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

Friday, 8 June 2018

The Day War Came


A powerful and necessary picture book – the journey of a child forced to become a refugee when war destroys everything she has ever known.
Imagine if, on an ordinary day, war came. Imagine it turned your town to rubble. Imagine going on a long and difficult journey – all alone. Imagine finding no welcome at the end of it. Then imagine a child who gives you something small but very, very precious... When the government refused to allow 3000 child refugees to enter this country in 2016, Nicola Davies was so angry she wrote a poem. It started a campaign for which artists contributed drawings of chairs, symbolising a seat in a classroom, education, kindness, the hope of a future. The poem has become this book, movingly illustrated by Rebecca Cobb, which should prove a powerful aid for explaining the ongoing refugee crisis to younger readers. 
£1 from every copy sold goes to the charity Help Refugees – find out more about their wonderful work at their website, helprefugees.org.

Behind the scenes with Rebecca Cobb

We’re excited to welcome Rebecca Cobb to the Picture Book Party blog for a behind-the-scenes look at The Day War Came


Nicola Davies wrote The Day War Came when in 2016 the UK government voted against giving sanctuary to 3000 lone child refugees and after she had heard a story about a little girl refugee being turned away from a school because she was told there was no chair for her. Nicola started the #3000chairs campaign with the illustrators Jackie Morris and Petr Horáček, drawing chairs as symbols of solidarity with all those children who were completely alone and with nowhere to go.



My work for The Day War Came all began with a drawing of a chair for this campaign, so it felt appropriate to use images of chairs throughout the book.


The chair is a very meaningful symbol and is central to Nicola’s poignant, beautiful poem because the little girl is told that not having a chair is the reason she is refused entry to the school. It is a very simple everyday object but it somehow represents the things that children should be able to expect from life - a secure, safe home environment and access to an education.


At the beginning of the book, the little girl sits on a chair at home with her family to eat breakfast and then she goes to school and sits on a chair in her classroom to learn about volcanoes and draw birds.


But then, when the war explodes across the page, the chairs are thrown over and she has to flee, leaving them behind.


I love Nicola’s positive message of hope at the end of the book, where a boy brings the girl a chair and then we see that all his friends have brought chairs too. I think it is often true in life that children are the ones who remind us how to be kind and look after each other.

If you’d like to join in with #3000chairs too, then here is my guide on how to draw a chair:


You can pick up a copy of The Day War Came at your local bookshop and you can find The Day War Came teacher's notes here.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Picture Book of the Month - Tropical Terry

Terry wants to stand out. But, in Coral Reef City, it's sometimes better to blend in...

Coral Reef City is home to the most dazzling shoals of tropical fish in ALL the ocean. And then there is Terry...

Terry looks grey. Terry feels dull. And although he is the best at playing "Hide A Fish", he can't help but wonder: Just what would it feel like to be part of that dashing, flashing crew? 

So, with the help of his friends, he fashions a flashy costume and is ready to impress... “Hello-o-o everybody! Just call me TROPICAL Terry!” 

But will life as a tropical fish be everything he always dreamed of? With his trademark humour and vibrant art, award-winning Jarvis tells a heart-warming comedy of self-esteem in Tropical Terry; a story about learning to love your own scales and take pride in what makes you different.

You can pick up a copy of Tropical Terry at your local bookshop

Check out the fun animated trailer below! 




Jarvis studied graphic design and previously worked as a record sleeve designer, website designer and an animation director before becoming a children’s book maker. His books include Mrs Mole, I’m Home! and Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, which won the 2017 V&A Best Illustrated Book.
Follow him on Twitter as @heyimjarvis, and on Instagram as @booksbyjarvis.
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Friday, 25 May 2018

Top new picture books for May!

A brilliant selection of picture books out this month; there are monster siblings, bears on the move, and Alan once again looses his teeth, this time in board book format!

Square



From the dream team of Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett comes the second instalment in the exciting new shape trilogy. 

Every day, Square brings a block out of his cave and pushes it up a steep hill. When Circle floats by, she declares Square a sculptor! “It looks just like you!”  But now she wants a sculpture of her own, a circle! Will the genius manage to create one? Even accidentally?



