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Norfolk teacher’s book shortlisted for Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2018

PUBLISHED: 21:06 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 21:07 09 February 2018

Robert Starling'’s book Fergal is Fuming has been shortlisted in the illustrated books category of the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2018.
Image: supplied by Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2018

Robert Starling'’s book Fergal is Fuming has been shortlisted in the illustrated books category of the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2018. Image: supplied by Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2018

supplied by Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2018

A Norfolk teacher and illustrator’s debut children’s book is in the running for a prestigious literary prize.

Robert Starling'’s book Fergal is Fuming has been shortlisted in the illustrated books category of the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2018.
Image: supplied by Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2018 Robert Starling'’s book Fergal is Fuming has been shortlisted in the illustrated books category of the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2018. Image: supplied by Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2018

Robert Starling’s book Fergal is Fuming has been shortlisted in the illustrated books category of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2018.

The story tells the tale of Fergal, a dragon with a short fuse, and as Fergal’s family and friends soon find out, this is not a good combination.

He burns the dinner, reduces the football goal to ashes and absolutely cannot play a nice, quiet board game.

It is only when he starts to notice other animals have clever tricks to calm down that Fergal begins to win back his friends.

On the announcement that the book was up for a national award, Mr Starling, who teaches at Bure Valley School, in Aylsham, and lives in Eaton, said: “What a lovely surprise! I’m so pleased that little Fergal has been included in this shortlist. “My heart did a little wiggle when I found out! Working on this book was a fascinating, challenging, exciting process, and I’m so pleased to see it now out in the world.”

Louisa Theobald, children’s bookseller at Waterstones Norwich, described Fergal is Fuming as “a charming picture book.”

She said: “Robert Starling’s illustrations have a wonderful, classic feel and the story is perfect for helping young children deal with their emotions. “We’re so pleased to champion this talented author and illustrator who has chosen to make our ‘Fine City’ his home.”

Fergal is Fuming has been published by Andersen Press.

Also shortlisted in the illustrated books category are Superbat by Matt Carr, Leaf by Sandra Dieckmann, The Night Box by Louise Greig and Ashling Lindsay, I Really Want The Cake by Simon Philip and Lucia Gagiotti, and The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton.

The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize champions new and emerging talent in children’s books, and the 2018 category winners - including illustrated books, younger fiction and older fiction - will be revealed at an event at Waterstones Piccadilly in London on March 22 before the overall winner of Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2018 is announced.

Now in its 14th year, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize is widely regarded as one of the most important prizes for children’s books.

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