Friday 27 June 2014

A First Book of Nature wins Children’s Picture Book category award in the IBW Book Awards

We are absolutely thrilled that Nicola Davies has won the inaugural Children’s Picture Book category award in the 2014 Independent Booksellers Week Book Awards for A First Book of Nature.
Judges praised the book for its inspiring text, stunning illustration, superb design and quality production – a “perfect marriage of words and stunning illustrations.” Congratulations Nicola!

Nicola Davies, said: “I couldn’t be more delighted about this prize from the people who know the most about books. Indy bookshops are the future because they offer guidance through the sea of books we don’t want to read to the ones we DO, instead of just throwing us in without a float or a compass like the big sellers do.”

The judges specifically made a point about the wins, which is that the decision is testament to the quality of the publishing Walker is doing – producing beautiful, high quality books that suit independent bookshops and which bring the best in innovation, design and book production together with the best writing and illustration in the business to create very special books that booksellers are delighted to sell to customers.

Independent Booksellers Week is part of the Books Are My Bag campaign, and seeks to celebrate independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland. We do this with events, celebrations, reading groups, storytelling, author signings, literary lunches and face painting! Your local bookshop will have their own way of celebrating, and we encourage you to visit to celebrate with them.

Find A First Book of Nature at your local bookshop.
Get out and about with the kids with this free A First Book of Nature activity sheet. 

Monday 23 June 2014

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

Hold on to your hats!
When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue top hat (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it’s a good thing that enormous fish won’t wake up. And even if he does, it’s not as though he’ll ever know what happened…will he?

This Is Not My Hat is the follow up picture book to I Want My Hat Back, by award-winning author and illustrator Jon Klassen, and is the ONLY book EVER to win both the Kate Greenaway and Randolph Caldecott Awards!

If you’re as excited as we are about this tiny fish in a blue bowler hat, then take a look at this quirky trailer made by Jon Klassen himself:

To celebrate the launch of the quirky new picture book by Jon Klassen This Is Not My Hat, we sent 100 sparkly blue bowler hats around the country and we waited to see where they would end up...

We asked anyone who came across a hat to tweet us their pictures using
the hashtag #notmyhat, and here are just a few of the photos that came back...

It was certainly a close call, but in the end we decided to take our hats off to Topping & Company bookshop, who featured the hat in their shop and shared it with their customers. We'd also like to give a huge congratulations to The Lamb Bookshop who won our This Is Not My Hat window display competition with their hat-tastic window, complete with paper seaweed and lots of hats...

Thank you to everyone who sent us their lovely hat pictures!

Have your little ones read This Is Not My Hat yet? Find a copy at your local bookshop.

Join in the fun and download these free This Is Not My Hat activity sheets here.

Historic Kate Greenaway Medal win for Jon Klassen’s This is Not My Hat

Jon Klassen wins Walker Books’ 10th Kate Greenaway Medal for This is Not My Hat, and becomes the only book to win both the Kate Greenaway and Randolph Caldecott Awards.

We are delighted to announce that Jon Klassen has won the 2014 Kate Greenaway Medal for Illustration for his beautiful picture book This is Not My Hat.

The Greenaway Medal would always be an incredible achievement for any artist or publishing house, but for us this marks our TENTH Greenaway Medal, which we are absolutely thrilled about. This is Not My Hat will also go into the history books as the first ever title to win both the UK’s highest illustration honour with the Kate Greenaway Medal, but also win the USA’s highest prize for illustration, the Randolph Caldecott Medal, which was awarded in 2013.

On winning the CILIP Kate Greenaway, Jon Klassen said:

"Winning this award is hugely encouraging. Making a book, you're kind of going out on a limb in the belief that what you think of as a satisfying story is the same as what other people think of as a satisfying story. This doesn't mean everything in the story turns out alright for everybody, but you, as a storyteller, try and make sure it ends the way the story should end. Any audience, children included, take reassurance from that. Storytelling is an act of community, of looking at one another afterward and agreeing that we enjoyed it, or not, whether the story itself portrays happiness or doom. The hope is found when we agree we liked it, and I'm so glad you liked this one."

