Child's Play Newsreel 2013


Child's Play starts the countdown to Christmas with its very own Advent Calendar of Books on Facebook! Open the cover to discover… a new title each day, with the chance to win.

Never Ever by Jo Empson is selected for the People's Book Prize Winter Collection, where the public decide on their favourite by buying, borrowing and voting.

Jo Empson receives a Cilip Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards nomination for Never Ever! "I'm absolutely thrilled for Never Ever to be on the longlist, and it feels such an honour to have been nominated among so many wonderful books," Jo tells the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald. Check out the book trailer, click HERE.

Ocean Deep by Richard Hatfield and Sue Baker is chosen for Child-Led Chaos' Christmas list, 'Gifts for Curious Children'. It's "a beautifully illustrated exploration into every part of the ocean... needs to be seen in real life to be appreciated". Also making it onto the list are Metamorphoses: Egg Tadpole Frog by Arthur John L' Hommedieu and Snow Roly Poly Box Book by Kees Moerbeek. read our Flip-Up Fairy Tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears telling us, "The families LOVED it! They had such a good time opening the flaps, and using BIG, medium and small voices for the bears." Mothers' Club kindly gave us, "Another big THANK YOU to Child's Play for supporting our Early Readers' Book Club program by being a literacy partner. After reading the book aloud together in four groups at the center, each family that attends takes home a free copy of the book… We are building literacy skills here at our center and at home!"

We're delighted so many Child's Play books have been selected for the 'Great Gifts for Nought to Five Year Olds' Christmas List from Child-Led Chaos. Featuring Bib on, Bunny! Monkey and Me; What's the time, Mr Wolf? Little Explorer and Little Driver series; There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly; There were Ten in the Bed; Old Macdonald had a farm; Look At Me… "I couldn't do a list of the best touchy-feely-pully-pushy-twisty-movey-interactive-novelty books for younger children without mentioning Child's Play's books…"


It's Picture Book Month, celebrating with a different theme each day. Here's why Child's Play thinks picture books are so important: Picture books provide the perfect opportunity for parent and child to share in an active experience, one that's different every time. They offer a structure within which the emotional and intellectual transactions involved in parenting and growing up can flourish and be rewarded. A good picture book will provide not only a common experience that both participants can share, but also individual experiences that each participant can enjoy alone, irrespective of age. A beginning reader can use the context clues in the illustrations to help decode the meanings in the text; more confident readers can delight in the relationships (sometimes ironic) between the illustrations and the words. The picture book experience demands involvement and participation, and is completely open-ended. We can read the book slowly, or we can read it quickly, loudly or quietly; we can sing it, we can speak it. We can read alone, or we can share the reading task, experiment with intonation, register, character. We can read it just as it is, we can add words or sound effects, or we can simply quiz each picture, each word. We can read it again and again, over and over, we can re-enact the storyline using our favourite toys, we can develop the narrative beyond the book itself. We can carry it around the house like a favourite toy, we can share it, we can give it away, or we can tuck it safely under our pillow ready to be read next morning.

ITV Signed Stories show how to learn the signs to tell the story of Stone Soup on their Facebook page. To join in, click HERE.

Jo Empson receives a Cilip Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards nomination for Never Ever! "I'm absolutely thrilled for Never Ever to be on the longlist, and it feels such an honour to have been nominated among so many wonderful books," Jo tells the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald. Check out the book trailer, click HERE.

There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a... Here are the funny and fabulous winning entries of ReadItDaddy's competition!
Shea Wong @MrsSheaWong (and Alex, 3 years old) There was an old lady who swallowed a monkey! Who jiggled, and giggled, and made her dance funky!
Sarah Forrester @fraugretel (and Emily, 3 years old) There was an old Lady who swallowed a Giraffe - she looked so tall and thin - you had to laugh!
Lynsey Buchanan There was an old lady who swallowed some beer, she liked it so much she drank it all year
Angela Wilson (and Nicholas, 7 years old) There was an old lady who swallowed a kite, so I guess she'll be up with the wind all night.
No Discernable Talent (and Dexter, 4 years old) There was an old lady who swallowed a poo, not sloppy but hard and quite difficult to chew!
Aimo (and Rebecca, 6 years old) There was an old lady who swallowed a zoo, she roared like a lion when she went to the loo!

