This issue’s cover illustration is from A Shelter for Sadness by Anne Booth, illustrated by David Litchfield. Thanks to Templar Publishing for their help with this January 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

Slug in Love (Under 5s Pre-School/Nursery/Infant)

Rachel Bright

32pp, PICTURE BOOK, 978-1471188602

Meet Doug. Doug is a slug, who needs a hug. Heaven knows, we can all identify with that right now.

Latest Reviews

Sequin and Stitch (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Laura Dockrill
(Barrington Stoke)

104pp, 978-1781129319, RRP £6.99, Paperback

Laura Dockrill is already well known for her lively writing in prose and poetry. This is typical of her writing, and the concise prose required by Barrington Stoke suits her style. A story to delight all.

read more >

The One that Got Away (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Jan Mark
(Roffo Court Press)

368pp, ANTHOLOGY, 978-0993547324, RRP £10.00, Paperback

At least half of these domestic stories though are injected with mystery – inexplicable ghost stories.

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Empire's End: A Roman Story (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Leila Rasheed

208pp, INFORMATION STORY, 978-1407191393, RRP £6.99, Paperback

This is an addition to the Voices series which aims to bring history alive through the immediate voice of their protagonists.

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The House of One Hundred Clocks (8-10 Junior/Middle)

A. M. Howell
(Usborne Publishing Ltd)

336pp, FICTION, 978-1474959568, RRP £6.99, Paperback

In Edwardian Cambridge, Helena, her beloved pet parrot Orbit and her father, recently bereaved after the loss of Helena’s mother, begin a new life in the home of the enigmatic Mr Westcott.

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Books for Keeps Feature

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Latest News


Branford Boase Award logo

The longlist for the 2021 Branford Boase Award is announced today (Thursday 28 January 2021). Set up in memory of award-winning author Henrietta Branford and her editor Wendy Boase, one of the founders of Walker Books, the Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author and editor of an outstanding debut novel for children.

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Natasha Farrant

Writer and literary scout Natasha Farrant has won the 2020 Costa Children’s Book Award for Voyage of the Sparrowhawk.

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Black History Matters

The winner of the 2020 ALCS Educational Writers’ Award is Black History Matters: The Story of Black History, From African Kingdoms to Black Lives Matter. Written by acclaimed Black historian, Robin Walker, the 2020 judges praised this accessible, comprehensive and inspiring book which provides a timely introduction both to Black history and the Black Lives Matter movement.

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IBBY UK nominate Marcus Sedgwick and David McKee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2022

Hans Christian Andersen Award

IBBY UK has announced that Marcus Sedgwick and David McKee will be the UK nominations for the 2022 Hans Christian Andersen Award.

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