A 12-year-old girl is keeping an eye on the bookshops after winning a contest to design a new cover for children’s classic The Railway Children.

Rebecca Colling, from Tackley, near Woodstock, won a competition to design a cover for E Nesbit’s classic The Railway Children.

The competition was launched back in April by Vintage Classics, in conjunction with Young Times in The Times and Random House Children’s Books, looking for a young artist aged between seven and 12 to design the new cover.

Top children’s author and former Children’s Laureate Dame Jacqueline Wilson and illustrator Jez Alborough, who has illustrated over 40 books, were among the judges looking to find the best design and entries came in from across the UK.

Rebecca, who won last month, said: “I’m very pleased that I won and I can’t wait until the book comes out on the shelves.”

Rebecca won a library of 20 Vintage Children’s Classics books of her choice, worth over £100 and ten copies of the Vintage Classics edition of The Railway Children featuring her winning illustration.

Mr Alborough said: “With a simple colour scheme, some contrasting textures and a dynamic design, this painting effortlessly captures the story as well as the age in which it is set.

“For me it was a clear winner.”

Dame Jacqueline Wilson added: “I was delighted to be one of the judges in the competition to design a new cover for The Railway Children – it’s one of my favourite books.

“I thought the entries were brilliant and it was very hard to choose our winner. I think the book looks wonderful with its new eye-catching cover.”

Also on the judging panel were Daisy Greenwell, the Editor at Young Times, Suzanne Dean, creative director with Random House, and Laura Hassan, editorial director with Vintage Classics.

Rebecca is home educated and has a brother Brodie, nine.

Mum Louise Colling, a lab technician in Oxford, said the family were all proud of her.

Ms Colling said: “Rebecca is very artistic and has always loved drawing and reading as well. She’s just illustrated another book for an author in Oxford. It is amazing to see the book on the shelves – she was taken aback when she heard the news.

“I think reading is very important.”