Claudia Boldt, creator of our UUGGHH! and Star Gazers, Skyscrapers & Extraordinary Sausages books, appears at the South Ken Kids Festival in London this month.


Happy 40th Birthday to There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly! Our iconic old lady is 40 and enjoying a bouncy knees-up with an anniversary edition out in her honour. A Child's Play icon herself, Pam Adams' vibrant illustrations, along with our popular and innovative die-cut holes and the well-known nursery rhyme make this an all-time favourite. ReadItDaddy and Rhino Reads run fantastic Old Lady competitions on their blogs.

The Flower blooms in an inspirational Bookhappy school workshop. "It's SO beautiful. Really inspiring. We're using it as one of our ISPs (Inspirational Starting Points). It's such a good story with fab illustrations," they told us prior to the event. And it was wonderful to hear it was a great success. The book was presented in a mystery packet labelled 'It is forbidden to open this parcel'. "Just letting you know the children were enthralled with THE FLOWER - once they'd unwrapped it! We had a fantastic day with the Year 3s at Northburn Primary, using The Flower as an inspirational starting point. The children had to unwrap a dangerous book, sneak it past the librarian and then locate parts of the flower Briggs grew. It's such a thought-provoking and beautiful book. The children really enjoyed thinking about the use of and absence of colour in the illustrations, and talking about the importance of books, flowers, colour etc in their own lives. A fab day!"

Harold Finds a Voice and Never Ever selected for the UKLA Book Awards! The titles by Courtney Dicmas and Jo Empson make it onto the 3-6 category longlist of the only national awards judged entirely by teachers.

Child's Play is looking fab at Frankfurt Book Fair 2013 and Neil's Diary is back! "A meeting with our lovely South African distributors, and lively meetings with German, Croatian, Polish, Italian and Russian publishers… Really looking forward to looking through illustrators' work today, always a highlight, plus our traditional meeting with origami master Kees Moerbeek (Roly Poly Books and Secret Scrapbook Diaries) and pop-up whiz Carla Dijs, who will have made the long train journey from Holland."

Child's Play USA limbered up for an exciting weekend exhibiting, entertaining and running in the The Dempsey Challenge Kidzone. It's a huge fundraising event sponsored by The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing. The Center offers free services for patients, family and caregivers of anyone who has or has had cancer. It's an amazing place - Neil from our UK HQ toured it in June and fell in love. The Challenge raises more than a million dollars every year. None is given to the workers or used for expenses. Child's Play has donated copies of Rabbityness by Jo Empson, as the children's therapist loves this book, as do many of the people who work there. Meanwhile, Laurie from HQ USA took part in two events and then entertained children on the Child's Play booth after reading/acting out some of our best stories that promote healthy eating, exercise and relaxation. Phew!

Child's Play champ - you'll be blown away when you read about our New Zealand distributor Andrew Tizzard's unpredictable week... "Yip, unpredictable all right. Last week we lost several parts of our roof, power, some downpipes, a whole forest and the kids' two-ton wooden playhouse to a 200+kmph wind! The playhouse took off in front of me and flew four metres in the air for about 30 metres. There was a 100kg block of stone on its veranda that also flew 30 metres like it was made of polystyrene. We thought we were going to lose the whole house at one point, so packed the truck with essentials (after rescuing it from bouncing backwards in the car park with the handbrake on) and thought we'd head up to a small forest at the top of our property for shelter. Then the whole forest blew down in front of us in under 30 seconds. I didn't have a plan B. We had no power, phone, Internet for a week, but nobody hurt and the house still standing, so it's all good. I'm booking tickets to London so hope to see you in April." In the meantime, Andrew experienced another storm and lost power for another day, more bits of roof, trees and fingernails. He spent Monday driving around the local roads with a chainsaw, clearing fallen trees so their delivery truck could get orders through to Christchurch. Now that's dedication and true book love!

Jo Empson WINS two Moonbeam Children's Book Awards. Well done on a Gold for Never Ever and bronze for Best Illustrator for Rabbityness!


Harold finds a voice makes a noise in the People's Book Prize. The public has the chance to vote for their winner for this book award. Good luck Courtney Dicmas! Harold also features on Booktalks, click HERE to listen.

The Ugly Duckling, Stone Soup, The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Frog Prince in ITV Signed Stories Book Bundle #1 for schools. Watch The Ugly Duckling Signed Story HERE.

Rabbityness by Jo Empson features in ReadItDaddy's 'All the Awesome Animals!' theme week. A favourite with Charlotte, this "special bunny captured our hearts the moment we first laid eyes on the cover, and it only gets better from thereon in." Read more HERE.

Rhino Reads' 'Gender non-specific characters' gets Susanna Moores' book It's Not Yours, It's Mine! and Airlie Anderson's Momo and Snap are NOT friends! "During discussions about the lack of female characters in children's picture books, I've noticed a few people saying that they swap the genders of characters as they read books to their children... Blieka can be a girl or a boy, there are no clothing clues, no 'she said' or 'he said's to help… Momo and Snap are Not Friends by Airlie Anderson is delicious! It makes me smile for so many reasons. This book is so much fun for children that the ones I read it with didn't stop to ask about the gender of the animals, they were far too busy chatting about what was going on in the pictures." For more of this fabulous piece please read on HERE.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes specially chosen by First Book and Mind in the Making author Ellen Galinsky as part of a list of books that best support the seven executive functioning skills discussed in her book. Beautifully illustrated by Annie Kubler, Head, Shoulders, Knees And Toes' Executive Functioning Skills are Focus and Self-Control.

Featuring Child's Play books, such as Three Billy Goats Gruff and Hansel and Gretel, the brilliant ITV Signed Stories app is nominated for a Lovie Award.

Never Ever by Jo Empson on UKLA Book Awards longlist for the 3-6 category. It's the only national award judged entirely by teachers!

A love letter to illustrators, from the wonderful Carmen Haselup of Rhino Reads. "I love the illustrators and publishers that are trying something new. I love the identity that shines through... I love the way you can see the influences and clear talent shining through in newer illustrators like Hannah Cumming [The Cloud, The Red Boat, The Lost Stars]... Sometimes the illustrations punch me in the heart and leave me with my mouth open and a tear in my eye. Thank you Jo Empson Illustrator..." Read on HERE.


BOOK IT! celebrates National Book Lovers Day with a great Freebie Friday giveaway - The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear Storysack!

There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly and other Child's Play titles feature in The Indigenous Literacy Foundation. "To have a new book to take home was very exciting for the children." Click HERE for more.

First Time series features in Storyseekers' piece about starting school - Sports Day, School Trip, Performance and School, illustrated by Jan Lewis. "Having already got 'Nursery' we were lucky enough to be sent the 'School' series and they are equally as fab. The text is a series of questions and statements from the viewpoint of one of many characters, all children… drawing the reader in, helping see everyone worries about these situations, then starting discussions. As with all Child's Play books, a diverse range of children are represented in the illustrations and this is wonderful. These simple texts should be shared with every pre-schooler in our opinion." For more click HERE.

Parents In Touch offers Rabbit Pie as the perfect ingredient for a fantastic giveaway.

Rabbityness highlighted as favourite by bookseller Ann Krusek co-owner of the Magic Tree Bookstore, Chicago, in a piece in Publishers Weekly. For more, click HERE.

Never Ever by Jo Empson gets a Kirkus Star! "Eye-catching pictures and splendid forward momentum add up to a giggle-inducing tale with subtlety underneath." Click HERE for more.

Other news:

Claudia Boldt (UUGGHH! and Star Gazers, Skyscrapers and Extraordinary Sausages) announced as part of the upcoming South Ken Kids Festival in November.

Jo Empson Illustrator blog: 'A Kirkus Star and a Book Sniffer's badge...what more could a girl want?!' For more click HERE.

JULY 2013

Harold finds a voice is squawking success at Three Foot Festival in Chelmsford. Creator Courtney Dicmas takes part in a reading and sound dictionary event with lots of happy participants.

Man's Work and I'm a Little Teapot illustrated by Annie Kubler make the Australian papers in articles focusing on successful reading initiatives.

