Thursday, 25 February 2016

Celebrating 30 years of Five Minutes' Peace this Mother's Day

Can you believe it's 30 years since Jill Murphy's picture book classic Five Minutes' Peace was first published? Now a modern classic, it's just as funny and accurate a portrayal of family life as when it first came out.

Time-poor mum Mrs Large just wants a few minutes of peace and quiet in her hot, foamy, ever so bubbly bubble bath, with her newspaper, a cup of tea in her favourite mug, a plate of toast and a tempting cherry-topped cupcake! But with Lester, Laura and the baby being as bouncy and boisterous as ever, Mrs Large finds her peace to be very short-lived. In fact she manages a scant three minutes and forty-five seconds!

To celebrate the 30th anniversary, we've made a stunning special edition of the book which is gorgeous! You can pick up a copy in your local bookshop.

FIVE MINUTES' PEACE BLOG TOUR

As we count down the days to Mother's Day, we'll be celebrating 'me time' for mums with five of our favourite mummy bloggers. Follow the tour for activities, reviews and giveaways and to see how the next generation of children respond to this classic picture book.

29 February: beingamummy.co.uk
1 March: www.mamageek.co.uk
2 March: deepinmummymatters.com
3 March: culture-baby.net
4 March: mummymishaps.co.uk

Join in the fun and check out our Five Minutes' Peace free activity sheets.


WIN

We're giving one lucky winner the chance to win a Five Minutes' Peace pampering kit, including £100 Treatwell vouchers to spend on spa treatments of your choice, plus a signed edition of Five Minutes' Peace, relaxing tea, bath salts, candles, and chocolates! Five runners up will receive a signed copy of Five Minutes' Peace.

To enter, just email competitions@walker.co.uk with 'Pamper' in the subject line and let us know how YOU would spend five minutes' peace!


Competition closes 18th March 2016.
Terms and conditions apply.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

We Found a Hat cover reveal


Drum roll, please! Today we are thrilled to reveal the cover of We Found a Hat, the final title in Jon Klassen’s award-winning hat book trilogy!

We Found a Hat is a hilariously deadpan tale of turtles have found a hat. The hat looks good on both of them. But there are two turtles. And there is only one hat… Evoking hilarity and sympathy, the shifting eyes tell the tale in this brilliantly paced story in three parts, highlighting Jon Klassen’s abilities in visual comedy and deceptive simplicity.

If you've read Jon's other hat books, you may have asked yourself the question, why hats? And, are there more hats to come? Well The Guardian has gone behind the scenes with Jon Klassen to find out! Check out the Q&A.





We Found a Hat is publishing in October 2016 and will be the final book in the trilogy that also comprises the award-winning I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat. Check out the animated trailers for these books:




Be one of the FIRST people to get your hands We Found a Hat and pre-order it now!









Pick up Jon Klassen's books at your local bookshop. Get creative and download our free This Is Not My Hat activity sheet here.

Monday, 15 February 2016

I Am Bear

This is Bear! He was bare. Now he's wearing ... purple hair? His favourite thing is playing tricks. He makes trouble just for kicks! Check out Bear before he's gone. Rhyme along - come on!

This week, to celebrate the publication of the hilarious I Am Bear by Ben Bailey-Smith and Sav Aky├╝z, we are hosting a 5 day I Am Bear blog tour with five of our favourite bloggers. Pop along over to the blogs below and see what they think of the book, plus look out for giveaways, activities and expect plenty of mischief with this cheeky, purple trickster!

Monday 15th February: Picture Books Blogger
Tuesday 16th February: Mama Geek
Wednesday 17th February: Mummy Matters
Thursday 18th February: Being a Mummy
Friday 19th February: Mummy Mishaps

Check out the videos below to rap along with Bear and go behind the scenes with the makers, Ben and Sav!

 "Fun, smart and different ... I love this bear." Ricky Gervais





WIN

Here at Walker HQ we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the launch of I Am Bear than by tucking into a cheeky box of delicious doughnuts (Bear's favourite!). And we got some for you too! We have a Krispy Kreme gift card to give away with an I Am Bear goody bag, including a copy of the book, a poster, stickers and activities. Three runners up will get an I Am Bear poster. To enter, just email competitions@walker.co.uk with 'Doughnuts' in the subject line before 29th February. Terms and conditions apply.



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

Friday, 12 February 2016

Top picks for half term

It’s half term, yay! To keep your little ones thoroughly entertained for the next week, we've selected some of our favourite new picture books – some even include activity sheets for hours more fun!

How to Find Gold by Viviane Schwarz 

It’s time for an adventure! Join Anna and her friend, Crocodile, on their hunt for gold. It won’t be easy though; they have to master secret-keeping faces, prove they’re strong enough to carry the gold, and finally, draw a world map with an X that marks the spot. Setting sail in their boat they could discover anything! From the award-winning author-illustrator of There are Cats in This Book, Viviane Schwarz, comes a wonderful tale about friendship and imaginative play bound to inspire kids to create their own thrill-seeking missions at home.


When Isabel’s friend, Simon, moves away forever she becomes sad and angry, deciding it would be best if she remained on her own… well not completely, she had a parrot on her head. The pair spend their time creating a system where she organizes all sorts of things into boxes, including wolves! When Isabel encounters a new problem, she makes an unlikely friend who just so happens to have a solution for her. A quirky book about the endless possibilities of imaginative play, making new friends and the hardships of moving house, Hirst really taps into the range of emotions young children feel. 


 
The Bus Is for Us by Michael Rosen and Gillian Tyler

We can take so many different modes of transport when we travel and this picture book is filled with every one you can imagine; from car to plane, by horse-back or sailing by boat. There’s even ways we wish we could desperately travel by, like floating through the skies on a cloud, or maybe hugging the back of a polar bear as you race through the Artic! But none the less, ‘the bus is the best; the best is the bus because the bus is for us!’ With plenty of rhyming, poetic fun this book helps to showcase to children the importance of buses in our lives and how much we should appreciate them.


Don’t Call Me Choochie Pooh! By Sean Taylor and Kate Hindley

This small dog is fed.up. He has the MOST embarrassing owner ever! He gets fluffed, shampooed, and spritz in smelly perfumes, is fed heart-shaped Mini Puppy Treats, and worst of all he gets called the most mortifying nicknames! He’s had enough and demands to his owner – don’t call me Choochie Pooh! He just wants to do proper dog things, like chasing sticks, jumping in puddles and playing with the big dogs in the park. A beautiful message about making new friends and finding the ones to accept you for who you really are. Perfect for fellow dog-lovers and those little children who just want to play with the ‘big kids’! Laugh-out-loud text by Sean Taylor paired with vibrant, expressive illustration by Kate Hindley.

Alan is the biggest, scariest alligator in the whole jungle, famous for his sharp, shiny teeth and razor-like nails he loves to spend his day snapping at all the other animals. However Alan has a huge secret that no one knows about – he has false teeth! One day his teeth go missing, how on earth is he meant to be scary now, what will he do? Alan is so upset when all the other animals laugh at him that he cries, but they agree he can have his teeth back as long as he stops scaring everyone. A comedic tale about friendship and finding your true self, Jarvis really delivers on an intriguing story and fun images to go along.

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! 


WIN!

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. 


WIN

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


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

Buster


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

Puggy



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


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!

Oscar 


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!

WIN

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.