This issue’s cover illustration is from The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli. Thanks to Usborne Publishing for their help with this May cover.

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Illustrating It Starts with a Seed

Jennie Webber illustrating It Stars with a Seed

Jennie Webber describes and demonstrates her unique etching technique and her inspiration for It Starts with a Seed.

Books for Keeps is the UK’s leading, independent children’s book magazine. It was launched in 1980 and ever since has been reviewing hundreds of new children’s books each year and publishing articles on every aspect of writing for children. There are over 12,500 reviews on our new website and more than 2,000 articles including interviews with the top children’s authors and illustrators.

“The best scholars, reviewers, authors and critics write for Books for Keeps. We hold a mirror up to the children’s book world and reflects back its output, issues and preoccupations with intelligence, scholarship and wit.”

Book of the week


Embassy of the Dead (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Will Mabbitt

(Orion Children's Books)
272pp, 978-1510104556, RRP £6.99, Paperback


I’m a big fan of Will Mabbitt’s Mabel Jones series, funny, clever and frequently gruesome stories full of jokes and larger than life characters. His new series, Embassy of the Dead, is more serious but there’s still a good deal of gruesome humour (the MacGuffin is a box containing a dead man’s finger), and the best characters are the dead ones.


Latest Reviews

The Wild Folk (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Sylvia Linsteadt
(Usborne Publishing Ltd)

416pp, FICTION, 978-1474934985, RRP £6.99, Paperback


Usborne welcomes readers to Part One of a ‘duology’ with the claim that The Wild Folk has ‘a dash of Ursula Le Guin’ and ‘a generous helping from C.S. Lewis’. Tolkien might also have been cited.


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Charlie and Me: 421 Miles from Home (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Mark Lowery
(Piccadilly Press)

272pp, 978-1848126220, RRP £5.99, Paperback


In Charlie and Me, Mark Lowery has delivered a very special story. Readers will cry with laughter and sadness in equal measure, as they share in the journey of two children on a mission to rediscover whatever the magic ingredient was that made an old family holiday so special.


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Children of Blood and Bone (14+ Secondary/Adult)

Tomi Adeyemi
(Macmillan Children's Books)

544pp, FICTION, 978-1509871353, RRP £7.99, Paperback


In a letter to her reader, Tomi Adeyemi hopes we 'see a glimpse into my Nigerian heritage and the beautiful cultures and people Africa holds”. She wrote her novel “during a time where I kept turning on the news and seeing stories of unarmed black men and children being shot by the police'.


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Latest News

HIP HOP ARTIST AND DEBUT POET KARL NOVA WINS CLIPPA 2018

Karl Nova

Karl Nova has won the 2018 CLiPPA (CLPE Poetry Award) for his debut Rhythm  and Poetry (Caboodle Books).


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McCaughrean and Smith winners 2018 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals

CKG Winners Geraldine McCaughrean & Sydney Smith @ British Library © Katariina Jarvinen

The winners of the 2018 CILIP Carnegie and Greenaway Medals have been announced. Geraldine McCaughrean has won the Carnegie Medal for a second time, and the Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded to Sydney Smith.


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LOLLIES 2018 SHORTLIST THE YEAR’S FUNNIEST CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Lollies logo

Michael Rosen has announced the shortlist for the 2018 Laugh Out Loud Awards (The Lollies). This is the third year of The Lollies, created by Scholastic UK, to celebrate the funniest children’s books.


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ZANIB MIAN WINS 2018 LITTLE REBELS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD

The Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) has announced that the winner of this year’s Little Rebels Children’s Book Award for Radical Fiction is Zanib Mian for her book, The Muslims, (Sweet Apple Books).


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SHORTLIST FOR THE 2018 KLAUS FLUGGE PRIZE

KFP logo brush

The shortlist for the 2018 Klaus Flugge Prize has been revealed. Set up to honour publisher Klaus Flugge, founder of Andersen Press and a key figure in children’s picture books, this important new award, now in its third year, is for the most promising and exciting newcomer to children’s picture book illustration.


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