Oxford couple take top book prize

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Each year, Waterstones Booksellers vote for their favorite books to recommend to customers, with two winners this year: Waterstones Book of the Year and Children’s Gift of the Year.

The Book of the Year award went to Sir Paul McCartney’s book The Lyrics: 1956 to The Present.

Published last month, the book features 154 songs from all stages of his career: The Beatles, Wings and as a solo artist.

The Children’s Gift of the Year went to Julia And The Shark, written by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.

Illustrated by Tom de Freston, the book is described as “the captivating story of a young girl in search of the elusive Greenland shark”.

Oxford Mail:

The author and illustrator first met in 2009 and are now married and live in Oxford.

In 2017, Kiran won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize after wowing the judges with his first novel, The Girl Of Ink and Stars.

During the creation of Julia And The Shark, de Freston’s studio suffered a “devastating fire,” resulting in the creation of artwork for the book using materials such as “ashes and fragments. of destroyed works of art ”, an“ act of transformation and hope, reflecting the central message of the book ”.

The couple said: “” We are impressed to receive this special honor. We made this story to celebrate the natural world, to celebrate families, and to celebrate curiosity and weirdness.

“To think of our Greenland shark swimming in so many hands this Christmas is extraordinary. Thank you to each of the booksellers who help our book find its readers.

Florentyna Martin, Waterstones Children’s Buyer, said: “Supported by Waterstones Booksellers from the very beginning, Julia’s lyrical quest to find the elusive Greenland shark is an incredible tale by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.

“By exploring powerful subjects with warmth and honesty, and paired with the immersive artwork of Tom de Freston, we are delighted to share and celebrate this very creative novel. ”

Previous Waterstones Book of the Year winners include Sally Rooney’s Normal People, which was adapted into a popular TV series, and Hamnet, written by Maggie O’Farrell.

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