Wednesday 30 October 2013

Meet Hervé Tullet!

We went behind the scenes with bestselling author and illustrator Hervé Tullet about his latest hilarious picture book Help! We Need a Title!, a completely unique, interactive book that takes the concept of reading to a new level...

Both Press Here and Help!We Need a Title! are playful and interactive. Where do you find inspiration for your innovative story ideas?
After spending a lot of time in schools, I’ve come to realize that there are endless possibilities for ideas.  When I’m thinking about a new idea for a book, it helps to interact with children.  When I spend more time with kids, I can better tell if they will follow a certain idea.  I get a sense of how far I can go with it and where I can take it.  That’s the great thing about the interactive field I’m in.


What motivated you to explore the idea of unfinished characters?
All of my books, especially Press Here and Help! We Need a Title!, play with the book form. What is a book?  How are we going to turn the page?  What is going to happen?  How do we read?  What is an author?  Help! We Need a Title! is metafictional, dealing with the writing of books, where ideas for stories come from, and what is missing (the story) versus what is already there (the characters). It’s a journey into the cogs of an author’s brain when a story is still being developed.

Can you talk a bit about your art style in this book?
I love art when it’s in its rawest form, such as folk art and sketches created by children.  There’s so much energy in those drawings.  It’s not always just about style; I value the energy in art more than the style.  When I have an idea, I turn to paper to express myself through my drawings, and I try not to worry about what they look like or if they are beautiful. I do hope that this book will spark within others a desire to draw without fear.  It should be about creating something that is expressive, sincere, and authentic, and not something that is perfect.  In Help!We Need a Title!, my illustrations are full of scribbles, stains, crossed-out words, and so on. Perhaps this book will help children feel confident and joyful about creating, and the act of drawing will seem less intimidating.  

What inspired you to include yourself in the story?
When I began to think of how to “draw” the character of the author, I thought a photo of me, the real author, could work well.  Maybe because I understand what I do as an author, what I give, and what I express in my books.  Both of us—the real author and the fictional author—have a message to share!

What is your favorite thing to doodle in your notebooks?
I am forever searching for ideas for sketches.  Ideas are my fuel!  When I observe an object and put pen to paper, I feel like I can’t really draw what I see.  But ideas!  I draw them much more easily.

Get creative and download the Help! We Need a Title! activity sheet.
Find  Help! We Need a Title! at your local bookshop.

Photo © Franck Stromme 098

Monday 21 October 2013

Win! The Book of Bedtime Stories and Print

This is a bumper month for picture books at Walker, and to celebrate we've got a copy of The Book of Bedtime Stories and a limited edition print from the story The Dancing Bear up for grabs.

Simply enter your details below, and three lucky winners will receive a signed copy of this amazing book.

Competition closes 4 November 2013, 5 p.m. Open to residents of the UK and Ireland only. Terms and Conditions apply.

I'd like to receive the Picture Book Party newsletter to keep up-to-date with new books, activity sheets and competitions.

Please tick this box if you are under 13 years old. If you are under 13 years old you must get permission from a parent or guardian. If they agree please show them the notice below.

Notice to parent/guardian of children under 13 years old. If you are a parent/guardian of the entrant and you consent to the retention and use of the entrant's personal details by Walker for the purpose of email updates, please tick this box.

 By entering this competition, you are agreeing to our terms and conditions. Your details will not be shared with third parties.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Congratulations to Under the Greenwood Tree

This summer we ran a competition for independent bookshops to create the best Picture Book Party display and we are delighted to announce that the winner is Under the Greenwood Tree in Clapham! Their gorgeous display of Walker Books even included miniature books for their teddy bears - congratulations!

Under the Greenwood Tree is an independent bookshop, toyshop and cafe with a fantastic selection of books and toys aimed at 0-11 year olds and a nice little café serving yummy cakes and biscuits.  There is space to park your buggy, toys and books for the kids to play with and baby-changing facilities. So if you're visiting Clapham, don't forget to check it out or visit

Monday 7 October 2013

The Mumsnet Book of Bedtimes Stories

If you've been looking for the perfect book of bedtime stories, then look no further...

Last year, we teamed up with Mumsnet and launched the bedtime stories competition for the Mumsnet and Gransnet community, receiving a staggering 350 entries. After much deliberation, former Children's Laureate and writer Michael Rosen selected the 10 winning stories which we have just published in The Book of Bedtime Stories.

Michael RosenPerfect for children aged seven and under, the book features 10 prize-winning stories, each of which is beautifully illustrated by an up-and-coming illustrator. It's perfect for reading aloud at bedtime and can be enjoyed again and again.

The winning stories include the adventures of a town sheriff who rides his trusty pig rather than a horse, a plucky alpaca who makes new friends when he saves the day at the farmyard, and the eerie tale of a strange creature who wakes every 100 years to steal stars from the night sky.

Michael Rosen says: "These are brilliant stories which remind us that there is real talent, invention and creativity amongst readers and contributors to Mumsnet and Gransnet. I really enjoyed reading and selecting these funny, clever stories."
Read more about it on Mumsnet, and buy the book here.

Thursday 3 October 2013

Pop up peacocks

This month, giant peacocks are popping up in independent bookshops all over the country to celebrate Animal Opposites, the gorgeous new colourful, counting book by Petr Horacek. 

Petr Horacek 16

Turn the pages, lift the flaps and see animals of all shapes and sizes bring to life the world of opposites. From slow snail to fast cheetah, heavy hippo to light butterfly, smooth frog to prickly porcupine – learning has never been so much fun! Take a peek inside the book in our look inside video:

To celebrate Animal Opposites, Foyles have one of Petr's original Suzy Goose illustrations to give away as prize – the perfect addition to any young child's bedroom wall. For your chance to win, visit the Foyles website here