Nosy Crow is an award-winning independent children's book and app publisher. We began publishing child-focused, parent-friendly children’s books and apps in January 2011 with the aim of creating books and apps that encourage children to read for pleasure.
Today marks the start of Independent Bookshop Week (15th to 22nd June), and to mark the occasion, The Guardian have published a guide to the best new children’s books for Summer 2019 – featuring picks by independent booksellers from around the country.
And we’re delighted to see that seven Nosy Crow titles have been selected across four age categories – the most for any publisher!
In the babies category, Animal Families: Safari, illustrated by Jane Ormes, has been featured by Carrie Morris from Booka Bookshop and Cafe in Oswestry. Carrie writes:
“Perfect for babies and little learners as they discover the roles and names within animal groups. A final double- page fold out provides a panoramic surprise of collective nouns for wild animals. The dazzling illustrations bring this simple book to life. ROAR!”
“Jasmine and Tom find an otter cub by the river. Following advice from the Wildlife Trust, they set out to find its family. A story packed full of otter facts; perfect for the young animal enthusiast.”
“Tom and his cat Digby travel back in time. Short snippets of information about various aspects of Ancient Egypt are interspersed with spotting Egyptian artefacts (and, of course, Digby) in this great interactive book.”
“Filled with warmth and kindness, the story of Aya and her family will resonate long after the last page. Aya’s longing to join a prestigious ballet school sits alongside flashbacks to her life in Syria – and offers her the hope of rebuilding her life.”
Here’s a look inside the book:
Thank you to all of the independent bookshops and booksellers who have championed our books – we are so incredibly grateful for your support!
You can find the full guide to the best children’s books for Summer 2019 in today’s edition of The Guardian – and you can find out more about Independent Bookshop Week (along with a guide to finding your local independent bookshop) here.
And today we’re delighted to share a very first early look inside the book – you can read the opening chapter of My Cousin is a Time Traveller here.
Luke is surprised to learn that his cousin is a time traveller. He’s even more surprised when she tells him that the machines are becoming intelligent and he must help her stop them taking over the world. It couldn’t come at a worse time – Zack has decided to give up his superpowers and live life as a normal teenage nerd. So Luke must swallow his irritation and rise to the challenge yet again…
And without further ado, here’s a look inside the book:
You can pre-order My Cousin is a Time Traveller here – and if you’d like to stay up to date with all of our upcoming book news, you can sign up to our books newsletter here, or with the form below, and you’ll never miss a thing.
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Highlighting the finest emerging fiction and non-fiction titles in UK publishing, the Big Book Awards are run by magazine publisher Hearst UK, with the winners chosen by a combination of magazine editors and Hearst’s readers – you can find the full list of award winners here.
And we’re thrilled that I Am The Seed has been recognised!
Published in partnership with the National Trust, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon and with poetry collected by Fiona Waters, I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree is a lavishly illustrated collection of 366 nature poems – one for every day of the year. Filled with familiar favourites and new discoveries, this is a perfect book for children (and grown-ups!) to share together. And it’s also the most ambitious book that we’ve ever published at Nosy Crow: over three hundred fully-illustrated pages (the equivalent of ten picture books!) of poetry, in a beautiful and lavishly-produced hardback edition, and a stunning collection of material, spanning hundreds of years – from sonnets to haikus.
Here’s our trailer for the book:
I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree: A Nature Poem For Every Day Of The Year - YouTube
And here’s a look inside I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree:
Today is Empathy Day – founded by EmpathyLab in 2017, Empathy Day focuses on using books as tool to build more understanding between us all, encouraging everyone to read, share books, and put empathy into action. To support the project, EmpathyLab have created a series of resources, guides, and reading lists for schools, libraries and bookshops – which includes two Nosy Crow titles, Running on Empty by S. E. Durrant and Ella on the Outside by Cath Howe. You can find out more on the EmpathyLab website, here.