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.



Where is Home, Daddy Bear? 


Evie Bear and Dad are moving. But as they leave their old home behind and set off on their long drive towards the new, Evie is full of questions… “What if I don’t like it there?” she worries, “How will I make new friends?”

From the bestselling author Nicola O'Byrne comes a tender story about dealing with change and with the fact that home is where your loved ones are. 


Clap Hands



Clap your hands and make some noise with this bright and cheerful board book from the best selling author Helen Oxenbury. 

The much-loved and cherished babies are back in these delightful stories to help engage toddlers and encourage a love of reading.



Say Goodnight


It's time for the sweet and cuddly babies to go to bed!

From the bestselling author Helen Oxenbury comes another title of the delightful series that encourages toddlers to read and learn new things. 



Meltdown!
       

From the creator of the Large Family series comes another perfectly observed family comedy about Ruby the rabbit at the supermarket. 


Ruby likes to help her mum, but she often gets a bit overexcited: crisps are so CRUNCHY, tins of beans are fun to ROLL, and that cake in the shape of a cute pink piggy looks so yummy. That is why the shop doesn't go quite to plan! 


Alan's Big, Scary Teeth

The Winner of the 2017 V&A Best Illustrated Book Award Meet Alan, an alligator with a secret. His big teeth, which he uses to scare all the jungle animals, are... false! And he really likes to take them out after a long day of scaring. 

But when his teeth go missing, what will Alan do? Will he still be scary? A goofy comedy of self-discovery now in a board book format. 



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

Friday, 18 May 2018

Meet award winning picture book duo Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett in the UK!


We’re delighted to be welcoming Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett to the UK as they discuss their new picture book together – Square! Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen have made four books together: Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, Extra Yarn, Triangle and this book, Square. Jon is also the creator of the much-acclaimed Hat trilogy, which includes I Want My Hat Back, the Kate Greenaway and Caldecott Medal winner This Is Not My Hat and We Found a Hat


They both live in California, USA, but for a limited period they’ll be making their way around the UK – don’t miss your chance to meet them! Check out the full listing below for all the opportunities to meet the them both.



Thursday 31st May, 11am
Moon Lane Books, 300 STANSTEAD ROAD, LONDON, SE23 1DE

Friday 1st June, 11am
Stratford Picturehouse, Salway Rd, London E15 1BX
Tickets available via Discover Children’s Story Centre

Saturday 2nd June, 10am
Hay Festival
Tickets £7, available via Hay Festival box office:

Sunday 3rd June, 2pm
Waterstones, Waterstones, 153 - 157 Sauchiehall Street Glasgow, G2 3EW
Tickets available via Waterstones:

Monday 4th June, 3:30pm onwards
The Edinburgh Bookshop, 219 Bruntsfield Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4DH
Signing only, no tickets required

Monday 4th June, 7pm
In conversation event chaired by Janet Smyth
Edinburgh Methodist Church, 25 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9BX
Tickets £5 and available via Blackwells

Saturday 9th June, 11am
Blackwell's Bookshop, 48-51 Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BQ
Free tickets available via Blackwells

You can see Jon & Mac talk about their new book below!
      

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Picture Book of the Month, Square

This book is about Square. This book is also about Square's friend Circle. Square is trying to make something perfect, like Circle is. But it's really hard to make something perfect...

From the multi-award-winning, New York Times bestselling team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (creator of I Want My Hat Backcomes the second instalment in the exciting new shape trilogy.


Take a sneak peek inside the book…

You can pick up a copy of Square, and the first book in the series Triangleat your local bookshop. Check out Mac & Jon talking about the series in the video below!

           

Thursday, 19 April 2018

WIN A Lion is a Lion and a Grosnug from The Gro Company!



We’ve teamed up with baby sleep experts The Gro Company to celebrate the joy of a book at bedtime.

April sees the latest instalment of our Bedtime Book Club; so get tucked in with a fantastic picture book plus a Grosnug from The Gro Company!


                                                               WIN!

