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.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Little Fish



Hello, I am Little Fish!

Today is a very special day for me: Walker Books has published TWO new books about me and my friends!
Making books is SO much fun. It takes a long time and lots of hard work, though! I’ve made a special photo montage of all the best bits – come and have a look.





Here are the Design and Editorial team talking through the story. They help decide how the book will look and what it will say! Can you spot me listening in?





Here I am with Mummy Fish in the sparkly PR and Marketing department! They help people hear all about the brilliant books that Walker makes.





I got flown all the way to Italy for the Bologna Book Fair! I still prefer swimming to flying, but it was so much fun.




The book fair is where publishers display all the fantastic books they’re making for the next year.







Even little fish like me need a break. Lucky for me, Walker Books is right by Vauxhall City Farm, so I got to visit all sorts of animals and make new friends like this flip-flap fantastic goat! No fish, though…





Wow! Look at these splish-splashing books. These are called “advance copies”. They’re copies of the new books that come into the office before they hit the shops so that everyone can read through one more time to be sure they’re absolutely perfect.  






 WIN!

You can pick up copies of my new books Where is Little Fish? and Count with Little Fish in your local bookshop, but we also have five sets to giveaway to some lucky readers! To enter, just email your name and address to competitions@walker.co.uk with ‘Little Fish' in the subject line for your chance to win.

Competition closes on 3rd May 2018. Terms and conditions apply.





Win our Picture Book of the Month - No, Nancy, No!

Nancy and her sausage dog Roger are ready for a day out in London! But is London ready for naughty Nancy?

From Alice Tait, illustrator of the iconic London Range, comes a stylish, action-packed lift-the-flap book! 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…

With over fifteen flaps throughout, an incredible pop-up Nelson's column and a fold-out map, young readers will delight in this interactive adventure, and will love joining in with Roger's catchy refrain: “No, Nancy, No!

WIN!

We have five copies of No, Nancy, No! with posters to give away! To enter, just email your name and address to competitions@walker.co.uk with ‘No Nancy No' in the subject line for your chance to win. 

Competition closes on 3rd May 2018. Terms and conditions apply.

Pick up a copy of No, Nancy, No! in your local bookshop.

Alice Tait is a British illustrator and designer whose artwork has been commissioned by Waitrose, British Vogue and renowned fashion houses, Carolina Ferrara and Chanel. Her prints and London-themed merchandise have also been sold in Habitat, John Lewis, Foyles, WH Smiths, and even the Royal Palaces. 

Alice has also created cover art for Nigel Slater’s cookbooks and Sue Townsend’s modern classic, Adrian Mole. No, Nancy, No! is her authorial debut. Find her online at alicetait.com and on Instagram.


Friday, 23 March 2018

Your new picture book spring bookshelf!

Here at Walker HQ we're feeling the spring vibes and can't wait to show you our selection of picture books for the new season. Our top six picks for your spring bookshelf are all unique and there is something for everyone! 

Multi-award-winning, bestselling duo Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen conspire again on a slyly funny tale about some very sneaky shapes.
Meet Triangle. He is going to play a sneaky trick on his friend, Square. Or so Triangle thinks... Visually stunning and full of wry humour, here is a perfectly-paced treat that flips the traditional concept book, and approaches it from a whole new angle.


All lions are fierce, right? Well, maybe, just maybe, this Lion – so well dressed and polite and charming – isn't too fierce for you...
A wicked, rollicking read-aloud which asks the question: Is a lion still a lion if he … wears a hat? And carries an umbrella? And is a lion still a lion if he asks for a dance? What about when he licks his lips and sas, “Oh yes, lunch would be lovely, thank you...” Is a lion still a lion then?


