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

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.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Top picture book picks for April

April showers bring...our top five picture book picks! Add some sunshine to your children's bookshelves with a forgetful mole, a hungry cat, and some beautifully-illustrated tales of the flora and fauna of our world. Check out our top picks for this month here!


From Jarvis, the creator of Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, comes another unmissable, hilarious adventure about a daddy mole who has mislaid his spectacles. Morris can’t find them anywhere. So, he decides to go on without them, trusting his instincts to lead him home to his waiting family and delicious dinner of worm noodles. “Mrs Mole, I’m homeeee!” he sings, as he burrows right into some poor unsuspecting rabbit family’s hole. Oh dear. Without his spectacles, Morris really can’t see a thing – how will he ever get home? Jarvis will have all readers rooting for Morris and rejoicing in the idea that – glasses or no glasses – you can always make your way back to home sweet home.



Trees change through the seasons – springing to life, bearing fruit and losing their leaves. They clean the air we breathe, provide seeds and homes for creatures and extend their shade to everyone equally. Trees is a poetic picture book that invites the reader to take a closer look at the magnificent trees that surround us.











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.








Stunning illustrations by Sydney Smith, the award-winning illustrator of Footpath Flowers, show the striking contrast between a sparkling seaside day and the darkness underground where the miners dig. The ever-present ocean and inevitable pattern of life in a mining town will enthral children and move adult readers, as a young boy wakes up to the sound of the sea, visits his grandfather's grave after lunch and comes home to a cosy dinner with his family, but all the while his mind strays to his father digging for coal deep down under the sea.




A wicked, wild read-aloud romp from Timothy Knapman, author of Soon, and Simona Ciraolo, winner of the Sebastian Walker Prize, this is the story of Jake, the fastest mouse there ever was. NO ONE can catch him. Not the fox, not the wolf, not even the bear. “Can’t catch me,” teases Jake. “I’m the fastest mouse in the world!” But cunning Old Tom Cat has his eye on that sweet, young mouse for his dinner and he’s got a plan…








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

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Win the picture book of the month, Mrs Mole, I’m Home!



From Jarvis, creator of Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, comes another truly unmissable, hilarious adventure about a daddy mole who has mislaid his spectacles. 

Morris can’t find them anywhere. So, he decides to go on without them, trusting his instincts to lead him the right way home to his waiting family and delicious dinner of worm noodles, with laugh out loud consequences!



Behind the scenes with Jarvis

We’re excited to welcome Jarvis to the Picture Book Party blog for a behind-the-scenes on the making of Mrs Mole, I’m Home!

“MRS MOLE, I’M HOOOOME! was the first line I wrote, and it all fell into place from there. The concept is very simple, a lost mole popping up in the wrong home, but it had lots of scope for jokes. I had in mind a kind of American sitcom, with a live audience, and after touring Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth in schools around the country I wanted to make a book that had funny lines, and jokes peppered all the way through. It’s a book that I made to read aloud…with lots of silly voices.

If the words came ‘easy’ the visuals were definitely not. Every book for me has lots of challenges and choices, and it took me a long time to get the right direction, not so much with the characters but more so the environments and technique. I didn’t want the book to be gloomy, muddy and brown…even if half of the book is underground. So the challenge was to make it feel dirty, earthy and natural but using a bright, full-on colour palette.


The environments were really important to this book, each place needed to feel very different than the last, there were no short cuts! But, with help from the gang at Walker, and by following my (big) nose, I got there in the end.



WIN Mrs Mole, I’m Home!
To celebrate the launch of Mrs Mole, I’m Home! we’ve got five copies of the book with exclusive posters to give away! To enter just answer this question:

In Jarvis’ new book what has Morris Mole lost?
a)       His spectacles
b)       His bow tie
c)       His waistcoat

To enter, just email competitions@walker.co.uk with 'Mrs Mole, I’m Home' in the subject line, before 30th April 2017. Terms and conditions apply.

