The only national children’s book awards to be judged by teachers continues to attract record levels of submissions. The summer reading challenge for the initial selection panels (composed of experienced past teacher judges, ex-teachers, librarians and consultants) was to read the combined total of 494 submissions, across the four categories of these awards. Publishers can submit up to three titles in each category and for the first time we have publishers who have had all three of their submitted titles longlisted. Nosy Crow in the 3-6+category, Firefly Press in the 11-14+ and Andersen Press in both the 7-10+and 11-14+ categories. Bloomsbury is the only publisher who had books longlisted in every category, which is yet another remarkable achievement.

Awards Chair, Christine Lockwood, said “This is always an exciting but difficult job. The longlisting team were challenged to select from a very rich and varied list of submissions this year and they have come up with four sparkling longlists. It was a joy to meet the majority of our committed, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic longlisters in person, rather than via digital platforms. I would like to thank them for their hard work over the summer. The longlists will now pass to our teams of teacher judges and their group leaders in the West Country, and I can't wait to share these books with them over the next year."

The longlists published today exemplify the award criteria’s aim of encouraging teachers’ knowledge of high-quality children’s books, that can reflect all identities and promote diversity and although the lists do have well established and prizewinning authors and big publishers, it is very often the small independent publishers and the extraordinary debuts that stand out from the crowd. There are 36 publishing houses, and even more imprints, represented in this list which is a testament to the strength of children’s publishing, even after the pandemic years.

This year there are just over 100 judges covering the four categories and they have until mid-March to read the longlisted books, discuss them with their group leaders, and share them with pupils. All the groups will then meet, hopefully in person, for the difficult task of choosing their shortlist of 6 books in each category.

Headteachers welcomed the opportunity to receive new books for their schools and for their teachers to widen their knowledge of recent children’s titles. 53 schools in total will be impacted by this injection of quality texts to inspire learning and reading for pleasure. For UKLA, giving classroom practitioners the opportunity to read a selection of new children’s books is as important as finding an overall winner. Research carried out by members of UKLA (Cremin et al 2008) clearly demonstrated the links between teachers’ knowledge of children’s books and the likelihood of pupils becoming successful readers. Despite this evidence, teachers are seldom given time to read new books or funding to purchase them when they do.

UKLA are grateful for the continued support of the award sponsors, which help the awards to grow and develop each year. Reading Cloud, Lovereading4schools and Lovereading4kids, recognise the value of the judging experience for schools and teachers.

"The UKLA continues to do what it does best, engaging with and supporting teachers across our nation. This is another incredible longlist for the 2023 UKLA Awards; what an outstanding selection of books that deserve to be celebrated and shouted from the rooftops. We are delighted to again support the UKLA Awards and all that the UKLA does to engage, delight, educate and inspire our teachers to become reading teachers. The awards are equally valuable for parents looking for book recommendations to encourage reading for pleasure. Congratulations to everyone longlisted, we can't wait to find out the winners, but whatever takes the trophies, these children's books are all stars."Deborah Maclaren Managing Director of LoveReading4Kids

“Reading Cloud are really delighted to support these worthwhile and unique children’s book awards as co-sponsors again this year. We are always heartened to see so many dedicated teacher judges all over the UK working with the longlisted, shortlisted and winning books to inspire a love of reading in their pupil groups and beyond. Encouraging reading for enjoyment and improving literacy are very much at the heart of Reading Cloud and through our platform, pupils can review and recommend books, sharing their enthusiasm for reading through a variety of accessible and engaging tools and features.” - Reading Cloud

Longlist 3-6+ Category
We’re Going to Find a Monster written by Malorie Blackman and illustrated by Dapo Adeola
Eye Spy written and illustrated by Ruth Brown
Ergo written by Alexis Deacon and Illustrated by Viviane Schwarz
It Fell From The Sky written and illustrated by Eric and Terry Fan
A Cat Called Waverley written and illustrated by Debi Gliori 
Who are you? written by Smriti Halls and illustrated by Ali Pye 
Be Wild, Little One written by Olivia Hope and illustrated by Daniel Egnéus
Flooded written and illustrated by Mariajo Ilustrajo
There’s A Ghost in This House written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
The Visible Sounds written by Yin Jianling and illustrated by Yu Rong, translated from Chinese by Filip Selucky
The Cat and The Rat and the Hat written by Em Lynas and illustrated by Matt Hunt
Small’s Big Dream written by Manjeet Mann and illustrated by Amanda Quartey
The Friendship Bench written by Wendy Meddour and illustrated by Daniel Egnéus
Frank and Bert written and illustrated by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
Four Bad Unicorns written and illustrated by Rebecca Patterson
How to Count to One written by Caspar Salmon and illustrated by Matt Hunt
Yes You Can, Cow! written by Rashmi Sirdeshpande and illustrated by Rikin Parekh
The Duck Who Didn’t Like Water written and illustrated by Steve Small
The Planet in a Pickle Jar written and illustrated by Martin Stanev
Saving Mr Hoot written and illustrated by Helen Stephens
Stella and the Seagull written by Georgina Stevens and illustrated by Izzy Burton
The Comet written and illustrated by Joe Todd- Stanton

Longlist 7-10+ Category
The Light in Everything written by Katya Balen and illustrated by Sydney Smith
My Brother Ben written by Peter Carnavas
One Time written by Sharon Creech and illustrated by Sharon Horne
Ollie Spark and the Accidental Adventure written by Gillian Cross and illustrated by Alan Snow
The Girl Who Talked to Trees written by Natasha Farrant and illustrated by Lydia Corry
Dragon Skin written by Karen Foxlee
Like A Charm written by Elle McNichol
No Mans Land written by Joanna Nadin and illustrated by Lucy Mulligan
Major and Mynah written by Karen Owen illustrated by Louise Forshaw
Stuntboy, In The Meantime written by Jason Reynolds illustrated by Raul the Third
The Elephant in the Room written by Holly Goldberg Sloan
The Children of the Quicksands written by Efua Traoré
All to Play For written by Eve Ainsworth illustrated by Kirsty Beauman
Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths written by Maisie Chan and illustrated by Anh Cao
The Secret of Splint Hall written by Katie Cotton
When the Sky Falls written by Phil Earle
Wished written by LissaEvans
Alte Zachen written by Ziggy Hanaor illustrated by Benjamin Phillips
The Colour of Hope written by Ross McKenzie
The Chime Seekers written by Ross Montgomery
The Lion Above the Door written by Onjali Q Raúf
Little Light written by Coral Rumble illustrated by Shih-Yu Lin

Longlist 11- 14+ Category
All That’s Left in the World written by Erik J Brown
The Song that Sings Us written by Nicola Davies,and illustrated by Jackie Morris
Read Between The Lies written by Malcolm Duffy
The Climbers written by Keith Gray
Mark My Words written by Muhammed Khan
The Crossing written by Manjeet Mann
Tremendous Things written by Susin Nielsen
Grow written by Luke Palmer
The Ivory Key written by Akshaya Raman
Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep written by Philip Reeve
When I Was the Greatest written by Jason Reynolds illustrated by Akhran Girmay
Hide and Seek written by Robin Scott–Elliot
The Summer We Turned Green written by William Sutcliffe
In the Wild Light written by Jeff Zentner
Adam-2 written by Alistair Chisholm
Ellie Pillai is Brown written by Christine Pillainayagam
Truth Be Told written by Sue Divin
When Our Worlds Collided written by Danielle Jawando
Splinters of Sunshine written by Patrice Lawrence
The Cats We Meet Along the Way written by Nadia Mikhail, illustrated by Nate Ng
Julia and the Shark written by Kiran Millwood Hargrave illustrated by Tom de Freston
The Blue Book of Nebo written by Manon Stefan Ros, translated from Welsh by the author
Kemosha of the Caribbean written by Alex Wheatle

Longlist Information Books 3-14+ Category
How Was That Built? written by Roma Agrawal illustrated by Katie Hickey
From Shore to Ocean Floor written by Gillian Arbuthnot illustrated by ChrisNielsen
Musical Truth: A Musical History of Modern Black Britain in 28 Songs written by Jeffrey Boakye illustrated by Ngadi Smart
The Story of Afro Hair written by K.N Chimbiri illustrated by Joelle Avelino
Amazon River written by Sangma Francis illustrated by Rômolo D’Hipólito
It’s Our Business to Make a Better World written by Rebecca Hui illustrated by Anneli Bray
Talking History written by Joan Lennon and Joan Dritsas Haig illustrated by André Ducci
Everything Under The Sun written by Molly Oldfield
Lift-the-flap Questions and Answers about Racism written by Jordan Akpojaro illustrated by Ashley Evans
A Different Sort Of Normal written by Abigail Balfe
You are 25% Banana written by Susy Brooks illustrated by Josey Bloggs
How to Make a Book written by Becky Davies illustrated by Patricia Hu
Rescuing Titanic written and illustrated by Flora Delargy
Here and Queer written by Rowan Ellis and illustrated by Jacky Sheridan
The Greatest Show on Earth written and illustrated by Mini Grey
Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue written and illustrated by William Grill
I am the Subway written and illustrated by Kim Hyo-eun, translated from Korean by Deborah Smith
How Fast was a Velociraptor? written and illustrated by Alison Limentani
Black and British – an Illustrated History written by David Olusoga and illustrated by Jake Alexander & Melleny Taylor
This Is a Dictatorship written by Equipo Plantel and illustrated by Mikel Casal, translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel
I am an Artist written and illustrated by Kertu Sillaste, translated from Estonian by Adam Cullen
Nina: a story of Nina Simone written by Traci N Todd and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Find all the books in the UKLA 2023 Longlist plus more about the Awards here - and then scroll down for the Winners, Shortlists and Longlists from previous UKLA Book Awards.