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.

To enter the competition just enter your name and email address below. Competition closes Tuesday 6th November 2018.   

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.


Name:

Email:



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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.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Picture Book of the Month - Angry Cookie by Laura Dockrill

What happens when a little cookie gets up on the wrong side of bed?
Prepare to fall absolutely in love with this irresistible cookie, crumbly chocolate chips and all. 

OH NO! Barbra the cactus won’t stop playing her recorder, the yummy strawberry toothpaste has run out, and now – to top it all off – Cookie has to have his hair cut! Which all makes for one VERY ANGRY little cookie... But perhaps you, the reader, can find a way to turn his grumpy frown upside down? This wildly inventive, interactive, laugh-out-loud tale brings together Laura Dockrill's one-of-a-kind voice and Maria Karipidou's hilarious illustrations.

Watch the Angry Cookie trailer below! Plus you can see Laura read part of the book.
        
        

Laura Dockrill, a graduate of the Brit School of Performing Arts, is a performance poet, an author and an illustrator. At the age of twenty-two, she was named one of The Times’ "Top Ten Literary Stars". She is the author of the bestselling Darcy Burdock series and Lorali. Angry Cookie is her debut picture book. Find her online at lauradockrill.co.uk and on Twitter and Instagram 

Maria Karipidou studied Communication Design, and has since illustrated a number of children's books, working mostly with French and German publishing houses. In 2015, she received the Leipziger Lesekompass Award at the Leipzig Book Fair. Find her online at www.mariakaripidou.de.

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

WIN! 
We have five copies of Angry Cookie with posters to give away! To be in with a chance of winning just enter your name and email address below. Competition closes 1st November 2018. 

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.


Name:

Email:



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Friday, 31 August 2018

International Dot Day


Celebrate 15 years of the Dot and 10 years of International Dot Day on 15th -ish September! 

It all started TEN years ago, when a teacher and his students in Iowa celebrated the themes of creativity and courage in Peter H. Reynolds’ The Dot on the anniversary of the original publication. 

In this inspiring, award-winning story of self-expression and creativity, Vashti thinks she can’t draw. But her teacher is sure that she can. She knows that there’s creative spirit in everyone and encourages Vashti to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.

Now, every 15th-ish September, more than 10 million teachers, librarians and children in 170 countries participate in International Dot Day getting busy with writing, drawing, painting, or other creative outlets and sharing their Dot Day inspiration with others. What started as a story in the pages of a book is transforming teaching and learning around the world as people of all ages with just a little bit of bravery and encouragement re-discover the power and potential of creativity in all they do. 

You can join the celebration! Host a reading of The Dot, throw a creative dot-making event, plan a week-long series of activities or even a year-long theme – the possibilities are endless! 

We have a classroom guide to get you started with some simple ideas to help you celebrate creativity in your classroom or library. Find the guide here.

You can also find other great ideas by visiting the gallery on www.thedotclub.org

We can’t wait to hear about your International Dot Day event in your classroom or library. Keep us updated by sharing any news, photos and art with us via Twitter @WalkerBooksUK using #DotDay and #Makeyourmark.

Follow Dot Day on Twitter and visit the Dot Day Facebook page.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Cinderfella by Malachy Doyle


To all the brothers at Number 12. You're invited to Kayleigh's party. Dress fancy. Come fancy. Dance!


Once upon a time, there lived Cinderfella – a little boy, forever bossed around by his two older brothers, Gus and Gareth. “Turn up the TV! Shine our scooters!" the brothers cry. "Finish our homework!” But on the day of our story, Kayleigh, the town's kick-fastic karate champion, is having a party, and Cinderfella is determined to dream big, dress fancy and DANCE. He’ll just need a little help along the way from his fairy dog-mother, Ruff – woof! A feel-good twist on the classic fairytale, brought to life with fresh vision and huge humour by Matt Hunt.

      We're very excited to welcome Malachy Doyle to talk about Cinderfella
Growing up, I had four older brothers.  Later I had one younger one. And later still I had two step-brothers. And a couple of sisters and a step-sister, too. My eldest brother, David, used to tell me bedtime stories – folk tales and fairy tales, mainly. And then I’d lie in bed, imagining myself in the stories.