Join in the fun and download these free Mrs Mole, I’m Home activity sheets and pick up a copy of Mrs Mole, I’m Home at your local bookshop. Plus, take a look at this brilliant animated trailer that the talented Jarvis has created!


     
Jarvis studied graphic design and previously worked as both a record sleeve designer and an animation director before becoming a children's book illustrator. Alan's Big, Scary Teeth was met with great acclaim, the New York Times writing: "The witty Jarvis makes all the right moves". About his picture book inspiration, 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."

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Win a Bear Hunt Goody Bag

If you loved the film of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt on Channel 4 at Christmas, now you can explore your natural world with these two brand new We're Going on a Bear Hunt activity books!




We're Going on a Bear Hunt: My Explorer's Journal
This interactive journal is the perfect place for young explorers to record their experiences in the natural world; the animals and plants seen, weather conditions, cloud formations and much, much more. With lots of space to write, draw and preserve leaves and flowers, as well as simple art and nature-inspired projects to complete, this book invites readers to explore their world, be inspired by nature and create a keepsake journal of their outdoor adventures.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt: My Adventure Field Guide
Discover a wealth of facts about plants and animals, bugs and birds, clouds, the night sky, the weather and so much more in this fun-filled field guide to the natural world . With facts galore, plus recipes, science projects and tips for how children can help protect the environment, this is the perfect book to get kids up, out of the house, and engaged with the natural world.

Check out the trailer for We're Going on a Bear Hunt:




WIN a Bear Hunt Goody Bag

We’ve teamed up with our friends at Picturehouse Cinemas to give away five Bear Hunt goody bags, each including a copy of My Explorer's Journal, a copy of My Adventure Field Guide, a Bear Hunt DVD and a poster! 

To enter, email your name and address to competitions@walker.co.uk with ‘Bear Hunt' in the subject line for your chance to win. Competition closes on 30th April 2017. Terms and conditions apply.

If your kids enjoy watching films on the big screen why not visit your local Picturehouse Cinema for Toddler Time and Kids' Club? Toddler Time is exclusively for preschool children and their parents or carers. Shows run for approx 30 mins and and cost £3 per toddler, accompanying adults go free.


Kids' Club is exclusively for children and their parents or carers, showing current kid friendly blockbusters features as well as family classics. Tickets are £2 per person.

Pick up a copy of the new We're Going on a Bear Hunt books at your local bookshop and get your copy of the DVD here.

Join in the fun and download our free We're Going on a Bear Hunt activity sheets.


Monday, 27 March 2017

Sneaky tricks to play on your little ones this April Fools’ Day

Just in time for April Fools’ Day, multi-award-winning, bestselling duo Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen have conspired again on a slyly funny tale about some very sneaky shapes in Triangle. We’re feeling particularly sneaky at WalkerHQ and have put together some suggestions to trick your little ones this April Fools’ Day.

  • The inedible breakfast. The night before, pour a bowl of your child’s favourite cereal, add milk and put in freezer. For added effect, make some jelly and pour into a glass, add a straw and put in fridge to set, ready for the breakfast table the next morning!
  • The fridge is alive! Stick googly eyes on EVERYTHING in the fridge. In the morning ask your child to get something from the fridge and watch their reaction as they see all the eyes looking out at them.
  • TV no more. Put tape over the sensors of the TV remote just before their favourite programme starts, then watch their confusion as they try to change the channel.
  • The upside down house. Turn everything in your sitting room upside down – picture frames, furniture, rugs, as much as possible!
  • Bedtime Switcheroo. Wait until the kids are asleep and then quietly move them into each other's beds. When they wake up, take photos of their surprised faces.
  • Colourful bath time. Unscrew the cap to the bath tap, put a pellet of food dye under it, then screw the cap back on. Watch your child’s amazement as you run them a blue, green or pink bath!
  • Sticky money. Superglue a pound coin to the garden path and watch them try and pick it up.
  • The backwards dinner. Serve everything backwards, starting with pudding first!


Meet Triangle. He is going to play a sneaky trick on his friend, Square. Or so Triangle thinks...