We’ve got three packed Bedtime Book Club goody bags to give away this month, each including a copy of A Lion is a Lion and a Lions and Tigers Grosnug, plus a selection of picture book posters, stickers and limited edition prints.

To enter, just email your name and address to competitions@walker.co.uk with ‘Lion Bedtime Book Club' in the subject line for your chance to win.

Competition closes on 20th May 2018. Terms and conditions apply.


A Lion is a Lion by Polly Dunbar 

All lions are fierce, right? Well, maybe, just maybe, this Lion – so well dressed and polite and charming – isn't too fierce for you...

From Polly Dunbar comes a wicked, rollicking read-aloud which asks the question: Is a lion still a lion if he … wears a hat? And carries an umbrella? What about when he licks his lips and says, “Oh yes, lunch would be lovely, thank you...” Is a lion still a lion then?

Lions and Tigers Grosnug

Newborns will have a rip roaring night’s sleep and wake up feeling great! Reassuringly snug on top and a hip healthy leg space on the bottom, your little one will stay safe and secure all night just like when they were in Mummy’s tummy. Poppers on the armholes allow for swaddling with arms in or choose arms out for the freedom of a newborn Grobag. The Grosnug is the first stage to providing your baby with a safer, comfortable, and content night’s sleep


Pick up a copy of A Lion is a Lion at your local bookshop, and browse The Gro Company’s sleep products on their website.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Top new picture books for April!

A brilliant selection of picture books out this month; there are hiding fish, fruit-stealing elephants, and Nancy once again explores London, this time in paperback!


Where is Little Fish?

Little Fish is playing hide-and-seek with his fishy friends. Can you find him? Babies and toddlers will love searching for Little Fish behind the coral, beneath the shell and inside a treasure chest. 

This gorgeous lift-the-flap book features the vibrant artwork of Lucy Cousins, multi-award-winning creator of Maisy.



Count with Little Fish

Join Little Fish on an underwater journey, and count from 1 to 10 along the way. Little readers will love Lucy Cousin’s bright, bold characters and will delight at the final page, teeming with colourful fish of all shapes and sizes. 

Inspired by Hooray for Fish!, this charming counting book features the spotty Little Fish and his fishy friends! Perfect for babies and toddlers and fans of Lucy Cousins.




No, Nancy, No!

From Alice Tait, illustrator of the iconic London Range, comes a stylish, action-packed lift-the-flap book – the perfect introduction to the capital city for first-time sightseers! 

Blending her joyful London scapes with the story of a mischievous little girl, Nancy, and her long-suffering dachshund, Roger, Alice creates a wild and calamitous chase by boat, bus and bike across all of London's most famous and best sights – from Buckingham Palace to the Tower of London…


Ruby in the Ruins

Ruby and Mum have lived through the terrifying London Blitz and are waiting for Dad to come home from the war. Ruby hardly recognizes the tall man who steps off the train, but when she falls in the ruins nearby, there’s only one person who she wants to rescue her. 

A classic picture book about family love, set in post-war London, from the much-loved and award-winning Shirley Hughes.



That Fruit Is Mine!

One day, deep in the jungle, five elephants discover a new tree – a tall tree – and, atop that tree, the most mouth-wateringly delicious fruit any of them had ever seen. “MINE!” each elephant cries. “Mine, mine, mine, mine, MINE!” But who will get there first? And will the elephants spot the five tiny mice, planning and plotting, slowly approaching that tip-top branch? 

 With fresh vision, hilarious characterization and beautifully textured art, Anuska Allepuz tells a tale of teamwork and sharing; a comedy and fable with a contemporary edge.


King of the Sky
           
Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal.

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


The Pencil: 10th Anniversary Edition

A special 10th anniversary edition of a modern classic, The Pencil is a playful, witty, wonderfully quirky story about the power of imagination. Say hi to Banjo! Once a pencil draws him, there's no telling what will come next – a dog, a cat, a chase (of course), and a paintbrush to colour in an ever-expanding group of family and friends. But it's not long before the complaints begin – "This hat looks silly!" "My ears are too big!" – until the poor pencil has no choice but to draw … a rubber. Oh no!  With gorgeous golden foil on the cover and spine, this edition is one to share and treasure.


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