Home Children's Shortlist for the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards 2023

Shortlist for the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards 2023

The shortlist for the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards has been revealed

There are ten wonderful books on the shortlist for this year’s KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards, an annual prize to honour and promote excellence in books for young people by Irish authors and illustrators.

The Awards have been running for over thirty years and offer a total prize fund of €16,000 across six categories.  This year’s awards will take place in Merrion Square on 24 May.


Girls Who Slay Monsters, written by debut author Ellen Ryan, illustrated by Shona Shirley Macdonald (HarperCollins Ireland).

Listen to Ellen read the opening of the book here, and find out about Shona Shirley Macdonald’s illustration process.

Be Wild, Little One, an uplifting picture book which explores the beauty of nature, written by debut author Olivia Hope and illustrated by Daniel Egnéus (Bloomsbury Children’s Books).

The Boy Who Lost His Spark, an atmospheric long-form picture book, written by award-winning author Maggie O’Farrell, and illustrated by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini (Walker Books).

An Slipéar Ghloine, an Irish language retelling of the famous Cinderella fairytale, written by debut children’s author Fearghas Mac Lochlainn and illustrated by Paddy Donnelly (Futa Fata).

Read about how Paddy Donnelly approaches his craft in Under the Covers.

Run for Your Life, a moving and empathetic telling of a young girl’s experience of seeking asylum in Ireland, written by Jane Mitchell (Little Island Books).

Truth Be Told, a young adult novel which explores family secrets, religious differences and suppressed sexuality, written by Derry-based writer and peace-worker, Sue Divin (Macmillan Children’s Books).

The Lost Girl King, a sophisticated fantasy tale which puts a twist on the myths of Tír na nÓg, written by Catherine Doyle (Bloomsbury Children’s Books). See which books Catherine would save if her house was on fire in Burning Books…on Paper, the companion series to our popular podcast.

Catherine Doyle on the books she’d save if her house was on fire, for Burning Books…on Paper, the companion to our popular podcast

One & Everything, a celebration of stories and written languages, written and illustrated by Sam Winston (Walker Books).

The Wilderness, a colourful adventure tale of bravery and friendship, written and illustrated by Steve McCarthy (Walker Books).

For more on picture books, see a wonderful round-up from Ruth Ennis here.

The Book of Secrets, a unique supernatural page-turner drawing on traditional Irish folklore, from debut author Alex Dunne (The O’Brien Press). Read an extract from the book here.

Congratulations to all those shortlisted, and good luck!