I was always the lead character. It didn’t matter if it was a girl or a boy. Red Riding Hood, The Sleeping Beauty, Goldilocks – it was me, always me.
So when it came to Cinderella, I was the one with the bossy brothers, as I had in real life. And, as I grew up, I was the one who had to do jobs round the house. Well, some of them, anyway. Like polish everyone’s shoes on a Saturday evening, so we’d all be spick and span for church the following morning.

And so, over 50 years later, I got round to writing down the story. In my first draft, Cinderfella lived with two sisters, Sybil and Slob. But the boys in my family were much more slobby than the girls, so boys they became – Gareth and Gus.
At first the fairy who helps him was a giant rat, but somehow he turned into a funky dancing dog. And then a female funky dancing dog - well, if we’re playing with gender reversal, why not go the whole hog? And it makes for a good line on the back-cover about his ‘fairy dog-mother’, courtesy of my clever-clogs editor, Tanya.


At first Cinderfella zoomed off to the party on a Harley Davidson, but somehow it became a super-sparkly skateboard. Somewhat safer!

At first Cinderfella took on the role of a DJ at the party, spinning the discs and saving the night when the booked DJ didn’t turn up, but somehow it was his hop, bop, giggle and groovy dancing that took over.  

At first it was Princess PeachieBlossom’s party, but somehow she turned into Kayleigh, the junior karate champ.  Much more fun!

Then over to Matt Hunt for some fab illustrations and there we had it – Cinderfella. HAI-YAH!

You can pick up a copy of Cinderfella at your local bookshop.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

The Prince and the Witch and the Thief and the Bears

An action-packed storytelling adventure that flips the traditional fairy tale on its head.
When it’s time for Jamie’s bedtime story, his dad begins to tell an age-old fairy tale about a prince in a faraway land full of dragons, wolves and princesses in distress. But inquisitive Jamie can’t help but add to his dad’s story, and the prince is soon joined by an evil-eyed witch who turns people to jelly, a broccoli-wielding ninja frog and a jewel-thief, lock picking princess. It may not be the story Dad set out to tell, but together, he and Jamie create something much more energetic and hilarious than they could have alone.

We're very excited to welcome Alastair Chisholm to talk about 
The Prince and the Witch and the Thief and the Bears 
As of this year, both of my daughters are teenagers (help!). But when they were a bit smaller, I liked to try to tell them stories.

I say 'try', partly because making up proper stories on the fly was harder than I'd realised, but mostly because trying to tell my daughters anything was (and still is) nearly impossible. Like Jamie, the central character in The Prince and the Witch and the Thief and the Bears, they had Questions and Opinions. 

"The Prince," I would begin, feeling very pleased with myself, "lived in a far-off kingdom, where he— "

"How far off?"

"…What?"


The Prince and his horse, illustrated by the fantastic Jez Tuya

How far off is the kingdom? they'd demand. How fierce are the bears? How did the horse get down the cliff? Why is it even a prince, why not a princess? Why was the witch so angry? Why is it always stone that people get turned into – why can’t it be jelly? Can't the horse help?




Things the Witch has turned into Jelly

At first, the book was just about that – all the questions and interruptions getting in the way of the story. (In fact, the original title was The Interrupted Prince, and it included a scene where they had to stop to look for Ollie the Sheep, plus a break in the middle because Jamie needed a wee). But gradually, like the Dad, I started to understand – the story was actually better when Jamie told it.

The truth is, kids understand stories better than grown-ups. Their world is made of stories, after all; it's how they start to make sense of it all. (And if you're lucky, they'll keep that spark for their whole lives).

And so … It turned out the kingdom was very far off, and that became part of the tale. And the witch actually had a pretty good reason to be angry, really. And hey, it should be the Princess who saved the day – and of course the horse could help!


The Princess takes charge

As Jamie and Dad discover, the best part of telling stories to kids is telling stories with them, and the best part of that is just listening as they tell you what the world is.

Also, the witch is a ninja and lives in a castle made of broccoli. Just saying.

Pick up a copy of The Prince and the Witch and the Thief and the Bears at your local bookshop.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Picture Book of the Month - A First Book of the Sea by Nicola Davies

A stunning anthology that blends poetry and information about the sea.

From Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton, the multi award-winning team behind Tiny and Lots, comes A First Book of the Sea, a spellbinding collection of poems about the oceans of the world and their shores. With this book, children can swim alongside dolphins and flying fish, pore over rockpools and sail from pole to pole and back, learning about everything from phosphorescence and plankton to manta rays and puffins – all in the comfort of their bedroom. 


Emily Sutton's exquisite watercolours capture the breathless excitement of a child's first glimpse of the sea, the majesty of ancient trading ships and the sheer, staggering wonder of the humpback whale. The perfect companion to international bestsellers A First Book of Nature and A First Book of Animals, this book is sure to enthral and inspire readers of all ages.

We're very excited to welcome Nicola Davies to Picture Book Party to talk about    A First Book of the Sea

There is nothing that makes me happier than the sea. As soon as that sliver of unmistakable blue is in my eye, I start to smile. It’s involuntary, automatic. It doesn't even have to be summer, it doesn't have to be daylight: the shimmering moonlight path, the sound of surf through a wound down car window, they have the same effect. I can't be near the sea without wanting to be nearer; I can't be by the sea without wanting to be in it or on it. Holidays without sea are just ‘time off’, OK but ultimately unsatisfactory. Any day with even a small amount of sea in, is a holiday.


I think I got it from my parents, both born and brought up on the Gower, where the sea was always a part of their lives, and in the end, the one thing they could always agree on. As a family we went to the sea whenever we could. No definite sea-based activities were ever involved; we didn't have a boat, there was no equipment and no toys, apart from my Dad’s tangled fishing gear and the two
plywood surfboards left over from my older siblings tenure in childhood. Our beach activities were Sitting and Looking, Walking Idly in the Shallows, Pebble and Shell Admiring, Rock Pool Peering. All collections were left on the beach, all creativity - sandcastles, sand and pebble art - were erased by the tide; impermanence made creativity playful, experimentation less risky. The closest we got to anything formal was Pebble Cake shop, a game played when I was very small; nothing since has ever been so satisfying as bargaining for rocks with pebbles.


My sea love as a child lead me to spending long periods on small boats studying whales. In spite of the fact that I was, and remain, the worlds worst, most sea sick and entirely incompetent sailor, I have never got over the simple delight of floating. It still seems like a magic trick. I push my kayak onto the water or catch a wave on my board and the sudden weightlessness is miraculous, a deep
surprise, whose visceral sweetness takes my breath every single time.

I’ve spent days - probably weeks - of my life simply staring at the sea, letting my mind wash about with the waves and tide. It has taught me to replicate that odd uncoupling of consciousness almost at will. I can let go and wander. I wandered a lot whilst writing A First Book of the Sea - trailed through the beaches and seas of my childhood; the big dunes of Llangenith, the sweep of Newgale, the boats coming into Aldeburgh with flatfish still flapping on the bottom, the salt marshes of Cley and Blakney with the skeins of Brent geese scribbled in their corners. I wandered too in the kind of dreams that the sea makes possible for us all; I imagined all the shores to which each shore is connected; the times that are linked by the sound of waves and the salt of the water, times with pirates and triremes, ichthyosaurs and trilobites and the depths of ocean trenches and the pull of the moon, and planets and stars that the water on our planet holds and divines. Imagining brought me all sorts of poems about animals and tides, real voyages and ones that we can only make in our hearts.



When I first studied whales, I did so on a cliff in Newfoundland. Sea mist would roll in off the cold Atlantic and the dry, wind pruned vegetation of the cliff top would soak up the moisture; sea birds would spend the day scouring hundreds of square miles of blue to return to their nests, under the rocks and heathers. I sailed from the open sea back to the arms of distant harbours. I saw, and lived every day the unity of the world. The sea is our connector: it links us to the salt water history of all life and the tiny oceans that each of the cells in our body hold; it links us to all places and all journeys, from the tiny perambulations of a limpet to the voyages of the Polynesian navigators but most of all it connects us, instantly, to the great power of the wild, to nature, our mother, before whom we are all little children.


