Congratulations to author Simon James Green and the very talented illustrator, Aleksei Bitskoff for winning a Fantastic Book Award this year for their amazing book, Life Of Riley: Beginners Luck. This hilarious middle-grade novel is about one boy's quest to get rid of a ridiculous amount of bad luck! Laugh-out-loud funny, warm-hearted and anarchic in a way that readers will love - brought to life by Aleksei's lively, humorous illustrations. Thanks to all the pupils of Lancashire Schools who voted for this book  - it looks like Riley's run of unfortunate luck has changed for the better!

170 primary schools participated in this year's Fantastic Book Awards run by the Lancashire School Library Service and 30 books for children aged 9 to 11 were nominated with 5 books winning the 'Children's Choice'. 

Congratulations to the other winners in the category: The Danger Gang by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Shane Devries; The Beast and the Bethany  by Jack Meggitt-Phillips, illustrated by Isabelle Follath; Pests by Emer Stamp and Dragon Mountain by Katie and Kevin Tsang.

Life of Riley: Beginner's Luck, published by Scholastic,  was also shortlisted for the 2021 Blue Peter Book Awards and Aleksei has illustrated Sleepover Takeover, another book written by Simon James Green for Scholastic.

You can see Aleksei's acceptance video HERE and watch the other acceptance videos HERE.

Follow Aleksei on Twitter and Instagram and also view his fabulous online portfolio HERE. For more information regarding working with Aleksei please email:

Aleksei Bitskoff - Life of Riley