The winner was announced at an online ceremony on 22nd October.
Commenting on the winning book, judge Shaun Dellenty said: “This deceptively simple tale affords a very rich stimulus to engage young children in varied conversations about kindness, trust, non-judgement, consent, friendships, self-care, same sex love and the potential for our own compassion to inspire others to live more loving lives. In these challenging and divisive times, the most radical act of all is surely to love; The Boy Who Loved Everyone brims joyfully with it.”
Judge Emily Drabble described the book as “a deceptively deeply radical book on expressing love, the crushing effect of society’s restrictions and judgements on who we can love even on a tiny and adorable preschooler. The text is divine and the illustrations are really something to rave about, depicting a gloriously inclusive cast of characters which will bring joy to your heart. A very worthy winner of this year’s Little Rebels award and heartening that it’s a book for the very young, giving promise of a better future.
Judge Darren Chetty said: “The Boy Who Loved Everyone captures the excitement, the confusion, and the nose-picking that will be familiar to anyone who has spent any time in the nursery classroom. There is a wealth of emotion lurking in this slice-of-life story, the kind of story that children will love to return to and talk about. I think the story’s sincerity, and its willingness to embrace uncertainty, make it a quietly radical book.”