This is the story of Raymond – an ordinary dog who, for a while, lives an extraordinary life.
What if dogs could walk and talk and go to work? Well, Raymond the dog has big ambitions beyond his ordinary, canine life in the big city. He wants to take himself for a walk and get his own dinner. 
And when he’s done all that? Well, he wants a job, just like his owners. But when Raymond begins a high-flying journalism career at Dogue magazine, he soon realizes it’s no walk in the park…




A stylish non-fiction picture book that conveys the magnificent diversity of life on this planet.
"Clear, direct, involving text, coupled with vivid, delicate illustrations make for a truly special work of non-fiction." – Guardian 
A beautifully illustrated introduction to the concept of biodiversity for younger readers. With words from Nicola Davies and exquisite artwork by Emily Sutton, this groundbreaking book is certain to enchant and inspire children.




When's My Birthday?

An exquisitely illustrated celebration of a birthday book, perfect for reading right before birthdays, on birthdays, and all year round!

when’s my birthday? where’s my birthday? how many days until my birthday? i’d like a big cake on my birthday with lots of chocolate on my birthday and lots of candles on my birthday 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6! In this joyous celebration of all things BIRTHDAY, acclaimed author Julie Fogliano and award-winning illustrator Christian Robinson bring you the perfect birthday book! Join our excited narrator in breathless anticipation as she lists all the things that will make her birthday the BEST birthday.



Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

Nothing is sweeter, as everyone knows, than tiny baby fingers and chubby baby toes!


Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, this is a beautiful 10th anniversary board book edition of a picture book classic, and the perfect gift for a new arrival!


Check out the cute video celebrating the 10th anniversary of this book below!

  

Find all of these book at your local bookshop!

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Three Walker Picture Books Shortlisted for the 2018 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal

We are absolutely thrilled to say that three Walker picture books have made the shortlist of the 2018 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal. You can see the full selection of titles below.

King of the Sky illustrated by Laura Carlin, written by Nicola Davies



A Fist Book of Animals illustrated by Petr Horáček, written by Nicola Davies 



Town is by the Sea illustrated by Sydney Smith, written by Joanne Schwartz



Good to luck to all the illustrators shortlisted! You can pick copies of all these books at your local bookshop.

PREVIOUS KATE GREENAWAY MEDAL WINS FOR WALKER BOOKS:

2014 Jon Klassen, This is Not My Hat
2012 Jim Kay, A Monster Calls
2004 Chris Riddell, Jonathan Swift's “Gulliver”
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, 9 March 2018

The Pencil 10th Anniversary Edition to publish next month!


The acclaimed duo behind The Runaway Dinner and Previously imagine the comical world that comes to life when a pencil starts to draw…
“A hilarious and utterly enchanting new classic” The Times 
We are delighted to be publishing 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! 
In the hands of Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman, can anything but havoc and hilarity ensue? With gorgeous golden foil on the cover and spine, this edition is one to share and treasure.
You can pick up a copy of The Pencil 10th Anniversary Edition in your local bookshop from 5th April!


Meet Allan Ahlberg
Allan Ahlberg has written nearly 140 titles for children, including Everybody Was a Baby Once and The Runaway Dinner and such classics as The Jolly Postman series and Peepo. His books have won numerous awards: the Kurt Maschler Award, the Blue Peter Award and the Children's Book Award.


Meet Bruce Ingman

Bruce Ingman's first book, When Martha’s Away, was published in 1995 and was honoured with the National Art Library Award. It also won the 1996 Mother Goose Award for the most exciting British newcomer to children's books. Since then, he has made a fantastic range of picture books, including Bad News, I’m in Charge and Boing!, written by Sean Taylor.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Happy International Women’s Day from Walker Books!

Here at Walker HQ, we’re using International Women’s Day as the perfect opportunity to talk about the female characters that have inspired us. Some of them were created by our own beloved authors and illustrators, and some of them are from further afield, but all of them are examples of fantastic females that have helped us become the people we are today. 

Ruby, Assistant Editor 

Mrs Large, brainchild of the wonderful Jill Murphy, is a role model for elephants girls children people everywhere. 

