The Queen’s Knickers Award

For an outstanding children's illustrated book

This annual prize, generously funded by Nicholas Allan, author of The Queen’s Knickers, is awarded to an outstanding children’s original illustrated book for ages 0-7. It recognises books that strike a quirky, new note and grab the attention of a child, whether this be in the form of curiosity, amusement, horror or excitement. The winner will receive £5,000, as well as a golden Queen’s Knickers badge, as depicted in Nicholas Allan’s original book. The runner-up will receive £1,000 and a silvered badge.

2021 Queen’s Knickers Award Winner

Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Diane Ewen for Never Show a T-Rex a Book (Penguin Random House Children’s UK)

The 2021 shortlist

  • Runner-up: Alex T. Smith for Mr Penguin and the Catastrophic Cruise
  • (Hachette)
  • Joy Cowley and Giselle Clarkson for The Gobbledegook Book (Gecko Press)
  • John Condon and Matt Hunt for The Pirates are Coming! (Nosy Crow)
  • Katie Daynes and Marie-Eve Tremblay for Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers About Plastic (Usborne)

Entry to the 2022 Award is now closed.
The winner will be announced at a ceremony in June 2022.

  • Deadline for entries: 30 November 2021
  • Submissions should be a single, illustrated volume, in book form. It can be imaginative or factual e.g. a counting book.
  • Submissions may be any combination or words and/or pictures, or just pictures (and in any physical format including, pop ups, flap books, and board books).
  • Submissions must have been first published in the UK and Republic of Ireland between 1 September 2020 and 31 August 2021.
  • The prize will be shared between the author or authors and illustrator/illustrators if applicable.
  • Submissions must be made by the print publisher

For any queries relating to the prize please contact


  • Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Daine Ewen for Never Show a T-Rex a Book (Puffin) £5,000
  • Runner-up: Alex T. Smith for Mr. Penguin and the Catastrophic Cruise (Hachette) £1,000


  • Elena Arevalo Melville for Umbrella (Scallyway Press) £5,000
  • Runners-Up: Didier Lévy and Frederic Benaglia for How to Light Your Dragon (Thames & Hudson) £1,000