Fiction Editor AND Picture Book Editor of the wonderful Tamarind Books! Blimey!
Tamarind Books was founded by Verna Wilkins in 1987 with the mission of redressing the balance of diversity in children’s publishing. Tamarind still exists to put diversity ‘in the picture’. Find out more
On the tenth day of Christmas, we’d love Santa to send both of us…
A brilliant story that features children from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds in leading roles. Really exciting, rip-roaring texts, or stunning, top-quality illustrations, but with a multicultural cast of characters.
Here's a totally selective selection of Tamarind books featuring our very own Addy Farmer and NFTSP friends Malaika Rose Stanley and Odette Elliott
We strongly believe that all children should be able to see themselves in the books they read, and feel represented. We would like to see more portrayals of diverse families – so perhaps children with two mums or two dads, mixed race families, or families whose members have a disability. However, these stories need to stand up in their own right, and have the ability to be enjoyed by everyone. We’re not usually looking for ‘issue’ books, where diversity itself is the theme.
Picture Book Editor Joe says:
I’m looking for texts that really make me laugh – I love dry, witty books with lots of character: I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, Dogs Don’t Do Ballet by Anna Kemp and Churchill’s Tale of Tails by Anca Sandu are all examples of recent books that have made me laugh: more of that, please!
I’d like to see completely fresh takes on the central themes that speak to children – lots of exciting new twists. It would be exciting to discover someone like Emily Gravett, or a team like Janet and Allan Ahlberg, who have created books that feel enormously imaginative and original.
Even if the core concepts are the same – it would be great to see innovative execution and completely fresh interpretations of old ideas. It’s exciting to feel that something is unique and has never been done before.
Fiction Editor Kirsten says:
At the risk of sounding repetitive (that’s the problem with posting on Day 10!) I would also love to receive a great mystery! I grew up with Nancy Drew and Miss Marple, and these are the stories I love the most.
A reboot of classic children's mystery fiction Nancy Drew and Miss Marple as played by Margaret Rutherford in the 1960s
I’d like to see a tightly-constructed plot with twists and turns, and brilliantly intriguing clues for the reader to try and piece together. Something clever and page-turning, with three-dimensional characters. Something like a children’s literary equivalent of this brilliant, brilliant series:
I would also like to find a manuscript that surprises me, and makes me think. A beautifully-written text that leads the reader in an unexpected and original direction. Preferably with gorgeous illustrations as well. Here are two recent examples that I adore:
Here are the amazing illustrations juxtaposed with the book covers of A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton and A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness