Supporting the children’s book illustrators of the future

The brief

Entrants must submit illustrations for Kes Gray’s picture book, ZEBRACADABRA.


Zebracadabra is the best magician in the world … at turning things black-and-white and stripy!


If only he knew the spell to turn colours back to normal again.

A brilliantly funny read-aloud text – jam-packed with animals and black-and-white stripes!

What the judges are looking for?

The judges are looking for a series of original and outstanding illustrations demonstrating competency and creativity in visual storytelling for children. The illustrations should show characterisation, continuity and progression, plus a range and pace appropriate to the text. Originality is key as is the consideration for text placement and page design.

Author’s notes for illustrators

This is a very silly and strikingly visual picture book story. It plays the black and white stripy card hard and should be a giggle from start to finish. Have fun with each animal but remember you are telling a story. Think about characterisation. Think about page dynamics, go wide, go mid, go close. Bring the story to life and bring a smile to our faces. Oh yes, and try and leave room for some words.



  1. The full text is split over 15 spreads and entrants are required to submit roughs for 11 spreads and final artwork for 4 spreads. The text, with suggested page breaks, can be accessed on completion of the Registration form.
  2. There is a choice of two formats for the finished book: 245mm x 245mm or 275mm (high) x 250mm (wide). Please choose the format most suited to your style.
  3. Artwork must be created at 100% size, or up to 30% larger, allowing at least 5mm extra (after reduction) for any images that bleed.
  4. Any medium may be used, but final artwork must be flat so it can be scanned. Illustrations with novelty elements or 3D structures will not be eligible.
  5. Artwork can be supplied digitally but should be supplied as one low res pdf, file size to be no larger than 8MB. Please ensure file is labelled with your full name as follows: firstname_lastname.pdf. Note, original files should be created in high res – and retained as such – should your entry be successful and selected for print.
  6. Text should be shown in black, either typed or handwritten, and should be removable (ie, supplied as a transparent or trace overlay). For digital entries, flattened text on PDF is acceptable, but original high res files should place text on a separate layer.

Register to enter

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