‘As soon as I saw this book I fell in love with the cover and hoped that the rest of it would live up to my expectations. It far exceeded them. The sort of book I would be proud and excited to buy as a present for every young child I know.’ Viveka Alvestrand, Oscar’s Mother.
Bright Author-Illustrator Benji Davies recently won Oscar’s First Book Prize 2014 for his hauntingly moving ‘The Storm Whale’. The £5000 award is held by The Evening Standard in memory of Oscar Ashton, a lover of stories who sadly passed away unexpectedly aged 3 1/2 years. The Bright Agency were ecstatic and overwhelmed to represent 3 of the 5 Illustrators who made it to the final five and secured the book deal for a 4th:
Benji Davies - ‘The Storm Whale’ (Simon & Schuster)
Nicola O’Byrne - ‘Open very carefully’ (Nosy Crow)
Lee Wildish (& Charlotte & Adam Guillain) - ‘Spaghetti with the Yeti’ (Egmont)
Philippa Leathers – ‘The Black Rabbit’ was also a Bright publishing deal with Walker.
As a business celebrating it’s 10th year in the publishing world, Bright are incredibly proud to represent over half the nominees on this list. Nurturing new found talent as well as supporting established names is a key factor in the company’s working ethos. The Bright nominees have grown with the agency and are just small examples of what can happen when agent and creative really collaborate to achieve amazing artwork and stories that then turn into industry-shaping book deals.
The final 5 were narrowed down from an original 57 entries by a panel of esteemed judges and some very critical young readers. All involved were searching for books that could easily be read by children under 5 as well as being appreciated by their adult counterparts. Judge Charlotte Ross said that the books on the shortlist were “both timeless and original, and we picked tales with images and words that fired the imagination”.
But overall, the winning book was picked because the judges believed Oscar and his vivid imagination would have loved it to – because of this, Benji and Bright are honored and truly humbled to be a part of such an amazing award.