This mischievous, shifty-eyed story about some very sneaky shapes is the first tale in an exciting new shape trilogy that approaches the traditional concept from a whole new angle.


You can get your hands on Triangle at your local bookshopHappy reading! 


About Jon Klassen
Jon Klassen is the author-illustrator of I Want My Hat Back, We Found a Hat and This Is Not My Hat, the only book to ever win both the Kate Greenaway and Caldecott Medal. He also illustrated Mac Barnett's Extra Yarn and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, and served as an illustrator on the animated feature film Coraline. His illustrations for Caroline Stutson's Cats Night Out won the Governor General's Award in 2010. Originally from Niagara Falls, Canada, Jon now lives in Los Angeles, California. Find Jon online at burstofbeaden.com and on Twitter as @burstofbeaden.

 


About Mac Barnett
Mac Barnett is the author of several award-winning books for children, including President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen, and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and Extra Yarn, illustrated by Jon Klassen, which won a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and a Caldecott Honor. Mac Barnett lives in California, USA. Find Mac online at macbarnett.com and on Twitter as @macbarnett.


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday and time to celebrate brilliant mummies and mammies everywhere! 

Jill Murphy’s beautifully observed picture book stories about Mrs Large, Mr Large and their four boisterous children are stories we can all relate to, whether we are child or a parent. Five Minutes’ Peace, A Quiet Night In, A Piece of Cake, All In One Piece and Mr Large in Charge are all about warm, real (if a little hectic) family life, and feature one of the best picture book mums out there. Because no matter how swept off her feet Mrs Large is, she’s always ready to laugh at herself; always happy to be beside her children.  


Here at Walker HQ we went behind the scenes with Maria and Tanya in our Picture Books team to talk about the very special and unique relationship we have with our mothers and with our own children...

Maria Tunney 

I'm a mum now. That's weird to say. I'm a mum. I made and own a tiny human called Ada and I would do anything and go anywhere for that roly-poly baby. And when I sing her cheesy Disney songs from my childhood as she smiles up at me from her little cot in her wee round-faced, dimple cheeked, silvery-eyed way (I'm sure she's thinking, this one is MAD), my heart literally feels like it might BURST and I have to catch my breath.

And now, NOW I understand, in so much more depth, all the things my mum did for me, my brother and sister. (Sorry it took me so long, Mum.) I understand her sleepless nights. How fiercely she always tries to protect us. How thrilled she is to be reunited with us after a stretch of time apart. I get the fierceness of her hugs, why she clasps our hands so tight. I understand the personal sacrifices my mum made so that I could have a better life. I can see now how hard she worked to feed my imagination and creativity and encourage me in all ways. I understand the dreams she has for us as children, and grown ups, and why she puts herself before her us, at all times. 

I understand all the big and little things she did for me as a child, each memory like a warm pop of sunshine on my face. 

I remember her making popcorn in the kitchen with the lid off so that it was like it was raining popcorn and we ran around with our mouths open. Taking us to the cinema to see all the latest films and sneaking in little sandwich bags full of sour sweets up our sleeves. Helping us set up our own 'shop' in the kitchen where we sold each other tinned food from the cupboard, or setting up a post office or library where we mostly just stamped blank paper with great fervour and charged £20 to post a letter. Making us sausages after bath time on a Saturday night and eating them in front of the fire watching Gladiator and Blind Date. She made up silly songs. She made her own Playdo. She helped us build dens. She watched as we walked up the hill to catch the school bus every school morning. 

As a grown up, she sends me packages full of Tayto crisps and Monster Munch and fancy pyjamas from Tk Maxx with notes that say, "Found this One Direction advent calendar and thought it might give you a laugh." She answers all my Whatsapps with "Ahhh, that's beautiful!", even if it's my make up free, craggy morning face. She messages me every single morning to see how Ada has slept and I love that because if Ada has slept well, I have, too, and everyone is happy.

Of course, there are things I DON'T understand ... namely some of the horrendous outfits (fluorescent Benetton anyone?) she put us in as ten year olds when we didn't yet have a sense of our own style. Not cool, Mum, not cool.

