Wednesday 16 December 2015

Santa's Beard

If you're after a quirky, interactive Christmas book that will have your little ones giggling for hours under the tree, check out Santa's Beard by Nick Sharratt. 

It's summer and Santa's Beard is far too fluffy and warm on Santa's sweaty face. "Don't worry, Santa, I'll just find a new face," says his Beard, and off he flies straight on to... the face of someone new!

This completely hilarious book has a white fluffy beard attached by a ribbon to help you guide Santa's Beard page by page on its adventure to find its rightful face! 

Video by Matilda Tristram and Tom Duxbury, illustrated by Nick Sharratt.

Get 50% off Santa's Beard at

Walker Christmas Windows

This year we're delighted to see so many of our books in Christmas window displays in independent bookstores all over the UK and Ireland. These festive displays are so fantastic we couldn't resist sharing them with you! A few of the indies' top picks include The Nutcracker, The Christmas Eve Tree, The Night Before Christmas and Jingle Bells.

See if you can spot your local indie in the pictures below:

Alligator's Mouth

Antonia's Bookshop

Bookends, Carlisle

Hodges Figgis

Forget-Me-Not Books

Wimbledon Books


Topping & Company, Ely

The Skerries Bookshop
Tales on Moon Lane
Walter Henry's Bookshop
 Jaffe & Neale Bookshop & Cafe
Regency Bookshop


The Mainstreet Trading Company

We'd like to say a big warm thank you to all the independent bookstores who created a Walker window display and hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

If you’re an independent bookshop and would like to create a Walker window display we’d love to hear from you! We have lots of eye-catching standees, posters and materials we just love to share.

If you spot a great Walker window in your local bookshop, send your pictures to and we'll feature it on the blog!

Monday 14 December 2015

The story behind The Christmas Eve Tree

It's late on Christmas Eve and the Little Fir Tree is the only tree left in the shop. What a poor, crooked thing I am, it thinks. But then in comes a young boy who doesn't seem to mind that the little tree isn't tall and straight like the others...

This magical story was written many years ago by Delia Huddy, who sadly passed away before it could be published. Now at long last this beautiful and heartwarming story has been brought to life with gorgeous illustrations by Emily Sutton. The Christmas Eve Tree. We went behind the scenes with John Huddy, son of Delia Huddy (and owner of the lovely Illustrationcupboard gallery in London) to find out how the book came about...

My Christmas Eve Tree, by John Huddy

I will never forget the day when Caroline Royds, a long-standing friend, arrived here at the gallery one grey and gloomy February afternoon. We had arranged to discuss plans for a charity event, but mysteriously she quickly diverted the discussion to books - that was the moment when The Christmas Eve Tree lit up my life. With some excitement Caroline related how my mother, Delia Huddy, had been working on a manuscript for Walker Books some ten years ago when sadly and unexpectedly she passed away. 

Delia Huddy
The story unfurled - it transpired that Caroline had recently opened a neglected drawer one afternoon to behold this dusty manuscript lurking, waiting to be rediscovered under a sheaf of papers. She re-read it again after many years and the magic was re-ignited. 'Would you be agreeable too our publishing it?' The question came as a shot out the blue - I could not believe my ears. What a wonderful moment that was - one that I shall never forget. 

Needless to say when I broke the news to my two sisters and hordes of nephews and nieces the uproar could be heard across London. It was and still is one of the most exciting things to have happened to our family. As children we were always aware of my mother, squirreled away in her small study tapping away on some antiquated type-writer (the IT 'wheel' had yet to be invented), and as  cheeky and malicious children do, we always sniggered as another of her books was published. How cruel and unappreciative we were! To write and publish books is such a divinely-inspired talent,  and as always one appreciates those who do such great things when it is often sadly too late. But here it was that second chance, the opportunity resurrected to relish and celebrate not only a wonderful book but my mother's talent and life-long dedication to books, writing and her family. 

It is therefore with enormous pride and gratitude that we now see The Christmas Eve Tree in print, and thrilling to celebrate its launch here at the Illustrationcupboard Gallery along with the superb illustrator Emily Sutton, who has done such fabulous artwork for the book, as well as Walker Books, most especially Caroline, without whom this would never have come to pass. 

The original artwork from The Christmas Eve Tree can be seen (and purchased) at the Illustrationcupboard Gallery as part of the 2015 Winter Exhibition. You can also purchase signed copies of the book at the Illustrationcupboard online shop.

Join in the festive fun and download The Christmas Eve Tree activity sheets here.

Thursday 26 November 2015

Win a Christmas picture book hamper

Christmas is just around the corner and to celebrate we're running a giveaway! We've hand-picked a selection of our favourite new Christmas books, perfect for snuggling up and reading together during the chilly festive season. We have a gorgeous Christmas picture book hamper to giveaway, including copies of the books below, along with stickers, posters and activity sheets! (see below for details on how to enter)

Here are our top picks this Christmas:

The Christmas Eve Tree by Delia Huddy and Emily Sutton

When an ugly little fir tree is taken to the city, no one wants to buy him; they prefer the big tall trees. But a homeless boy asks the shopkeeper if he can take the tree, and down by the river in a cardboard box, decorated with a few candles, the tree finds itself at the centre of a magical Christmas Eve it will never forget. This is a special Christmas tale with a classic feel but a modern theme at its heart.

Blue Penguin by Petr Horáček

A heart-warming fable about a friendship and belonging, from award-winning author/illustrator Petr Horáček. "I feel just like a penguin," says Blue Penguin. "But you're not like us," said the other penguins and they left him all alone. Poor Blue Penguin. Will he be able to convince the other penguins he is one of them after all? A moving and beautifully illustrated story from Petr Horáček, described by the Washington Post as "the thinking tot's Eric Carle".

The Nutcracker by Niroot Puttapipat 

The Nutcracker story is a much-loved part of Christmas celebrations around the world, and this beautiful edition captures the excitement of Christmas Eve and the magic of Marius Petipa's classic ballet. Exquisitely illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat, this charming retelling follows Clara's magical journey with the Nutcracker Prince and ends with a stunning pop-up of the Land of Sweets! 

Dear Father Christmas by Alan Durant

When Holly sees a man who looks like Father Christmas, she decides to write him a letter: “Dear Father Christmas – is it snowing in Lapland? Please answer. Love Holly.” And so begins the start of a touching pen-pal friendship with Father Christmas himself in which Holly learns about the magic of elves, reindeer and life in Lapland, as well as getting some very special Christmas surprises! This lovely book comes with letters to read and a special silver ticket from Father Christmas!

Jingle Bells by James Lord Pierpont and Pauline Siewert

Press the button to hear “Jingle Bells” play as you follow the story of an adorable bear family enjoying a festive sleigh ride! Pauline Siewert's gorgeous illustrations capture the magic of the Christmas season, and with the lyrics on each page children will love to sing along!


We have a gorgeous Christmas hamper to give away, including a selection of our favourite Christmas books, plus stickers, posters and activity sheets. For your chance to win, just answer the following question:

What colour is the penguin in Petr Horáček's Christmas book?
a)   Blue
b)   Brown
c)   Purple

Email your answer along with your name and address to with 'PBP Christmas' in the subject line for your chance to win. Competition closes on 20th December 2015. Terms and conditions apply.

Plus, we’re running a half-price offer across all our books at until 18th December. You can pick up these books, and more, at 50% off! Happy shopping!