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Jonny Duddle's 'The Pirates Next Door' Beats Mackenzie Crook To Win Children's Book Prize

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Mackenzie Crook was nominated for the Children's Book Award for 'The Windvale Sprites'
Mackenzie Crook was nominated for the Children's Book Award for 'The Windvale Sprites'

One famous pirate lost out to a whole family of them when the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize was awarded.

Artist Jonny Duddle carried off the £5,000 prize for his book, The Pirates Next Door, beating 17 other shortlisted writers including Pirates Of The Caribbean star Mackenzie Crook.

Crook, who played Ragetti in the hit films, was nominated for his book The Windvale Sprites.

Duddle, who worked as an artist on the new animated film The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists, said he was partly inspired by a year he spent working on a square rigger ship.

The winning book is the story of a pirate family called the Jolley-Rogers who move to a quiet seaside town and upset some of the locals.

Melissa Cox, the children's buyer at Waterstones, said it was a deserving winner.

She said: "The Pirates Next Door is full of the anarchic wit and invention children love in a picture book. It's fresh and fun and has been a huge hit in Waterstones' shops across the country, and had an incredible reception from booksellers, parents and, most importantly, children. Jonny is a huge new talent in the picture book field."

Duddle, from Mold in north Wales, also won the Best Picture Book category.

The prize is split between three categories, the other two being Best Fiction for 5-12s and Best Book for Teenagers, with category winners picking up a £2,000 prize before the judges select the overall winner who collects an additional £3,000.

Waterstones' Managing Director James Daunt said: "The books we read in our formative years are of crucial importance. Our prize recognises this fact, championing exciting new writing and illustration and bringing the classics of the future to a huge audience."