. Sumana Seeboruth said: ‘It is a real honour to know that Too Green! which is dedicated to my two mums — my beautiful mummy and mother-in-law — has won the Baby and Toddler award. I’d like to thank the Inclusive Books for Children Awards for the work they do to bring about diverse representation in children’s fiction, and I would never have thought a passion of mine would have this level of recognition.’

Awards judge, author and host Jeffrey Boakye said: ‘Being on the judging panel for the Inclusive Books for Children Awards has reminded me just how vital it is for there to be a range of voices and experiences within children’s publishing. The shortlist alone provides a powerful example of how rich children’s publishing can be once it welcomes a diverse breadth of narratives and perspectives.’

Youre So Amazing! (Faber) offers disabled representation, written from an Own-Voice perspective, as well as a diverse cast. James and Lucy Catchpole said: ‘This inaugural IBC Awards feels meaningful to us — the shortlist is deep and strong. We’re delighted to win but really, we’re just so happy that today’s young readers have access to these stories, created by these authors and illustrators, and curated so carefully on the Inclusive Books for Children site.’

Illustrator Karen George said: I’m so thrilled Youre So Amazing! has won the first Inclusive Books for Children Award. It feels extra special as it's the second book for Joe and his friends — and I’ve become extremely fond of them all. James, Lucy and I worked very closely to get every detail just right… down to the most nuanced eyebrow expression… and that took time… . Winning this award means it was time well spent — we got it absolutely right. I’m very proud of that!’

Meet the Maliks, Twin Detectives: The Cookie Culprit (Hachette) features Muslim South Asian representation, an extended family and is an Own-Voices story. Zanib Main said: ‘I am deeply honoured to be awarded the Inclusive Books for Children prize for Meet the Maliks, which features Muslim characters and is set within the vibrant backdrop of a mosque. This recognition holds special significance for me as it underscores the importance of combating negative stereotypes and providing an authentic portrayal of Muslim culture.’

Fabia Turner, head of content at IBC, said: ‘We’re incredibly proud to have launched our brand-new awards to showcase the best inclusive books on offer for children and families right now in the UK. There’s so much rich experience, authentic representation and pure joy to be found in the pages of these stories. Huge congratulations to the winners, the shortlisted authors and illustrators, and everyone else involved in making our 2024 Awards such a great success.’

A total of 13 children's books were shortlisted for the Inclusive Books for Children Awards this year. You can read full reviews on the winning titles and the rest of the shortlists at the following links:

Look out for exclusive interviews with the winning authors and illustrators on this blog. Coming soon!

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