Illustrator on shortlist for children’s book prize

David Litchfield
David Litchfield

A debut picture book by a Bedford writer and illustrator is among the shortlists in a national awards scheme.

The Bear and the Piano, by David Litchfield, is in the shortlists for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2016, in the illustrated books category.

The book tells the story of a uniquely talented bear whose musical skills take him far from his home forest. As time passes, he teaches himself how to play the strange instrument. Fame and fortune follow, but he misses the friends and family he has left behind.

David, who lives in Bedford with his family, first started to draw when he was very young, creating Star Wars and Indiana Jones ‘mash up’ comics for his older brother and sister.

Since then his work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, books and on T-shirts.

He has exhibited his illustrations in both solo and group shows in the UK, Europe and America.

The winners will be announced at an evening reception at Waterstones Piccadilly, Europe’s largest bookstore, on Thursday, March 17.

Six books will compete within each category to be crowned category winner, with the three category winners then vying for the overall title of Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year 2016.

The winner of each category will receive £2,000, with the overall winner receiving an extra £3,000.

The winning authors will also see a significant boost in sales and the promise of an ongoing commitment to their writing career from 275 Waterstones branches nationwide.