Results – Best Illustrated Picture Book 2023


Don’t Worry Wilby


Dannii Summerfield

Dannii Summerfield is an author and illustrator from Cambridgeshire, UK. She has a background in early years education and is passionate about bringing inclusion and diversity to children’s literature.

Don’t Worry Wilby is self-published and a concept we created for my youngest child, who suffers tremendously with anxiety and possible ASD (still awaiting assessment).


Shortlisted Entries

How To Be Me by Amy Dodero and Anastasia Vârlan

Amy Dodero (Author)

Amy Dodero’s first career was as a professional actor, where she toured the UK and Europe bringing to life countless stories for thousands of young people and their families. Upon becoming a parent, Amy fell in love with the magic of picture books, their read-aloud format making them inherently performable and the perfect outlet for a frustrated ex-actor! Then, when her children began asking for new stories, she set about learning how to write and create them herself. Amy believes passionately in the power of the bedtime story, with its ability to bring families together, inspire young children and help them understand the world. She is a regular volunteer at her local primary school where she supports KS1 children with their reading. Amy has two young boys and lives in Twickenham, UK.

How To Be Me’ is due for self-publication on August 15th 2023.

Twitter: @MsDoderoWrites

Anastasia Vârlan (Illustrator)

Anastasia Vârlan (also known as Graphic Bugs) is an illustrator from the Republic of Moldova, currently living and working in Croatia. Her background is in fine arts and graphic design and her work has been featured in children’s books, editorial publications and advertising campaigns.

This is her first collaboration with a UK picture book writer.

Instagram: @graphicbugs

Little Wolf by Hannah Siehoff

Hannah Siehoff is a German based illustrator living in the countryside next to the Dutch border. She studied communication design in Mainz, Germany and Plymouth, UK. Her style is very bold, colourful and playful. She cares a lot about nature and the environment, and is a strong believer in spreading kindness and acceptance. She is passionate about conveying this in her illustrations. Currently she is publishing her first book, a German dialect picture dictionary addressing both adults and children. She is also running an online shop selling her own stationery under the brand Hannahs Firlefanz.

Instagram: @hannahsfirlefanz

Molly: the Mackerel Who Wanted to be Better by Suzanne Dore

Suzanne Dore is an illustrator, writer, and graphic designer, based in Oxford, UK. She has a BA Hons in Fine Art (Printmaking); completed many children’s book courses, including, The Illustration Department, Curtis Brown Creative, Golden Egg Academy, SCBWI and Good Ship Illustration; and has attended the Cambridge ARU Summer School. Suzanne has been longlisted twice for Undiscovered Voices and has been shortlisted three times for Templar Publishing’s Illustration competitions. She has illustrated work for Scoop magazine, the National Trust, the University of Oxford, the Guernsey Post Office and the Royal Philatelic Society, London. Suzanne longs to live by the sea, as she grew up on Guernsey where she was surrounded by beaches.

Molly: The Mackerel Who Wanted to be Better is a story of self-reflection and self-acceptance. It is part of the Marine Mates series, which explores different emotions of the creatures who live in (or near) the ocean and are designed to help children (and the young of heart) process and discuss their feelings and thoughts.

Twitter: @su_dore

Pan’s Perfect Plan by Wendy Bowen

UK based Wendy Bowen attended Falmouth School of Art, and loves to draw whenever and wherever possible, working in a variety of mediums including watercolours and pencils. She has been honing her skills in illustrating for picture books for several years combined with studying at the Advanced Professional Practice Childrens Book Illustration course at City Lit London in 2022. Her submitted work was highly commended at The Macmillan Prize for Illustration in 2022.

Wendy is currently working on some exciting projects with publishers and is represented by Curtis Brown.

Instagram: @wendytwinkle

Puff Puff by Irene Omiunu

Irene Yéga Omiunu is a British-Nigerian author and illustrator who over the last decade has garnered an enviable client roster in the fashion world from the likes of British Vogue, the Victoria & Albert Museum and The Dubai Mall. As a mother of two young avid readers, she was inspired to create culturally diverse picture books which celebrate and foster cultural pride. Yéga’s approach to writing is purposefully humorous and is greatly influenced by her own personal experiences growing up in Lagos, Nigeria. Puff Puff is her first self-published story, with several others set to be released in the coming months. She currently lives in Canterbury, Kent with her family.

