Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Three Walker Picture Books Shortlisted for the 2019 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal

We are absolutely thrilled to say that three Walker picture books have made the shortlist of the 2019 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal. You can see the full selection of titles below.

Julian is a Mermaid illustrated and written by Jessica Love

The Day War Came illustrated by Rebecca Cobb, written by Nicola Davies

The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett

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


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'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

Thursday, 7 March 2019

WIN our March Picture Book of the Month - Circle by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen

From the dynamic, dream team of Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett comes the final instalment in the hilarious shape trilogy, Circle.

Triangle and Square are visiting Circle, who lives at the waterfall. When they play hide-and-seek, Circle tells the friends the one rule: not to go behind the falling water. But after she closes her eyes to count to ten, of course that's exactly where Triangle goes. Will Circle find Triangle? And what OTHER shapes might be lurking back there?


We have a fantastic prize to give away this month! One lucky reader will win a signed copy of Circle plus a framed selection of prints from Triangle, Square and Circle. Two runners up will will win a signed copy of Circle plus a limited edition Circle print. 

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

Competition closes midday on Thursday 4th April 2019.   

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.



If you’d like to find out more about Picture Book Party please tick here to sign up to the Picture Book Party quarterly newsletter. Please be assured we won’t share your email address with other organisations for their own marketing purposes, and you can unsubscribe at any point in future using the unsubscribe link on any of our emails. For more information please see our Privacy Policy.

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

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

CBeebies Bedtime Stories featuring A Bit Lost by Chris Haughton

We are delighted to say that A Bit Lost by Chris Haughton was featured on Cbeebies Bedtime Stories this weekend! Read by French-Turkish actor TchĂ©ky Karyo known for his role in the British BBC drama series, The Missing. You can watch the storytime here.

The award-winning debut title from Chris Haughton, A Bit Lost is the heart-warming story of Little Owl – who must be more careful when he is sleeping... Uh-oh! He has fallen from his nest, and with a bump he lands on the ground. Where is his mummy? With the help of his new friend Squirrel, Little Owl sets off in search of her, and meets a sequence of other animals. Yet while one might have his mummy’s big eyes, and another her pointy ears, they are simply not her.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2019 Longlist Announced

The longlist has been published for the country's oldest children’s book award: the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, recognising outstanding illustration in books for children and young people. 

Walker Books are proud to have 6 fantastic books on the longlist for the Kate Greenaway Medal!

Congratulations to all these fantastic illustrators and their books! 

       Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love 

Julian is a Mermaid illustrated by Jessica Love

Animals With Tiny Cat illustrated by Viviane Schwarz

The Day the War Came illustrated by Rebecca Cobb

A Stone for Sascha illustrated by Aaron Becker

The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse illustrated by Jon Klassen

Friday, 15 February 2019

Discussing feelings with children using How Monty Found His Magic

A book for anyone who’s ever lacked confidence or been afraid of failing at something new.
Monty is a marvellous magician, but why won’t he show his tricks to other people? Zephyr and Snuffles, Monty's best friends, want everyone to see just how amazing he is and keep reminding him that – together – they can do anything! They are a magical trio!

We are delighted to welcome Lerryn Korda to Picture Book Party to discuss 
How Monty Found His Magic

I wrote How Monty Found his Magic partly as a response to child mental health issues. Having suffered from anxiety all my life, I am now aware of the need to identify my feelings and where they are in my body. I wish I had understood this as a child. This inner tracking allows a pause before I react. It’s also a good time to get the support of friends and family like Monty, who has the support of Zephyr and Snuffles.

In my own life I try not to judge emotions that arise but to acknowledge them. Feelings come and go and sometimes we can’t make them better. However, just by talking them through they often can lose their power.

I asked Special Educational Needs Coordinator Rachael Taylor, who has a wealth of experience with child mental health, how she might use How Monty Found his Magic to start a conversation and an activity about feelings.

Resources: large piece of paper, thick black pen, colouring pens, paints, glue, dried beans, pasta, rice, feathers, cotton wool  etc.

Read the page which describes Monty’s whizzing tummy. Ask your child to look at the picture of Monty. Describe, or ask the child to describe, what they can see. How does Monty look? Where is he looking? What are his hands doing? The way he’s standing? Now ask about his feelings. Can you see the butterflies in his tummy? Or his heart thumping? No, this is happening all inside Monty’s body. Nobody can tell this is how he is feeling.  Ask the child if s/he ever feels like Monty. What do their butterflies feel like? Are they butterflies at all? Perhaps they’re more like worms slithering through the grass? Be curious and open to whatever your child describes.

