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The winner of Oscar’s Book Prize 2018 is There’s a Pig Up My Nose!, a delightfully silly tale written by John Dougherty and brought to life by warm, comical artwork from rising star Laura Hughes.

Oscar’s Book Prize is an annual prize for the best under-fives book of the year. It is awarded in memory of Oscar Ashton and in partnership with Amazon, the Evening Standard and the National Literacy Trust.

There were more than 100 entries for the prize, which were whittled down to a longlist of 13 books, with help from the Eveline Day Nursery in Wimbledon. The jury, which included presenter Katie Derham, children’s director of the Hay Festival Julia Eccleshare, and UK director of books at Amazon Brigitte Ricou-Bellan, then selected a final five for the shortlist, before choosing the winner.

Oscar’s Book Prize 2018 was awarded to There’s a Pig up my Nose! by HRH Princess Eugenie during a ceremony at St James’s Palace on 14 May 2018. The £5,000 award is shared between author John Dougherty and illustrator Laura Hughes.

John says ‘I’m astounded and honoured to have been awarded Oscar’s Book Prize alongside my astonishingly talented friend Laura Hughes. Big thanks to her and to everyone at Egmont who believed in my story and helped to turn it into an award-winning book!’

Laura says ‘There were some really fantastic books and an abundance of talent on the shortlist this year, so I was delighted to make the final five, let alone win the award! Knowing that people have enjoyed the book and my illustrations is simply the best feeling in the world. It’s a privilege to have been involved in this very special prize.’

Julia Eccleshare praised the winning book by saying ‘The surprise comes right at the start, and what a wonderfully dotty premise to begin a story with, about problem-solving in the classroom. Brilliantly structured too.’

Melissa Fairley, Publishing Director for Picture Book and Gift says ‘We’re very proud of this hilarious picture book. It’s really original and John knows exactly what will make children giggle. Laura’s artwork perfectly captures the way children work together on a school project – and the moment when Ernest flies through the air is utter perfection!’

About There’s a Pig up my Nose

What if a PIG got stuck up your NOSE? How ever would you get it out?

When Natalie has to go to school with a pig stuck up her nose, her whole class gets together to find a way to get the pig out. But how will they do it?

This delightfully silly tale written by John Dougherty and brought to life by warm, comical artwork from rising star Laura Hughes, will have children giggling and oinking out loud to try to work out how to get a farmyard animal out of someone’s nose.

‘Everything about There’s a Pig Up My Nose! is entrancing, from the title onwards; it also features the best PE excuse note ever”- The Guardian.

John Dougherty was born in Larne, Northern Ireland and worked as a children’s primary school teacher for several years before leaving to concentrate on his writing. He has published several books for children and has been shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards. His book, Zeus Sorts It Out, was one of The Times children’s books of the year 2011.

Laura Hughes studied illustration at Kingston University and is the illustrator and artist behind Daddy’s Sandwich, nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2016. She has worked with several publishers including Bloomsbury, Harper Collins US and Faber & Faber. She lives in east London with her cat.

(Disclaimer: neither of them have ever had a pig stuck up their nose…)