Simon Cherrys first book for children is one of five shortlisted for the 2017 Surrey Libraries’ Childrens’ Book Award, which celebrates the best current fiction for young readers.


Eddy Stone and the Epic Holiday Mash Up, which was published in the summer by Usborne Books, is a comic adventure story about a boy who joins a pirate on a wacky treasure hunt. Aimed at middle grade readers, it has been praised by two of the country’s best-known comedians.


Lenny Henry called it “A charming, surreal and batty trip into a world of Pythonesque Pirates , buried treasure and total silliness. Lovely.


Stephen Fry wrote Oh how I wish the wonderfully told adventures of this unforgettable pirate and the boy who befriends him had existed when I was young. I shall pretend I still am and read them again and again.”


The winner of the competition will be chosen in the New Year by children from primary schools around the county.


“I’m thrilled to be shortlisted for the award for my first book. It is an excellent idea to have the children picking their favourite from the shortlist,” Simon said. “No-one knows better that they do what keeps them engaged and entertained. It’s an interesting reversal of roles for me, because for the past few years I have been one of the judges of the children’s entries in the annual Elmbridge Literary Competition. I know just how much imagination and fun those children put into their writing, and I have tried to make sure that the Eddy Stone books match them.”