Tell your child you’re going to draw around each other to make life-size pictures of each other, and then draw, paint or collage all the different sensations which can happen inside their bodies when different feelings arise.

Once you have your outlines, start to discuss the different sensations which happen when you’re feeling nervous like Monty. Chat to your child about the colour and texture you might choose to represent the sensation, e.g. Monty describes the feeling like butterflies, which is a common way to describe the sensation. Is that the same for your child? If so, what colour are they? Do they feel like feathers? Or bits of cotton wool? Draw or stick on whatever the child chooses for each sensation. Move around the body, discussing any sensation that might arise.

Open the conversation up to discuss other emotions. What about when we start to feel angry? Repeat the above, asking questions about skin? Face? Palms of hands? Heart? Chest? Back of neck? All the time accepting what your child says and describes. Be curious.

What about happiness? Sadness? Excitement? etc. Add word cards or pictures of different emotions.

Hang your pictures where your child can add to theirs when s/he notices any new sensations.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Al Rodin wins the 2019 Sebastian Walker Award for Illustration

We are very pleased to announce that Al Rodin has been awarded the 8th annual Sebastian Walker Award for IllustrationAl’s illustration stood apart from a group of MA students’ work that was this year, once again, exceptional.

Set up in honour of Walker’s founder, Sebastian Walker, this award is dedicated to discovering and celebrating exciting new unpublished illustration talent. The Sebastian Walker Award was created in 2011 and is partnered with Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge School of Art and their MA course in Children’s Book Illustration. Walker Books have published more than 20 books by Cambridge School of Art graduates since Birgitta Sif’s Greenaway Medal shortlisted Oliver in 2012 and continue to work with many previous award winners and shortlistees.

Al Rodin said:

"I am inspired by an ever-growing gang of artists and writers including William Kentridge, Ben Shahn, Chaim Soutine and Dylan Thomas. The Bash Street Kids, Calvin and Hobbes, and Winnie-the-Pooh have also been major influences. I like to make stories that playfully explore the experience of childhood, particularly through character driven narratives that focus on relationships and feelings from the perspective of a child." 

Deirdre McDermott, Walker Picture Book Publisher and Creative Director said: 

"We were completely compelled by Al Rodin's bold and characterful artwork. His painterly style captivated us immediately because he combines highly expressive brush work with real energy to create pictures that excite and entice with their fluidity and motion. With a keen eye for movement and gesture, Al creates truly inclusive artwork that we are positive children everywhere will respond to and enjoy greatly. We look forward to seeing his first picture books and believe that he will grow into an important and original contemporary picture book maker." 

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

WIN our February Picture Book of the Month - Kiss the Crocodile

Introducing Kiss the Crocodile, our February Picture Book of the Month, a story which introduces a brand-new GAME ... a game all little monkeys, tortoises and anteaters will want to play!

Down in the jungle, three best friends – Monkey, Tortoise and Anteater – are playing silly games together. After Stick Splash, Scary Monsters and Silly Dancing, they spy Little Crocodile and his big crocodile mum in the swamp. Do they want to play a new game, Little Crocodile asks ... a DARING game. KISS THE CROCODILE! Who will be brave enough to steal a peck from the 'sleeping' croc, with his big tail, pointy teeth and sharp claws? MWAH! Brimming over with the thrill of friendship and play, this hilarious new story from Sean Taylor the author of Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise demands to be re-enacted, and is the perfect match for the animated, visually-rich artwork of Ben Mantle, illustrator of Follow the Track All the Way Back.

Are you brave enough to kiss the crocodile? Watch our fun animated trailer below. 

We have FIVE copies of Kiss the Crocodile to give away! To enter this competition just enter your name and email address below.

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

Competition closes midday on Thursday 14th March 2019.   

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.



If you’d like to find out more about Picture Book Party please tick here to sign up to the Picture Book Party quarterly newsletter. Please be assured we won’t share your email address with other organisations for their own marketing purposes, and you can unsubscribe at any point in future using the unsubscribe link on any of our emails. For more information please see our Privacy Policy.

Friday, 8 February 2019

For All the Stars Across the Sky - Interview with author Karl Newson

For all the stars across the sky, big and little and bright. Here’s a wish from me to you, before we say goodnight…

For All the Stars Across the Sky is written by Karl Newson and illustrated by Japanese artist Chiaki Okada. It is a beautiful, lyrical bedtime read that celebrates the bond and love between a mother and baby bear, and the fantastical imaginary adventures that unfold when they’re together. 

