Highlights 2021
Highlights 2021

Susannah Lloyd’s Chaplainesque knight opens the year for us in Here Be Dragons, with lashings of medieval mansplaining and a very well-disguised dragon, courtesy of Paddy Donnelly. Brian the sausage dog is on a quest too, in Rob Jones’ debut as author-illustrator. But he’s just looking for his bottom. As in Where’s Brian’s Bottom? Makes sense, no? Then Michelle’s Jelly has lost its confidence in When Jelly Had a Wobble – a technicolour sequel to The Day The Banana Went Bad.

Sean Taylor has been busy writing non-fiction with ecologist Alex Morrs, first in Busy Spring, a follow-up to Winter Sleep with Cinyee Chiu, and then in Funny Bums and Freaky Beaks, illustrated by our own Sarah Edmonds. Her mandrill’s pudendum is alarming but accurate. Speaking of which, my own book, What Happened to You? is finally coming out in April, after pandemic-postponement. Karen George’s pictures are very tenderly drawn. And keep an eye out for Polly Dunbar’s deeply funny guide to parenthood, Hello Mum, which is already being translated into several languages.

For good or ill, Emer Stamp’s brilliant new series PESTS was not postponed and launched right in the thick of the first lockdown in 2020. The sequel should get – and deserves – a fairer crack of the whip this time around. And two picturebooks surfing what I hope will be the final, gentle waves of the pandemic are coming in Spring: Malachy’s Molly and the Lockdown was first released in the Summer of 2020 as a downloadable story to print off and colour in, now fully realised by Andrew Whitson and revised to finish with a vaccine; and Dawn McNiff’s Smiley Eyes, Smiley Faces will reassure tinies that strangers can smile with their eyes, even when their mouths are behind masks.

Ursula Jones has retold The Sleeping Beauty with lush, retro art from Colombian illustrator Paula Escobar. Claire Alexander’s Little Ploofer returns with another life lesson in A Little Bit of Courage, the sequel to A Little Bit Different. And David Lucas has written some joyfully anarchic words to conjure happy paandemonium from Bruce Ingman’s paintbrush in Attack of the Giant Baby!

There will be a sequel to Do Not Disturb The Dragons from Michelle Robinson, and Patricia’s relentless pachyderm will make mincemeat of an ice cream van in You Can’t Take an Elephant on Holiday, as drawn by David Tazzyman. Watch out for a debut from illustrator Nici Gregory too, with words from Susannah Lloyd: Oh Monty! And Eoin and Polly’s Hedgehog and Tortoise from The Hug may yet ride again…

To finish, Sue Cheung will follow the success of Chinglish with a new MG series: Maddy Yip’s Guide to Life. (NB this picture of girl with loot may or may not be Maddy Yip!) And Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry, the perfect union of dogs and trucks (pictures by Jez Tuya, words from Michelle) brings up the rear.

Here’s to 2021 – a year that surely, surely can only be better than the last…

Highlights 2021 Highlights 2021 Home Here Be Dragons When Jelly Had a Wobble Where's Brian's Bottom What Happened to You? Funny Bums and Freaky Beaks Busy Spring PESTS 2 Molly and the Lockdown Smiley Eyes, Smiley Faces The Sleeping Beauty A Little Bit of Courage Attack of the Giant Baby! Maddy Yip? Inspector Penguin Investigates Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry Highlights 2021 2020

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HIGHLIGHTS 2021

Susannah Lloyd’s Chaplainesque knight opens the year for us in Here Be Dragons, with lashings of medieval mansplaining and a very well-disguised dragon, courtesy of Paddy Donnelly. Brian the sausage dog is on a quest too, in Rob Jones’ debut as author-illustrator. But he’s just looking for his bottom. As in Where’s Brian’s Bottom? Makes sense, no? Then Michelle’s Jelly has lost its confidence in When Jelly Had a Wobble – a technicolour sequel to The Day The Banana Went Bad.

Sean Taylor has been busy writing non-fiction with ecologist Alex Morrs, first in Busy Spring, a follow-up to Winter Sleep with Cinyee Chiu, and then in Funny Bums and Freaky Beaks, illustrated by our own Sarah Edmonds. Her mandrill’s pudendum is alarming but accurate. Speaking of which, my own book, What Happened to You? is finally coming out in April, after pandemic-postponement. Karen George’s pictures are very tenderly drawn. And keep an eye out for Polly Dunbar’s deeply funny guide to parenthood, Hello Mum, which is already being translated into several languages.

For good or ill, Emer Stamp’s brilliant new series PESTS was not postponed and launched right in the thick of the first lockdown in 2020. The sequel should get – and deserves – a fairer crack of the whip this time around. And two picturebooks surfing what I hope will be the final, gentle waves of the pandemic are coming in Spring: Malachy’s Molly and the Lockdown was first released in the Summer of 2020 as a downloadable story to print off and colour in, now fully realised by Andrew Whitson and revised to finish with a vaccine; and Dawn McNiff’s Smiley Eyes, Smiley Faces will reassure tinies that strangers can smile with their eyes, even when their mouths are behind masks.

Ursula Jones has retold The Sleeping Beauty with lush, retro art from Colombian illustrator Paula Escobar. Claire Alexander’s Little Ploofer returns with another life lesson in A Little Bit of Courage, the sequel to A Little Bit Different. And David Lucas has written some joyfully anarchic words to conjure happy paandemonium from Bruce Ingman’s paintbrush in Attack of the Giant Baby!

There will be a sequel to Do Not Disturb The Dragons from Michelle Robinson, and Patricia’s relentless pachyderm will make mincemeat of an ice cream van in You Can’t Take an Elephant on Holiday, as drawn by David Tazzyman. Watch out for a debut from illustrator Nici Gregory too, with words from Susannah Lloyd: Oh Monty! And Eoin and Polly’s Hedgehog and Tortoise from The Hug may yet ride again…

To finish, Sue Cheung will follow the success of Chinglish with a new MG series: Maddy Yip’s Guide to Life. (NB this picture of girl with loot may or may not be Maddy Yip!) And Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry, the perfect union of dogs and trucks (pictures by Jez Tuya, words from Michelle) brings up the rear.

Here’s to 2021 – a year that surely, surely can only be better than the last…

Here Be Dragons

When Jelly Had a Wobble

Where's Brian's Bottom

What Happened to You?

Funny Bums and Freaky Beaks

Busy Spring

PESTS 2

Molly and the Lockdown

Smiley Eyes, Smiley Faces

The Sleeping Beauty

A Little Bit of Courage

Attack of the Giant Baby!

Maddy Yip?

Inspector Penguin Investigates

Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry

Highlights 2021

2020