First Time: Sports Day and our Baby Board Books add to the summer excitement of the July Stork Stack and giveaway. Also featured is Helping Hands: Grow it! "We loved this book," says Growing Up Madison blog.

Child's Play reader Anna spends day with Laurie at Child's Play USA HQ. And what better way to pass the time than play office and read great books! Anna's favourite is Copy Cat and she also helped editing First Time: School. She tells us when she gets big she'd like to work for Child's Play. A bright future ahead!

"Gorgeous, eye-catching, splendid", Never Ever by Jo Empson is awarded a Kirkus Reviews Star.

Award-winning Ocean Deep on tour at Waterstones and schools in the UK for book signings and workshops. Illustrator Richard Hatfield shares a photo album of his travels and experiences. You won't want to miss the children's contributions, such as the 'Multi-coloured Bubba Vampire Fish' HERE

One, two, three… Jump! in Guardian's top 10 inclusive children's books. From Carol Thompson's series of Little Movers board books, this is what they have to say: "The most naturally inclusive publisher of books for babies and young children simply has to be Child's Play. Children with eye patches, helmets, walking frames, hearing aids and cochlear implants can all be found having a whale of a time in the pages of their books. Jump takes a simple concept and fuses it with wonderful inclusive images to make something utterly delightful and compelling. The books have a real sense of energy, reflecting the excitement of children as they explore the world through movement."

First Time: Nursery and The Cloud feature in Storyseekers' piece about children wearing glasses in books. "All of the Child's Play books are fab and First Time: Nursery (illustrated by Jess Stockham) is no exception …it's not about getting glasses but just features a boy who wears glasses, which is great. The Cloud (by Hannah Cumming) also features children wearing glasses and is just wonderful - you can read my review of it HERE.

Other news:
Jo Empson's Wychwood Festival, a post and pictures of a Rabbityness-inspired colourful musical success- click HERE to view.

Airlie Anderson is in a "dream-like state" at Book Expo America on the Chld's Play booth and a Momo and Snap book signing. Lots of pics HERE.

JUNE 2013

"Really warm yesterday, finishing with an impressive thunderstorm." Neil's Diary continues in the USA as he visits the Maine HQ and meets the children who helped when we were developing First Time School. "We needed to check the accuracy of details about schoolwear, school meals etc, and we used the teachers at their schools."

Inclusive Minds teams up with Letterbox Library to create inclusive book packs. Early Years 'This is Me' (birth-5) features Mary Had a Little Lamb illustrated by Marina Aizen and One, two, three… Run! by Carol Thompson. More here in a review by Rhino Reads:

Jo Empson takes Rabbityness to Wychwood Festival in Letchworth, with book readings, colourful, musical fun with children making giant rainmakers and a rabbity art exhibition. Check out our photo album on Facebook HERE

There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly, UUGGHH! and Looking Good! all feature in giant-size reading challenge taken on by Child-Led Chaos to read 300 picture books in 2013.

You say, "My children were given her book, Rabbityness, about a year ago and it is one of the few times that I have leapt straight onto the computer to email the author to tell them how much the book meant to me."

Tune in to the Never Ever book trailer from Jo Empson by clicking HERE

Find a film of Harold finds a voice in the book trailer from Courtney Dicmas available HERE

Bookstart Week celebrates magic of fairy tales, with free events, stories, rhymes and activities in libraries, children's centres, bookshops around the UK... plus competitions to win our Flip-Up Fairy Tales. Bookstart also gives away free copies of our special edition of The Ugly Duckling beautifully illustrated by Masumi Furukawa.

Corrie's Jule Hesmondhalgh reads Child's Play's The Ugly Ducking for Bookstart Week. "Let the magic begin…" HERE

Rabbityness inspires brilliant animation of the book by Jo Empson, created as a Beech Class project, presented by the Beechbums. Great work!

