Eighteen books picked across three categories; each category winner receives £2000, with the overall winner receiving an extra £3000
The full lists of shortlisted titles (in alphabetical order by author) for the 2019 Prize are:
The Girls by Lauren Ace and Jenny Løvlie (Little Tiger Press)
Mini Rabbit Not Lost by John Bond (HarperCollins)
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison (Penguin)
The King Who Banned the Dark by Emily Haworth-Booth (Pavilion)
Julian Is A Mermaid by Jessica Love (Walker Books)
100 Dogs by Michael Whaite (Penguin)
The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson (Usborne)
The Train To Impossible Places by P.G. Bell (Usborne)
Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy (Scholastic)
The Mystery Of The Colour Thief by Ewa Jozefkowicz (Head of Zeus)
The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Raúf (Hachette Children's)
The Boy Who Grew Dragons by Andy Shepherd (Templar)
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (Egmont)
Children Of Blood And Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Pan MacMillan)
A Winter's Promise by Christelle Dabos (Europa Editions)
The Truth About Lies by Tracy Darnton (Little Tiger Press)
Me Mam. Me Dad. Me. by Malcolm Duffy (Head of Zeus)
Boy 87 by Ele Fountain (Pushkin)
Last year's winner, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, went to the top of the bestseller charts after the announcement and saw an increase in sales of over 900% across the Waterstones estate.
The winners will be announced at an evening reception at Waterstones Piccadilly, on Thursday 21 March. The winner of each category will receive £2000, with the overall winner receiving an extra £3000.
Florentyna Martin, Waterstones children's buyer, said: "Children's books are firmly at the heart of our shops. Knowledge of their local communities, and the pleasure in recommending the best books to their customers, gives our booksellers a unique and pivotal role in championing new talent. Now, more than ever before, there is real playfulness and creativity noticeable in children's books. This year's list showcases an exploration of wide topics including world-folklore, black history, mental health, refugees and the world around us, through dynamic forms of poetry, fables and sweeping fantasies. It is a truly enthralling time for children's writing, and our booksellers have keenly chosen shortlists that they are inspired to share with readers and, in doing so, recognise the creators who will shape the future of children's stories."
James Daunt, Waterstones managing director, said: "We are immensely proud of our Children's Book Prize. It has chosen unfailingly wonderful books and in so doing propelled the careers of a succession of exceptional authors. Who knows how many might otherwise not have achieved such success? The Prize is the work of our booksellers and represents Waterstones at its very best."