Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Children's market up 3.5% in first three months of 2017

For the first 11 weeks of 2017, the Children’s market is up 3.5% in value, to £67.3m, compared to the same period a year ago. The growth is being driven by Children’s & YA Fiction, which has rocketed 4.95% in value for the year to date, following continuing strong sales for David Walliams’s Christmas number one The Midnight Gang and a World Book Day tranche that posted a 48% bump in volume year on year for their combined first week of sales.
A few years ago, the Children’s market was the only print category in growth. Now that print across the board is firmly back in the black, kids’ books have soared to even greater heights. The past three years have seen Children’s hit a record high in annual value terms three times in a row—in each of those years its growth has outstripped that of the overall market too—and it has decisively overtaken Adult Fiction as the market’s second-biggest category. Last year, more than one in three print titles purchased was a Children’s book, with 24p in every £1 spent on a print book going on a kids’ title.
In 2016, the market did have a little bit of help from one of its fantastic beasts: J K Rowling earned £29m, with roughly £28m of that coming from her Children’s stable. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child shifted a whopping 1.4 million copies, bringing in £15.9m, a hefty 10% of Children’s & YA Fiction’s total value for the year—which was its highest ever. The original Potter seven also enjoyed a jump, selling a combined 803,607 copies for £4.9m in 2016. Not bad for a series that’s a decade old. And let’s not forget Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which earned a further £3.25m in what surely must have been the best year for playscripts ever.
But Rowling wasn’t the only Children’s superstar: in the past three years, David Walliams has really come into his own. Surpassing US behemoth Jeff Kinney in sales on these shores in 2014, Walliams topped £10m earned in 2015—then blew it out of the water in 2016, bringing in £13.8m, a 26% jump year on year. Not only did his extra short-story collection, The World’s Worst Children, boost his total, but November release The Midnight Gang was his fastest-selling title to date, topping the Official UK Top 50 for seven straight weeks and clinching the Christmas Number One. All in all, Walliams’ blockbuster backlist has helped the Children’s & YA Fiction category increase 41% in value terms since 2013.
The Pre-school & Picture Books (PPB) category had a quieter 2016, after a rollicking 2015 in which Judith Kerr’s Mog’s Christmas Calamity was the first picture book to top the UK’s overall weekly chart, and the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” bumped up the Novelty & Activity Book sub-category. But though PPB in 2016 was £3.1m down on an exceptional 2015, it was still some 9.5% up on 2014’s total. Sub-category star Julia Donaldson’s empire grew by 4% year on year, making her one of the two biggest-earning authors for a sixth straight year.
Children’s Non-Fiction is having a harder time. In 2014, the popularity of Egmont’s Minecraft series boosted it to hitherto-unforeseen heights of £44.5m, a jump of £11.7m (+35%) on the year before. Though the sub-category has continued to hover above the £40m mark, it has struggled to replicate Minecraft mania—though Pokémon Go-related titles helped the category climb 3% in 2016.
School Textbooks & Study Guides continues to defy the print naysayers. Contravening the much-predicted digital migration, the sub-category has had its best three-year run on record: its 2016 total (£46.5m) was another record high.


The Barnes Children’s Literature Festival – May 2017

London’s largest dedicated children’s literature festival will be returning to south west London for the third year, on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th May. The programme includes sixty events for children of all ages, including author talks, workshops, story time and craft sessions, music, film and much more.
There is an exciting mix of bestselling authors and illustrators, up and coming new writers, and household names. Highlights include the former Children's Laureates Michael Rosen and Anthony Browne, star author-artist Nick Sharratt and Horrid Henry creator Francesca Simon. They'll be joined by a few famous faces including comedians David Baddiel and Adrian Edmondson, popular television presenters Clare Balding and Lucy Worsley, and radio personality Christian O’Connell. Other authors and illustrators on the programme include Ed Vere, MG Leonard, Michelle Robinson, Lisa Stickley, Sophy Henn and Book Trust Illustrator in Residence, Sarah MacIntyre.
Special events this year include illustrator, Axel Scheffler appearing alongside Barnes Resident and Mog creator, Judith Kerr in an event called When Zog met Mog – not to be missed! Another exclusive is an interview with Little Princess creator and top illustrator, Tony Ross. You can also experience the interactive Harry Potter show, a new production of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes set to live music, and an exclusive screening of the short animation based on Jon Klassen’s award-winning I Want My Hat Back.
Tickets are on sale now at: http://www.barneskidslitfest.org/ where the full programme can be found.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Inclusive Minds: Is everybody in?