Nicola Davies is an award-winning author, whose many books for children include A First Book of Nature, A First Book of Animals, Lots, TinyThe Promise, King of the Sky, Big Blue Whale, Dolphin Baby, Just Ducks. She graduated in zoology, studied whales and bats and then worked for the BBC Natural History Unit. Visit Nicola at www.nicola-davies.com, or follow her on Twitter @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. Her previous titles for Walker include Tiny, The Christmas Eve Tree and Lots. Visit Emily at www.emillustrates.com.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Top new picture book picks!

A brilliant selection of picture books out this month; there are ambitious fish, sleepy woodland creatures, courageous boys and girls, and energetic elephants!


Alan's Big Scary Teeth


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 ... 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... 

A goofy comedy of self-discovery now in baby-friendly board book format, warm-hearted storytelling and bright graphic art have made Alan an award-winning children’s favourite.

I Do Not Like Books Anymore!


In the second title featuring favourite monster siblings, Natalie and Alphonse, Natalie is learning to read and she is so happy about it. But when she tries all by herself for the first time, the letters look like squiggles, and she isn’t so sure any more… 

With her unique humour, Daisy Hirst celebrates the joy of sharing stories, and perfectly evokes those feelings of frustration and pride that come with learning something new.


Julian is a Mermaid

Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love's debut picture book about self-confidence and love, and a radiant celebration of individuality. 
After seeing three spectacularly dressed women on the subway with his Nana, Julian can't stop daydreaming of himself in his own mermaid costume. But what will Nana think think about how Julian sees himself?


Ellie and Lump's Very Busy Day


Ellie and Lump have a special day ahead of them, planning a big birthday surprise. There’s a lot to do: boing-boing-bouncing on beds, split-splatting eggs for breakfast, whizz-whooshing around on supermarket trollies and blowing up balloons. 

Illustrator Becky Palmer captures the joy and excitement of a day out with mum and the thrills of planning a party.




Jabari Jumps

Jabari has just passed his swimming test, and his next mission is to face the diving board. "Looks easy," says Jabari.  But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back.


In a sweet tale of overcoming your fears, debut author-illustrator Gaia Cornwall captures a moment at the swimming pool between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.

Goodnight Everyone
       


It's time to go to sleep, but Little Bear is wide awake; much to Great Big Bear's dismay.

Chris Haughton creates a lulling bedtime read, perfect for parents and children to share together. A series of exquisitely coloured cut pages of increasing size introduce woodland families – bears, deer, rabbits and teeny, tiny mice – as they all prepare to sleep.



Pick up copies of all these books at your local bookshop.

Monday, 18 June 2018

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal goes to Town Is by the Sea!

We are absolutely thrilled that Sydney Smith has won the 2018 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for Town Is by the Sea, written by Joanne Schwartz.


Sydney's stunning illustrations show the striking contrast between a sparkling seaside day and the darkness underground where the miners of the town dig.

This beautifully understated and haunting story brings a piece of mining history to life. The ever-present ocean and inevitable pattern of life in a mining town has enthralled children and moved 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.

You can watch Sydney talk about Town Is by the Sea here, and discover learning resources for all the shortlisted books here.




Sydney Smith has illustrated multiple children’s books, including The White Cat and the Monk, written by Jo Ellen Bogart, and the highly acclaimed Footpath Flowers, which was a New York Times Children’s Book of the Year, a winner of the Governor General Award for Illustration and shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. 

Find him on Twitter as @sydneydraws.



Also appearing on the shortlist from Walker Books: 

King of the Sky illustrated by Laura Carlin, written by Nicola Davies. Watch Laura discuss the book here.



A Fist Book of Animals illustrated by Petr Horáček, written by Nicola Davies. Watch Petr discuss the book here.



This is the 11th CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal win for Walker Books, you can find a list of winners below.

2018 Sydney Smith, Town Is by the Sea
2014 Jon Klassen, This is Not My Hat
2012 Jim Kay, A Monster Calls
2004 Chris Riddell, Jonathan Swift'sGulliver
2002 Bob Graham, Jethro Byrde- Fairy Child
2001 Chris Riddell, Pirate Diary
1999 Helen Oxenbury, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
1997 P J Lynch, When Jessie Came Across the Sea
1995 P J Lynch, The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
1988 Barbara Firth, Can't You Sleep Little Bear?
1985 Juan Wijngaard, Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady