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Katie Cotton, Publisher for Picture Books, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books From the moment I read Love Your Body by Jessica Sanders, illustrated by Carol Rossetti (March), I was captured by its warmth and honesty. The message that ‘every body is a good body’ is the perfect antidote to those maddening ‘beach body ready’ moments. In an age of rising eating disorders and social media bullying, this book teaches you to love your body not for what it looks like, but for what it can do. It is exactly what young girls (and some older ones, too) need to navigate today’s increasingly image-obsessed world. We are so proud and excited to help bring this powerful book to market.


Naomi Colthurst, Commissioning Editor, Penguin From the moment I started reading Hana Tooke’s incredible debut story, I knew this was a book I had to acquire at all costs – and now, with only a few months to go until we publish The Unadoptables, I remain just as head over heels in love with it. It has all the ingredients of a classic children’s book which will be read for generations. Not only is it brilliantly written, with tons of adventure playing out within the most atmospheric of settings, there’s also so much humour and heart, and gorgeous details children will love poring over. Put simply, it is extraordinary.


Debbie Foy, Editor Director, Wren & Rook In September this year, we are thrilled to be publishing Dare to Be You by Matthew Syed, the much-anticipated follow up to our 2018 bestselling and award-winning You Are Awesome. Dare to Be You builds on some of the themes touched on in You Are Awesome, such as resilience, but introduces many more, including a deep dive into the power of diversity and diverse thinking. Told through anecdotes and stories of Matthew’s life as a child and young adult, we learn that being true to yourself, celebrating your differences and following your own path is the way to build confidence and self-esteem in our rapidly changing and fast-paced world.


Sarah Lambert, Fiction Editorial Director, Orion Children’s Books We cannot wait to publish The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by LD Lapinski (April), a magical adventure that will take 9+ readers to whole new worlds. Packed with imagination and excitement, it stars 12-year-old Flick Hudson, who discovers the Strangeworlds Travel Agency where she finds hundreds of worlds just steps away from ours. All you have to do to visit them is jump into the right suitcase… But the world at the very centre of it all, a city called Five Lights, is in danger. Flick must race against time, travelling through unchartered worlds, to save it before it collapses into nothingness – and takes our world with it. From an amazingly talented debut author, this is sure to be a hit.


Victoria Rock, Founding Children’s Publisher & Editor-at-Large at Chronicle Books Combining the talents of Newbery Medal winner Patricia MacLachlan and rising illustration star Francesca Sanna, My Friend Earth (February) invites the very youngest of readers to celebrate the beauty of nature. Brimming with bold colours, this book is a magical ode to the many wonders of our planet with a subtle yet powerful environmental message. Patricia’s texts are always a deceptively simple. Here, she’s taken an age- old idea and offered an extremely child-friendly way to think about it. We wanted the look and feel of the book to be equally unique. Francesca’s work shares the same sensibilities. It’s a perfect partnership.


Erica Finkel, Editor at Abrams Books for Young Readers As curious and determined as ever, the Questioneers are back in a new chapter book adventure from Andrea Beaty and David Roberts. Iggy Peck and the Mysterious Mansion (May) sees Ada Twist, Rosie Revere, Sofia Valdez and Iggy Peck working together to solve a strange mystery in an even stranger house, and it will take all of Iggy’s architectural know-how – as well as the help from his fellow Questioneers – to save the day. This irresistible addition to the Questioneers series combines a Scooby-Doo- style caper with a haunted house, a missing ice cream baron and a sincere passion for STEM.


Erica Finkel, Editor, Amulet Books A celebration of the Eternal City, Paolo: Emperor of Rome (March) tells the story of a daring dachshund who escapes from an indoor existence to live the sweet life on the streets of Rome. In a whirlwind tour he discovers all that the city has to offer: the ruins, the food, the art, the opera and – of course – the cats. Brought to life by Claire Keane’s joyous illustrations, Mac Barnett’s spirited and humorous voice is as enchanting as ever and will have everyone cheering on the bravery of this big- hearted dog who fights for honour, freedom and independence.


Nicola Carthy, Editor, Picture Books, Orchard Books We are incredibly excited to be publishing a brand-new picture book from the bestselling, award-winning Lauren Child in September 2020. The Goody tells the tale of Chirton Krauss, who is a very good child indeed . . . until he starts to wonder what it might be like to be bad for once. This beautiful book teaches the importance of allowing children the freedom to be themselves. It’s Lauren at her very best!


Susan Barba, New York Review Books I am most excited to publish Meet Monster by Ann Cook and Ellen Blance, with illustrations by Quentin Blake. Gentle, playful, purple Monster is a newcomer to the city who in short order finds a home, a friend, and a neighbourhood that welcomes him in. First introduced in 1973, these emerging-reader stories were written by children (with Cook and Blance) for children. About our new omnibus edition, Blake says, ‘I am delighted that Monster is out and about again as lively and beautifully coloured as ever, and making lots of new friends of all kinds.’ I couldn’t agree more!


Ellie Brough, Senior Editor, QED Fake news has fast become a part of our everyday lives. It didn’t just spring up overnight so where did it come from? Fake News (QED, August) looks at the concept of fake news and the media as a whole, laying out the history and facts to give young readers a greater understanding of the issue. By the end, kids will have the tools to make their own informed opinion on the subject. This is an exciting addition to the What’s the Issue series and will be a great help when trying to navigate the modern media landscape.


Emily Pither, Senior Editor, words & pictures The Farm That Feeds Us (May) is a gentle introduction to how a small- scale, organic farm works and how farmers grow food for us to eat. This beautifully illustrated, non-fiction picture book takes a wider look at where our food comes from. We hope that it will help parents and teachers to develop children’s knowledge and encourage conversations about food production, nature and how we can influence the methods of farming for a sustainable future.


Books for Keeps No.240 January 2020 7


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