And to celebrate Empathy Day, we’ve asked our staff to come up with a list of some brilliant Nosy Crow books that encourage empathy!
Here are some of the Crow’s recommendations for Empathy Day reading:
“Running On Empty made me cry. AJ navigates life’s already difficult roads with the added pressure of worrying about his parents, who both have learning difficulties.” – Beth Gooding, Marketing Assistant
“I can’t think of a book that better demonstrates empathy than Ella on the Outside. It’s such a sharply-drawn portrait of what it feels like to be somewhere new, to feel anxious and lonely, and to want to make friends.” – Tom Bonnick, Senior Commissioning Editor and Business Development Manager
“I love the way When a Dragon Comes to Stay helps children understand that some behaviours are less acceptable than others, steering them towards kind and considerate actions without passing judgement.” – Alice Bartosinksi, Senior Commissioning Editor, Picture Books
“Little Bird Flies is a socio-historical novel that is so applicable to today’s social issues also. I was absorbed the whole way through, and Bridie is a great character who you really root for.” – Nur Ben-Hamida, Contracts Executive
“As a rights seller, I love learning about customs from around the world and I’m sure curious children do too. Welcome to Our World beautifully demonstrates that whilst we might all do things in a different way, we really aren’t so different from one another after all…” – Erin Murgatroyd, Rights Manager
“The Middler shows that no matter what the people around you are saying about other communities, it’s vital to find things out for yourself and to be open-minded about people who are different to you.” – Fiona Scoble, Editor
“The Suitcase is a play on the page, the animal’s voices telling an understated, clever, sad story of the importance of kindness to strangers with a twist of kindness at the end that gets me every time.” – Kate Wilson, Managing Director
“The Velveteen Rabbit was my favourite childhood story. It taught me the great value of humility in the character of the Skin Horse, and that everybody deserves to be real.” – Sophie Emmings, Office and Operations Assistant
“Hidden subtly behind its laugh-out-loud humour The Phantom Lollipop Man! conveys a touching and poignant message about the importance of taking the time to find out everyone’s story – even the most invisible ones.” – Catherine Stokes, Head of Sales and Marketing
“This Zoo is Not For You has such an important message about being open and welcoming to everyone; but, thanks to Ross’ mischievous sense of humour, it’s both funny AND heartfelt – and will always bring a smile to your face.” – Rebecca Mason, Senior Publicity Executive
“Through the humour of My Cousin is a Time Traveller, Luke learns a serious lesson: a thing he’d love (being a superhero) is a terrible burden to his brother. He doesn’t agree with Zack but he does come to empathise with him.” – Kirsty Stansfield, Head of Fiction
“Reading Anna At War made me think about what it is like to be evacuated and how brave these children have been – not knowing where they were going and whether they would ever see their families again.” – Stela Alekova, Financial Controller
“This book is all about celebrating our differences. Whether we’re big or small, quiet or loud, a goat who hates hugs or a walrus on a mobility scooter, we can all listen and be kind to one another… and we can all enjoy a bedtime story!” – Tegen Evans, Editor
“Splash is a book that conveys a message that is very close to my heart: self-acceptance and body positivity. As the story unfolds, Molly learns that her body is not her enemy but the best ally to achieve her dreams.” – Michela Pea, Senior Rights Manager
What was the inspiration behind The Longest Night of Charlie Noon?
I always find it difficult to pin down exactly where the inspiration for a story comes from as for me it’s often just the flotsam and jetsam of thoughts and ideas swirling round my head gradually coalescing into the shape of a story. I wanted to write a story about the times we are living in now. When you turn on the news it’s so easy to feel consumed by worries about the state of the world, but when I visit schools the compassion and intelligence of the young people I meet also fills me with a real sense of hope. When writing the novel I was reminded of the sense of powerlessness I felt as a child and the worries that I had back then. This might feel a world away from a story about three children getting lost in the woods, but I think The Longest Night of Charlie Noon at its heart is a hopeful story about the power that young people have to find a way out and change the world.
