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


Mickey and the Animal Spies (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Anne Miller

(OUP Oxford)
192pp, FICTION, 978-0192773630, RRP £6.99, Paperback


This is a detective story about a school girl, Mickey, whose passions for cracking codes and deciphering clues lead to membership of an elite network of spies - COBRA. Mickey is a little young for this covert unit, and that’s not the only reason she stands out from the other spies: she’s the only human being.


Latest Reviews

Look Both Ways (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Jason Reynolds
(Knights Of)

208pp, 978-1999642594, RRP £6.99, Paperback


‘A tale told in ten blocks’ – in ten short stories we meet the pupils of the local High School who all live in these blocks down the road.


read more >

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.


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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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Latest News

LONGLIST ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2020 KLAUS FLUGGE PRIZE

Klaus Flugge Prize logo

The longlist for the 2020 Klaus Flugge Prize is announced today (Thursday 13 February 2020). Now in its fifth year, the Klaus Flugge Prize is awarded to the most promising and exciting newcomer to children’s picture book illustration. It honours Klaus Flugge, founder of publisher Andersen Press and a supremely influential figure in picture books.


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WHO WON THE LAUGH OUT LOUD BOOK AWARDS?

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The winners of the Laugh Out Loud Book Awards 2020 have just been announced. Matt Brown attended the ceremony to report back for Books for Keeps.


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BRANFORD BOASE AWARD 2020: LONGLIST ANNOUNCED

Branford Boase Award logo

The longlist for the 2020 Branford Boase Award is announced today (Tuesday 28th January 2020). Set up in memory of award-winning author Henrietta Branford and her editor Wendy Boase, one of the founders of Walker Books, the Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children and has a notable record in picking out the most talented authors at the start of their career.


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EMPATHYLAB ANNOUNCES 2020 READ FOR EMPATHY BOOK COLLECTION

Raising A Generation of Empathic Citizens

Empathy Day logo

EmpathyLab has announced the 50 books chosen by expert judges for the 2020 Read for Empathy collection. There are two collections (one for primary and one for secondary) consisting of 33 books for 4-11 year-olds, and 17 for 1216 year-olds.


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