ISSN: 0143-909X (this is our International Standard Serial Number).
- with over 50,000 readers worldwide, Books for Keeps is for everyone involved with children of all ages and books of all kinds: at nursery, at school, in college, at book fairs, in libraries, in school bookshops and at home. Our readership is made up of teachers, lecturers, students, librarians, publishers, booksellers, parents and other carers.
- BfK is bi-monthly, published six times a year in January, March, May, July, September and November.
- In 1996 BfK won the prestigious Eleanor Farjeon Award for distingished services to children’s books.
- We review over 1,000 children’s books each year – fiction, poetry and non-fiction, paperback and hardback.
- We publish articles about every aspect of children’s books.
- And we carry regular news of what’s happening in the children’s book world.
In our first issue we said:
‘We have assumed that you, our readership, are busy people committed to encouraging the reading habit amongst your children, not only in school but at home or on holiday too. Because there is so much available and so much new material being published, it is impossible to keep abreast of everything all the time. The thinking behind Books for Keeps is based therefore on the belief that book ideas, book opinion, book information and book news should be easy to digest, stimulating to read, and simple to select.’
A MORE DETAILED LOOK AT BOOKS FOR KEEPS
Reviews – the heart of the magazine
With the huge numbers of children’s books to choose from (over 7,000 new titles each year/over 30,000 books in print), keeping up to date and making the right (i.e. the best) choices for the children you work or live with, often on a tight budget, is a problem. Regular reading of Books for Keeps can make all the difference to your book selecting, book buying and book using.
What we review
Books for Keeps reviews well over 1000 children’s books each year – picture books, novelty, younger fiction, older fiction, poetry and non-fiction, both in paperback and hardback. Books for Keeps also reviews key titles aimed at adults about children’s literature and reading.
How reviews are organised
Reviews are organised into helpful teaching/age ranges:
Books About Children’s Books
Under 5s Pre-School/Nursery/Infant
Each book is assessed by reviewers who are either practising classroom teachers, children’s librarians or critics of the highest reputation from the educational and literary worlds. Our review team includes specialists from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales as well representatives from British ethnic minority communities. Within the team there is expert knowledge of the different areas and concerns to do with children’s books.
Editor’s Choice and New Talent
Since January 1997 (BfK No.102) our Editor has highlighted a particularly outstanding title in each issue, Editor’s Choice. There is also a New Talent slot where a book from a brand new writer or illustrator is singled out as part of Books for Keeps’ policy of supporting new writing and illustration.
Since January 1997 (BfK No.102) every review in Books for Keeps is star-rated to make book selection easier for those of our readership who are not in a position to read all the new titles for themselves.
***** (5 stars) – Unmissable
**** (4 stars) – Very Good
*** (3 stars) – Good
** (2 stars) – Fair
* (1 star) - Poor
If you place your mouse cursor over the little stars it will remind you of the rating.
From January 1997 (BfK No.102) at the beginning of the review section is a helpful index of books reviewed in the current issue.
Submitting a book for us to review
By all means send your book to us. We don’t guarantee to review any title or return it subsequently, but we will consider it when we next allocate books for our reviewing team.
Articles and Features – the voice of the magazine
Books for Keeps publishes articles about every aspect of children’s books – reading them, teaching them, promoting them, writing them and assessing them.
Our aim is to provide the maximum entertainment, readability and relevance.
Some issues are constructed around a theme like Poetry, Picture Books, Non-Fiction, The Literacy Hour, Folktales etc; other issues are more eclectic in content.
The way social issues important to children and young people are presented in books is a topic that is regularly addressed.
Books for Keeps commissions articles from the leading children’s books commentators, scholars and writers.
Making a contribution yourself:
Good Reads – We value children’s and young people’s opinions about the books they read. The Good Reads slot invites schools to submit children’s own reviews of books they have chosen. Many schools tell us that they mount classroom and libraries based on Good Reads. To take part, please contact the Editor. (Please note, there is often a waiting list for this highly popular slot!).
Letters to the Editor
We are always happy to publish readers’ letters in the magazine subject to the Editor’s decision. Contact us.
An occasional slot, Useful Organisations is given over to a short description of a one of the many organisations related to children’s literature and reading. If you would like us to consider yours, contact us.
Submitting an article
We welcome ideas and proposals for articles but prefer you contact us with a brief synopsis first.
In addition, every issue has a unique double page spread, an ‘Authorgraph’, devoted to one author or illustrator. Authors selected for ‘Authorgraphing’ usually have a considerable publishing track-record and reputation. Many have been interviewed at home or in their studio and also photographed by Books for Keeps. BfK Authorgraphs are thus a unique archive. You can find a complete list of Authorgraphs by going to Articles and selecting Authorgraphs from the drop-down list of article categories.
Author Biographies (website only)
At the head of each website page for any particular author or illustrator under Authors & Illustrators there is space for a short biography or profile. If you appear on our list of authors (ie. if your name has ever been included in BfK) and don’t have a short biography, please submit one to us (or get your publisher to do it for you) and include any website you have and a bibliography.