This issue’s cover illustration is from Fairy Tales by Hilary McKay, illustrated by Sarah Gibb. Thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books for their help with this Christmas 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 Polar Bear Explorers’ Club (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Alex Bell

(Faber & Faber)
352pp, 978-0571332540, RRP £6.99, Paperback


Alex Bell’s characters embark upon perilous adventures in a Frozen North where anything goes – carnivorous cabbages, untrustworthy trolls, ice palaces, yetis, mammoths and unicorns and whatever else Bell thinks might tickle the fancy of young readers.


Latest Reviews

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 >

A Werewolf Named Oliver James (5-8 Infant/Junior)

Nicholas John Frith
(Alison Green Books)

32pp, PICTURE BOOK, 978-1407171982, RRP £6.99, Paperback


Oh my goodness, this is absolutely brilliant: Nicholas John Frith just keeps on getting better and better.


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The Empty Grave (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Jonathan Stroud
(Corgi Childrens)

560pp, FICTION, 978-0552575799, RRP £7.99, Paperback


This is the final novel in Jonathan Stroud’s superb Lockwood & Co series. It does not disappoint. Familiar characters strut the ghostly stage as effectively as ever, with Lucy’s dyspeptic talking skull in particularly fine form.


read more >

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Latest News

COSTA CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD 2017: SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED

Costa have announced the shortlist for the 2017 Costa Children’s Book Award. From over one hundred and twenty-five books submitted, four have made it onto a strong shortlist.


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THE BOOK OF BEES WINS THE UK’S ONLY AWARD FOR CREATIVE EDUCATIONAL WRITING

‘Striking, witty and many-layered’, the winner of the 2017 Educational Writers’ Award is The Book of Bees, written by Wojciech Grajkowski, illustrated by Piotr Socha, and translated into English from the Polish by Agnes Monod-Gayraud.


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BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD SHORTLIST 2018

Blue Peter Book Award Logo

The shortlists for the 2018 Blue Peter Book Awards have been announced. There are two categories: Best Story and Best Book with Facts.The winners titles will be chosen by 500 children from 12 schools across the UK and revealed live on Blue Peter on World Book Day, Thursday 1st March 2018.


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WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR SCHOOL LIBRARY ASSOCIATION INFORMATION BOOK AWARDS 2017

The Great Fire of LondonIn partnership with their sponsors, Hachette Children’s Group, the School Library Association have announced the winners of the School Library Association Information Book Award 2017. The winner of the inaugural Hachette Children’s Group Award for Outstanding Contribution to Information Books was also announced at the award ceremony at Carmelite House in London on 22nd November.


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SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2017 EDUCATIONAL WRITERS’ AWARD

The Society of Authors and the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society has announced the shortlist for the 2017 Educational Writers’ Award, the award for educational writing which stimulates and enhances the learning experience.


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