Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Watch Rob Delaney read and sign Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale!

With ten in the bed, it's a bit of a squeeze! Roll over, roll over! 

The brilliant Rob Delaney will be reading and signing Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale on Cbeebies on Friday 16th November 2018.

Ten in the Bed, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, is Penny Dale's warm, funny and much-loved take on the bouncy counting bedtime rhyme of 'Ten in the Bed'.

Rob will be signing the book using Makaton as he reads and you can sign along using this free guide from the Makaton website.

Image © CBeebies / BBC

Monday, 5 November 2018

CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2019 Nominations

Nominations have been published for the country's oldest children’s book award: the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, recognising outstanding illustration in books for children and young people. 

Walker Books are proud to have 24 books nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal!

Congratulations to all these fantastic illustrators and their books! 

Anuska Allepuz

Aaron Becker

by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Rebecca Cobb

Polly Dunbar

Bob Graham

by Sally M. Walker, illustrated by William Grill

Daisy Hirst

Petr Horáček

Shirley Hughes

by Patricia Toht, illustrated by Jarvis

by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Jean Jullien

by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Jaime Kim

by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

by kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love

Jessica Love

Markus Motum

by Vivian French, illustrated by Catherine Rayner

by Vivian French, illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino

Viviane Schwarz

by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Emily Sutton

by Narisa Togo

by Chris Butterworth, illustrated by Charlotte Voake

Marcia Williams

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

WIN our Picture Book of the Month - Giraffe Problems

Penguins aren’t the only animal out there with problems, oh no…

From Jory John and Lane Smith, the winner of the 2017 Kate Greenaway Medal, comes a laugh-out-loud companion to the acclaimed Penguin Problems

Edward the giraffe can't understand why his neck is as long and bendy and ridiculous as it is. No other animal has a neck this absurd. He's tried disguising it, dressing it up, strategically hiding it behind bushes ... anything he can think of. But just when he's exhausted his neck-hiding options, a turtle ambles in and tries to help him understand that his neck has a purpose ... and looks excellent in a bow tie.
Credit: Random House Children’s Books, © Penguin Random House LLC  

WIN a copy of Giraffe Problems

We have 5 copies of Giraffe Problems with a limited edition print to giveaway. Competition closes 30th November 2018.

To enter the competition just enter your name and email address below.   

Are you under 13? If so please do NOT provide your details. Please ask your parent or guardian to enter using their email address.

By entering this competition you confirm that you accept our terms and conditions of entry.



If you’d like to find out more about Picture Book Party please tick here to sign up to the Picture Book Party quarterly newsletter. Please be assured we won’t share your email address with other organisations for their own marketing purposes, and you can unsubscribe at any point in future using the unsubscribe link on any of our emails. For more information please see our Privacy Policy.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Halloween Giveaway!

To celebrate the spookiest time of year, we have a trio of frighteningly fun picture books to be won!

Five lucky winners will receive I Want to Be in a Scary Story by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Jean Jullien, Boo Who? by Ben Clanton, and What's in the Witch's Kitchen? by Nick Sharratt.

This competition has now closed. Good luck!   

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Picture Book of the Month - Dragon Post by Emma Yarlett

A fiery story about friendship and asking for help from award-winning author-illustrator Emma Yarlett.

One day Alex finds a dragon living under his stairs. He isn't sure what to do - but luckily he knows just who to ask for help. Open the envelopes and read the hilarious letters Alex receives from the fire brigade, the butcher and more as he tries to take care of his new friend. Who would have thought having a dragon for a pet would be so tricky? A joyful, touching and vibrantly-illustrated interactive book.

We're very excited to welcome our very own designer Charlie Moyler to the Picture Book Party blog to discuss working on Dragon Post

At Walker there are many wonderful and exciting things that happen: dreams made, breakthroughs celebrated, awards announced, artwork and text delivered to cheers of delight. And there are moments that feel totally entrancing because you know THIS IS IT – a book idea shared that has the hairs on your arms raised within seconds, your inhaled breath stuck between your grinning mouth and about-to-explode chest, blood thumping in your ears and an ‘eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee’ of excitement buzzing about you like a rogue honeybee.

I’m a designer – a children’s book designer. And though I have never once said this to someone outside the biz and not been asked “Oh so you illustrate books, then?” (“No, but close,” tends to be my short answer) I think I have one of the most precious and privileged roles in the journey of a book – but of course I would say that!