How much research did you do? And what books and or authors have influenced your work?
So, so much research! In my last novel, The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day, lots of the research is right there on the page as Maisie Day herself talks about entropy, relativity and other mind-bending scientific theories, but in The Longest Night of Charlie Noon most of my research is holding up the scenery. As well as visiting Lower Woods where the novel is set to map the story to its landscape, I immersed myself in nature writing from authors such as Robert Macfarlane, Roger Deakin and Peter Fiennes. When I’d actually completed the first draft of The Longest Night of Charlie Noon I rediscovered a novel called Brendon Chase by the author, illustrator and naturalist Denys Watkins-Pitchford, who wrote under the pen name BB, which is about three children who run away from home to live in the woods, and in the second draft of The Longest Night of Charlie Noon I actually reworked a couple of scenes to sharpen the echoes between these two stories. There are many more influences in there too, from Kate Bush to T. S. Eliot, to name but two, and I actually list many of the books and authors I read in the acknowledgements section at the end of the novel for any readers who want to go on an intertextual treasure hunt!
It’s hard to avoid spoilers here, but there are a couple of twists and turns in The Longest Night of Charlie Noon to surprise the reader – how much did you enjoy putting those in?
I always knew the story I wanted to tell and these twists and turns emerged naturally from this. In many ways The Longest Night of Charlie Noon is a mystery story and the clues to these twists and turns are all there on the page. I’m not trying to trick the reader, but I think the element of surprise is important in a story – it’s what makes us want to keep on reading. I’m aware too that many readers, especially younger readers, enjoy re-reading a story, so I hope these twists and turns help create a novel that rewards re-reading as the story takes on a different light when you read it for the second or even third time, with details and dialogue taking on new meaning in light of the knowledge you now have. Having said that, I have enjoyed reading the reactions of some early readers to the twists that are there!
You’ve written about many mind-bending scientific concepts before, all very accessibly and with great clarity, but Time feels the big one. Did you get a headache?
Yes! Time is something we innately feel we understand, but actually it’s incredibly difficult to define. Our experience of time is different from a physicist’s understanding of time, whilst for a philosopher time can be something else entirely. In a way these different views of what time might be are what fuel my fascination with this subject and influenced the story I told in The Longest Night of Charlie Noon.
Where do you write and do you have any quirky authorial habits?
I have an office at the bottom of my garden which is where I do most of my writing, although sometimes the most productive writing time for me is when I have a decent seat on a long train journey. I don’t know if it counts as a quirky authorial habit, but I always write the first draft of a story in longhand in notebooks, which I tend to carry around with me everywhere I go. I know this causes you some stress though, especially the thought of me losing one of these notebooks when I’m getting close to a deadline!
Thank you, Kirsty and Chris! You can take a look inside The Longest Night of Charlie Noon below:
Tomorrow, June 11, is Empathy Day: founded by EmpathyLab in 2017, Empathy Day focuses on using books as tool to build more understanding between us all, encouraging everyone to read, share books, and put empathy into action.
To support Empathy Day, EmpathyLab have created two Read for Empathy Guides (one primary-school and one secondary-school age), featuring forty-five powerful, empathy-boosting books for 4-16 year olds. And we are delighted that two Nosy Crow books have been featured in the 2019 reading guides!
Ella on the Outside by Cath Howe is the first of our two selected titles – a hugely compelling middle grade novel, with an incredibly authentic voice and hugely relatable characters. You can take a look inside the book below:
And Running on Empty, by S.E. Durrant, is also featured in EmpathyLab’s Read For Empathy Guide – a beautifully told story of unorthodox families, grief, adolescence and running. Here’s a look inside the book:
We’ve got some wonderful new books out this month – from brand new lift-the-flap and board books for babies and toddlers, to beautiful new picture books and illustrated non-fiction, and incredible new fiction, there’s something for everyone!
