Edinburgh author wins Scottish Books Trust’s prestigious Bookbug Picture Book Prize

A Edinburgh author’s story about two cavemen that has ​captivate​d​ children across Scotland​ has won the prestigious 2022 Bookbug Picture Book Prize.

By Liam Rudden
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 4:55 am
Edinburgh author Alastair Chisholm
Edinburgh author Alastair Chisholm

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​Inch and Grub,​ written by Alastair Chisholm ​and ​illustrated by ​David Roberts​,​​ has been ​hailed the winner of the Bookbug Picture Book Prize​, which​ celebrates the very best picture books by authors or illustrators living in Scotland​.

The titular ​Inch and Grub are ​cavemen ​who want the ​best of everything​. But will their competitive​​ ​natures​ make them happy?

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Inch and Grub

Grub's cave is bigger​. He says that makes him the best. So Inch adds a water feature to his cave. But Grub has made fire​.​ So Inch makes a chair. And a house. And a car. Grub, meanwhile, has accumulated a castle and a train and a radio​... and so the contest spirals until, at last, they realise what is most valuable of all, ​their friendship.

One of three books shortlisted for the Prize, the other two were Arlo the Lion Who Couldn’t Sleep by Catherine Rayner and My First Book of Woodland Animals by Zoe Ingram, a free copy of each was gifted to every Primary 1 school child during Book Week Scotland, last November, as part of the Scottish Book Trust's Bookbug P1 Family Bag project.

Father of two, ​Chisholm​,​ sa​ys, “It’s incredible to see Inch and Grub chosen as the Bookbug Picture Book Prize winner​.​

“​The Bookbug Bag is a brilliant, important project, one my own daughters benefited from when they were younger, and I’ve loved seeing a new generation of readers enjoying all three books​ -​ and to be picked out of those awesome choices is just amazing.

Illustrator David Roberts

“​Huge thanks to Walker Books, and to everyone involved ​- ​I know David will be as pleased as I am​.​”

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Scottish Book Trust, ​a​ national charity changing lives through reading and writing,​ ​distributed 60,150 Bookbug bags to P1 pupils across Scotland​. Every book chosen for the Family Bag and The Bookbug Picture Book Prize ​was​ put through a robust review process with a panel of experts from education settings, libraries and Scottish Book Trust.

An independent panel of experts ​then ​select​ed​ the shortlisted books​ after which teachers, librarians and book group leaders sign​ed​ up their groups​ to allow children ​to ​read and vote for their favourite.​ ​Inch and Grub w​on​ the Prize with 45% of the votes.

​An award-winning author and puzzle creator, Chisholm​'s ​​other books include young people’s sci-fi novels Orion Lost and Adam-2 and children's picture books The Prince and the Witch and the Thief and the Bears​. He is also responsible for the Kids' Book of Sudoku and Kids' Book of Kakuro series.

Children's illustrator ​Roberts​ ​has illustrated a large number of books ​working with authors as ​such as ​Philip Ardagh, Peter Bently and Julia Donaldson.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, ​says, “Congratulations to Alastair Chisholm and David Roberts on winning the 2022 Bookbug Picture Book Prize. Inch and Grub has delighted families across Scotland. We hope children treasure the book for years to come.”

Viccy Adams, Literature Officer, Creative Scotland ​adds, “Inch and Grub is a thoughtful and engaging read for young children and their caregivers and has clearly spoken to the children of Scotland in a year when we have been particularly confined to our homes and living spaces.”

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