She knows what she wants, has amazing confidence and is a champion of body positivity. As a shy child who was terrified of most people, places and things, reading about a beautiful, bold elephant running her family (and in the unpublished spin-off that I wrote in my head, the world) put a little bit more beat in my step. It got me to put my hand up when I knew the answer, and prompted me to think about what I actually wanted to do, not just what was expected. 

When I interviewed at Walker years later, I walked into the meeting room and
saw a copy of “Five Minutes’ Peace” on the shelf (for those unacquainted, it’s the tale of Mrs Large’s epic struggle to just have a bath and chill out). Somehow, I managed not to faint on the spot and I got the job. Now, every morning I think about how lucky I am to work with one of my feminist heroes (category: cartoon animals from books. If I had to talk about all the women who have inspired me, this website would crash…). 



Mara, Senior Editor 

In “One Morning in Maine” by Robert McCloskey, Sal wakes up and discovers she has a loose tooth. “When your tooth does come out, you put it under your pillow and make a wish,” her mother tells her, so Sal thinks of a special, secret wish (hint: she wishes for a chocolate ice-cream). But Sal’s tooth is lost in the mud while she’s helping her father gather clams for lunch. Sal is distraught. What if a clam finds her tooth and gets her wish?

“If we come back here tomorrow and find a clam eating a chocolate ice-cream cone, why, we’ll have to take it away from him and make him give my tooth back too,” she said.


On her way to Buck’s Harbour, Sal finds a seagull

feather and decides to make her secret wish on the feather instead. She helps her little sister Jane into the boat, and her father rows them to the harbor … where Sal gets her chocolate ice-cream after all!

Sal is a bright, independent protagonist and a great role model for girls AND boys. She is imaginative and resourceful, and capable of finding her own solutions. She is patient and kind to her little sister. Plus she loves spending time with her family, playing outside, befriending local wildlife and wading barefoot through the mud – a girl after my own heart!

Perry Emerson, Publishing Co-ordinator 

As the eldest of three brothers, I have always felt a great affinity with Sarah, the eldest of Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson’s “Owl Babies”. 

Considered, stoic, logical – these are the characteristics Sarah embodies. She also carries the responsibility felt by eldest children everywhere. Compared with the exaggerated flap that middle brother Percy gets himself into, and the adorable (but essentially useless) contributions from Bill, the youngest, Sarah’s words are a reassuring and measured response to the mystery of their missing Mummy. “She’ll be back”, she says, “I think she’s gone hunting … to bring us back mice and all things nice”. And although the illustrations betray the trepidation she herself shares with her little brothers, these are the words of a big sister whose concern for her siblings’ comfort is greater than her concern for her own. I see Sarah as the true hero of Owl Babies; an owlet wise beyond her years with the courage to comfort despite her fears. 

Since my first brother arrived when I was two, I have earnestly taken to the example of elder sibling responsibility given by Sarah, although often with absurdly comic rather than admirably courageous results. I was once discovered by my parents amongst a pile of clean clothes, strewn from a laundry basket upended by my brother, quite sincerely admonishing him for his actions. “STOP, that’s against the RULES,” four-year-old me scolded my not-yet-two-year-old giggling brother. I like to think that Sarah, too, would be found in a feathered fury over little Bill upsetting their nest. In truth, though, even twenty years after the fact, I feel I still have a lot to learn from Sarah as an exemplary and aspirational older sister.

Tanya Rosie, Editor

I love Beverly Cleary’s “Beezus and Ramona”.

Beezus, the big sister, is quiet and sensible. She follows the rules. She gets competitive playing board games with Henry Huggins next door and is over the moon when her Aunt Beatrice buys her a beautiful sewing kit for her birthday.

Then there’s Ramona, just four years old. She’s mischievous, she’s impulsive. She powders her face with fluffy white marshmallows and wears bunny ears to the library. When she discovers a box of apples in the basement, she eats a single bite out of every last one – because (she explains) the first CRUNCH tastes best.
 
