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2 Editorial and special 200th issue competition


3 Throughness is all Meg Rosoff interviewed by Geraldine Brennan.

4 Ten of the Very Best Daniel Hahn chooses ten of the best works of contemporary children’s literature.

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6 Windows into Illustration Tony Ross on two of his favourite illustrations.


8 500 million readers can’t be wrong Laura Fraine asks ‘How relevant is Enid Blyton?’.


10 Poetry by Appointment John Agard interviewed by Nicholas Tucker.


12 A Life in Pictures John Burningham interviewed by Clive Barnes.


14 The Best of the Best – thirty years of inspirational non-fiction Chosen by Sue Unstead.

16 All Aboard with Mo Willems Julia Eccleshare talks to the creator of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.


17 Briefing Awards and news.

18 I Wish I’d Written… Lucy Coats choses the perfect ___________________________________reimagined fairytale.

18 Good Reads Chosen by readers at Loreto High School, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester.

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19 REVIEWS Index of Titles and Star Ratings 20 Reviewers 20 Under 5s (Pre-School/Nursery/ Infant) 21 5–8 (Infant/Junior) 23 8–10 (Junior/Middle) 24 + Editor’s Choice 25 10–14 (Middle/Secondary) 26 + New Talent 27 14+ (Secondary/Adult) 29

32 Classics in Short No. 99 Two for the price of one Brian Alderson chooses two classic works of children’s literature.

This issue’s cover illustration is from The Fabulous Foskett Family Circus,

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by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake. Thanks to Quentin Blake for this special 200th cover and to Andersen Press.

Books for Keeps

May 2013 No.200 ISSN 0143-909X © Books for Keeps CIC 2013

Managing Editor: Andrea Reece Design: Richard Langford

Editorial correspondence should be sent to Books for Keeps, c/o The Big Green Bookshop, Unit 1, Brampton Park Road, Wood Green, London N22 6BG

2 Books for Keeps No.200 May 2013

Books for Keeps is available online at A regular BfK Newsletter can also be sent by email. To sign up for the Newsletter, go to and follow the Newsletter link. If any difficulty is experienced, email addresses can also be sent to*


Website: *Email addresses will be used by Books for Keeps only for the purpose of emailing the Newsletter and will not be disclosed to third parties.

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e want Books for Keeps to grow from this first edition into a book magazine that truly informs and

excites all of you who in turn want children to know and experience the pleasures of reading books.’ So said Books for Keeps founder the redoubtable Richard Hill and then editor Pat Triggs in the very first issue of the magazine, published in March 1980 (and still available to read in its entirety in our archive).

Over the following thirty-three years, Books for Keeps grew and developed, guided by Richard and two further exceptional editors Chris Powling and Rosemary Stones. Lots has changed since issue one: then the news was the launch of Scholastic’s Hippos, Magnet’s first birthday, and Beaver’s 200th book; Kaye Webb had just retired. But some things, fortunately, have endured: Quentin Blake

was the subject of our first Authorgraph, a wonderful illustration from his new book The Fabulous Foskett Family Circus adorns this cover too. John Burningham, interviewed here by Clive Barnes on the 50th anniversary of Borka the goose with no feathers, had just been nominated for the Hans Andersen Awards.

Now as we publish issue number 200 those original aims remain the same: to examine the children’s book world, its output, issues and pre-occupations with the rigour, intelligence and scholarship that has always been the BfK hallmark.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the editors, contributors and reviewers whose expertise today and over the years has made BfK such an invaluable resource for those interested in children’s books and children’s reading.

The Books for Keeps editorial team.

Enter this special Books for Keeps number 200 Competition!

To mark our 200th issue, we are offering Books for Keeps readers a chance to win 200 of the best new books of the last twelve months, a selection of picture books, young readers, teen titles, non-fiction and poetry.

For more information…

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