The Queen’s Knickers Award

2022 Queen's Knickers Award winners David Roberts (left) and Alastair Chisholm (right) with prize founder Nicholas Allan (photograph © Adrian Pope)
2022 Queen's Knickers Award winners David Roberts (left) and Alastair Chisholm (right) with prize founder Nicholas Allan (photograph © Adrian Pope)
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 will recognise 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. 

The Queen’s Knickers Award will re-open for submissions in summer 2023

The 2023 Queen’s Knickers Award Shortlist

John Agard and Satoshi Kitamura for When Creature met Creature published by Scallywag Press

Beach for The Knight with the Blazing Bottom published by Simon & Schuster

Olaf Falafel for Blobfish published by Walker Books Ltd

Chris Naylor-Ballesteros for Frank and Bert published by Nosy Crow Ltd

Caspar Salmon and Matt Hunt for How to Count to One published by Nosy Crow Ltd

“The books on the Queen’s Knickers shortlist stood out clearly for their humour and originality. Visually they were all inspiring; I could imagine children sitting down to copy out their favourite bits, testing new ways to draw things and different ways to tell a story, or to joke with the reader. We debated long and hard to pick the winner and runner-up and, in doing so, found we were all swayed in our opinions and I genuinely felt I learned from the experience.”
Sarah McIntyre, 2023 Queen’s Knickers Award judge

If you are interested in buying any of the books shortlisted here, please visit A percentage of each sale will go to the Authors’ Contingency Fund, providing hardship grants to authors in financial difficulty.

  • Deadline for entries: 30 November 2022
  • The work should be a single, illustrated volume, in book form. It can be imaginative or factual e.g. a counting book. 
  • The work may be any combination of words and/or pictures, or just pictures (and in any physical format including pop ups, flap books and board books). 
  • The work must have been first published in the UK and Republic of Ireland between 1 September 2021 to 31 August 2022.
  • The prize will be awarded to an author or authors who is/are credited on the title page and are real people.  For works illustrated by named illustrator/illustrators, the judges may divide the prize between the author/authors and illustrator/illustrators at their discretion.
  • We cannot accept entries that are only available in e-format or that are self-published or where the author has contributed or paid for the costs of publishing.
  • Submissions must be made by the print publisher and publishers may submit no more than three titles per imprint. 

For any queries relating to the prize please contact [email protected]

With thanks, the judges of the 2023 Queen’s Knickers Award:

Smriti Halls

Smriti Halls is an award-winning, critically acclaimed children’s author. Since publication of her first picture book in 2012, she has had a U.S. number 1 bestseller and been published in more than 30 languages, from Arabic to Afrikaans and from Catalan to Korean.

Sarah McIntyre

© Sarah McIntyre

Instantly recognisable in her pointy specs, Sarah McIntyre writes and illustrates the Grumpycorn picture books, as well as Dinosaur Firefighters and The New Neighbours. Her co-author collaborations with Philip Reeve include Oliver and the Seawigs and Pugs of the Frozen North, and they’ve had a lot of fun creating their new four-book series about Kevin the Roly-Poly Flying Pony. Sarah loves drawing and creating characters that make her laugh out loud. Visit her website for activities based on each book:
Children’s Book website:
Twitter: @jabberworks
Instagram: @jabberworks

Ken Wilson-Max

Ken was born and raised in Zimbabwe, where I trained to be a graphic designer and discovered illustration.
He learned by observing how similar people are, whether they are learning to read, or running large corporations, and He put those observations into my work.
After a decade of designing books for children and young adults, he became a children’s author and illustrator. He love working with children and teachers or parents. They help him improve and keep my work relevant.
He believes that it is worth celebrating how people are more similar than different. He has also seen how much better it is for children of all backgrounds to see or read themselves in books.

2022 Queen’s Knickers winner

Winner : Alastair Chisholm and David Roberts for Inch and Grub (Walker Books)

Runner-up: Mick Jackson and John Broadley for While You’re Sleeping (Pavilion Children’s)


  • Chris Haughton for Maybe (Walker Books)
  • Dr. Meredith L. Rowe and Monika Forsberg for An Interesting Word for Every Day of the Year (Magic Cat Publishing)
  • Matthew Hodson for At This Very Moment (Cicada)


  • Winner : Alastair Chisholm and David Roberts for Inch and Grub (Walker Books) £5,000
  • Runner-up: Mick Jackson and John Broadley for While You’re Sleeping (Pavilion Children’s) £1,000


  • 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