Other news:
Booktrust fairy tales survey: 'Both mums' and daughters' favourite fairy tale named as Cinderella while dads' and sons' favourite is Jack and the Beanstalk'
"A recent survey of over 1,000 people conducted by Opinium on behalf of Booktrust found that both children and parents show a traditional gender divide when choosing their favourite fairy tales." For more, please click HERE

Progressive Preschool article on 'The Nation's Favourite Fairy Tale: "A recent survey found that the classic stories are still the best, with parents and children choosing the same tales for their top five. Parents favoured Goldilocks, while children plumped for The Three Little Pigs - while Cinderella, Jack and The Beanstalk and Snow White also make the favourites list.
…Half a million Ugly Duckling books, published by Child's Play, will also be given away at the events to encourage mums, dads and carers to read with their children every day." For more, please read on HERE.

MAY 2013

The Flower features on ITV Signed Stories app, along with titles from our Flip-Up Fairy Tales and First Time series, while we also enjoy pictures sent in by Signed Stories fans, watching Child's Play books on the TV show.

You say, "Your books are great! How can I buy those books?"

Wee Willie Winkie, This Old Man and There was an old Lady who swallowed the Sea hits in Stork Stack anniversary goodie box. Happy customers share their pics, blogs and video reviews - "Love it", "perfect", "super cute", "He loves his book the most!" "My son loves the book, and he asks me to read it several times each day!" Meanwhile, Our Cat Cuddles Storysack features in the May Grand Prize Giveaway.

We are IPPY winners with Look At Me, I'm a Monster! Illustrated by Sebastien Braun and Rabbityness by Jo Empson both getting Silver at the Independent Publisher Books Awards.

NO! wins Highly Recommended FNLIJ 2013 (IBBY Brazil) for creator Marta Altés and Brinque-Book, the Brazilian publisher of NÅO!

New this month, Momo and Snap are NOT friends! by Airlie Anderson. Told through a dialogue of sound and noise, Airlie's unique and colourful story is full of fun and perfect for beginners and non-readers who will love to imitate the characters.

Susanna Moores signs new title It's Not Yours, It's Mine! at the book launch at Heffers Children's Bookshop, Cambridge. Her debut picture book is about the joys and unexpected benefits of sharing as we follow Blieka's relationship with a beautiful brand new ball…

Rabbityness by Jo Empson makes it into the final of The People's Book Prize, where the public are the judges.

UUGGHH! by Claudia Boldt picked by the Independent as one of its 50 Best Spring Reads.

Rabbityness inspires in initiative from Seven Stories. The children's art exhibition launch is attended by Jo Empson, who delights children with a book reading and rabbity activities.

Child's Play features in ReadItDaddy blog: "Celebrating Inclusive and Diverse Children's Books" An interview with Beth Cox and Alex Strick #InclusiveMinds
"There are a lot of fabulous books out there and publishers are really starting to do some great things.
One, two, three… Run! by Carol Thompson and published by Child's is a great example of inclusion of a disabled child. The book features two main characters, running through fields and puddles, doing things that any small child would love, but one of them happens to have Down's Syndrome.
…Child's Play have certainly found that rather than being seen as a niche publisher for being inclusive, they are just recognised as a truly child-centred company.
[ReadItDaddy: My daughter (Charlotte) loves practically everything Child's Play publish…]
…Diverse characters should be fully rounded, and the fact that they are in someway diverse should not be the focus of the books, and should just be one aspect of their character. Child's Play are brilliant at this, as you've discovered and, as I've mentioned, Letterbox Library is THE place to find the best inclusive books. "
For more, please read on HERE.

Child's Play exhibits at Book Expo America and Neil's Diary fans are treated to photos and comment from New York… "Amazingly hot yesterday, but thankfully the AC at Javits was working. Walked down to Times Square after dinner - hot, humid, busy - typical NYC early summer evening.
Show got frantic! Lots of interest in new titles, and we reconnected with customers from way back. Good meetings with good friends. Some lovely librarians said some wonderful things about what we're doing. Great reception from customers in the literacy marketplace, too. Really enjoying the show, more later..."

Airlie Anderson signs Momo and Snap are NOT friends!, the new title from Child's Play, at Book Expo America, where the autograph line just keeps getting longer…

Rhapsode spreads the word about Rabbityness and Jo Empson, who is to curate a celebration of art and music at Letchworth Festival in June.