Inclusive Minds launch crowdfunding campaign to develop groundbreaking resource for book world

This World Book Day, Inclusive Minds urges everyone to help support real change and ensure authentic inclusion in children’s books.
An innovative crowdfunding project will give a voice to children and young people – the people who know most about what they want to see represented in books and how. It will enable them to share valuable experience with those who would like help ensuring authenticity.

The unique resource
Where real inclusion in books is concerned, thorough research is vital. Inclusive Minds will develop an extensive network of Ambassadors for Inclusion. These are young people of all ages with real experience of marginalisation who can share their unique expertise (covering all facets of diversity) with the book world.

Authors, illustrators and publishers will be able to contact Inclusive Minds with ideas, questions or manuscripts that they wish to discuss with relevant young people. These opportunities will be shared with the network and connections established. Ambassadors may also be available to speak at events and in response to news stories.

Opportunity for young people This groundbreaking project will offer many benefits to those who join the network of ambassadors. It will empower young people, giving them a powerful role and a real voice in changing the face of children's books. The opportunity will also represent valuable work experience that may lead to references and further work.

A successful pilot has proven the value of such a resource.

Robin Stevens, one of the authors who has already successfully used the pilot project, welcomed the news:

'It's important to research every aspect of your book, but sometimes research is no substitute for experience. I am so grateful to Inclusive Minds for putting me in touch with young readers from a British Hindu background, who helped me ensure that the portrayal of my detective George was not only accurate, but rang true.'

The goal

£4,000 will fund Inclusive Minds in expanding the pilot project by recruiting young people (up to the age of 30) from an extremely diverse range of backgrounds and cover the administration and promotion of the network for two years. The funding will enable the basic network service to be free of charge, but should relationships develop or lead to more official consultation or sensitivity reading, the network user and ambassador would be expected to introduce and agree fees.

How and why to be a part of the project
Inclusive Minds urge everyone who believes in the need for inclusion and equality in books to support the campaign on Indiegogo. Contributors have access to an exciting menu of ‘perks’ in return for their donations big and small. Perks range from high fives and thank you messages to character names and original book artwork. Absolutely anyone can contribute, giving whatever they can. Even £5 will help towards realisation of the project. Anyone who might be willing to donate a perk, is also encouraged to contact Inclusive Minds.

By all of us coming together in this way, Inclusive Minds is confident we will create a unique resource that can truly help change the face of children’s books.

To help Inclusive Minds realise the project (or just to find out more), visit https://igg.me/at/youngambassadors.

Inclusive Minds is the collective for all those interested in children’s books and diversity. www.inclusiveminds.com

Inclusive Minds supports the children’s book world, working closely with writers, illustrators, publishers and families to ensure children’s books reflect the diverse society in which we live. Inclusive Minds believes books need to be aware of diversity in all its forms, including issues relating to culture, gender, disability, age, sexual identity, family structure and socio-economic background.
Crowdfunding is the practice of realising a project by raising contributions from a large number of people in return for perks. Inclusive Minds invites people, through donations large or small, to join them in achieving something very special.

