AN author from Stockbridge has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2022.

Alongside illustrator Mark McKinley, author Lu Fraser has been nominated in the Illustrated Books category for The Viking Who Liked Icing.

Originally from York, Lu started her career in children's brand licensing before moving to Stockbridge with her family, where she now writes her own children's books.

Now in its 18th year, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize has evolved into one of the most prestigious accolades for children’s books in the UK, launching the careers of many authors and illustrators.

Last year’s winner, A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll, shot to the top of the bestseller charts after being announced as Waterstones Children’s Book Prize Winner 2021 and saw an increase in sales of 2300 per cent across the Waterstones estate.

Lu said: "I am completely stunned and absolutely delighted that The Viking who liked Icing has made it all the way to the shortlist for the Illustrated Waterstones Children’s Book Prize; the standard of the shortlists is always exceptionally high so I am utterly thrilled that people have taken our little baking Viking to their hearts and included him here.”

Florentyna Martin, from Waterstones, said: “At a time when books are increasingly relied upon to help us navigate an uncertain world, our booksellers have keenly chosen shortlists that inspire readers. Offering varied perspectives on themes of belonging and identity, the shortlisted books invite young readers to find comfort in familiar communities, discover engaging new worlds, or adventure to the unknown, all whilst being guided by unique, life-changing and relatable characters.

"The skill and talent of these writers and illustrators showcases the dynamism of children’s books, and the power of sharing stories.”

The shortlists consist of 18 books across three categories. 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 Prize Winner 2022.