Fantastic film about disability in children's books, Scene in the Background by Hannah Miller, features the brilliant Inclusive Minds and Neil from Child's Play HQ! Showing the world as it really is… click HERE to watch

Other news:
Enjoy blogs from Jo Empson and Airlie Anderson:

Letterbox Library guests on ReadItDaddy- read more HERE.

Congratulations to Octavia's Bookshop, Cirencester, on winning Best Children's Independent Bookseller of the Year award.

APRIL 2013

Child's Play joins excitement at London Book Fair, Earl's Court, 15-16 April.

Rabbity tweets for Rabbityness by Jo Empson
"Absolutely brilliant book" @Chelmsfordbooks Just Imagine
"wow! I like the energy of that books!" @maiuki81 nere
"one of the most delightful books we've read so far this year" @WaterCiren
"Love, love, love RABBITYNESS!" @le_wright The Art Monster

Super interview with Natalia Vasquez, illustrator of Child's Play books The Pied Piper Of Hamelin and Ten Little Apples. "I love each and every one of the books I have had the chance to illustrate." Click HERE to read

Brilliant video by Franky Rogers, featuring Rabbityness by Jo Empson and celebrating Waterstones Children's Book Prize. Click HERE to view
Tweety reasons to follow @childsplaybooks on Twitter:
"@LetterboxLib: Looking at this @ChildsPlayBooks cat & thinking we've sold/are selling almost every one of the books" @WException
"#ff @ChildsPlayBooks check out the fabulous Child's Play, my publisher. Maker of classics! #storytime #amreading" @airliebird
"Lovely to finally meet Neil from @ChildsPlayBooks Thanks for seeing so many of us from @FindUsAtBologna" @TrudiEsberger They look lovely!" @W_stonesThanet (re Carol Thompson and Penny Ives board books)
"The power of creativity, friendship and Ele-Bees in The Cloud by Hannah Cumming @childsplaybooks @hannah_cumming …" @CarmenHaselup
"Finding your unique voice and having the confidence to use it in Harold Finds a Voice @childsplaybooks …" @CarmenHaselup
"I guess you already know the wonderful @ChildsPlayBooks BSL & Makaton books?" @LetterboxLib

Jo Empson takes us to the movies with a brilliant book trailer for Never Ever. Click HERE to view

Bookworm Yoga posts a rabbity pic and says, "Rabbityness by Jo Empson is a brand-new release that will be the perfect follow up to Harris Finds His Feet. HOW can you RESIST that FACE? It's all about being true to yourself."

UUGGHH! by Claudia Boldt is picked by The Independent for its Top 50 Best Spring Reads.

Waterstones interviews Jo Empson. "We love her work and we're not the only ones - this year she was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize! We wanted to find out more…" Click HERE for more

Rabbityness inspires poses at Bookworm Yoga, click HERE to check out the moves

Jo Empson takes rabbity magic and music to Waterstones, and little 'rabbits' colour in branches of the bookstore on rabbity days during 2013. Click HERE to see pics!

Rabbityness events at Waterstones Cirencester, Cheltenham and Gloucester are all magical successes. Visitors and little bunnies meet author/illustrator Jo Empson and help decorate their own musical instruments, colouring in the stores just like the rabbits in the book.

Hansel and Gretel and Talkative Tortoise feature in new ITV Signed Stories TV series, along with First Time Nursery, which is also on the Signed Stories app. The app continues to be a success, with a selection of Child's Play titles, along with Three Billy Goats Gruff for free.

Jo Empson receives inspiring email: "I love your artwork from your book RABBITYNESS. I am a therapist at a non-profit for victims of domestic violence, and also have a therapy rabbit I use with children who have experienced trauma and use your book to work on grief and loss issues. I love the artwork so much... I would love to have it in my office to make it a more kid friendly and inviting space. Plus, the kiddos love the book so much it would be a great conversation starter with the children I see." Robi Heath, Genesis Women's Shelter.

Hannah Cumming wins Gold for The Red Boat at the Wishing Shelf Independent Books Awards. "Voted for by primary school children, I'm chuffed to bits. After The Cloud was longlisted for the Nasen Inclusive Children's Book Award, and The Lost Stars was shortlisted for the Portsmouth Children's Book Award, that's a proud trajectory for my little books!"