Indiegogo is an international crowdfunding website founded in 2008, a Launchpad for entrepreneurial ideas. The Indiegogo mission is to empower people to unite around ideas

UKLA Book Awards shortlist

·         For the first time illustrated books in all three age categories
·         Past winner Philip Reeve shortlisted in two categories with Brian Selznick, Gill Lewis and Benji Davies each with potential second award
·         Debut authors challenge medal winning heavyweights in each category
@The_UKLA  #UKLA17   #teachersbookawards

For the first time ever the awards that come with the teachers’ guarantee that these are the books which get their classes reading, have an author shortlisted simultaneously  in two age categories. Philip Reeve’s creative partnership with Sarah McIntyre will be looking to repeat their2015 triumph in the 7-11 category. But they face stiff competition from another previous winner Gill Lewis who won with her debut novel, Sky Hawk in 2012. Debut authors Ross Welford and S.E.Durrant will see that as a very good omen. Completing the 7-11 list is the 2014 shortlisted author Katherine Rundell and the Kate Greenaway longlisted title The Journey by Francesca Sanna: a powerful picturebook which teacher judges described as “taking children to new experiences outside their own”.

Philip Reeve’s science fiction Railhead secured his second shortlisting in the 12-16 category but once again he is up against stiff competition with the previously Highly Commended Brian Selznick. They both face competition from a cosmopolitan list which features Selznick’s American compatriot Gary.D.Schmidt, Canadian Susin Nielsen and Alaskan Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s Carnegie longlisted debut title. Joining Philip in representing home grown talent is previously shortlisted award winner Jenny Valentine .

The 3-6 category sees Benji Davies repeating his 2016 shortlisting and hoping to improve upon his Highly Commended award. He will be up against Greenaway winner Emily Gravett, the inaugural Amnesty CILIP Honour winner, Ross Collins, Roald Dahl Funny Prize winning Jim Field in a new partnership with Rachel Bright and impressive debuts from Lucy Ruth Cummings and David Litchfield.

All three age categories once again show the fresh perspective that class teachers can bring to the judging process in their search for books which can “enhance all aspects of literacy learning”,  as required by the criteria. This makes them particularly useful as co-sponsor Peter Crawshaw, Director and Co-founder of Lovereading4kids said:
“Lovereading4schools and its sister site Lovereading4kids are delighted to support the UKLA Book Awards. The fact that the teacher judges reflect on their students’ responses to the books gives the award huge credibility and trust that schools use to know the books will be loved by their own pupils. The awards are equally valuable for parents. We can't wait to see the eventual winners as the shortlisted books are all simply excellent”

The enthusiastic judging discussions revealed how much teachers welcomed the opportunity to widen their knowledge of recent children’s titles and enjoyed talking together in order to decide which books would best match the criteria for the award:
There have been so many great spin-offs from that initial decision to get involved: seeing teachers who had never been big readers catching the reading bug, avid readers who found a whole new treasure trove of books to keep them up reading till the small hours, colleagues queuing up to borrow the books and so many children inspired to share this reading journey with them. Jess Anderson, Group leader

For UKLA, giving classroom practitioners the opportunity to read a number of new quality children’s books is as important as finding an overall winner. Research carried out by members of UKLA (Cremin et al 2008) clearly demonstrated the links between teachers’ knowledge of children’s books and the likelihood of pupils becoming successful readers. Despite this evidence, teachers are seldom given time to read new books or funding to purchase them when they do. As Awards Chair Lynda Graham said:
Teacher judges in education authorities across Scotland clearly delighted in opportunities to discuss the best of newly- published, quality books with teacher colleagues and to share these books with children and young people in their classrooms. 