A young Emma with 90s hair 

The basic gist, so that we’re all on the same page, is that a children’s book designer is the person who often sees the initial book idea come in and works with absolutely every aspect of the content, piecing it together in a digital form until it’s ready to leave the building to be printed. It’s a job to treasure.

I won’t downplay the publishers and editors roles, as a picture book team is collaborative and needs lots of clever people involved. But of course the most important members of the team are the author and illustrator, and it’s they that We (the creative team) help along.

Together, we consider everything about the book. The words, the right number of pages, the story arc, the best moments in the story to turn the page, whether to have images on a single page or across a double page spread, which fonts to use, the size of the font and where to place the text, character development and clarity of emotion, colour palettes, continuity and believability, all the way through to cover design. All the while encouraging the author-illustrator (one person or two) and working with them to develop and deliver the best work they can: empowering them with their vision and creation.

So … in February 2017, when Emma Yarlett, an extraordinarily talented author-illustrator, sat at our creative meeting table with a dummy book embossed with the words “Dragon Post”, We were excited. We had met Emma a few times already as I was desperate to find her a place on the Walker list. And although we had a few book ideas in development, Dragon Post was totally NEW!

Denise, soon to be Emma’s editor and publisher, started reading the dummy and before she’d reached the last line of the book it was clear from the smiles on our faces: we had had the THIS IS IT moment. We were thrilled and Emma was over the moon that Dragon Post was going to be her first book published by Walker. We scheduled the book into Emma’s diary and soon after began work on the edits, reworkings, rough sketches and dummies of the story, to check that everything worked as well as possible before Emma started painting the artwork.

The story of a boy who finds a dragon in his basement was inspired by Emma’s husband, who as a child was convinced there was a dragon living beneath his grandparent’s house in Battersea, south London. 

The original thumbnail rough of Alex finding the dragon

Emma developed the boy’s character visuals by drawing inspiration from 90s haircuts and old family photos – and decided to name the boy Alex after her husband. 

Development sketches of Alex

The dragon, who doesn’t speak in the book, also had a few different reincarnations. Emma worked hard to find a way of creating a character that embodied the right space on the page and conjured the imagination – a mythical beast that was misunderstood, and was both impressive and ultimately friendly.

Development sketches of the dragon

Following Emma’s genius, we helped her to create the “real-life letters” that the reader would be able to open and read as part of the story. And we suggested making the dragon a neon pantone red – to give him extra zing and pizazz.

First test proofs of the neon pantone dragon to help us work out how we wanted to use it in the images

By November 2017 Emma had delivered all of the art, had created all of the intricate letters, had painted a show-stopping cover, and had hand-lettered the entire book. Then together, we added the pantone colouring to the dragon, and made the final touches, and just before Christmas we were ready to send this beautiful, funny, tear-jerking story to the printer. My job was done – and what a privilege to see a master picture book maker do her thing so, so well!

Running sheets, the final book and some original dragon artwork created with the neon pantone in mind

Dragon Post will be published in the UK on October 4th. It has printed over 100,000 copies in its first print run and will be published in nine languages across the world. So we’re not the only ones to fall in love with this wonderful book!

Friday, 21 September 2018

Top new picture book picks!

We have some fabulous new picture books to share with you. Check out our top picks below with everything from playtime rhymes to trains and diggers, we have plenty of new stories for you to discover!

The Dam by David Almond, illustrated by Levi Pinfold

A lyrical, captivating and beautiful picture book by Carnegie Medal-winner David Almond, illustrated by Kate Greenaway Medal-winner Levi Pinfold.

This astonishing picture book combines themes of loss, hope and music as David Almond pays homage to all musicians, showing the ancient and unstoppable power of creativity.

Time Now to Dream by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

“This must be among Helen Oxenbury’s most beautiful work … exquisite” The Times 

When Alice and Jack are out playing, they hear a strange noise. Alice wants to know what it is, but Jack is afraid. He thinks it might be the Wicked Wolf with big, bad claws and snap-trap jaws. But Alice takes his hand and they follow the noise, right into the heart of the forest… Just what will they discover there? Timothy Knapman's atmospheric narration alongside Helen Oxenbury’s spectacular illustrations skilfully convey Jack’s growing fear and Alice’s curious excitement, all the while building towards the reveal of that mysterious sound…

Big Digger Little Digger by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Daron Parton

A story about a little digger with a very big heart, perfect for all fans of construction site stories!

