IPG Children's Publisher of the Year

The Farm Beneath the Water and Use Your Imagination shortlisted for Independent Bookshop Week Book Awards

Posted by Tom on Mar 27, 2015

This morning we were absolutely delighted to learn that both The Farm Beneath the Water by Helen Peters, and Use Your Imagination by Nicola O’Byrne, have been shortlisted for Independent Bookshop Week Book Awards.

Independent Bookshop Week, now in its ninth year, is part of the Books Are My Bag campaign and seeks to celebrate independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland, and the important part that ‘indies’ play in their communities, and the excellent, personal service they provide for customers. Hundreds of events and promotions will be taking place at independent bookshops around the country, and the winners of the awards will be announced on 20 June 2015 – the first day of Independent Bookshop Week.

The sequel to the highly-acclaimed The Secret Hen House Theatre, The Farm Beneath the Water has been shortlisted in the Children’s Fiction category – if you’ve not yet discovered this incredible book, you can read the opening chapters below:


Buy the book online from your local independent book shop.

Hannah’s farm is facing a new threat – a water company wants to flood the land to make a reservoir. How can she stand by and watch as the land her family has farmed for generations, and the wildlife, all disappear under a deluge of water? Hannah won’t go down without a fight, and the school play might just be the answer… When the going gets tough, the tough take to the stage!

The book has all the same hallmarks as its predecessor: great writing and an emotionally engaging, entertaining narrative. It’s PERFECT for 9-12 year olds who love a brilliantly-told story.

If you’d like to read about the inspiration behind this book, and The Secret Hen House Theatre, here’s a wonderful essay by Helen on growing up on a farm, and turning life into fiction.

The follow-up to the brilliant, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-winning Open Very Carefully, Use Your Imagination has been shortlisted in the Picture Book category – here’s a look inside:


Buy the book online from your local independent book shop.

This is another wonderfully clever, inventive picture book all about storytelling and the power of imagination – the story of an imaginative rabbit, who outwits a wolf and becomes the hero of his own adventure. And like Open Very Carefully, this is also a brilliant celebration of the physical book in all its glory, with a STUNNING fold-out final spread.

You can read the full list of shortlists, and more about the Independent Bookshop Week Book Awards, here.

Congratulations, Helen and Nicola – and good luck!

Meet the author: Paula Harrison at the Oxford Literary Festival

Posted by Paula Harrison on Mar 27, 2015

Today’s blogpost is by Paula Harrison, author of the upcoming Red Moon Rising, a quest-driven epic for 9+ year olds, as well as the best-selling Rescue Princesses series for younger readers.

I set off for the Oxford Literary Festival in bright spring sunshine last Saturday. I was feeling pretty cheerful because Nosy Crow’s lovely Mary Berry had posted copies of Red Moon Rising to me and they arrived that morning. It was my first sight of this new book! I may have stroked the cover a little.

It felt like an auspicious day to be going to the festival. It was the 21st March – exactly 4 years since Nosy Crow emailed with my first offer of a book contract (yes, I have it marked on my calendar. It was a Thursday and the offer landed in my inbox around 5:30 pm and made me burn my daughter’s fish fingers).

I’d been invited to take part in an informal “Meet the Author” event in the Festival Marquee, where each author had an allotted time to talk about their stories and sign books. The marquee was erected in the courtyard between the Bodleian Library and the Sheldonian Theatre. It didn’t really strike me till afterwards, but it was quite prestigious surroundings in which to talk about my books. I’m glad I didn’t think about that till afterwards!


The old Bodleian library

As always, the best thing about the event were the children. A girl named Charlotte had stayed around the marquee especially to see me and she giggled when I donned my tiara to read from “(new-window)The Rescue Princesses. I was also charmed by the children’s brilliant mask-making. There were several small but vocal wild creatures in the marquee that day!


I suggested Daniel could cut out the eye holes with the help of his mum so that he could see!

I particularly loved introducing my book Red Moon Rising to the audience. Seeing it on sale in the marquee was a great moment too. Thank you so much to the staff at Blackwell’s for looking after everything and generally being lovely.

Thank you, Paula! Red Moon Rising will be out next week – you can take a look inside below, and pre-order the book online here. And if you’d like the chance to win a copy, you can find out all about our monthly books newsletter competition here.

Come and meet us: we're holding an illustrator surgery at the Bologna Book Fair

Posted by Tom on Mar 26, 2015

Are you an illustrator coming to the Bologna Book Fair? Would you like to meet us there? Then our illustrator surgeries are for you!

We’re holding illustrator surgeries on Tuesday, March 31 from 3.00-4.00pm and on Wednesday, April 1 from 12.00-1.00pm at the Nosy Crow stand (Hall 25 B 106) where you’ll be able to meet our editorial and design team, show us your portfolio, and receive some feedback on your work. We have back-to-back rights-selling appointments for the rest of the fair – if you’d like to meet us, those are the times you’ll be able to do so.

If this is your first time at the Book Fair, you might find this blogpost from last year useful, where we share our top advice for illustrators.

We hope to see you there!