12 teachers nominated from the 55 involved in the shortlisting, who came from Aberdeen CityNorth Ayrshire, Dundee, Edinburgh, East Lothian, Falkirk and Renfrewshire, will now form the final judging panel and have the challenging task of reading all the shortlisted books in all three age categories, which will mean nursery teachers reading fiction for teenagers and secondary teachers reading picturebooks!
The winners will be announced on June 30th at the UKLA International Conference, University of Strathclyde

For further information and to request an interview with the shortlisted authors and illustrators, or for images, please contact fao Lynda Graham awards@ukla.org
The Shortlists in full
The Lion Inside written by Rachel Bright and illustrated by Jim Field (Orchard Books)
There's a Bear on MY Chair written and illustrated by Ross Collins            (Nosy Crow)
A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Simon & Schuster)
Grandad's Island written and illustrated by Benji Davies(Simon & Schuster)
Tidy written and illustrated by Emily Gravett (Two Hoots)
The Bear and the Piano written and illustrated by David Litchfield (Frances Lincoln)

Little Bits of Sky written by S.E Durrant and illustrated by Katie Harnett (Nosy Crow)
Gorilla Dawn written by Gill Lewis(Oxford University Press)
Pugs of the Frozen North written and illustrated by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre (Oxford University Press)
The Wolf Wilder written by Katherine Rundell and illustrated by Gelrev Ongbico (Bloomsbury)
The Journey written and illustrated by Francesca Sanna (Flying Eye Books)
Time Travelling with a Hamster written by Ross Welford (HarperCollins)

The Smell of Other People's Houses  written by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (Faber &Faber)
The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen written by Susin Nielsen (Andersen Press)
Orbiting Jupiter written by Gary. D. Schmidt (Andersen Press)
Railhead written by Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press)
The Marvels written and illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)
Fire Colour One written by Jenny Valentine (HarperCollins)

About UKLA
UKLA is a registered charity, which has as its sole object the advancement of education in literacy. UKLA is committed to promoting good practice nationally and internationally in literacy and language teaching and research. The Association was founded in 1963 as the United Kingdom Reading Association. In 2003 it changed its name to the United Kingdom Literacy Association, to reflect more accurately its wider range of focus and interest.
UKLA especially supports the development of approaches to literacy learning and teaching which underpin these understandings. The Association recognises the significance for effective language and communication learning of literature, drama, the visual media, non-fiction texts and information technology, as well as welcoming approaches to teaching which draw on the resources of a wide range of cultures and which are informed by a detailed understanding of how literacy and language work.
About MLS
Sponsors Micro Librarian Systems have over 25 years experience developing high specification library systems for schools and colleges and provide library automation solutions to over 15,000 schools worldwide. They provide cost effective and user friendly library systems which will revolutionise the way the library works, support the curriculum and encourage reading for pleasure and purpose.
They are committed to providing engaging technologies to foster a reading and information culture that promotes independent motivated readers and learners for life. For more information see www.microlib.org.uk

About Lovereading4schools and Kids
Countless research shows the importance of good reading skills from an early age and a child’s future success in life. However, finding books to inspire children or authors that excite them, can be difficult; the choice is daunting and guidance rather thin on the ground. That’s where Lovereading4kids and its sister site Lovereading4schools can help.

Lovereading4kids is the leading book recommendation site for Children’s Books from toddlers to teens. It has been created using the experience the founders have as parents, book lovers and years of working in the book industry, to inspire children to read great books.

Unique features and services help parents and anyone who likes to buy books for children choose the best books for boys and girls of all ages … and best of all it is free to use.

•       Download and print off the Opening Extract of over 10,000 children’s books.
•       Read our exclusive online book reviews by children’s book experts including Julia Eccleshare (author and children’s books editor at the Guardian).
•       Explore reviews by members of our children’s reader review panel.
•       Discover new books recommended by humans not computer algorithms.

Lovereading4schools was created to help teachers and parents encourage children to love reading a variety of books throughout the school year. The website offers schools an easy, impartial and free way to create and share reading lists with their parents and pupils, offering age appropriate books as well as themed collections of titles.

Specially curated lists are arranged by school year, ranging from Reception to Year 9 and onwards through teenage years. There are also specialist categories for Reluctant and Dyslexic Readers that can make a real difference to those who struggle with their reading.

Lovereading4schools is endorsed by Jacqueline Wilson and all titles are selected by Julia Eccleshare MBE, the children’s book editor for The Guardian. 

