Thursday 15 December 2011

Countdown to Christmas: Jude Evans of Little Tiger Press

Merry Christmas, everyone! I’m publisher of Little Tiger Press, which specialises in picture books and novelty books. It’s the most fantastically surreal existence – one minute you’re in a meeting about contracts or international sales, and the next you’re discussing the emotional authenticity of a story about a jealous bear, or the colour and consistency of elephant snot . . . As a job it’s both challenging and incredibly fun. I’m lucky to do something that matters so much to me and that helps bring the work of authors and illustrators into the hands and minds of children.

the Lovely Jude

My wishlist for 2012 . . .

1 It’ll sound a bit soppy, but I most wish for success and happiness for all our authors and illustrators. We work with some incredibly talented, committed and lovely people; I’m proud and delighted to publish their books and want every one of them to do well and make their mark on the world.
2 At Little Tiger we invest a lot of time and energy working with emerging authors and illustrators. We’re on the cusp of commissioning two new picture book creators, and it’s so exciting. In 2012 I want to see their ideas become books that I can hold in my hands.

3 In 2012 I’d love to find another new author who can write funny, quirky picture books with strong, memorable ideas and engaging characters. Someone with a real gift for language, and for the rhythms and patterns of great picture book texts.

And the things I’ve loved from 2011 . . .

1 One of the books that we developed over the course of 2011 (publishing in July 2012) represents what I enjoy most in my job: Who’s for Dinner? is by the super-talented Claire Freedman (who’s written for Little Tiger for over 10 years), and is the first book by illustrator Nick East (a really exciting, fresh talent). It’s a vibrant, funny book and it brings together the best of both worlds for me – working with old friends and new.

2 A book I wish I could have published is I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. I nearly didn’t mention it as I’ve seen that Kate Wilson has also written about it (and got there first!), but I just have to. It’s one of those books that you see, you buy, then you rush up to the next person you see and insist they read it too. And the next person, and the next . . . It’s clever, funny, and uses body language and speech in a very economical, effective way. A great book to spark discussion and the realisation, for the more sophisticated reader, of the layers of meaning behind words.

3 My other best thing would be a montage of the reactions of people I’ve seen reading our books: a creative meeting with our lovely team, getting excited about new ideas; foreign publishers exclaiming at the books, laughing at them (and then buying the rights!); and finally, a gorgeous moment with the daughter of a friend, reading The Little White Owl by Tracey Corderoy and Jane Chapman at bedtime – she listed the colours of every feather on the endpapers, told me what was happening on every page, then curled up and fell fast asleep.

Slushpile note: Submission guidelines for Little Tiger Press can be found here.


  1. Who's for Dinner? What a great title!

  2. Wonderful post, slushies. It had the effect of making me wish I did picture books - then I remembered I'm far too cynical to be let loose there.

  3. Makes me wish I'd gone into publishing - what a wonderful job!

  4. I still desperately want to do picture books. Just waiting for a lull between novels.

  5. Thanks, Jude: I now have elephant snot indelibly etched in my imagination! Not sure I can fit it into my current story...

    And thanks, also, for all the encouragement along the way. For those who don't know, Jude is a regular runner of inspiring workshops at the annual Winchester Writers Conference, and Little Tiger Press and associated Stripes sponsor the childrens' writing awards at same.

  6. I'm loving this series, thank you ever so much, and Merry Christmas!

  7. this is such an inspirational list, Jude! Thanks!

  8. and the trail continues - (thanks for the Slushpile Note) - Great page on the 'Lifecycle of a picture book'. Hooray for soppy picture book publishers!

  9. I love Little Tiger, and think the smaller publishers contribute enormously to the books we get to read. Great list!

  10. Love Jude's number three; it's a fabulous feeling when someone is moved by what you've created.

    Like Teri, I've benefitted from Jude's wisdom at Winchester Writers. Her workshop's are excellent.

  11. Ah... just love the Little Tiger Press books an so do my kids (my own and the little treasures at school).


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