Oxford artist and writer Mini Grey is in the running for an innovative £1,000 prize for her children's picture book Traction Man Is Here.

Children from 14 primary schools in Dundee will pick the winner of four books shortlisted for the City of Discovery Picture Book Award.

Year 6 pupils will read the stories to younger children who have just started school, analyse their reactions and draw up reports. Both groups of youngsters will vote.

The other contenders are Dan and Diesel by Charlotte Hudson & Lindsey Gardiner, Dig the Dog by Alison Maloney & Maddy McClellan, and I'm Special I'm Me, by Ann Meek & Sarah Massini.

Mini, a former Oxford primary school teacher who got her name because she was born in a Mini in a car park, has already won several major children's book awards.

The Pea and The Princess was short-listed for the Greenaway Award in 2004, and her third book, Biscuit Bear, won the Smarties Prize in 2004.

Her current hero, Traction Man, wears combat boots, battle pants and his warfare shirt to search for the Lost Wreck of the Sieve as the boy who owns him makes a game of doing the dishes.

The winner will be announced on Thursday, June 7.

The runners-up win £200, plus a limited edition comic-style figure, donated by Dundee magazine publishers DC Thomson.