Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Chris Haughton and Goodnight Everyone win at CBI Awards

We're very pleased to report that Chris Haughton has been announced as the winner of the Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Award for Goodnight Everyone, and was also the recipient of the Honour Award for Illustration for the same title.

The award judges praised ‘Chris Haughton’s vibrant illustrations combine perfectly with deceptively simple narrative in this mesmerising bedtime tale. Chronicling a series of animal yawns, the colour palette gradually darkens as the world of the forest is painted in sunset. Haughton’s use of cut-outs is particularly effective and the star maps in the endpapers add a mystic dimension to this captivating story.’

           

You can can find all of Chris' excellent picture books at your local bookshop. Goodnight Everyone will be out in paperback in August 2017.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Winner of the 2017 V&A Best Illustrated Book Award!



Here at Walker HQ we are thrilled to announce that author-illustrator Jarvis has won the prestigious V&A Illustration Award for Best Illustrated Book with Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, his very first picture book with us!


Meet Alan, an alligator with a secret. Famed for his big, scary teeth, he sneaks into the jungle every day to scare the jungle animals. 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?


We are so happy that Jarvis’ brilliant work has been recognized, and his bold colours and charismatic characters will no doubt continue to win fans all over the world. The judges praised the “dynamism, fluidity and visual depth” of his art, his “joyful, peppy, hyperactive characters”, and the “clever relationship” between his text and images.

Picture Book Publisher and Creative Director, Deirdre McDermott, says: “Jarvis’ picture book team are so happy that his brilliantly funny and original vision has been recognized by the judges of the prestigious V&A Awards. We couldn’t ask for anything more than to see Jarvis included alongside picture book luminaries such as Quentin Blake and Posy Simmonds. Hooray for Jarvis and his Alan the alligator! 
Jarvis’ second title with Walker Books, Mrs Mole, I’m Home! published in April. He has also illustrated Pick a Pine Tree, written by Patricia Toht, which is publishing this October.      
        

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

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Dogs of Walker love Raymond


This month we published Raymond  the story of an ordinary dog who, for a while, lives an extraordinary life.

What if dogs could walk and talk and go to work? Well, Raymond the dog has big ambitions beyond his ordinary, canine life in the big city. He wants to take himself for a walk and get his own dinner. And when he’s done all that? Well, he wants a job, just like his owners. But when Raymond begins a high-flying journalism career at Dogue magazine, he soon realizes it’s no walk in the park… 

It turns out it's not only Raymond that would like to escape the everyday canine life and get a job. Here at Walker HQ we've found lots of dogs reading Raymond for inspiration. It won't be long until we hire our first official Walker office dog. Check out some of the best snaps!



                                 
           

  
                     

With a stylish limited palette and incredible visual humour, children and adults alike will fall in love with Raymond and his laugh-out-loud antics in this absurdly original – yet highly relatable – world.


“The message won’t be lost on adult readers while children will delight in Raymond’s extraordinary adventures.” - Andrea Reece, LoveReading

Be the first to get your hands on a copy of Raymond and pick up a copy at your local bookshop.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Top picture book picks for May

As we venture into May with summer around the corner, we have some new picture books fresh from the Walker bookshelf to share with you. From topical tales about the environment to jubilant journeys of discovery, May brings with it stacks of variety at Walker, to both entertain and inform your little ones with original stories alongside beautiful illustrations.
                                                 

King of the Sky

A breath-taking new picture book by award winning author Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin. Starting a new life in a new country, a young boy feels lost and alone – until he meets an old man who keeps racing pigeons. Together they pin their hopes on a race across Europe and the special bird they believe can win it: King of the Sky. Nicola Davies’ beautiful story – an immigrant’s tale with a powerful resonance in our troubled times – is illustrated by an artist who makes the world anew with every picture.                                    