For me, Ramona and Beezus, together, are magic. Because neither girl – the more mischievous, the more reserved – is ever portrayed as a better example of a girl. And, of course, there is and never should be an example. You can ride your bike around furiously (Ramona-style) AND learn how to cross-stitch (channelling your inner Beezus). When you’re upset, you can SHOUT or be quietly exasperated. And if there are qualities a girl should have … well, they’re qualities that ALL humans should strive to have: The ability to be kind, accepting and empathetic … and not too hard on yourself.

Beverly Cleary gets it. I mean, she got it in 1955! These sisters, with their embarrassment, guilt, joy, confusion and imagination, feel real and they feel free … and they are very, very funny. (Here’s me and my sister clearly up to no good … I’m the smaller one). 


Maria Tunney, Senior Editor 

I adore “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. I was introduced to this tale of a struggling, impoverished family of women growing up in New England during the Civil War when I was eleven years old. Experiencing the four March sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy – and the stoic Marmee for the very first time, I thought (and I still think) THIS is how life should be: EPIC, with great sweeping adventures, abounding with lessons of love and loss; learning about yourself; knowing what is important and who is.

I am inspired by the character of Jo March in lots of ways – I love her passion, her determination, her absolute resolve of character. She never wavers in the face of adversity and, instead, digs deeper within herself for courage and strength – cutting off all her hair and selling it so that her mother will have enough money to get a train ticket to visit their father, who has been injured in war; seeing her fragile sister Beth through the final days of her short life. She even turns down a marriage proposal from Laurie, her best friend, saying to him: “You know it’s impossible for people to make themselves love other people if they don’t.”

Jo is so wholly sure of who she is and what she wants. And she is never surer of that when nestled in between her sisters, drawing strength and inspiration from their chat and play. There is such strength in sisterhood and I carry that idea with me always.

Isabelle Gamon, Art Director 

Mafalda was probably my favourite female character when I was a child growing up in the early seventies. She is the star of the Argentine comic strip from cartoonist Quinto. Mafalda is incredibly smart and funny. She is particularly concerned about very serious matters and has strong opinions about the world we live in, the people, the political, ethical or environmental issues, and would debate these with her friends and family. The charm obviously comes from the contrast between her childish looks and her intelligence, and the way she tackles bossy adults is very clever and satisfying for a young audience! 

Anna Robinette, Artworker/Typesetter 

Lirael, from Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series, is an outsider in her all-female community of clairvoyants for one reason: she cannot See into the future. Noticing her despair, two leaders in her mountain community suggest she finds work to help with her isolation. 

She asks to work in the Great Library of the Clayr, a place “that can be dangerous to a girl of fourteen. Or a woman of forty, for that matter” and is home to “very special or dangerous items that had to be fetched in person, or even by large parties of armed librarians.” The Library is shaped like a nautilus shell, spiralling into the depths of the mountain and contains not just endless books but scrolls and maps of magic, armouries, odd paraphernalia, costume rooms and greenhouses underground. As time goes by she makes friends, learns magic and discovers her true purpose… 

For me, as a quiet, bookish girl, the idea of a library so full of the unknowns, of danger and of adventure immediately appealed to me (#dreamlibrary). And like most teenagers, I could relate to feeling like an outsider. Every so often I go back to the book to reabsorb the magic and to remember that we are as only as isolated as we make ourselves; inner strength and courage go a long way; and finding our passions to keep busy and to get out of/into trouble is one of life’s great pleasures. 


Konrad Kirkham, Deputy Production Manager 

My absolute favourite book in the world is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Scout Finch is a strong-willed, independent and feisty girl, whose ever-curiosity and occasional recklessness makes her a force to be reckoned with! She stands up to the patriarchy whenever she can (albeit sometimes due to ignorance), and defies bigotry and hatred in an age of extreme bias. You rock, Scout! 



So, there you have it, some of our (many) favourite female book characters. Let us know yours below! And don’t forget to check out some of Walker’s best female-led picture books this International Women’s Day! 



Find all of these book at your local bookshop.