To celebrate its release this month, author Karl Newson talks with editor Tanya Rosie about his inspiration for the story, and gives aspiring picture book writers his nuggets of advice.

This tender mother and daughter story is all about that special time a parent and child share together right at the end of the day, before bed. Was it inspired by a routine you had with your own children, or with your own mum or dad?

I did have a routine with my boys, which unsurprisingly involved reading lots of books! But the story For All the Stars Across the Sky was actually inspired by a song I wrote for them when they were teeny. It features possibly my best grammatical bloop EVER...

For all the stars across the sky
There’s one for you, and one for I (EEEK!)
You make a wish – I’ll make it true,
I’ll wrap you up in daffodils and send you to the moon
in a red balloon, high above the deep blue sea,
humming your favourite tune,
you and me...

The idea was there, at least!

The title line was inspired by my fascination with stars, which began when I was a child, sat at a dining room table, drawing with my Popie (my grandfather), Ron. He taught me how to draw a star, and it is to him and my boys that For All the Stars Across the Sky is dedicated.

Chiaki’s art is full of the most beautiful, majestic detail – I love the moment little Luna sits atop the dandelion stalk, soft fluff floating all around. Is there anything about Chiaki’s interpretation of your story that surprised you? And do you have a favourite scene or moment? 

I absolutely LOVE Chiaki’s art. It’s a thrill to see what I didn’t see when I was writing it, if you get me. But my most favourite moment of all is where Luna and Mum are small, riding on a snail, exploring the undergrowth. Chiaki captures it beautifully. In fact, I believe we tweaked the text to reflect it, in ‘“Let’s catch a ride,” says Mum’. The snail-riding image relates to me in a different way as well: my favourite amusement park ride as a child was the ‘snails’ at Joyland, Great Yarmouth. So it really is magical.  

Chiaki’s illustrations are moments to pause and explore in the story. I thank my lucky stars that we were teamed up! 

For All the Stars Across the Sky is going to be published in Italy, Russia, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Japan, as well as in the UK and the US – which is so wonderful. What do you think it is about your words and Chiaki’s art that has resonated with readers the world over?

I always try to make my stories universal. I want a child to read it and think ‘That's me!’ or ‘That's here!’ and I think that’s part of the appeal in For All the Stars Across the Sky – it’s for everyone, it’s everywhere – we all live under the same starry sky. Of course, what makes it so attractive and inspiring are Chiaki Okada’s illustrations. They give it depth and engagement in more ways than my text ever could. They’re wondrous!

Your voice, Karl, is so lyrical and melodic, and this book is a joy to read aloud – it feels very much part of that timeless and wonderful tradition of the bedtime book. Are there any bedtime stories you still vividly remember, or that you remember from when you were a child?

Thank you very much! Sadly, I don’t remember many books at all from my childhood. Only a single picture book: Panda and the Snow, by Oda Taro, which I remember being the one I made my parents read me EVERY SINGLE NIGHT; and just the one Young Fiction book, The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson and illustrated by Joanne Cole, which is SUCH a clever story. It still gets me.

This story is brimming over with incredible, imaginary adventures – becoming giants, becoming teeny-tiny, flying above the mountains, swimming with the whales. If you could go on only one of them, which one would you choose?

I’d choose to fly. To be able to go anywhere and to see the earth from above would be tremendous.

As a writer, when do you do your best thinking?

Ideas are always brewing in the back of my mind. They come in at any time of the day and from anywhere. I’m a night owl so I’d guess most of my thinking is done then! ZzzzzzzzZZZZZzzzz

For aspiring picture book writers, my advice is to read as many picture books as possible. Old classics. New favourites. Everything. Soak them all up. Then write and write and write. If you find you’re struggling to find your ‘writing voice’, imagine it as someone else’s instead – I’ve tried writing in the style of David Attenborough’s narration before! It’s great for escaping your own traits.

What is your earliest memory of writing a story?

I used to draw stories at my grandparents’ houses when I was small. There’d always be a new sketchbook waiting for me in the cupboard once an old one was filled. When I look back now at how I got here – to be the writer of a story being published by Walker Books! WOW! – it leads right back to being sat at their dining tables and just being lost for hours in a drawing or story, with supplies of biscuits, Turkish Delights and homemade jam tarts always at the ready. I was lucky to have my imagination fed by my family. It planted a seed that’s taking me on the most AMAZING adventure I could ever have imagined.

What is the best writing advice you have been given?

KNOW WHEN TO STOP. If it’s not working it’s OK to leave it be for a while. Don’t push it if it doesn’t want to be pushed. As soon as I let one idea rest I often find a bunch of others jump out of nowhere, almost as if they’ve been waiting their turn.

