Sam Hutchinson, b small publishing How Does a Lighthouse Work? written and illustrated by Roman Belyaev is my book to watch. This beautiful, atmospheric non-fiction book is a celebration of lighthouses, their coastal history and the engineering that goes into making them work. It’s particularly exciting since we acquired the rights from a Russian publisher so it’s the first Russian translation that we are publishing.

Barry Cunningham, Managing Director, Chicken House TIN is an arrestingly original middle-grade story by Irish debut Pádraig Kenny, set in an alternative England of the 1930s. Christopher is ‘Proper’: a real boy with a real soul, orphaned in a fire. He works for an engineer, maker of the eccentric, loyal and totally individual mechanicals who are Christopher’s best friends. But after an accident, a secret is revealed and his world changes for ever. What follows is a remarkable adventure in which Christopher discovers the truth about his past – and what it really means to be human. This ambitious and incredibly exciting story already reads like a classic. You’ll love the humour, warmth and fantastic ensemble cast – a wonderful beginning for a major new voice in middle-grade.

Sue Baker, Editor, Child’s Play (International) Ltd. Continuing their tradition, Child’s Play is delighted to be publishing a number of first time author/illustrators. Nipper and the Lunchbox, a heart-warming picture book about loyalty and friendship, with illustrations that show all manner of human interaction by Lucy Dillamore. Recycling and repurposing are the only options for the king in King Leonard’s Teddy, when he realises that nobody can repair his broken teddy. Strong illustrations and a thoughtful message from Phoebe Swan remind us that change can be a good thing. Seen through the eyes of a small boy, The Last Child on St Kilda is the story of one child’s experience of living in a small community on a remote Scottish island. Illustrated with original prints, Beth Waters’s research and attention to detail makes this a book for all ages. The Things by Petronela Dostalova examines the relationship between two Things who are both under the illusion that each presents a threat to the other. Only when they get close-up, do they realise that they are both the same. A funny book about how misconceptions can diminish our lives and how easy it is to learn a thing or two.

Ginee Seo, Children’s Publishing Director, Chronicle Books Caldecott Honor winner Brendan Wenzel brings his perceptive eye to Hello Hello, an ingenious book that introduces very young readers to concepts ranging from simple to abstract and celebrates the diversity of nature through a dazzling and joyful array of animals, many of them endangered. Forever Or A Day is a gorgeous meditation on time and what it means to a parent and a child. This book made editors cry when we presented it at Bologna – always a good sign!

And we’re delighted to reward Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall’s many patient fans with a new Ivy and Bean story at long last! It may well be the funniest one yet, as Ivy and Bean set out to prove that just because Ivy is an only child, it doesn’t mean she’s spoiled.

Rachel Williams, Publisher, Lincoln Children’s Books In Spring we launch a new picture book initiative, First Editions – led by Editorial Director Katie Cotton and devoted to discovering the world’s best debut talent. With 6 new titles publishing this year, including a brave little girl from Grace Easton and lemurs and lions from Cindy Wume, these are the new voices for a new generation. We also have the only book conceived and written by The Mandela family, Grandad Mandela, to publish on what would have been his 100th birthday this July. And the long-awaited follow up from Waterstone’s prize author David Litchfield: The Bear, The Piano, The Dog and the Fiddle. 2018 is going to be our year of women, with 9 new Little People Big Dreams taking the list to a 20-titles strong, featuring best- loved icons like Jane Austen, Anne Frank, Josephine Baker and Jane Goodall. These are complimented by a new book about princesses that we can all be proud of: Power to the Princess (Sept), written by kid lit star Vita Weinstein Murrow and illustrated by Julia Bereciartu.

Julia Marshall, Publisher, Gecko Press Frida Nilsson is a perfect Gecko Press writer—internationally recognised and award-winning; her writing original, commercial, pacy and assured – and she is not yet discovered in English. The Ice Sea Pirates has made her a sensation in Sweden and Europe. It was nominated for six major awards (winning three), with rights sold around the world. Nilsson has won several big children’s book awards, including the German Youth Literature Prize and the Astrid Lindgren Prize. She was selected by the Hay Festival as one of Europe’s top writers under 39 for young people. The Ice Sea Pirates is a page turning adventure for eight pluses, set in the swirling Arctic amid mermaids, ice, wolves and of course, pirates – and Siri, a brave and characterful child who is up against them all.

Harriet Wilson, Editorial Director, HarperCollins Children’s Books I’ve chosen Rory Branagan (Detective) by Andrew Clover and Ralph Lazar. I first fell in love with the character of Rory himself. He zings off the page with the energy, optimism and emotions of a real ten-year-old. One minute he’s full of confidence and determination, and the next he is powerless and being sat on by his big brother. He is totally awed by Cassidy (and rightly so). These characters worked their way into my heart and underlying the big crime-adventures are real relationships and hilarious family dynamics (Rory and his brother are my favourite). And the illustrations are the perfect complement to the text. With deceptively simple lines, Ralph can send you on wild flights of imagination, crack you up laughing or break your heart.

Books for Keeps No.228 January 2018 5

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