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Mackenzie Crook shortlisted for children's book prize

Three And Out

Story by Jack Foley

BRITISH actor Mackenzie Crook has been shortlisted for this year’s Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

The 40-year-old, best known for playing Gareth in The Office, has been nominated for his debut novel, The Windvale Sprites, which he also illustrated.

It forms part of the five to 12-year-old category, while two further prizes are up for grabs for picture and teen books.

Crook’s book will compete against Janet Foxley’s Muncle Trogg, Sky Hawk by Gill, L Pichon’s The Brilliant World of Tom Gates, Alan Silberberg’s Milo and the Restart Button and Claude in the City by Alex T Smith.

Other nominees include Jonny Duddle, the concept artist for Aardman film The Pirates!, who has been shortlisted in the picture category for his book, The Pirates Next Door.

He will compete against Marta Altes’ No!, Ann Bonwill’s and Simon Rickerty’s I Don’t Want To Be A Pea!, Chris Haughton’s A Bit Lost, Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back and Nadia Shireen’s Good Little Wolf.

In the teen category, Phil Earle’s Being Billy, which focuses on children in care, is shortlisted against Annabel Pitcher’s My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Jenny Downham’s You Against Me, Morgan Matson’s Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour and Ruta Sepetys’ Between Shades of Gray.

Now in its eighth year, the Waterstones’ Children’s Book Prize was created to “reward and champion new and emerging talent in children’s writing”.

The winners are determined by booksellers across the country with each winner receiving £2,000 on March 28, with an overall winner getting a further £3,000.

It is open to authors writing for children from seven to 13 and who have written no more than two fiction titles.

Previous winners have also seen a significant boost in sales of their books.