Rabbityness-inspired artworks displayed at Seven Stories, centre for Children's Books and Action for Children's national Early Years project, which encourages families, who usually don't, to enjoy reading and create artwork together. The 2013 book collection promotes positive behaviours and relationships to support bullying prevention. "Out of all the books we chose, the one that inspired groups the most - this is reflected in the artwork - was Rabbityness." An exhibition of the families' art is held at the Seven Stories Book Den, while Jo Empson appears at the author/story event with some of the families who took part. Also featuring is Carole Thompson's gorgeous Snug.

Other news:
Enjoy blogs from Jo Empson and Airlie Anderson:

MARCH 2013

The Elves and the Shoemaker and other titles from our Flip-Up Fairy Tales series feature on ITV Signed Stories, the world's first story app for children with British and American sign language, and in 'Tell A Fairy Tale Day'.

Rabbityness creator Jo Empson on BBC radio interview, and delights at making the Waterstones Prize shortlist. "Completely over the moon for my little Rabbit to be amongst this 'amazing' shortlist...SO HAPPY:))"

Rabbityness picked for Best Easter Books by My Book Corner. "Picture books with a big reveal like this are superb for reading out loud; that collective gasp that it pulls from the captive audience is irreplaceable!"

We team up with ReadItDaddy for a competition celebrating his 'Parents Telling Stories' week.

Bookbug chooses Penguin and Me for its new Calendar as a 'Fantastic Book for Babies!'

Harold Finds a Voice features in a piece by Lucy Noguera on Twickermum about Angels Costumiers with a focus on World Book Day. "On the day of the tour I could not resist buying this parrot hat for my five-year-old as it matched his current favourite book, Harold finds a voice, a lovely book about being yourself."

My New Baby part of New Siblings theme from The Little Big Book Club.

Our sing-along Baby Board Books are "utterly fantastic" and feature in ReadItDaddy's 'Songs and Stories - A musical Interlude' saying they are "Big bold illustrations, chewable versions (not sure what Child's Play put in the 'recipe' for their card books but babies seem to love the taste of them) and even some that introduce sign language for added fun. As Child's Play say themselves on their site, singing along with children as well as reading to them helps develop a strong parental bond."

Rabbityness hops onto the 2013 UKLA Books Awards shortlist. "We loved this debut book for its originality, for its sparkly text and simple, yet effective, layout and for the rich colours and fluidity of its illustrations. We also loved the fact that its interpretation is so open. Just where did Rabbit go? That is totally up to the young readers, who can come up with whatever answer suits them best. A fabulous debut, which we feel will be used and enjoyed by teachers and parents alike for a whole host of storytelling opportunities," says Sara Radley, Eastway Primary School, The Wirral.

We welcome Inclusive Minds, bringing a range of projects aimed at creating truly inclusive, diverse and accessible books, working with writers, illustrators, publishers, library professionals, teachers, booksellers, book organisations, children and parents.

Harold finds a voice by Courtney Dicmas is 'book of the week' at Peters Books - "cleverly done and illustrations are highly appealing".

The Cloud is Book of the Week for ReadItDaddy - "should be in everyone's collection".

Jo Empson, 'In memory of my brother', Bookshelf, Wiltshire Life piece featuring Rabbityness and Never Ever and inspiration. "Two of my most memorable and prized possessions as a child were a kaleidoscope and a huge pack of felt-tip pens, carefully set out to echo a rainbow. I was fascinated with colour."

Rabbityness hops into the Huff Post and Nanny Emma's Picks: The Best Books for Kids, Part II (ages 6-10). "Sally Young, staff manager of Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino, CA, likes Rabbityness. 'It's a beautiful book - the illustrations are stunning,' says Sally, and the visual style is 'really different' than other books on the shelf. Rabbityness tells the story of a colorful, creative rabbit who suddenly disappears, leaving the woods sad and grey. But when Rabbit's friends discover the paints and instruments he left behind, they celebrate Rabbit by using his gifts to make their own joyful art. The book celebrates creativity and approaches loss with sensitivity and grace."

Welcome to Twitter Child's Play USA! Follow them @ChildsPlayUSA and also Child's Play HQ @ChildsPlayBooks for lots of of the moment news, views, reviews...