My mum is strong, she is a warrior, she is ninja mum. And her strength and compassion fortifies me in my own day to day life. She inspires me to the very best mum, daughter, friend and colleague that I can be. Happy Mother's Day, Fifi.

Tanya Rosie 

Sitting in the front seat of the supermarket trolley with my mum steering, cycling to pick up my big sister from school, with my mum leading the way, or playing with my doll’s house next to my mum’s bed as she took (well-deserved) power naps – those were the very best places to be for me, growing up. Because, from the very beginning, my mum has made me feel like her very best friend and, because of that, because of being beside each other, all those little moments of daily life became little adventures – our little adventures – and the big moments of my life. 

When I was older and spent hours at my desk studying for exams, the sound of my mum tinkering away in the next room was what steadied my nerves. I knew that I could poke my head around the corner and melodramatically cry, “Mum, seriously, I’m going to fail EVERYTHING,” and it would make me feel instantly better (and trust me, I did that a LOT). She’s always believed in me – she dreams big for me – and she only ever wants for me what I want for myself. 

My mum loves fruit, she loves trees (she recognizes all of them by leaf), and – best of all – she loves being up a mulberry tree (her favourite), picking the fruit that we’ll all eat later on, sat cross-legged on the carpet in our living room. And bubble gum! Every Saturday, when we were watching movies, my mum would be in the corner blowing the hugest pink bubbles, and we’d all gather around and gape and count how long they stayed big (one … two … three … POP!). She doesn’t do this so much any more, not after the gum-in-the-hair incident of ’94, but they still feel like the biggest bubbles in the world. She still feels like the coolest.  

So whenever I say goodbye to my mum, there’s always a twinge of sadness, because I realize that to go out on my own means to leave her behind. But when I set off (both pockets filled with fruit and pistachios; my mum won’t let me leave without snacks for the journey), I look back at my mum waving from the driveway, her arms crossed from the cold, her hood up from the rain, and take courage from the smile on her face. Because if she’s the last thing I see when I leave, she’ll be the first thing I see when I return. 

My mum’s name means ‘Moonlight’ in Farsi, and, to me, she’s just that – my guiding beam of light. Wise and kind and calm, I need her advice when I make decisions, I need her joy when I share good news, and I need her little stories at the end of each day, however gloriously uneventful. My world just wouldn’t be whole without her. Happy Mother’s Day, Mum! 






WIN a Mother's Day bouquet and book bundle

To celebrate all the wonderful mums out there, we have a special selection of picture books by Jill Murphy to give away, plus an impressive hand-tied medly of seasonal, spring Pink Champagne flowers  by letterbox florist Beards and Daisies (anemones, soft white tulips, daisies and stunning coral roses). 

To enter, just email your name and address to competitions@walker.co.uk with 'Mother's Day' in the subject line by 31st March.

Terms and conditions apply.


Monday, 20 March 2017

Win a copy of Also an Octopus and a Beside the Sea Grobag

We’ve finally found someone who loves bedtime as much as we do! We’ve teamed up with baby sleep brand The Gro Company to celebrate the joy of books at bedtime, so welcome to our Bedtime Book Club!


Picture books are at the heart of our publishing at Walker Books, and we’re over the moon to be working with The Gro Company to celebrate the joy of snuggling up with a book at bedtime. The Gro Company have spent 16 years aiming to make bedtime easier for parents so that they can focus on enjoying that special bonding time with their children, so we couldn’t imagine a better fit for our bedtime stories. Each season we’ll be bringing you a new Bedtime Book Club bedtime story, paired with a gorgeous sleep product from The Gro Company range.

Sail away to sleep this spring with Also an Octopus and a Beside the Sea Grobag 

Also an Octopus by Maggie Toduka-Hall and Benji Davies

Even the most totally awesome story starts with a little bit of nothing, so ... why not an octopus who wants to fly in a spaceship? This tentacle-tastic new picture book from Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Benji Davies is all about storytelling and is perfect for imaginative little readers who love to make up stories all of their own. Funny, smart and warmhearted, this bedtime story will have sleepy imaginations soaring.



