Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Love From Alfie McPoonst, The Best Dog Ever

Trying to explain the passing of a beloved pet to a child never gets easier, but Dawn Mcniff's poignant picture book, beautifully illustrated by Patricia Metola, provides comfort and relief. Be sure to have a box of tissues by your side! 


When Alfie the dog dies, he sends his owner Izzy letters in the post from his new address: The Nicest Cloud, Dog Heaven, The Sky. He wants her to know that he misses her – so much! – but his new home in heaven is BRILLIANT. There are postmen to chase, angels to tickle his tummy, and he never even has to take a bath! Can his letters comfort Izzy, who is is feeling lost without him?






Sensitively balancing humour and raw emotional truth, this is a beautifully observed tale sure to reassure children experiencing loss and grief for the very first time.  





Love From Alfie McPoonst, The Best Dog Ever available where all good books are sold! 

Thursday, 9 January 2020

WIN a 2020 Walker Books Calendar!

***THIS COMPETITION HAS CLOSED NOW***

Still searching for the perfect 2020 calendar for your desk at home or at work? Or maybe you like to keep a calendar by your bedside table but are struggling to find the right fit? Your search ends today! Here at Walker we do our very best to create the perfect calendar every year, and this year one of our beautiful calendars could be yours...




Featuring images from some of our stunning picture book releases in the coming year, our 2020 calendar is light and pretty and sure to brighten up any space! 


The calendar begins with a well-loved classic as we celebrate 25 years of Guess How Much I Love You.

Have a look below to see what other picture books are featured in this year's calendar...


Books featured: 

- Guess How Much I Love You: 25th Anniversary Edition by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram
- The Case of the Missing Cake by Eoin McLaughlin and Marc Boutavant 
- Bunnies on the Bus by Philip Ardagh and Ben Mantle 
- Follow Me, Flo! by Jarvis 
- How to be Cooler than Cool by Sean Taylor and Jean Jullien
- Catch That Chicken! by Atinuke and Angela Brooksbank 
- Karate Kids by Holly Sterling
- Ride the Wind by Nicola Davies and Salvatore Rubbino 
- Honey for You, Honey for Me by Michael Rosen and Chris Riddell 
- Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago
- The Nightingale by Tanya Landman and Laura Carlin 
- Santa Post by Emma Yarlett 
- Let's Play Monsters! by Lucy Cousins 

***THIS COMPETITION HAS CLOSED NOW***

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

WIN our January book of the month and more!

We're starting off 2020 at Picture Book Party with a competition for our lovely readers! Our January book of the month is Yasmeen Ismail's laugh-out-loud Would You Like a Banana?


Gorilla is hungry but there is absolutely no way he’s going to eat a banana. Not even a teeny taste. Not with some bread or standing on his head. Even if you eat one too, which is something you might do.

This brilliant and hilarious picture book from award-winning illustrator Yasmeen Ismail will have everyone laughing at this all-too familiar family situation!



 Click on the link below for a couple of fun activity sheets! 


WIN a copy of Would You Like a Banana? alongside a stuffed gorilla toy and a game of Bananagrams! 


Are you under 13? If so please do NOT provide your details. Please ask your parent or guardian to enter using their email address. Competition closes 30th January at midday. 

By entering this competition you confirm that you accept our terms and conditions of entry.


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Monday, 6 January 2020

Top new picture books from Walker Books this January!

New year, new month, new great picture books!


Love From Alfie McPoonst, The Best Dog Ever by Dawn McNiff 

When Alfie the dog dies, he sends his owner Izzy letters in the post from his new address: The Nicest Cloud, Dog Heaven, The Sky. He wants her to know that he misses her – so much! – but his new home in heaven is BRILLIANT. There are postmen to chase, angels to tickle his tummy, and he never even has to take a bath! Can his letters comfort Izzy, who is feeling lost without him?


Some Dinosaurs are Small by Charlotte Voake 


Some dinosaurs are small, and some dinosaurs are BIG. Some dinosaurs have tiny teeth for munching leaves, and some dinosaurs have POINTY teeth for munching … OTHER dinosaurs! UH-OH. Some dinosaurs need to RUN! Children will want to cry out, “He’s behind you!” in this bright, bold and thrilling picture book from one of the most acclaimed contemporary children’s book-makers, Charlotte Voake.


Would You Like a Banana? By Yasmeen Ismail 

Gorilla is hungry but there is absolutely no way he’s going to eat a banana. Not even a teeny taste. Not with some bread or standing on his head. Even if you eat one too, which is something you might do. This brilliant and hilarious picture book from award-winning illustrator Yasmeen Ismail will have everyone laughing at this all-too familiar family situation!



Animals with Tiny Cat by Viviane Schwarz 

Tiny Cat is playing dress-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! But does Tiny Cat have what it takes to be a fearless lion? Find out in this inventive picture book with an abundance of visual humour! 




Bear Moves by Ben Bailey Smith 

With funny wordplay and bold imagery, actor Ben Bailey Smith and artist Sav Akyuz have created a Bear to remember. If there's one thing Bear knows, it's how to move. And when the music starts up, Bear just can't help grooving to the beat – spinning round, belly dancing and even doing the foxtrot. This infectiously rhythmic and hilariously funny sequel to I Am Bear will keep readers in stitches from start to finish.



