Julia Donaldson launched a new picture book promotion with Waterstones at the London Book Fair earlier this week.
This week marks the launch of a new Children's Laureate picture book promotion in Waterstones stores across the country.
Julia has chosen ten of her favourite picture books to share for the promotion, ranging from classic favourites such as Dogger by Shirley Hughes, Handa's Surprise by Eileen Browne and Six Dinner Sid by Inga Moore, through to new titles such as The Day Louis Got Eaten by John Fardell, and Dogs Don't Do Ballet by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie.
Julia introduced her ten selected picture books at a seminar at the London Book Fair, where she spoke about her choices alongside Melissa Cox, New Titles Buyer for Children's Books at Waterstones. Julia explained why she had chosen the books, which show the range of picture books for children, ranging from non-fiction (Mad About Minibeasts by David Wojtowycz and Giles Andrae) to a new edition of an old favourite, Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel. Katie Cleminson's beautifully illustrated Otto the Book Bear was highlighted as a powerful tribute to the importance of libraries, and Julia even gave a quick demonstration of exactly why John Burningham's Would You Rather, is such an engaging book to share, getting the audience involved in her reading of part of the story.
It was such a lovely task to choose my favourite picture books for Waterstones... My own love affair of picture books started long before I was a children's writer myself, when I had children and I discovered Each Peach Pear Plum, Dogger, The Tiger Who Came To Tea, all those wonderful authors and illustrators. What was so wonderful was those sessions with your child, usually at bedtime: maybe you'd have rows and tiffs during the day, but this was such a lovely close time, when you're sharing a book and all the emotions in the book, and chuckling together. Picture books are such a journey of discovery for a child, helping them find out about the world and about themselves.
Melissa Cox from Waterstones said:
At Waterstones we are passionate about storytelling and getting children reading, but we are aware that when you go into our stores, there is an enormous amount of choice... The average Waterstones has 6,000 children's books, but it could be anything up to 15,000 depending on how big the store is. That can make the choice for parents really difficult and intimidating, which is why good advice from the experts is essential. What we wanted to provide was a guide to picture books, and the best books to read with your children - and who better to ask than Julia Donaldson?
The titles are accompanied by a leaflet which includes Julia's tips for reading with your child, including how to choose the right book, and tips for reading aloud.