Winning Year: 1967
Illustrator: Charles Keeping
Title: Charlotte and the Golden Canary

Original Publisher: OUP
Current Publisher:
Out of print

Charley and Charlotte are friends and live in the same city street. When the old houses are pulled down, Charlotte is whisked away to a new home high up in a modern block of flats and Charley is left below in the last old house.


Charles Keeping was born in 1924 and grew up in Lambeth, London, in a terraced house with three generations of his family. He lived in an inner city environment of street markets and working horses that would inspire his work. Charles and his elder sister, Grace, drew and made up stories on spare news stand placards brought home by their father.

As a boy he loved drawing and horses. He did badly at school and left at 14. The Second World War broke out the following year, when he turned 18 in 1942 he was called up and joined the Royal Navy as a wireless operator. He returned to civilian life in 1946 with profound depression.

Charles applied to study art at Regent Street Polytechnic, but for several years was turned down, so instead he read meters for a gas company during the day and took life drawing classes in the evening. He also worked as a life model and in 1949 he attracted the eye of a student called Renate Meyer, who went on to marry him in 1952. They had four children. Charles died in 1988.