Visit the websites Lovereading.co.uk and Lovereading4schools.co.uk

Past Winners

3-6: Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex.T. Smith, ( Scholastic)
Highly Commended: On Sudden Hill by Linda Sarah and Benji Davies(illustrator), (Simon & Schuster)
7-11: The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold and Emily Gravett (illustrator), ( Bloomsbury)
Highly Commended: The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel, (David Fickling)
12-16+ : The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge( Macmillan)
3-6: The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt , Oliver Jeffers (illustrator)( HarperCollins
7-11: Oliver and the Seawigs, Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, (Oxford University Press)
Highly Commended 7-11 Award: Us Minus Mum, Heather Butler, (Little,Brown)
12-16: Every Day by David Levithan, published by Egmont
3-6:  This is not my Hat, Jon Klassen (Walker Books)
Highly Commended 3-6 Award: Open Very Carefully, Nick Bromley, Nicola O’Byrne (Illustrator), (Nosy Crow)
7 to 11: The Story of the Blue Planet, Andri Snær Magnason, Julian Meldon D'Arcy, (translator), Áslaug Jónsdóttir (Illustrator), (Pushkin Press)
12- 16:  Now is the Time for Running, Michael Williams, (Tamarind Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)
3 - 6 : Good Little Wolf, Nadia Shireen Rayner (Jonathan Cape)
7 - 11: The Weight of Water, Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury)
12- 16:  Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein (Electric Monkey)
3 - 6: Iris and Isaac, Catherine Rayner (Little Tiger Press)
7 - 11: Sky Hawk, Gill Lewis (Oxford University Press)
12 - 16: A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness, illustrated by Jim Kay (Walker)
3-11:  Ellie Sandall Birdsong (Egmont)
12-16: Jason Wallace Out of Shadows (Andersen Press)
3-11: Morris Gleitzman Then (Puffin)
12-16: Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell (illustrator) The Graveyard Book (Bloomsbury)
Special commendation: Shaun Tan Tales from Outer Suburbia (Templar)
3-11: Marcia Williams Archie’s War (Walker)
Highly commended 3-11: Brian Selznick The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Scholastic)
12-16: Siobhan Dowd: Bog Child (David Fickling - Random House Children’s Books)
Picture book category: Polly Dunbar Penguin (Walker )

Scottish Book Trust Announces 2017/18 Bookbug Bag Books

Scottish Book Trust is pleased to announce the books chosen for the 2017/18 Bookbug Bags 
that are distributed free to every baby, toddler and 3-year-old in Scotland. 
Every year Bookbug gifts over one million books to families across Scotland helping children to develop a love of books and promoting the health and developmental benefits of sharing stories, songs and rhymes. The new bags will include books by some of the UK’s favourite authors and illustrators including Julia Donaldson (author of The Gruffalo andStick Man), Rod Campbell (author of Dear Zoo!) and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen.

Bookbug also gifts Gaelic language editions of the selected titles and tactile books to support children with additional needs.

The Bookbug programme is managed by Scottish Book Trust but run in partnership with libraries, local authorities, health professionals and nurseries. The programme is funded by the Scottish Government.
The books to be distributed free to every baby, toddler and 3-year-old in Scotland in the coming year, are as follows:
Bookbug Baby Bag
  • It's a Little Baby by Julia Donaldson & Rebecca Cobb (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • Usborne’s Very First Nursery Rhymes by Rosalinde Bonnet (Usborne)
  • This Little Baby by Sandra Lousada (Campbell Books)
Bookbug Toddler Bag
  • Good Night Like This by Mary Murphy (Walker Books)
  • Early Starters: Who’s that? by Rod Campbell (Campbell Books)
  • Dinosaur Roar! by Paul Stickland & Henrietta Stickland (Macmillan Children’s Books)
Bookbug Explorer Bag
  • The Something by Rebecca Cobb (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • The Bus is for Us! by Michael Rosen & Gillian Tyler (Walker Books)
  • The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water by Gemma Merino (Macmillan Children’s Books)

