Nigerian-born author Atinuke has won the 2024 British Book Awards in the Children’s Nonfiction Category for Brilliant Black History. Illustrated by Kingsley Nebechi, the book opens young children’s eyes to Black British history.

The British Book Awards aka ‘the Nibbies’ has been the leading awards for the book trade since 1990. The awards affirm, connect and energise all who have a hand in creating books and all who read them, by showcasing the authors and illustrators who have stirred our hearts and imaginations, and the industry behind the scenes who have brought them to readers. This year’s ceremony was held at Grosvenor House in London.

The Children’s Non-Fiction award went to Brilliant Black British History (Bloomsbury Children’s Books) by Atinuke, illustrated by Kingsley Nebechi. The book focuses on a part of British past that has mostly been left out of the history books: the brilliant Black history of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

Covering a range of topics from science and sport to literature and law, Atinuke celebrates the brilliant Black people who have helped build Britain. Children can learn about key historical topics such as the world wars, slavery, the industrial revolution, Windrush, and the Black Lives Matter movement, among others. Read the full synopsis below:

Did you know that the first Britons were Black? Or that some of the Roman soldiers who invaded and ruled Britain were Black, too? Join this fascinating journey through the ages to meet those first Britons, as well as the Black Tudors, Georgians and Victorians who existed in every walk of life here. The incredible journey through time is brought to life through Atinuke’s fascinating storytelling and illustrated scenes, detailed maps, and timelines created by illustrator Kingsley Nebechi.

A vital exploration of Black British history, the judges praised its accessibility and appeal to children of all ages.As the second Book of the Year win for Bloomsbury Children’s Books, Atinuke’s book prevailed over Adam Kay’s hugely popular Kay’s Incredible Inventions (Puffin).

Atinuke is a Nigerian-born author of children’s books and an oral storyteller of traditional African folktales. She is an award-winning author of over 20 children’s books based on her life in Nigeria and other African stories. In 2017, You’re Amazing, Anna Hibiscus! was included on Kirkus Reviews’ “Best Books for Middle Graders of 2017” list; in 2018, Baby Goes to Market was included on the Children’s Africana Book Awards’ “Best Books for Young Children” list; and in 2021, Too Small Tola was named one of the best children’s books of the year by The Horn Book Magazine, School Library Journal, and Shelf Awareness.

Congrats to Atinuke on this well-deserved win!