FUEL FOR THE FIRE. It reminds me that nothing is ever a waste. It’s all practice and learning. If something goes completely wrong then I treat it as fuel for the fire that keeps me going.


You can pick up a copy of For All the Stars Across the Sky from your local bookshop.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Julian Is a Mermaid Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2019!

The fabulous Julian is a Mermaid has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2019 and we could not be prouder!

You can see some of the fantastic praise this beautiful children's book has received below. 

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Julian is a Mermaid Wins 2019 Stonewall Book Award!

Huge congratulations to Jessica Love who has won the American Library Association 2019 Stonewall Book Award for Julian is a Mermaid. 

The award was first presented in 2010 and is given annually to English-language children's books of 'exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience.' 

Julian is on his way home with his Nana when he spots some mermaids. When Julian gets home, daydreaming of the magical mermaids he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up like a mermaid, too. But what will Nana think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julian sees himself? 

Jessica Love said: "I think it is an incredibly rare thing for an artist to get to feel for a moment that her work has reached the people she created it for in the first place. To then be honoured by that group of people closes the circuit so powerfully, it feels like an electric shock. It has been the great honour of my life to make this book." 

Julian is a Mermaid is out in paperback on Thursday 7th February, you can download our activity sheets now!

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

CBeebies Bedtime Stories featuring A Busy Day For Birds

We are delighted to say that A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins will be read out on CBeebies Bedtime Stories on Sunday 3rd February at 18:50. 

Actress Celia Imrie, known for many roles including in Calendar Girls and Bridget Jones will be reading the book! 

Before then you can go behind the scenes with multi-award-winning author and illustrator Lucy Cousins and find out about A Busy Day for Birds in the video below.


Thursday, 17 January 2019

Top picture book picks this January!

A new year brings with it brand new picture books! We've selected our top new picks for January and you can find out all about them here.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt 30th Anniversary Edition

Celebrate 30 wonderful years of We're Going on a Bear Hunt in this special anniversary edition of the much-loved family favourite. This new anniversary board book brings the story to life for a whole new generation of young readers. Follow and join in the family's excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river, squelch through the mud and brave their way through the swirling, whirling snowstorm in search of a bear.


Ouch! Baby’s mouth feels funny. Something is happening, and it’s not just that a puddle of drool keeps escaping. There it is – a new tooth! From discovering what’s good to bite (and what’s not) to mastering the art of the toothbrush, Baby’s dental adventure is sure to give little teething buddies something to chew on.

Beware of the Crocodile

A witty Nature Storybook about crocodiles. The main thing about crocodiles is they’re really scary – or at least the big ones are. They’ve got an awful lot of teeth and they’re not at all fussy about what they eat, as long as it’s got a bit of meat on it.  But you might be surprised to hear that there's more to crocodiles than just their appetites.....

Home in the Rain

Francie and her mum, who is expecting a baby girl, are driving home from Grandma’s in the heavy rain when they stop for a picnic. As the car steams up, Francie presses her little finger on the window, spelling out "Daddy" and "Mummy" and leaving one space free, ready and waiting for the name of her soon-to-be sister... A beautifully observed celebration of the way inspiration can, and often does happen in the most ordinary and unlikely of places.

Flat Cat

A wild, read-aloud celebration of breaking the rules, taking a chance, and having the most brilliant of adventures. Jimi the cat longs to explore the bright and bustling world outside the flat. Where will he go and who will he meet on those wild and exciting streets? Children and parents alike will rejoice in this funny, stylish and heart-warming celebration of freedom, adventure, friendship and love.

Animals with Tiny Cat

From the ever original and wonderfully playful Viviane Schwarz comes a laugh-out-loud, theatrical first animal board book for the very youngest of readers. Tiny Cat is playing dressing-up! She rolls up in a rug to become a snake – hiss! And with booties on her paws, she’s a horse – neigh! In fact, with oodles of imagination, Tiny Cat can be any animal she wants to be! 

Isle of You

Some days are harder to get through than others. Whenever you’re sad, or lonely, or angry, there’s one place you can always go: the Isle of You. Take a moment to shake off your worries, then set sail to a land where your dreams can come true. Soar on the back of an eagle, hunt for treasure, watch dancing polar bears on roller skates – anything you can imagine is yours...


Bedtime surroundings mingle with stunning dream imagery as a little girl drifts into peaceful slumber... From illustrator and Pixar designer Noah Klocek comes a breathtaking depiction of a half-asleep landscape sure to lure readers into a dreamland of their own.