You can watch our new books video below, showcasing all of our brand new books:
New Books from Nosy Crow – June 2019 - YouTube
Here’s a closer look at what you can find in shops now from Nosy Crow.
Next month we are publishing Anna at War by Helen Peters – and today we’re delighted to share a very first look inside the book!
As life for German Jews becomes increasingly perilous, Anna’s parents put her on a train leaving for England. But the war follows her to Kent, and soon Anna finds herself caught up in web of betrayal and secrecy. How can she prove whose side she’s on when she can’t tell anyone the truth? But actions speak louder than words, and Anna has a dangerous plan…
Perfect for fans of Philippa Pearce and Emma Carroll, this is a brilliant and moving wartime adventure from the highly-acclaimed author of Evie’s Ghost.
And you can read the first three chapters of Anna at War below:
You can pre-order Anna at War here – and if you’d like to stay up-to-date with all of our book news, you can sign up to our books newsletter at this page, or with the form below, and you’ll never miss a thing.
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The latest episode of Down the Rabbit Hole aired this week, and one of this month’s featured books was No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton – a captivating story, filled with warmth and heart, with wonderfully authentic ballet writing and an important message championing the rights of refugees. And if you didn’t manage to catch it live, you can listen to the episode on catch-up now!
No Ballet Shoes in Syria tells the story of Aya – eleven years old and newly arrived in Britain with her mum and baby brother, seeking asylum from war in Syria. When Aya stumbles across a local ballet class, the formidable dance teacher spots her exceptional talent and believes that Aya has the potential to earn a prestigious ballet scholarship. But at the same time, Aya and her family must fight to be allowed to remain in the country, to make a home for themselves and to find Aya’s father – separated from the rest of the family during the journey from Syria. Perfect for fans of Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes, Lorna Hill’s Sadlers Wells series, and Pamela Brown’s The Swish of the Curtain, this is beautiful, classic storytelling.
You can listen to the latest episode of Down the Rabbit Hole, featuring special guest Maz Evans, below, or at this page.
And that’s not all! No Ballet Shoes in Syria has also been named Booktrust’s Book of the Day – in their review of the book, Booktrust write:
“Children who love stories of performance and friendship will enjoy this book. The story humanises Aya, showing her as much more than just her circumstances. The reality of her history never overwhelms the essential romance of the story.
The book is ideal for readers who enjoy shedding a cathartic tear, but need an optimistic ending. Fans of Noel Streatfield will find much that is familiar and fun.”
Today we’re incredibly pleased to announce a new event that we’ll be holding this year: An Introduction to Children’s Publishing.
This will be a free, ticketed event at the Nosy Crow offices on the evening of Wednesday 10th July, designed for people who are interested in working in children’s publishing, as a way of learning more about the industry – no prior knowledge or experience is necessary.
The evening will begin with an introduction and welcome from our Managing Director, Kate Wilson, and then in small groups you’ll have a chance to meet someone from each of our Editorial, Marketing, Production, Publicity, Rights, and Sales teams, who’ll each give a brief overview of what their job involves and answer any questions you might have about working in children’s publishing and the opportunities available. There’s also be a chance to chat with each other, and staff at Nosy Crow, at the end of the evening, and refreshments will be provided.
Where is it?
This event will take place at the Nosy Crow offices in London, near London Bridge station (you can find us on a map here). We are aware that cost of travel can be an issue for those outside London, and we’re partnering with The Book Trade Charity who may be able to offer financial assistance for those who would need it for travel to the event. The office is wheelchair accessible.
How to Apply?
We’re offering 24 places for the evening; applications are open to anyone who is 18+ and will be judged blind. No prior experience of children’s publishing is expected, and we would particularly like to encourage anyone from a BAME or under-represented background to apply.
To apply for a place, all we would like is an answer to the question below in no more than 150 words.
Applications will close on the 17th June at midnight, and we’ll be notifying those who’ve been successful by the 19th June.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com with An Introduction to Children’s Publishing in the subject heading.