Children’s book shortlisted for Roald Dahl prize

Children's author Amy Sparkes has been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize for her book 'Do not enter the monster zoo'.
Children's author Amy Sparkes has been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize for her book 'Do not enter the monster zoo'.

A children’s author from Eastbourne has been shortlisted for this year’s Roald Dahl Funny Prize.

‘Do Not Enter the Monster Zoo’, written by Amy Sparkes and illustrated by Sara Ogilvie, is one of six picture books up for the accolade in the ‘Funniest Book for Ages Six and Under’ category.

The book, published earlier this summer, tells the tale of a young boy who receives an invitation to run a zoo full of mischievous monsters.

Amy said, “I’m absolutely thrilled. Roald Dahl has always been one of my favourite authors so to be shortlisted for this prize is a real honour.

“I was inspired to write this book recently after I rediscovered some classwork I’d produced when I was nine years old, at Tollgate Junior School.

“I’d drawn a monster, called a Bugaboo and my teacher’s comments are still on the picture.

“The original story it accompanied had been lost but that led to me writing a new story for the monster.”

Amy’s first picture book, ‘Hodge the Hedgehog’ has featured on CBeebies and her second, ‘Gruff’s Guide to Fairy Tale Land’ was shortlisted for the 2011 People’s Book Prize.

The final decision for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize will be made later this year by a panel of judges in conjunction with at least 200 schoolchildren.