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

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Illustrating It Starts with a Seed

Jennie Webber illustrating It Stars with a Seed

Jennie Webber describes and demonstrates her unique etching technique and her inspiration for It Starts with a Seed.

Books for Keeps is the UK’s leading, independent children’s book magazine. It was launched in 1980 and ever since has been reviewing hundreds of new children’s books each year and publishing articles on every aspect of writing for children. There are over 12,500 reviews on our new website and more than 2,000 articles including interviews with the top children’s authors and illustrators.

“The best scholars, reviewers, authors and critics write for Books for Keeps. We hold a mirror up to the children’s book world and reflects back its output, issues and preoccupations with intelligence, scholarship and wit.”

Book of the week

A House without Walls (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Elizabeth Laird

(Macmillan Children's Books)
320pp, FICTION, 978-1509828241, RRP £6.99, Paperback

Now out in paperback, this novel is told in the voice of Safiya, a twelve-year-old from contemporary Damascus in Syria.

Latest Reviews

The Cure for a Crime (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Roopa Farooki
(OUP Oxford)

256pp, 978-0192773593, RRP £6.99, Paperback

A feel-good and lively mystery which offers a slightly different take on the usual detective genre.

read more >

The Undefeated (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Kwame Alexander
(Andersen Press)

40pp, PICTURE BOOK, 978-1783449286, RRP £12.99, Hardcover

This deeply affecting picturebook for older readers is a tribute to the many experiences of African Americans, both past and present, and a powerful demand for change and growth.

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The Mist Monster (Under 5s Pre-School/Nursery/Infant)

Kirsti Beautyman
(Alison Green Books)

32pp, PICTURE BOOK, 978-1407188881, RRP £6.99, Paperback

Gently constructed around themes of loss and change, this optimistic story weaves links between imaginative worlds and the here-and-now of daily reality.

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Rise Up! The Art of Protest (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Jo Rippon
(Palazzo Editions)

64pp, INFORMATION BOOK, 978-1786750822, RRP £12.99, Hardcover

This book provides a marvellous illustrated history of protest, using the banners and posters created by different people over the decades to make their feelings and demands known.

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The Velvet Fox (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Catherine Fisher
(Firefly Press)

202pp, FICTION, 978-1913102081, RRP £6.99, Paperback

There is humour as well as excitement in this excellent story of a brave and resourceful heroine who surprises even her mentor, the Crow, and we can look forward to finding out what happens next.

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Latest News


Costa winner Jasbinder Bilan

Jasbinder Bilan has won the Costa Children’s Book Award for her debut novel Asha and the Spirit Bird, a story which starts in the foothills of the Himalayas and describes a young girl’s brave journey to find her father.

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Tony B (Chair of ALCS) plus Isobel Boston from Big Picture Press

The winner of the 2019 Educational Writers’ Award is Alastair Humphreys’ Great Adventurers: The Incredible Expeditions of 20 Explorers.

Written by adventurer and author Alastair Humphreys and illustrated by Kevin Ward, the book is a compendium of great expeditions, hand picked by Alastair Humphreys, whose own adventures include cycling the world and rowing the Atlantic Ocean.

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And we’re off… the nominations for the 2020 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals have been
announced. Unique in that they are judged solely by librarians, the Medals are awarded to the outstanding book written in English, and to the outstanding book in terms of illustration (Kate Greenaway Medal).

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