Jo Empson debut Rabbityness is at it again, hopping onto the 2013 Primary English & English 4-11 Picture Book Awards Shortlist.

Waterstones Cirencester welcomes Jo Empson for story time and magical musical rabbity fun.

Harold finds a voice and No! creators at Heffers Children's Bookshop. Courtney Dicmas signs her new and debut children's book Harold finds a voice, and is joined by Marta Altés for an evening with Cambridge Graduates.

Child's Play at 50th Fiera del Libro per Ragazzi Bologna, the London Book Fair and the Education Show 2013.

Bologna news brings us what is to become 'Neil's Diary', now eagerly anticipated posts on Facebook and also #neilsdiary on Twitter.

Momo and Snap book trailer, created by Airlie Anderson for her new Child's Play title. Click HERE to view!

Clever Chimps read Child's Play books. Mrs Arabella, the Storyteller at Clever Chimps, says, "Totally inspired by your books over the years, and even from my own childhood."

Other news:
World Book Day promises to be 'Biggest Book Show on Earth'
World Maths Day


The Talkative Tortoise features in ITV Signed Stories, with great pics of filming in the studio on social media.

Rabbityness hops onto Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2013 picture book shortlist.

Hansel and Gretel features on the ITV Signed Stories app along with other Child's Play titles.

Rabbityness and Never Ever creator Jo Empson is the subject of a celebratory article in This Is Wiltshire. "No sooner had Ms Empson got over the excitement about being shortlisted for the Waterstones prize than she had two other bits of good news. Rabbityness has been longlisted for two other national awards, the Kate Greenaway Medal and the UKLA award."

Rabbityness makes Cambridgeshire Libraries 'Read it Again!' Children's Picture Book Award shortlist. The prize champions new talent and the winner is picked by thousands of school children, who read, discuss and vote for their favourite!

No! creator Marta Altés visits brain paralysis centre in Barcelona to take part in an impressive PowerPoint presentation. "We had so much fun. We read the book and we talked a lot; they asked very interesting questions and it was an AMAZING day! So special," says Marta.

Early Readers' Book Club at Mothers' Club Family Learning Centre, Pasadena share fab pictures of the children enjoying our books and activities inspired by the stories and characters.

Other news:
'Get Dads Reading' campaign from Booktrust
Who reads to you: Mum or Dad? Guardian poll


NEW! Harold finds a voice by Courtney Dicmas is something to squawk about!

NEW! Never Ever book launches with creator Jo Empson at Heffers Cambridge and Octavia's Bookshop Cirencester.

Child's Play 40th Anniversary celebrations continue, "working away to spark the imagination of the world's children", with a news feature in This Is Wiltshire.

Working with partner Stork Stack, Child's Play books feature as part of these special gift boxes.

Little ducks singalong and puppet fun with Five Little Ducks
Click HERE to watch and join in!

Reading NO! at bedtime
"Floyd helps mama with the bedtime story No! written and illustrated by Marta Altés."
Click HERE to view.

Itsy Bitsy Spider climbs to Silver. "Congratulations from all of us as our Bizziebaby Testers loved the Itsy Bitsy Spider book awarding this the Bizziebaby Silver Award."

The Red Boat gets Bizziebaby Silver award! "Another delightful picture book from the talented and popular Hannah Cumming, with an underlying message about confidence and friendship."

This is art! Great Facebook post from Hannah Cumming: "…and here is a picture of The Cloud in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art shop! This made me very happy - I never thought I'd be sharing shelf space with Joan Miró. I like to think he'd be pleased." [image]

ITV Signed Stories App and the ITV programme feature Child's Play books, including The Elves and the Shoemaker.

No! goes to Barcelona. Creator of our fabulously entertaining book No!, Marta Altés visits a brain paralysis centre in Barcelona to take part in a very impressive PowerPoint presentation. "We had so much fun. We read the book and we talked a lot; they asked very interesting questions and it was an AMAZING day! So special," says Marta.

Thu, January 16th, 2014

Latest News

CHOICES on 2022 Klaus Flugge Shortlist!

CHOICES has been shortlisted for the 2022 Klaus Flugge Prize!


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