Catriona Wallace, Head of Early Years at Scottish Book Trust said:
“We are very excited to announce the new titles for this year’s Bookbug Bags. Our expert panel has carefully selected books by fantastic authors and illustrators and we hope that mums, dads and carers will enjoy sharing these stories with their children. Bookbug bags are a fun way to introduce your babies and toddlers to stories, songs and rhymes, and boost their language and listening skills.”
Author Michael Rosen who is included in the Bookbug Explorer Bagsaid:

“I'm delighted that 'The Bus is for Us' has been selected for the Bookbug Explorer Bag.
We need every kind of incentive to get children and families excited by books.
Bookbug is a great project and I'm glad to be part of it.”

For press queries or photo requests, please contact Miriam Morris, Press Officer:miriam.morris@scottishbooktrust.com – 07763520003

Longlist announced for the 2017 Klaus Flugge Prize

Fifteen debut picture books in the running for 
important new illustration prize, now in its second year
@KlausFluggePr  #KFP17

The longlist for the 2017 Klaus Flugge Prize is announced today (Wednesday 8 March 2017). Established in 2016, the Klaus Flugge Prize is awarded to the most promising and exciting newcomer to children’s book illustration. It honours publisher Klaus Flugge, founder of children’s publisher Andersen Press and a supremely influential figure in picture books.
Fifteen books by debut picture book illustrators have made the longlist. Walker Books and Nosy Crow have two each, while tiny independent Graffeg and new imprint Two Hoots are also represented.  In total 13 publishers are represented, and illustrators from the UK and overseas.
The judges for the 2017 prize are Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo;Nicolette Jones, children’s books editor of the Sunday TimesTamara Macfarlane, owner of Tales on Moon Lane children’s bookshop; and last year’s winner Nicholas John Frith. The panel will be chaired by Julia Eccleshare, director of the children’s programme of the Hay Festival.
Chair of the judges Julia Eccleshare said: “It is exciting to be announcing the second set of books in contention for the Klaus Flugge Prize; exciting too that the list is so varied, and that the illustrators use so many different techniques, styles and materials to tell their very different stories. Our longlist features examples of cutting-edge digital art and collage, as well as illustrators working in charcoal, watercolour and pencil. The eye-catching minimalism of books such as Little Red or The Museum of Me sits happily alongside the busy, detailed cartoon-strips of Life is Magic and each illustrator shows phenomenal understanding of the art of storytelling. We are delighted to put these 15 talented artists in the spotlight.”
The Klaus Flugge Prize longlist in full:
The Lonely Giant, Sophie Ambrose, edited by Lizzie Sitton (Walker)
Hannah and Sugar, Kate Berube, edited by Tamar Brazis (Abrams)

Baxter’s Book, Hrefna Bragadottir, edited by Louise Bolongaro (Nosy Crow)
World of Information, James Brown, written by Richard Platt, edited by Denise Johnston-Burt (Walker)
Animal Surprises, Abbie Cameron, written and edited by Nicola Davies (Graffeg)
Bob the Artist, Marion Deuchars, edited by Elizabeth Jenner (Laurence King Publishing)
The Museum of Me, Emma Lewis, edited by Alice Chasey, (Tate)
Life is Magic, Meg McLaren, edited Libby Hamilton (Andersen Press)
First Snow, Bomi Park, edited by Victoria Rock (Chronicle Book)
Little Mouse’s Big Breakfast, Christine Pym, edited by Louise Bolongaro (Nosy Crow)
Duck Gets a Job, Sonny Ross edited by Alison Ritchie (King’s Road Publishing)
The Journey, Francesca Sanna, edited by Harriet Birkenshaw, (Flying Eye)
Little One, Jo Weaver, edited by Emma Layfield (Hodder Children’s Books)
Hiding Heidi, Fiona Woodcock, edited by Lara Hancock, (Simon and Schuster)
Little Red, Bethan Woollvin, edited by Suzanne Carnell (Two Hoots)
The shortlist will be announced on 17 May 2017 and the winner will be revealed in September 2017.
For more information, interview requests and images contact Andrea Reeceandrea.reece@zen.co.uk
020 8889 1292/ 07807893369