Little Digger loves to work hard, digging holes all day long. “Little digger, little digger, little digger,” he hums happily as he digs. But, one day, an especially BIG hole needs to be dug, and so in comes … BIG DIGGER. He begins to dig the biggest hole that anyone on the building site has ever seen… With the arrival of Big Digger, will there still be a place for Little Digger on the building site? A heart-warming read-aloud story about the power of hard work, teamwork and positivity.

Follow the Track All the Way Back by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Ben Mantle

Today is a big day for little Train ... he's going out on the track, all by himself, for the very first time!

Little Train is going out on the track, all by himself, for the very first time! But before he goes, his mummy and daddy remind him: “When it’s time to come home, no matter how far you are, just follow the track all the way back, where we’ll be waiting.” So Little Train heads off into the unknown with a clickety-clack… But, when night falls and the track runs out, will he remember what to do? Taking its place beside the classic The Little Engine That Could, young readers will share Little Train’s trepidation and excitement in this uplifting and extraordinary read-aloud adventure, and rejoice in the gorgeously atmospheric artwork of illustrator Ben Mantle.

His Royal Tinyness by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by David Roberts

A new baby story that turns the sibling lament into a hilarious memoir. Meet the rightful heir to the throne: the big sister!

Marianna, the most beautiful, ever so kindest princess, lives happily with her mum, dad and gerbil. Happy, that is, until the new baby comes along. His Royal Highness King Baby is so smelly. He’s so noisy. And all the talk in the Land is about him – non-stop. ALL THE TIME! 

New York Times bestselling author Sally Lloyd-Jones’ hilarious narrative voice is brought exquisitely to life by David Roberts in this home-grown fairy tale about a little girl with a new baby brother.

Wiggly Wiggly by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Chris Riddell

Wiggle, jiggle and giggle along with this board-book of playtime rhymes.

A board-book collection of playtime rhymes from not one but two Children's Laureates. Join a band of mischievous monkeys, tigers, lions, elephants and bears as they tippy-tapboing-boingwiggle-wiggle and wave hello – and goodbye! The most energetic poems from the award-winning anthology A Great Big Cuddle have found the perfect new home in this friendly format. Michael Rosen has adapted his rhymes so that even the very littlest readers can join in; Chris Riddell's vibrant, extraordinary pictures fizz off the page. Pairing two of the biggest names in the world of children’s books, Wiggly Wiggly is a small book that contains a lot of action!

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Guess How Much We Love Playing Outdoors

Haven’t we had a beautiful summer? 

Here at Walker, we have spent lots of time enjoying the sunshine. Now that it’s September the autumnal chill will soon be creeping in, but don’t despair – our favourite pair of nutbrown hares are here to keep the sunshine coming! Here I Am! is a beautiful new finger puppet book from Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram, inspired by the well-loved classic Guess How Much I Love You.  

The book follows Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare as they play a game of hide-and-seek. Reading about the adorable duo playing through fields and in the ferns has made us all nostalgic about our favourite outdoor memories. Here’s a lovely selection from the team!

Nghiem Ta, Art Director

As a special treat, my brother and I would visit a nearby playground. I used to love the swings and the slide! My brother and I would take turns to sit on the swings and push each other. Near the park was a river, so after we played, we would go and feed the ducks. I think it’s wonderful that sometimes the best outdoors things are free!

Mara Alperin, Creative Commissioning Editor

I have always loved playing games outside. In the woods behind my house, there was an old pine tree, and from its branches hung a rope swing. My Dad used to push me in the swing so I could pretend that I was flying. “Don't forget your fairy dust,” he would say, and I would sprinkle the “dust” to enact the magic (sometimes I even wore fairy wings as well!). “I can fly, I can fly,” I would sing.

Ruby Constable, Assistant Editor

My parents often took my whole rabble of siblings on long country walks when I was little. Wherever we went, we’d soon find the tallest trees to climb and make up elaborate games to play, giggling and squabbling as we went. Looking back, we must have been a bit of a shock to the mild-mannered country ramblers and Sunday morning dog walkers. We never had to call “Here I Am!” because everyone knew we were there.

What do you love doing outside? Do you have a particular favourite place, an excellent hiding spot or a special memory you’d like to share? Let us know below! And don’t forget to go looking for Here I Am! (hopefully not hiding) in bookshops near you.