Uclan Publishing For someone with an overactive imagination I knew The Weather Weaver (March) by debut author Tamsin Mori was something special as soon as it landed in my inbox. Full of magic, myths and legends, Tamsin has woven a fantastical story that is so rooted in reality the reader will find it completely plausible that they too might have the power to conjure up their own cloud. Yes, this is a book about magic, but it’s also about grief and a girl who yearns to feel at home, finding her independence and own inner strength. I completely love this story, and I’m sure you will too. Hazel Holmes, Publisher

Usborne Sunbird Books

Using creativity to conquer boredom makes for a timeless children’s tale, but it has never been as timely as right now. In Stuck Inside, gorgeously written and illustrated by Sally Anne Garland (May), Tilly is stuck inside until a storm passes, and her pup Toby is stuck inside until his paw heals. There is absolutely nothing fun to do… until a hopeful Toby brings something to Tilly, and Tilly gets an idea! This sweet, encouraging story of seeing old things in a new light will spark the imagination of any child who feels cooped up by the pandemic, or anything else. Susie Brooke, Editorial Director


I am over this moon that Templar are publishing A Shelter for Sadness (January). This lyrical picture book has a moving text from Anne Booth and is given wonderous colour and feeling by the illustrations of David Litchfield. The shelter in the book is the comfortable, safe place a child builds to house his sadness. Therein lies this story’s vital message – that sadness is okay and that if you make space for it and accept it, the sun will shine more brightly in other parts of your life. I think it is an important, timely story. Katie Haworth, Publishing Head

Tiny Owl

In uncertain times, we all need hope. To be published in March, exactly one year after England’s national lockdown, Unlocked! Stories of Hope from Tiny Owl Artists in Lockdown is a gorgeous collection of words and pictures which capture a moment in history. Inside you will find contributions from 15 fantastic Tiny Owl artists hailing from all around the world. Reflecting on their experiences during lockdown and how they coped, each illustrator showcases their distinctive styles. Themes of resilience, creativity, and positivity weave their way into every spread, for children and adults to treasure in months and years to come. Delaram Ghanimifard, Co-Founder and Publisher


In June we will publish When Poems Fall from the Sky a stunning new collaboration by Zaro Weil and Junli Song, the writer and illustrator of CLiPPA-winning Cherry Moon. Published in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the poems, story-poems, raps, rhymes, haiku and little plays inside this fantastical anthology about nature are a riot of imagination, humour and joy. In exquisitely illustrated full colour pages trees, birds, animals, rivers, flowers, mountains and insects each share their own magical stories. And the stories they tell, the ‘poems’ that fall from the sky, subtly and powerfully illuminate our hope and collective role as guardians of our earth. Martin West, Publisher

Two Hoots (Macmillan) I’ve chosen A Song of Gladness by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Emily Gravett. The alchemy of two people creating a picture book is a magical thing, and especially when it involves such towering talents as Michael Morpurgo and Emily Gravett. Inspired by a blackbird in Michael’s garden, A Song of Gladness is a story of hope and inspiration for us all, encouraging us to come together with nature, and with each other, to save our planet. This joyful masterpiece – Michael’s lyrical, moving text and Emily’s extraordinarily beautiful illustrations – could not be more timely, and is one of my proudest publishing moments. Suzanne Carnell, Publisher

A sense of wonder, whimsy and fascinating science is what makes The Book of the Brain (March) one of the titles I’m proudest to have worked on this year. Created in collaboration with a practising neuroscientist who is also an accomplished artist, the result is an enchanting blend of picture-book, almost comic book, storytelling with non-fiction content. Brain science is one of the great new frontiers in science today. It’s been an exciting challenge to create accurate visual analogies of the workings of the brain, enabling us to bring the joy and magic of the subject to very young children. Jane Chisholm, Editorial Director

Walker Books

Jonathan Stroud, bestselling author of Lockwood & Co and the Bartimaeus trilogy, was once an editor at Walker Books, so it is particularly exciting to see him storm onto the Walker list with Outlaws Scarlett and Browne, the first in a brilliant new teen fantasy series. In this ‘rip-roaring, bullets-flying, hooves-stomping gallop through dystopian Britain’ (Eoin Colfer), England has been struck by a series of catastrophes, destroying cities and forcing the population into fortified towns while strange beasts prowl the wilderness. Anyone who falls foul of the strict new rules faces being killed or driven out into the wilds. Only a few fight back – among them Scarlett McCain and Albert Browne whose sheer audacity and charisma promises to make them the new anti-hero legends in teen fiction. Jane Winterbotham, Publisher

Walker Studio

Award-winning documentary artist George Butler has travelled the world capturing the stories of migration – whether it be leaving home to seek a better life, to escape war or to flee disaster. In Drawn Across Borders his powerful portraits bring to life individual human stories of the people behind the headlines, in their struggle to seek a better life. His powerful visual storytelling will reach out to young readers as a reminder of the humanity we share, and the universal right to safety. This stunning book brings a striking new approach to one of the most pressing issues of our time. Jane Winterbotham, Publisher

Wren & Rook

The nation’s favourite paediatrician, Dr Ranj, has been a vital source of trustworthy information for parents during the pandemic, so we couldn’t be prouder to be publishing his puberty guide for boys, How to Grow Up and Feel Amazing!: The No-Worries Guide for Boys (February). Filled with easy-to-understand explanations and down-to-earth advice, this growing-up handbook is fit for the 21st century: it covers mental health, social media, friendships and relationships in addition to the all-important physical changes. Liza Wilde, Managing Editor


I’m absolutely delighted to be bringing Anna Bowles’ wonderful book Rapids to market this year. With some really important themes, we chose a publication date during Mental Health Awareness Week in May to help highlight this as the newest title in our Fiction as Therapy stable. Author Anna lives with bipolar herself, and so her voice is really authentic, and her protagonist Yan is an unforgettable one. But beyond this, the book is no ‘issue novel’ – it’s a slice of real teen life, by turns serious and hilarious I really think that this will be a huge hit amongst teens and adults alike. Elaine Bousfield, CEO

Books for Keeps No.246 January 2021 9

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