Raymond 

What if dogs could walk and talk and go to work? Well, Raymond the dog has big ambitions beyond his ordinary, canine life in the big city. He wants to take himself for a walk and get his own dinner. And when he’s done all that? Well, he wants a job, just like his owners. But when Raymond begins a high-flying journalism career at Dogue magazine, he soon realizes it’s no walk in the park… With a stylish limited palette and incredible visual humour, children and adults alike will fall in love with Raymond and his laugh-out-loud antics in this absurdly original – yet highly relatable – world.
In this topical picture book, Michael Foreman – twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and described as "the greatest illustrator-storyteller of his time" by Michael Morpurgo – brilliantly shows what climate change is doing to our world and inspires us all to make a difference. Mr World doesn’t feel well. He’s hot and sweaty and finding it hard to breathe. What will the doctors find when they examine their poor patient? A brilliantly clever way to explain a complicated concept to very young children. There are two spreads of further information about climate change at the back of the book, including simple energy-saving ideas for children



From Alice Tait, illustrator of the iconic London Range, comes a stylish, action-packed lift-the-flap book – the perfect introduction to the capital city for first-time sightseers! Blending her joyful London scapes with the story of a mischievous little girl, Nancy, and her long-suffering dachshund, Roger, Alice creates a wild and calamitous chase by boat, bus and bike across all of London's most famous and best sights – from Buckingham Palace to the Tower of London… With over fifteen flaps throughout, an incredible pop-up Nelson's column and a fold-out map, young readers will delight in this interactive adventure, and will love joining in with Roger's catchy refrain: “NO, NANCY, NO!”

The tree. Home to a family of birds in their nest, squirrels in their drey and rabbits in their burrow. But what happens to the animals when a man and woman decide to cut it down and use it for their dream house? Can the tree be home to both the animals and the humans? A simple yet fun and distinctive picture book, with a strong environmental message about the importance of respecting animal habitats, by the award-winning Neal Layton. With modest text and appealing illustrations this picture book actively encourages children to think about the story being shared with them, piece together the problems and resolutions in a most engaging way. 




You can get your paws on all these books at your local bookshopHappy reading! 

Thursday, 4 May 2017

WIN King of the Sky by Nicola Davies

A powerful and beautifully illustrated story about migration and the meaning of home.

King of the Sky is a breathtaking new picture book by children's author Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin, winner of the Bratislava Illustration Biennale and the Bologna Ragazzi Prize for Illustration. Starting a new life in a new country, a young boy feels lost and alone – until he meets an old man who keeps racing pigeons. Together they pin their hopes on a race across Europe and the special bird they believe can win it: King of the Sky.


Behind the scenes with Nicola Davies

We’re excited to welcome Nicola to the Picture Book Party blog for a behind-the-scenes on the inspiration behind King of the Sky.

As we were putting together A First Book of Nature the illustrator Mark Hearld asked me to write a poem about pigeons. At the time, I'd just moved to a house with a view of an old Victorian hospital. All day pigeons would strut and play on the roof top, pirouetting like weathercocks. So the poem came easily.


And it got me thinking.

I read about pigeons; wild ones, domestic ones, message carrying ones, racing ones. I watched videos of tough northern blokes cuddling their racing birds with heart-breaking tenderness. I read how they navigate - learning the shapes of their local landscape by that characteristic flying in circles thing they do; recognising the smells of home, so that downwind they can follow the scents to their loft.




Something else got in with the biological information in my head - belonging and what happens when you have to change where you live and make a new home.

All of it sloshed around in my mind until one night I heard a song written about the real Sheffield racing pigeon “The King of Rome” that won a race to the North all the way from Italy. Another component of the story fell into place.


The final piece of the jigsaw was the setting. I wanted a displaced people and found what I needed when I remembered my mum’s stories about sitting in the Italian ice cream parlour in Gowerton. Italian families had come to Wales in the 20s and had found a culture like their own, centred on family, where singing and high emotion were both valued.


So I wrote a story set on my own doorstep, and connected with my own family history in South Wales.





I read it aloud at a conference and two wonderful things happened: someone came and told me that I’d described the story of their family and another said: “All my adult life I’ve thought my background in the valleys was something I had to get away from. You’ve shown me it’s my best material.” That’s when I realised that this little story about a boy and a bird had done what I wanted, and told a bigger more universal story about belonging, and what that means.


I worked with Pontadawe Arts Centre and director Derek Cobley to make King of the Sky into a theatre production - a musical in fact - that played at the Hay festival in 2015 and 16 and toured in South Wales. It was great to see the story spoke to audiences of all ages. Grown-ups cried, children cheered when the pigeon made it home, people went out singing the songs. I hope when they read the book they’ll carry the words in their hearts in the same way.