Take that holiday feeling with you wherever you go with this fun, seaside themed travel Grobag, featuring a lovely array of stylish seagulls and superb sandcastles. The travel opening is a great addition and allows car seat and pushchair harnesses to pass through - so you can take safer sleep on the road with you! 




WIN a copy of Also an Octopus and a Beside the Sea Grobag


We’ve got three Bedtime Book Club goody bags to give away this month, each including a copy of Also an Octopus and a Beside the Sea Grobag. Five runners up will win a copy of the book and a poster.

To enter, email your name and address to competitions@walker.co.uk with ‘Octopus Grobag' in the subject line for your chance to win. Competition closes on 20th April 2017. Terms and conditions apply.

Pick up a copy of Also an Octopus at your local bookshop, and browse The Gro company’s sleep products on their website

Join in the fun and download our free Also an Octopus activity sheets here.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

WIN a Triangle goody bag

Meet Triangle. He is going to play a sneaky trick on his friend, Square. Or so Triangle thinks... 

From the multi-award-winning, New York Times bestselling team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (creator of This Is Not My Hat and I Want My Hat Back), this mischievous, shifty-eyed story about some very sneaky shapes is the first tale in an exciting new shape trilogy that approaches the traditional concept from a whole new angle.  

Take a sneak peek inside the book…





Behind the scenes with Jon & Mac

The idea began with drawings Jon Klassen had been working on for many years. “It was an older visual concept that came from a period when I had more time to do one-offs, with characters I made from shapes,” Klassen said. “All the shapes have the same size eyes but with the triangle, you have to set the eyes way down in his body and, for some reason, that made him look shifty. That was so interesting, that just from where you placed his eyes implied something about his character. All of sudden he became a trickster, whereas Square is just more solid and conservative because, well, because he’s square.”

“Despite the titles, these are not concept books but a series about friendship along the lines of Frog and Toad, the classic Arnold Lobel tales,” author Mac Barnett said. In the debut, Triangle plays a trick on his friend, Square. Maybe. It could be that Square has pulled a fast one on Triangle. “Square is a square dude,” Barnett added. “He’s got a routine and isn’t as sharp as Triangle.”

Klassen had characters but no story when he showed the drawings to Mac Barnett, with whom he had already collaborated on two award-winning books, Extra Yarn and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole. “We talked about it until we came up with the introduction because we had to set the stage – introduce the tone of the story – before it could begin,” Klassen said. “But once we got that done, Mac said, ‘I can take it from here,’ and he went back and wrote this really hilarious text. I would have gone really concept-y but Mac’s so loose that what he came up with was this really funny story about these two pals.”



WIN Triangular Treats

To celebrate the launch of this new series, we’ve got five goody bags full of triangular treats to give away, each including a copy of the book, a limited edition print, a funky triangle stamp, stickers, a poster and a Toblerone! To enter, just answer this question:
In the new book Triangle, who does Triangle play a trick on?
a) Circle
b) Square
c) Star

To enter, just email competitions@walker.co.uk with 'Triangle' in the subject line before 30th April 2017. Terms and conditions apply.

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

About Jon Klassen
Jon Klassen is the author-illustrator of I Want My Hat Back, We Found a Hat and This Is Not My Hat, the only book to ever win both the Kate Greenaway and Caldecott Medal. He also illustrated Mac Barnett's Extra Yarn and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, and served as an illustrator on the animated feature film Coraline. His illustrations for Caroline Stutson's Cats Night Out won the Governor General's Award in 2010. Originally from Niagara Falls, Canada, Jon now lives in Los Angeles, California. Find Jon online at burstofbeaden.com and on Twitter as @burstofbeaden.


About Mac Barnett
Mac Barnett is the author of several award-winning books for children, including President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen, and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and Extra Yarn, illustrated by Jon Klassen, which won a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and a Caldecott Honor. Mac Barnett lives in California, USA. Find Mac online at macbarnett.com and on Twitter as @macbarnett.