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

Skylarks (14+ Secondary/Adult)

Karen Gregory

(Bloomsbury YA)
336pp, 978-1408883617, RRP £7.99, Paperback

After years in which the genre has been dominated by dystopian and fantasy adventures, contemporary stories are sweeping YA, featuring protagonists that readers will immediately recognise, and exploring important themes and issues with sensitivity as well as passion. Skylarks is such a book.

Latest Reviews

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'.

read more >

The Waggiest Tails (5-8 Infant/Junior)

Brian Moses and Roger Stevens
(Otter-Barry Books Ltd)

96pp, POETRY, 978-1910959893, RRP £6.99, Paperback

This selection of poems about dogs, all ‘written by dogs with help’ of the two poets, giving a dog’s view of life is fun to read, but also perceptive and sometimes moving.

read more >

The Unpredictability of Being Human (14+ Secondary/Adult)

Linni Ingemundsen
(Usborne Publishing Ltd)

288pp, 978-1474940634, RRP £7.99, Paperback

The first chapter (“You, Me and God Himself”) is just six pages long, but by its end we know 14 year-old Malin has her problems.

read more >

Books for Keeps Feature

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Latest News


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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BBA logo

The shortlist for the 2018 Branford Boase Award has been announced. The Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. Uniquely, it also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.

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Islamophobia, young people’s activism, the Syrian conflict, challenges to gendered occupations, the English class system and workers’ pay and conditions are just some of the subjects highlighted by the 8-strong shortlist for this year’s Little Rebels Award for Radical Children’s Fiction.

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Overheard in a Tower Block

The shortlist for the 2018 CLiPPA (CLPE Award for Children's Poetry) has been announced.  Six books are in contention, the best in a year of renewed poetry publishing for children.

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