Available to buy at all good bookshops!

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Behind the scenes of Pick a Pine Tree!

Read on for a glimpse into the makings of Patricia Toht's festive picture book! 




What gave you the inspiration behind Pick a Pine Tree?

Our family has a fairly large collection of Christmas books that we pull out to read each holiday season. But I discovered that not one focused on decorating a tree. I love that tradition and mined my many fond memories of trimming trees. I had already started a poem about carving pumpkins, too, so Pick a Pine Tree and Pick a Pumpkin developed simultaneously.


What is your writing process for your picture books?

I tend to carry around ideas in my head for a while before I begin to write. It’s a bit like filling a cup with water, drip by drip, until it finally spills over. I’m a poet at heart, so most ideas pour out as poetry. I have wonderful poet friends who help me polish my rhyme and rhythm. My editor, Tanya, is wonderful, too – she’s especially good at catching uniquely American phrases that creep into my writing.




What is your favourite spread from the book?

Oh, that’s such a hard choice! I adore Jarvis’ illustrations. I think the spread of the decorated Christmas tree is brilliant. The decision to turn the book sideways to show a huge, decorated tree was a clever one. And now the gift edition has a tree that pops out! So special.

Do you ever go and pick your own pine tree?

Every year! My husband and I used to take our four children to a tree farm to cut down a tree. That is, until the year it was sleeting, and the kids were complaining, and my husband was on the muddy ground, trying to saw the trunk. Everyone was mad and cold and wet. After that, we decided that perhaps going to a tree lot would be just fine…




What is your favourite part about Christmas?

Biscuits and ornaments! I have a big stash of Christmas recipes that I make each year. My friends love it – because they get the surplus supply! As for ornaments, our children receive new ones each year, usually related to something special that happened that year. We tag them with their names, so that, when they move out, those ornaments will be the first trimmings for their own trees.

How do you decorate your own Christmas tree? 

Lights first, then my husband’s collection of animated ornaments. He has about twenty of them. When they’re plugged in, little motors whir and they move about or light up or play songs. I tuck in a few ornaments from my childhood. The kids then add theirs – including one weapon-toting snowman my youngest son made from toilet paper tubes and cotton balls. Each year, the older kids threaten to set it afire, but it always makes it to the tree in one piece, thank heaven! The final touch is a long, long paper chain made from links that children have added at book signings for Pick a Pine Tree – I’m not sure of the exact length, but it stretches from the front door of our home to the back door!



Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever






We've all heard the story of Rudolph, the famous red-nosed reindeer, but how much do we know about Santa's other reindeer who are just as special and important?

Dasher by Matt Tavares is the unheard story of a reindeer who you probably don't know much about (yet!). Her tale begins long before she ever meets Santa...



Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a travelling circus, but she longs for a different life – one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head.


 And one day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It’s not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh, a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same... 

Friday, 13 December 2019

Julian at the Wedding! Upcoming sequel to Julian is a Mermaid



We are very excited to share the news that next October, we will be publishing the much-anticipated sequel to Jessica Love's Julian is a Mermaid

Julian at the Wedding is set at a wedding celebration where Julian and a fellow free-spirited child are taking part in the ceremony. The two form a magical friendship while surrounded by a community that embodies love and acceptance.


Here is a sneak peek at the gorgeous interior artwork:




On the success of her debut book, Jessica Love remarked, “My greatest hope was that the first book about Julian would find not only the kids who immediately identify with Julian, but that it would find the kids who don’t immediately understand. I wanted those kids to go on the journey with him, feel empathy when he is downcast, and elation when he finds his people. Because everyone knows what hope, shame, and joy feel like – I hoped that if I made a sort of crumb-trail of emotional identification that would bring everyone who reads the book, regardless of their background or identity, safely through the forest and out into the sunshine. My hope for the next book is that Julian’s journey into the sunshine continues, with continued emphasis on love and acceptance, and a new journey of friendship.”






In case, you haven't heard about Julian is a Mermaid, it's an award-winning picture book written by New-York-based author-illustrator, Jessica Love, which follows young Julian, who wants nothing more than to dress up as a mermaid, but when his Nana catches him in the act, he's unsure how she'll react. It was awarded the Klaus Flugge Prize for Illustration 2019, the Stonewall Book Award 2019, shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2019.





Praise for Julian is a Mermaid:


“celebratory and ground-breaking” - The Sunday Times

“The stand-out title this month is a picture book, Julian Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love. […] In the bravura feat of understated storytelling, the richness of Julian’s free-floating imagination is caught in images layered with colour, movement, muscle and life, celebrating black and Latino experience. Julian invents a tail and flowing hair, and Nana’s acceptance, as she accompanies him on a wild parade of mermaids, will leave the reader filler with joy.” - The Guardian


"Beautiful [...] Magnificent [...] Lovely [...] Magical [...] Gorgeous" - RuPaul


“This utterly gorgeous picture book is great for questioning our gender stereotypes but without being at all preachy." - The Sun




Julian is a Mermaid is available in paperback where all good books are sold!