Have your little ones read This Is Not My Hat yet? Find a copy at your local bookshop.

Join in the fun and download these free This Is Not My Hat activity sheets here.


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 13 June 2014

Top Three Picks for Father's Day

Stuck for a last minute Father's Day gift? Here are our top three picture book picks:

  1. Gorilla by Anthony Browne

Hannah is disappointed that her dad works so hard as they don’t get to spend much time together or see the gorillas that Hannah loves so much. All that soon changes when her father gives her a toy gorilla for her birthday! Even better, the book has been a best-selling classic for 30 years, so there’s a good chance it will hold some memories for daddy too.

 2. Rex by Simon James

Rex is a beautiful and dynamic book about family and fatherhood, perfect for dads and children alike to practice their roars at bedtime. One night the terrifying Tyrannosaur finds a baby dinosaur, named Rex, has hatched in his cave. Rex is adamant that the tyrannosaur is his dad and begins emulating him in the hopes of growing up to be just as terrifying. This book explores the journey of teaching and learning and the wonderful bond that exists between father and child.

3.  My Dad is Beautiful by Jessica Spanyol

In this gorgeous picture book, Jessica Spanyol captures the wonderful bond between a father and a child. Told from the perspective of a small bear, this book encapsulates how love is measured in a child's mind: a gesture so simple can mean so very much. Perfect for children 0-5 years.

Find all of these book at your local bookshop.

Wednesday 4 June 2014

The Mouse Who Ate the Moon by Petr Horáček

This month we're OVER THE MOON to be publishing The Mouse Who Ate the Moon by Petr Horáček, starring the adorable Little Mouse from Petr's prize-winning picture book, A New House for Mouse. 

In this charming tale, Little Mouse discovers that a piece of big, yellow moon has fallen from the sky and landed right outside her house! The moon looks far too delicious for Little Mouse to resist, but before long she's nibbled away over half of it! It is only when Rabbit and Mole show her the full moon in the sky that she realises that maybe it wasn't the moon after all... As Petr Horáček notes at the end of the book, “nobody can really eat the moon”. This is a fun and heartwarming story with unique illustrations that allows children to interact by peeping through the holes in the pages, perfect for children 0-5 years. The Mouse Who Ate the Moon is a bedtime classic waiting to happen!
How to Draw with Petr Horáček
One thing you might not know about Petr Horáček is that he LOVES cake, so to celebrate the publication of his new book, we took him out to the lovely Tea House Theatre next to Walker HQ for tea, cake and to watch Petr drawing some of his favourite characters...

After settling down in a cosy corner surrounded by teapots, cakes and books, Petr got out his pencils, wax crayons and watercolours and showed us how he draws Little Mouse, Puffin Peter, Suzy Goose and Elephant. Get creative with the kids and have a go:

Join in the fun and have a go at these The Mouse Who Ate the Moon activity sheets. Or why not have a go at making your own mouse mask!

Want to know a bit more about Petr Horáček? Check out our 'Getting to know Petr Horáček' Pinterest board.

Find a copy of The Mouse Who Ate the Moon at your local bookshop.

Walker Storytime at Gail's Artisan Bakery

Here at Walker HQ, the only thing we love quite as much as books, is yummy, freshly baked cakes.  So we are delighted to be teaming up with Gail's artisan bakery to hold free, monthly storytelling sessions for children in Gail's bakeries across London.

Come along to our first Storytime on Wednesday 11th June at 10am in Crouch End, where professional storyteller Vanessa Woolfe will be reading the brand new picture book by Petr Horáček, The Mouse Who Ate the Moon.  Pop in with your little ones  for a morning of great stories and activities, tasty cookies and organic milk, plus goody bags for the children to take away. No need to book and nothing to pay, just come along!

See you at GAIL’s Bakery, 48 The Broadway, London N8 9TP