Sophie Ellis-Bextor and mother, Janet Ellis join 2022 Oscar’s Book Prize’s jury

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Oscar’s Books Prize have today announced that singer-songwriter Sophie Ellis-Bextor, along with her mother, Janet Ellis, a two-time author and former Blue Peter presenter, have joined their 2022 judges panel. The pair will help to choose the winner of the 2022 Oscar’s Books Prize, an award which seeks to find the best illustrated book for children, supported by Amazon.

The mother daughter duo are joined by an esteemed panel of judges including the former Children’s Laureate and award-winning illustrator, Chris Riddell and rapper, actor, comedian and children’s author, Ben Bailey Smith (Doc Brown) amongst the Prize founder and Amazon’s UK Books country manager. 

2022 Oscar’s Books Prize , supported by Amazon, the National Literacy Trust and the Evening Standard, seeks to find the best illustrated book for children under five. Its patron is HRH Princess Beatrice

Oscar’s Book Prize is currently open for entries and publishers can submit their chosen books until 17:00 on Friday 21st January 2022 to be within a chance of winning the £10,000 prize. The award, now in its ninth year, was set up by James Ashton and Viveka Alvestrand to celebrate magical stories for children in memory of their son Oscar, who was three-and-a-half when he died from a heart condition in December 2012.

With five children in our home, we’ve been lucky to have experienced plenty of the magic and well-being that sharing a great story can bring.  It’s an honour to be helping to choose the next breakout picture book – I can’t wait to see what we’ll discover. It is made even more special doing this alongside my mother, who was always so fantastic at reading my own bedtime stories!

Sophie Ellis-Bextor

I can’t wait to be a judge for Oscar’s Book Prize 2022! Reading the best picture books around as a job? What a treat!

Ben Bailey Smith

When I look back at the winners of Oscar’s Book Prize over the years, it’s the bold and beautiful (and often weird and wonderful) stories that catch our eye, and I can’t wait to read this year’s entries which I’m sure will live up to the joyful excellence of previous years.

James Ashton, chairman and co-founder, Oscars Book Prize

It’s a great way to start the year, looking for the stories that are going to inspire a generation of children to read and helping to unearth the best new children’s authors. Amazon has always been – and always will be – passionate about children reading. Personally, with a two-year-old at home, we love finding new stories with illustrations and characters to capture our imaginations, so I am very much looking forward to being involved!

Lisa de Meyer, Country Manager, Amazon UK Books

For more information about Oscar’s Book Prize and how to apply for 2022, see


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