This issue’s cover illustration is from Sky Song by Abi Elphinstone. The illustrator is Daniela Terrazzini. Thanks to Simon and Schuster Children’s Books 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


The Eye of the North (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Sinéad O’Hart

(Stripes Publishing)
384pp, FICTION, 978-1847159410, RRP £6.99, Paperback


It is always a pleasure to meet characters who immediately demand attention. Enter Emmeline Widget, daughter of scientist parents who are almost always absent.


Latest Reviews

The Unpredictability of Being Human (14+ Secondary/Adult)

Linni Ingemundsen
(Usborne Publishing Ltd)

288pp, 978-1474940634, RRP £7.99, Paperback


The first chapter (“You, Me and God Himself”) is just six pages long, but by its end we know 14 year-old Malin has her problems.


read more >

Landscape With Invisible Hand (14+ Secondary/Adult)

M T Anderson
(Walker Books)

176pp, 978-1406379006, RRP £6.99, Paperback


M.T. Anderson has written a timely, hard-hitting, blackly comic satire on the dangers of a complete disconnect between the super-rich, technological elite and everyone else.


read more >

Twister (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Juliette Forrest
(Scholastic)

300pp, 978-1407185118, RRP £6.99, Paperback


What stands out in this novel is the unique voice of Twister – she is feisty and brave, fiercely loyal and warm-hearted - a force of nature to be reckoned with like her namesake. There is a strong sense of place too and the writing is wonderfully evocative.


read more >

Matt Millz (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Harry Hill
(Faber & Faber)

368pp, 978-0571338542, RRP £10.99, Hardcover


Wanna-be comedians and Harry Hill fans will love this. Matt Mills dreams of being a comedian and of making the big time: he watches his heroes on DVD and hopes one day, that will be me.


read more >

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BOOKTRUST LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR JOHN BURNINGHAM AND HELEN OXENBURY

Booktrust Lifetime Achievement Award joint winners

Congratulations to John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury who have jointly been presented with the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award.


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LONGLISTS FOR 2018 CILIP KATE GREENAWAY AND CARNEGIE MEDALS ANNOUNCED

Pavee and the Buffer GirlOverheard in a Tower Block

The longlists for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, the UK’s oldest book awards for children and young people, have been revealed. The 40-strong list of titles for the 2018 Medals (20 on each longlist) were selected from 237 nominations.


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LONGLIST FOR THE 2018 KLAUS FLUGGE PRIZE

KFP logo brush

Fifteen debut picture books are in the running for the 2018 Klaus Flugge Prize. Now in its third year the prize was set up to honour publisher Klaus Flugge, founder of Andersen Press and is awarded to the most promising and exciting newcomer to children’s book illustration.


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SHORTLIST FOR THE 14TH WATERSTONES CHILDREN’S BOOK PRIZE ANNOUNCED

InkThe Goldfish Boy

The shortlist for the 2018 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize has been announced. The prize was set up to reward and champion new and emerging talent in children’s books and winning authors and illustrators benefit from a significant boost in sales, together with the promise of an ongoing commitment to their writing career from all Waterstones shops nationwide.


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