WIN
To celebrate the release of King of the Sky we’ve got five beautiful limited edition prints and signed copies of the book to give away! To enter, just answer this question:


In the new book King of the Sky, what kind of bird does the old man keep?
a) Hawks
b) Sparrows
c) Pigeons


To enter, just email competitions@walker.co.uk with 'King of the Sky' in the subject line before 9th June 2017. Terms and conditions apply.


Join in the fun and download these free King of the Sky activity sheets and pick up a copy of King of the Sky at your local bookshop.


Nicola Davies is an award-winning author, whose many books for children include A First Book of Nature, Ice Bear, Big Blue Whale, Dolphin Baby, Bat Loves the Night and the Silver Street Farm series. She graduated in zoology, studied whales and bats and then worked for the BBC Natural History Unit. Nicola lives in Crickhowell, Wales. Visit Nicola as www.nicola-davies.com.


Laura Carlin is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and the winner of several awards, including the V&A Book Illustration Award. Her work has featured in Vogue, the Guardian and The New York Times; her previous books for Walker include The Promise by Nicola Davies and The Iron Man by Ted Hughes. See Laura's work at lauracarlin.blogspot.co.uk.

Friday, 28 April 2017

WIN a signed copy of Lots by Nicola Davies


Lots is a stylish non-fiction picture book that conveys the magnificent diversity of life on this planet.

From the award-winning team behind Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes comes Lots, a beautifully illustrated introduction to the concept of biodiversity for younger readers. There are living things everywhere: the more we look, the more we find. There are creatures on the tops of the tallest jungle trees, at the bottom of the coldest oceans, even under the feathers of birds and in boiling volcanic pools. So how many different kinds are there? One, two, three ... lots! 

With beautiful words from Nicola Davies and exquisite illustrations by Emily Sutton, this groundbreaking book is certain to enchant and inspire children.





WIN

Here at Walker HQ we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the launch of Lots than by giving away a copy signed by both Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton! Plus a beautiful limited edition Lots print. Five runners up will also get a limited edition print. To enter, just email competitions@walker.co.uk with 'Lots' in the subject line before 31st May 2017. Terms and conditions apply.



Nicola Davies is an award-winning author, whose many books for children include Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes, A First Book of Nature, The Promise, Ice Bear, Big Blue Whale, Just Ducks! and the Heroes of the Wild series. She graduated in zoology, studied whales and bats and then worked for the BBC Natural History Unit. Nicola lives in Crickhowell, Wales. Visit Nicola at nicola-davies.com, or follow her on Twitter under the handle: @nicolakidsbooks.




Emily Sutton graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a degree in illustration. As well as illustrating picture books, she paints, sculpts and designs prints. Emily's first picture book, Clara Button and the Magical Hat Day, was published by the V&A. Emily lives in York. Visit Emily at www.emillustrates.com





"For five- to eight-year-olds, there’s another love song to the natural world from Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton, the team behind TinyLots: The Diversity of Life on Earth counts up from a single human child to species-rich spreads of submarine, jungle and desert landscapes – and warns that without due care, humanity will erode the world’s biodiversity down from “lots” to “one”. Clear, direct, involving text, coupled with vivid, delicate illustrations make for a truly special work of non-fiction." - The Guardian

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Fantastic reviews for Walker picture books

We are delighted to see three fantastic reviews of Walker picture books appear on The Guardian this week.

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis.


“This story is written in “bug language”, an idea that borders on lunacy but is in practice a joy and a quirky triumph. It is enormous fun reading this book aloud and trying to decipher exchanges between talkative insects.” - The Guardian


Patrick and the President by Ryan Tubridy, with illustrations by PJ Lynch.



“The story of President Kennedy’s visit to County Wexford in Ireland in 1963 ... what makes it winning is the sense that it is a true story and the tremendous sense of the period brought home in Lynch’s accomplished, emotionally acute illustrations.” - The Guardian


Penguin Problems by Jory John, with illustrations by Lane Smith.


“A small philosophy manual for readers of all ages is provided by the wonderfully original Penguin Problems.” - The Guardian


All of these brilliant picture books are out now, and you can find them at your local bookshop.