Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Cover reveal - Return by Aaron Becker

We're really excited today to be able to reveal the cover for Return, the eagerly-anticipated finale in Aaron Becker's beautiful worldless picture book trilogy.

Aaron Becker, creator of the award-winning Journey and its stunning, celebrated sequel, Quest, presents the final chapter in his luminous, wordless fantasy. Failing to get the attention of her busy father, a lonely girl turns back to a fantastic world for friendship and adventure. It’s her third journey into the enticing realm of kings and emperors, castles and canals, exotic creatures and enchanting landscapes. But this time, it will take something truly powerful to persuade her to return home, as a gripping backstory is revealed that will hold readers in its thrall...

All the Wonders went behind the scenes with Aaron to find out all about the epic trilogy, from how the idea was conceived to how the illustrations were created - check out the Q&A here.

We'll be publishing Return this August, but if you can't wait until then, make sure you pick up a copy of Journey and Quest from your local bookshop and let your little ones' imaginations start wandering...

WIN a family ticket to Picturehouse Toddler Time plus a Five Minutes' Peace goody bag

It's 30 years since Jill Murphy's picture book classic Five Minutes' Peace was published, and it's just as funny and accurate a portrayal of family life as when it first came out!

Mrs Large just wants a few minutes of peace and quiet in her hot, foamy, ever so bubbly bubble bath. But with Lester, Laura and the baby being as bouncy and boisterous as ever, Mum finds her peace to be very short-lived! 


To celebrate the anniversary of this family favourite, we've teamed up with Picturehouse Cinemas to give ten lucky winners the chance to win a family ticket to their local Toddler Time screening, plus a Five Minutes' Peace goody bag including a copy of the book, stickers, a poster and a book bag!

Toddler Time is especially designed to introduce preschool children to the big screen, with a carefully chosen programme of 30-minute shows, perfect for the littlest and most special audience. The winners of this competition will have the chance to go to see Q Pootle 5 during the week of 29th February. Check it out here.

For your chance to win, just answer this question:

How many minutes' peace would Mrs Large like?
a) Ten
b) Five
c) Two

Email your answer, along with your name and address to competitions@walker.co.uk with 'Picturehouse' in the subject line before 19th February 2016. Good luck! 

Terms and conditions apply.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Book of the month: Alan's Big Scary Teeth by Jarvis

This is Alan. Alan is very scary. He says things like, "I'M BIG SCARY ALAN! FEAR MY RAZOR-SHARP TEETH!' But all is not as it seems. Alan, you see, has a very BIG (not-so-scary) secret...

Famed for his big, scary teeth, Alan sneaks into the jungle every day to scare the jungle animals ... But after a long day of scaring, Alan likes nothing better than to run a warm mud bath and take out his false teeth, which nobody knows about! That is, until his teeth go missing. What will Alan do now? Scaring is the only thing he knows how to do! Can he still be scary without them? A goofy comedy of self-discovery, witty, warm-hearted storytelling and bright graphic art will make this (and Alan!) a firm children’s book favourite.

Alan's Big Scary Teeth is written and illustrated by a brilliant designer called Jarvis, and this is his first picture book with Walker Books! Jarvis studied graphic design and previously worked as both a record sleeve designer and an animation director before becoming a children's book illustrator. Jarvis says, "The way I work is always visual. I will have an image or character in mind and I pull a story out of it. I doodle and doodle and doodle until I get it right." Jarvis lives in Manchester with his girlfriend and their cat. 


We have five Alan's Big Scary Teeth goody bags to give away, each including a copy of the book, an alligator toothbrush and activity sheets! To enter, just answer this question:

What animal is Alan?
a) An alligator
b) A crocodile
c) A dinosaur
To enter, just send your answer, along with your name and address to competitions@walker.co.uk by 29/02/16. Terms and conditions apply.

Join in the fun and download these free activity sheets. Find a copy of Alan's Big Scary Teeth at your local bookshop.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Choochie Pooh (and friends!)

This month we published a book called Don't Call Me Choochie Pooh! by Sean Taylor and Kate Hindley about a very small and very fed-up dog. This dog doesn't want to be carried in a handbag (how embarrassing!) or eat heart-shaped Mini Puppy Treats (I mean, come ON!) and under no circumstances does he ever want to be called Choochie Pooh! If only his owner understood...

Inspired by this charming tale, we set about asking the dog-owners of Walker Books for the stories behind their dogs' names. Here's what we found out... 


Rigsby belongs to Alan, who works in production at Walker Books, and is named after Leonard Rossiter from the TV show, Rising Damp


This is Helen's Airedale terrier, Buster, who is sometimes known as Buddy for no reason whatsoever! 


Here is Jo from marketing's rather portly gentleman pug. Originally called Toby, he swiftly became known as Puggy, which has stuck! Mind you he'll answer to most names, however ridiculous, if it means getting food! 


Peanut is named after designer Charlie's favourite food - peanut butter! He also looked like a peanut when he was a tiny puppy. Sometimes he gets called Monkey because he loves cuddles, but the nick-name he really doesn't like is 'Nut-nuts'. He would HATE to be called Choochie Pooh!

Rafferty & Yeti 

Rafferty and Yeti both belong to Gudrun who works in IT. Rafferty can sleep for England and is not very intelligent, so is sometimes known as Einstein. Yeti is true to her name now as she is very big and white!


This is Oscar, who belongs to David from our Export department. Oscar is a 5 month old Cavachon puppy whose name means "gentle friend". This wasn't David's son's first choice of name - that was Jeremy. This was quickly ruled out as David didn't want to stand in the park shouting "JEREMY!" at the top of his voice!


To be in with a chance of winning a copy of Don't Call Me Choochie Pooh! PLUS a Picture Book Party goody bag including posters, stickers and activity sheets, just send us a photo of YOUR cute canine friend and tell us about their name! Please email your submission to competitions@walker.co.uk by 29/02/16. Terms and conditions apply.

Friday, 29 January 2016

TV presenter Eamonn Holmes reads the children’s book Oh No, George!

TV presenter Eamonn Holmes reads the children’s book Oh No, George!This week we were thrilled that Breakfast TV presenter Eamonn Holmes has brought Chris Haughton's Oh No, George! to life by reading it as an interactive storybook. Holmes partnered with BookTrust to bring families the online storybook in the hope they will be encouraged to read more with their children. Families can read along with Eamonn, whilst also getting useful tips on how to make reading with their children fun. 

In Chris Haughton's Oh No, George!,  Harris is off to do some shopping. "Will you be good, George?" he asks his dog. George hopes he can. He really wants to ... but chocolate cake is just so very delicious and he does love to chase cat... What will George do now? Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, Chris Haughton's distinctive artwork perfectly accompanies the innocent charm of affable George, a dog trying to be good – with hilarious results!

"My parents would often read me Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. When my father would read the stories he would put on all the different voices and bring it to life for me," said Holmes. "“If parents and carers can get children reading books they think are cool that's great. Because reading for pleasure will help children later in life.”

Visit the Book Trust website to watch the video and read along!