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British Book Awards Illustrator of the Year

The British Book Awards 2021, or Nibbies, represent the best of the book trade - the UK’s leading creative industry. First launched in 1990 and now run by The Bookseller, the British Book Awards and its sister awards schemes – The British Book Award for Export and Library of the Year – showcase and celebrate the best books, the best bookshops and the best publishers. The Nibbies are unique in recognising that a book’s success is not down to just one factor. It is the author’s creative genius, it is the publisher’s skill and support and it is the bookshop’s championing. The Nibbies’ Books of the Year are unapologetically about success but not ‘just’ who is top of the bestseller lists. We want to find the best independent bookshops from rural Scotland to inner-city London. We celebrate the small presses that are such a vital part of the publishing ecosystem. We champion the best illustrators.


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Adeola, Dapo ISBN: 9780241521946

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"A beautiful, powerful, and cohesive reading experience"

This book is outstanding in its gathering of talent to provide the illustrations to Adeola’s messages. It is a powerful, personal response to the murder of George Floyd and the awakening around the world to the Black Lives Matter movement. It is an honest and very personal letter to Adeola’s younger self, messages he wishes he had seen and heard at a young age, created now for the children of the future. 

The messages apply to any child – and the illustrations show a diverse range of children and adults; the writing is simple, straightforward and obviously deeply felt, urging children to be themselves, be curious and love the skin you are in. 

Each double page spread, and the end papers, are all created by one of the eighteen talented black illustrators assembled from all over the world or this book. It is a joy to see so many different yet complementary styles of illustration creating the whole. A book for every classroom and nursery in the country!

- Tricia Adams (LoveReading4Schools)