2 Editorial 2020: a big year for BfK

3 New Year predictions what will be the big issues for children’s books in the year ahead?

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4 Books of the Year 2020 children’s editors share their picks


8 Ten essential books for young readers chosen by Philip Reeve


10 Authorgraph: Ross MacKenzie interviewed by Jane Sandell

2020: Happy New Year

As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, Books for Keeps is preparing to celebrate our 40th anniversary. Issue number one – featuring an Authorgraph interview with Quentin Blake – was published in March 1980 and we’ve been taking children’s books seriously ever since. Indeed, this issue’s Authorgraph interview with Ross MacKenzie is the 240th in a series that features the most important children’s writers and illustrators of our time, from Victor Ambrus (number 74) to Benjamin Zephaniah (number 111). We hope our readers will take part in the


12 Windows into Illustration: Ken Wilson-Max


14 The best art form: an extract from the new edition of Children’s Picturebooks: The Art of Visual Storytelling

17 A House Without

celebrations and we’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on the magazine. You can send them to Watch out for news of special events taking place throughout the year and do encourage friends and colleagues to sign up for our newsletters to get all the latest information delivered into their inboxes. You’ll notice changes and new features through the


16 Knights of: meet the publisher doing things differently

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Walls: an interview with Elizabeth Laird

18 Beyond the Secret Garden A sporting chance

20 I Wish: Roopa Farooki chooses

20 Good Reads: Roopa Farooki chooses

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21 Jan Mark is Here: a new website and new story collection for the acclaimed author

year, and we’ll be working on a major refresh for the website, to equip Books for Keeps for the future. If you’d like to be part of our ongoing story, make a donation via the PayPal button on our homepage so that Books for Keeps can continue to document the children’s book world with intelligence, scholarship and wit.


22 Reviewers and reviews List of reviewers 5-8 (Infant/Junior) 8-10 (Junior/Middle) 10-14 (Middle/Secondary) + Ed’s Choice, + New Talent 14+ (Secondary/Adult)


32 Classics in Short No. 139 What on earth did Katy do to become a classic?

_________________________________________ COVER STORY

This issue’s cover illustration is from Evernight written by Ross MacKenzie. Thanks to Andersen Press for their help with this January cover.

Books for Keeps

January 2020 No.240 ISSN 0143-909X © Books for Keeps CIC 2016

Managing Editor: Andrea Reece Editorial advisor: Ferelith Hordon Editorial assistant: Alexia Counsell Design: Louise Millar

Editorial correspondence should be sent to Books for Keeps, 30 Winton Avenue London N11 2AT.

2 Books for Keeps No.240 January 2020

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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