Friday, March 03, 2017

Hull, which is UK City of Culture 2017, has today (Tuesday 28 February) been confirmed as the location for the announcement of the new Waterstones Children’s Laureate. The recipient of the honour will take over from the current Laureate, Chris Riddell, at an afternoon ceremony in Hull City Hall on Wednesday 7th June 2017. The role of Children’s Laureate is awarded once every two years to an eminent author or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field and to acknowledge their importance in creating the readers of tomorrow. Previous laureates include Quentin Blake, Jacqueline Wilson and Malorie Blackman.
Rosie Millard, Chair of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 said: "Hull has a great literary heritage, which we are celebrating across the year and it is wonderful that it will host the announcement of the new Waterstones Children's Laureate during its year as UK City of Culture. Reading and literacy are a key part of our No Limits Learning programme and this is an opportunity to inspire a new generation of readers. It is also going to help build the anticipation of young people ahead of the city's first ever children's literature festival The Big Malarkey in July."
At the ceremony, Chris Riddell will present the new Laureate with a specially commissioned solid silver Waterstones Children’s Laureate medal and a £15,000 bursary cheque.
Abigail Campbell, Chair of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate Steering Group, said: “The work of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate during their two year tenure is not only an inspiration to children and families, but also of huge influence on the publishing industry and policy-makers at the highest level. The panel can’t wait to announce the new champion of children’s books.”
Waterstones Managing Director, James Daunt, said: “Chris Riddell has been an inspirational Waterstones Children's Laureate, adding to an extraordinary lineage in the post. They perform wonders to encourage reading and to bring issues of literacy to public attention. We could not be more proud to be associated with their work and to be supporting the new Laureate over the next two years.”
BookTrust CEO, Diana Gerald said: “BookTrust are incredibly honoured to manage the Children’s Laureate programme, it is a vital element in championing, and embedding, the importance of children reading for pleasure. We are delighted the announcement will be held in Hull and look forward to finding out who will take over from Chris Riddell, promoting the power of reading to children across the country.”
The post of Children’s Laureate was established in 1999. Previous Laureates are: Quentin Blake 1999 – 2001, Anne Fine 2001 – 2003, Michael Morpurgo 2003 – 2005, Jacqueline Wilson 2005 – 2007, Michael Rosen 2007 – 2009, Anthony Browne 2009 – 2011, Julia Donaldson 2011 – 2013, Malorie Blackman 2013 – 2015, the current Laureate is Chris Riddell 2015 – 2017.
Waterstones is the lead sponsor of the Children’s Laureate post, with other sponsorship and funding coming from children’s publishers and Arts Council England. Children’s reading charity BookTrust continues to manage the award.
The Twitter hashtag for the Children’s Laureate is #ChildrensLaureate
For further information please contact Thi Dinh at Riot Communications on thi@riotcommunications.com / 020 3174 0118 or 07391 677103


Children’s authors have backed the Primula Cheese and NSPCC campaign to help kids stay safe from abuse and dream big things for their future

Authors including Philip Ardagh and Cathy Cassidy have added their voices to the campaign, sharing their childhood aspirations and illustrating the importance of young people growing up in a safe and secure environment where their minds can run free.

In the next few weeks Primula Cheese will start donating 20% of the profits from their limited edition branded tubes directly to the NSPCC, which will help the charity in its work to protect young people from abuse and neglect and to help victims recover.

Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC, said, “Every child is born with hopes for the future but if their head is full of fear, anxiety or loneliness these thoughts can get shunted to the one side.

