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!

Monday 23 November 2015

I Want My Hat Back at the National Theatre

Last week, a few of us from Walker HQ were lucky enough to get tickets to see I Want My Hat Back on stage at the National Theatre. We were all VERY excited and intrigued to see how the picture book that we all know and love would be transformed into an hour long show!

For those who don't know, I Want My Hat Back is a brilliant, witty picture book about a big bear on a quest to find his missing hat. Jon Klassen's deadpan illustrations run throughout the story and lead the reader towards a hilarious and surprising ending... Check out the animated trailer for the book:

So the verdict? We all loved the show! The performance was packed with great music by Arthur Darvill, quirky and creative costumes and lots of surprises (which we won't spoil for you). We quickly lost count of how many times we laughed out loud - and we weren't alone; the audience was packed with captivated kids who were all giggling, clapping, pointing and yelling "he's behind you!"

Photograph by Richard Davenport

We were all impressed with how the play remained true to the book, from the beautiful, muted colour palette to the quirks and mannerisms of the characters. Added touches like the retro, homespun set and a soundtrack that flicked effortlessly from cool jazz to head-bopping rock kept the parents as entertained as their children.

Photograph by Richard Davenport

I Want My Hat Back is a treat for everyone aged 3 – 300, and we think it's the perfect Christmas show for all the family. It's on until 2 January but we hear from our friends at the National Theatre that the tickets are selling out fast, so don't miss out! You can book yours here.

You can buy a copy of the book (and all Jon Klassen's books) in the National Theatre bookshop.

Check out the brilliant reviews the show has had in The Guardian and Time Out. 


We have a family ticket (2 adults, 3 children) to see I Want My Hat Back up for grabs, courtesy of our friends at The National Theatre. Five runners up will get a copy of the book I Want My Hat Back. To enter the competition, just answer this simple question:

Who wrote the music for the National Theatre's play of I Want My Hat Back?
a) Arthur Darvill
b) Jon Klassen
c) Walker Books

To enter the competition, just email your answer to along with your name and address before 30th November.

Terms and conditions:
1. This prize draw is promoted by Walker Books Ltd. incorporated in England under registered number 1378601 (the “Promoter”) and is not open to employees of the Promoter or their families. 2.  Entrants must be residents of the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland. 3. There will be 1 prize winner and 5 runners up, who will receive the prizes stated. All prizes are non- transferable and there is no cash alternative. 4. The closing date is 30th November 2015. 5. Winners will be notified by 10th December 2015. 6. Only prize claims received on or before the closing date will be honoured; the Promoter accepts no responsibility for claims received after the Closing Date. 7. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for any entries that are late, lost, damaged, illegible or corrupted in transit. Proof of entering is not proof of receipt. 8. The Promoter’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 9. Any personal data obtained and/or gathered by the Promoter shall be used only for the purposes of the competition. All personal details shall be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. 10. Only one entry will be accepted per email address used. 11. The first prize is five tickets (two adults and three children) to see I Want My Hat Back at the National Theatre. 10 runners up will receive a copy of the book, I Want My Hat Back. 12. There is no cash alternative. 13. The prize is not transferable.  14. Travel to The National Theatre is not provided. 15. The tickets are subject to availability and the National Theatre reserves the right to alter the prize if necessary. 16. The tickets must be used by 2 January 2016. 17. Tickets are valid for any performance until 2 January 2016, subject to availability. 18. The rules of this prize draw are governed by UK law and entry is conditional on acceptance of these terms and conditions which may be amended at any time by the Promoter.

Friday 20 November 2015

Trains by Robert Crowther

This week we published the amazing Trains by Robert Crowther, a spectacular pop-up celebration of trains and railways, jam packed with fun facts and pop-up surprises. 

Look inside a steam engine, pull the tabs to race trains over bridges, and open up the last page to discover a 3D model of a train station! We went behind the scenes with illustrator Robert Crowther to find out all about the making of the book...

"When I was a boy I used to go down to a field behind our house, where I could watch the steam trains go by from Leeds to Harrogate. It was very reminiscent of the Railway Children! From those days I've always loved trains and going on trains and so the opportunity to make a pop-up book about Trains was irresistible.

When I was making this book I thought about all the things I'd like to see in a train book if I was a boy again - tunnels, bridges, stations and trains that went very fast. It is always a fun process deciding on which trains to include in the book in conjunction with my editor. First I produce a black and white working dummy of the book showing what I think should be included in the book and what order the trains should go in. Then I make a coloured rough of each spread and once this is fixed with the text I can move onto the artwork. 

The illustrations were produced by using cut paper, which I stick down in different layers using double-sided tape. I keep all the separate colours in their own individual envelopes so I can go straight to the colour I need. This book's artwork took about five months to complete. I particularly like the new, graphic cover in this edition, designed by Laurelie Bazin, who works in the design department at Walker Books." Robert Crowther, author, illustrator and paper engineer.

You can find a copy of Trains at your local bookshop, the perfect Christmas present for all budding train enthusiasts!

Thursday 5 November 2015

The Pelican Post

Our friends at The Pelican Post have written a guest blog post for us, all about #ProjectKALA, an initiative to make sure that children who speak African languages can learn to read in their mother tongues alongside English. Over to them to tell us more... 

For those of you who have or work spend time with children, you don’t have to be told that reading is an important aspect of childhood. All the experts agree it can help their development in so many ways. Access to early readers helps to build literacy skills; children become familiar with sounds, words and language. Through reading, a love of fiction grows which in turn sparks imagination, stimulates curiosity of the wider world, and hones and develops thinking processes along the way. It was with this in mind that Nick Johnson founded the UK-based charity, Pelican Post five years ago. It’s also why The Pelican Post team and its supporters work hard year on year, making sure kids right across the world get to enjoy the pleasures of reading. 

Can you imagine being able to speak English but not being able to read it? Our latest initiative, #Project KALA, aims to Keep African Languages Alive so that children can learn to read in their mother tongues (alongside English). Despite local languages being taught in schools as a child’s first language, the lack of appropriate children’s fiction in those languages means that many children grow up unable to read their native tongue, despite being able to speak it. 

Rarely does throwing money at a problem actually fix it, but this is one of those times. With your help, through crowdfunding, we hope to raise enough funds to translate, print and distribute 3,000 copies of the children’s favourite, Handa's Surprise by Eileen Browne (Walker Books) in dual languages, English and a local language, starting with Fante in Ghana. Walker Books have generously given us fantastic printing discounts and rewards for donors, which means we just need your pledges to get these books into classrooms full of eagerly waiting children!

You can get involved and support us by donating whatever you can afford, raising money in any way you please – schools are doing sponsored readathons, cultural days and bring and buy sales. You can also persuade your friends and family, even strangers to do the same! Get creative, get raising and get us closer to achieving our very important goal. 

To find out more about The Pelican Post’s #ProjectKALA Crowdfunder campaign, visit: