Winner of West Sussex Children’s Picture Book Award 2019/20 announced

To celebrate World Book Day, the West Sussex Schools Library Service has announced the winner of their West Sussex Children’s Picture Book Award 2019/20.

“I am a Tiger”, the hilarious picture book by Karl Newson and Ross Collins, has been overwhelmingly voted the winner of this year’s award by children from 26 primary schools across West Sussex.

The winning book tells the ‘tail’ of a bold little mouse who successfully persuades his animal friends that he is a tiger.

Karl Newson, author of ‘I am a Tiger’, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that ‘I am a Tiger’ has won the West Sussex Picture Books to Shout About Award 2019-20! I’d like to thank everyone involved in the awards – especially all the children who voted for mouse, Ross Collins and me to be the winner!

“One day, a long time ago, my children taught me that books are MAGIC, so for me to be writing this now, knowing my own stories are ‘Award-Winning’ is a dream come true.

“’I am a Tiger’ is a story that feels small on the outside but it’s big on the inside; it’s about being who you want to be (and having the best time doing it!).”

One of five titles on the shortlist, Karl Newson’s slap-stick humour coupled with Ross Collins’s amusing and distinctive illustrations made “I am a Tiger” the perfect picture book for children to read aloud and share with their friends and family.

Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, said: “World Book Day is something we know children across West Sussex look forward to every year as they can share their love of reading and dress up as characters from their favourite books.

“It wasn’t hard for the West Sussex Schools Library Service to decide this would be the perfect day to announce this year’s winner of the award and I’ve heard that “I am a Tiger” is an exciting read.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to all the schools that took part this year and I’m looking forward to seeing more schools join up for the 2020/21 awards.”

Nigel Jupp, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “The West Sussex Schools Library Service has been running the Picture Book Awards for six years and each year we see the same enthusiasm and enjoyment from all the children taking part.

“Capturing a child’s imagination with a good book from an early age can help improve their reading and this annual award definitely encourages all the participants to do that in a fun and interactive way.”

The other titles short listed were:

  • “Mrs Blackhat” by Chloe and Mick Inkpen,
  • “Clem and Crab” by Fiona Lumbers,
  • “Lubna and Pebble” by Wendy Meddour and Daniel Egneus,
  • “Be More Bernard” by Simon Philip and Kate Hindley.

All the shortlisted titles, including the winner, are available to borrow from your local library. Children’s books are free for children to reserve and this can be done online at or by using the Library App.


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