“Childhood should be a time when we’re free to dream big. Abuse can destroy that, which is why we are so thankful for the support of Primula Cheese in helping us towards our goal of keeping five million more children safe by 2021.

“Having young people’s authors also back the campaign and share their childhood aspirations reinforces the importance of our work in safeguarding as many childhoods as possible.”

Becoming a writer now ranks significantly higher than ten years ago in a list of dream jobs for children in the UK; alongside pop star, doctor and police officer, according to a survey by the NSPCC
Reading and writing for pleasure can change lives and shape dreams while allowing children to explore their imagination and understanding of the world, a luxury that children who suffer abuse are not able to enjoy.

Below are a few of the author’s recollections of how they used to think when they were young:

1.            “I was really saddened to hear that 1 in 20 children suffer from abuse in the UK. No child should have to suffer the fear or anxiety this brings. I was a big dreamer as child - and I am still a firm believer in the power of dreams! My biggest dream has always been to be 'a writer and an artist'. I got halfway there, which is pretty cool!” Cathy Cassidy (Shine on Daizy Star, Cherry Crush)
3.            “Well, when I was a small boy I wanted to be a cat burglar; it seemed exciting and glamorous. Then I realized it's not a real job. After that I had no idea what I wanted to be, no one ever made any suggestions at all. I wish they had. I was so lucky that I had the freedom to imagine what I would be when I grew up!” Marcus Sedgwick (Midwinterblood, My Swordhand is Singing, Revolver)

4.            “I didn’t really have many dreams when I was a child. I started having ambitions when I started reading for pleasure - that made me want to go to the countries I’d read about or do the things characters had done in the books I loved. Having the time to read and dream as a young adult is so important.” Tom Palmer (Football Academy)

5.            “When I was young I dreamed of becoming a rock star, but ended up an international children’s author! Seven times down, eight times up - this is the lesson my hero Jack learns in Young Samurai and it is the same lesson that took me from a child writing in my back garden to an adult writing for millions of children. And it is my lesson to you: never give up on your dreams!” Chris Bradford (Young Samurai, Bodyguard)

6.            "When I was young, I dreamed of being an author. I didn't know you could earn a living writing books. But, now I've grown up, that's exactly what I do. My dream came true! " Philip Ardagh (The Grunts, The Eddie Dickens Trilogy)

7.            “I dreamed of being a writer when I was an ordinary Tyneside boy. I imagined books with my name on them standing on our local library shelves. I wrote because I enjoyed it. And I kept on writing and reading as I grew up. Whatever you want to be, you must first of all be yourself. It is so important for young people to be afforded the freedom to work hard, play hard and dream big.” David Almond (Skellig, My Name is Mina)

8.            When I was a kid, I wanted to be a spy or a detective. I found that as I read a wider range of books, my ambitions changed. I dreamed about becoming a deep sea diver, astronaut, vet, writer, and--still--a detective! Andrea Beaty (Iggy Peck, Architect & Ava Twist, Scientist)

Paul Lewney, managing director of Kavli UK which produces Primula Cheese, said: “Charity is very much at the heart of Primula’s work and we are delighted to be working with the NSPCC in 2017. Philanthropy is in our company DNA and really is our reason for being, we are owned by the Kavli Trust, which means we continually donate to charities throughout the year. 

We really believe that all children in the UK should have the right to a safe and happy childhood, but sadly for some this is not the case. The NSPCC carries out fantastic work which allows children to be children and that really is at the heart of this campaign”

Primula Cheese is owned by the Kavli Trust, meaning its profits already go to charities and good causes. This 20% of profits donated to the NSPCC will be in addition to the money already given to charities through the Kavli Trust.

The limited edition NSPCC Primula Tubes will start appearing on shelves in Asda, Morrison’s, Tesco and Sainsbury’s stores, and selected smaller independent stores from Monday 27 February 2017.

For more details please visit www.primula.co.uk/NSPCC