Instagram: @yegaillustration

Squiggle’s Wriggle by Andy Malpica and Jonathan Sellars

Andy Malpica (Illustrator)

Andy Malpica is an illustrator from Mexico City who loves to imagine worlds for a living and tell the wonderful stories that happen in them. She recently completed her MA in Children’s Book illustration at the Cambridge School of Art, where she learned to play with different types of media and discovered new ways to draw. Animals and nature are an important part of Andy’s practice since they provide constant resources of inspiration for her illustrations.

Represented by Jessica Saint Jean at Jill Grinberg Literary.

Instagram: @andymalpica
Twitter: @andymalpica

Jonathan Sellars (Author)

Jonathan adores writing for children of all ages. The older he goes the more mountainy his writing becomes, the younger the more rhymey. He is un-agented but has a picture book, Polly Plum: Brave Adventurer, published with The National Maritime Museum and several poems scattered around several magazines. His main weakness is chocolate milkshakes, his main strength is he can drink lots of them in one go. He has three small children, and does not have access to a professional photographer.

Instagram: @JonathanSellarsLieshere
Twitter: @JSellarsLies

Stinky Cyril by Jacqui King and Samantha LeDuc

Jacqui King (Author)

Jacqui King grew up in Kent and worked as a freelance broadcast reporter for regional BBC networks, as well as broadcasting for London’s Capital Radio Flying Eye. She has written articles for various publications and made the leap into children’s literature four years ago. She has been shortlisted many times for her short stories, flash fiction and picture books. As a self-confessed daydreamer, she loves creating larger than life characters with her funny lyrical texts, as well as writing lower middle grade adventures for older children. When Jacqui isn’t writing, she’s walking along the beaches and rivers of the Jurassic Coast in Devon, where she now lives with her husband and two giant dogs. She also enjoys extreme challenges of skydiving and aerobatic wing walking and has learnt to fly solo. Her biggest achievement is being a mum of three!

Twitter: @JaxKingWrites

Samantha LeDuc (Illustrator)

Samantha LeDuc is a watercolour artist who lives and works in Wrightwood, California. A native of Newmarket, England, her illustrations feature a unique blend of whimsey and realism, creating a magical world where animals become storytellers and children embark on extraordinary adventures. He art work possesses a gentle quality that resonates with both young and old, evoking a sense of nostalgia and longing for the innocence of childhood.

Through her art work Samantha seeks to create a world where dreams intertwine with reality, where animals become trusted friends and where the original becomes the extraordinary. Their watercolour illustrations inspire both children and adults to embrace their inner child and cherish the magic found in every day.

Samantha’s larger pieces have been presented in many shows across Los Angeles, from the TAG Gallery to California 101 yearly shows.

Instagram: @samantha.Leduc 

The Go Away Rain Dance by Claire Lewis

Claire Lewis is a children’s author/illustrator who lives in Mid Devon with her husband, teenage sons and a charmingly disobedient border terrier. She is represented by Kate Scarborough of Tyild’s Agency, and several of her poems and illustrations have appeared in The Toy, PaperBound Magazine and The Dirigible Balloon. When she’s not writing or drawing, she can be found doing design and display work for her local independent non-profit bookshop or doing ‘Sound of Music’ impressions in the wild landscapes of nearby Dartmoor.

Instagram: @claire_f_lewis
Twitter: @ClaireFLewis​

The Paper Boat by Nikhil Kaimal and Yogesh Mahajan

Nikhil Kaimal (Author)

Nikhil Kaimal is regarded as the best emerging children’s author of the year.  However, this view is currently limited only to his kids (while they hold a chocolate in hand as an incentive). Raised in the Indian summers of New Delhi, he now lives in London with his wife, two kids, three umbrellas, and has been writing stories for years. His first picture book The Paper Boat begins a planned series covering subjects and stories that adults and children, especially those of South Asian origins, can relate to. He hopes that his combination of concise narratives, set against diverse and nostalgia-inducing backdrops, will encourage more parents to read to their kids.

Twitter: @Nikhil_Kaimal 

Yogesh Mahajan (Illustrator)

Hailing from Mumbai, India, Yogesh Mahajan has donned many hats in his field of work. He is a storybook illustrator, an animation film designer; and provides many illustration services for storybooks, print, animated TV shows and mobile games to Indian and International clients. His zeal and passion towards his craft clearly shows in his work. Yogesh believes in bringing fresh and new ideas to the table for every project of his, which has made his clientele larger and loyal with time. His exclusive crayon art style is specially designed for kids’ books.

Instagram: @animationwalayogi
Twitter: @animationwala22