A magical story about finding your identity from one of the most acclaimed storytellers of his generation, richly illustrated in full colour by an internationally renowned artist.
My mother says that all things can be turned to tales. I thought she meant tales like fish tails, but I was wrong. She meant tales like this, tales that are stories. But this tale of mine is very like a fish tail too…
Annie has never been like the other girls. Her mam tried sending her to school when she was small, but Annie couldn’t seem to make words or numbers stick. She prefers instead to be swimming in the sea, or sunbathing on the shore at Stupor Beach, her head full of tales. She should have been a fish, her mam always tells her, and Annie knows the truth of it. Then a stranger who comes to town is struck by the beauty and the wonder of her, and Annie Lumsden realizes that perhaps she really is half a creature from the sea.
Annie Lumsden, The Girl from the Sea is illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna. It was published by Walker Books on 6th August 2020.
David Almond and Dave McKean together again, with a dark, powerful and moving short story.
Joe Quinn tells everyone about the poltergeist in his house, but no one believes him.
No one that is, except for Davey. He’s felt the inexplicable presence in the rooms, he’s seen random objects fly through the air.
And there’s something else … a memory of his beloved sister, and a feeling deep down that somehow it might be possible for ghosts to exist.
Nominated for the 2020 CILIP Kate Greenaway Award.
"Blurring the boundaries between text and image, child and adult, life and afterlife, Almond and McKean create a sense of the meeting point between the human and sublime."
"The art amplifies the characteristically dark, rich tones of Almond’s prose all the way to a final Dylan Thomas-style promise that “the world and all that’s in it will continue to…hold us in its darkness and its light.”… A keen collaboration moving seamlessly between worlds inner and outer, natural and supernatural."
"This throws Joe into an existential funk, expertly rendered in McKean’s dark, mixed-media illustrations, where overlapping, scribbled sketches embody confusion and conflict, jarring collages evoke an unsettled atmosphere, and negative space echoes absence and haunting memories. Joe navigates his inner turmoil, including grief and religious confusion, forming earnest revelations about life’s poltergeists (i.e., disruptions) and finding peace."
Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist was published on March 7th 2019 by Walker Books; paperback edition now also available.
The US edition was published by Candlewick Press on September 10, 2019.
A vivid and moving story, beautifully illustrated, which commemorates the hundred-year anniversary of the end of the First World War.
"I am just a child," says John. "How can I be at war?"
It’s 1918, and war is everywhere. John’s dad is fighting in the trenches far away in France. His mum works in the munitions factory just along the road. His teacher says that John is fighting, too, that he is at war with enemy children in Germany.
One day, in the wild woods outside town, John has an impossible moment: a meeting with a German boy named Jan. John catches a glimpse of a better world, in which children like Jan and himself can come together, and scatter the seeds of peace.
Gorgeously illustrated by David Litchfield, this is a book to treasure.
Nominated for the 2020 CILIP Kate Greenaway Award.
The Big Topic: resources for schools about War is Over
War is Over was first published by Hodder Children’s Books in November 2018 in hardback and Kindle editions; it is now also available in paperback.
The US edition was published by Candlewick Press on May 12 2020.
Kielder Water is a wild and beautiful place, rich in folk music and legend.
Years ago, before a great dam was built to fill the valley with water, there were farms and homesteads in that valley and musicians who livened their rooms with song.
After the village was abandoned and before the waters rushed in, a father and daughter returned there. The girl began to play her fiddle, bringing her tune to one empty house after another — for this was the last time that music would be heard in that place.
With exquisite artwork by Levi Pinfold, David Almond’s lyrical narrative – inspired by a true tale – pays homage to his friends Mike and Kathryn Tickell and all the musicians of Northumberland, to show that music is ancient and unstoppable, and that dams and lakes cannot overwhelm it.
Shortlisted for the 2020 CILIP Kate Greenaway Award.
David Almond talked about the story of the dam, and the music and poetry which lie submerged within us all on Radio 4, on Sunday April 26th 2020; listen again via the BBC website.
"With its every detail – its masterful illustrations, its landscape format, and the elegant text that offers readers a way to see the promise of new life from what has been destroyed – this book triumphs."
Kirkus Reviews (USA)
"With riveting language and moody art, this true story will evoke awe and reverence of place for even very young readers."
Publishers Weekly (USA)
" a poignant collaboration between David Almond and illustrator Levi Pinfold, filled with wordless landscapes and harmonies heard deep in the reader’s mind…"
"Perhaps the most extraordinarily lovely and melancholy picture book published this year.."
"This stunning, wild and atmospheric picture book by two giants of children’s literature tells the true story of a musician father and his daughter who, before the community is lost, enter each house in the valley and play music, sing and dance in each one, so that they will always contain music – and magic.."
The Dam, illustrated by Levi Pinfold, was published by Walker Books in hardback on 11th September 2018, and in paperback on 1st August 2019.
La Diga, the Italian edition of The Dam, published by orecchio acerbo, won the Andersen Prize 2019 for best illustrated book and for children’s book of the year, and the Premio Letteratura Ragazzi 2019, for best children’s poetry book of 2019.
Bert and Betty Brown have got themselves a little angel.
Bert found him in his top pocket when he was driving his bus. Bert and Betty’s friends think he’s lovely. So do Nancy and Jack and Alice from Class 5K. What a wonder!
But Acting Head Teacher Mrs Mole is not so sure. Nor is Professor Smellie. Or the mysterious bloke in black who claims to be a School Inspector.
Then there’s Basher Malone – big, lumbering Basher Malone. He REALLY doesn’t like Angelino. And it looks like he’s out to get him…
It is published by Walker Books.
From the dream team of David Almond and Dave McKean, a complete story set in an incomplete world…
The gods have created a world – they’ve built mountains, a sea and a sky – and now their days are filled with long naps in the clouds (and tea and cake). That’s until Harry, Sue and Little Ben begin to fill the gaps of the world: with a mousy thing, a chirpy thing and a twisty legless thing.
As the children’s ideas take shape, the power of their visions proves to be greater than they, or the gods, could ever have imagined.
Joe has birthday money to spend, and decides a cute dog he’s seen in a pet shop window is the perfect purchase. For some reason, though, the pet shop owner is determined not to sell that particular dog…
This wonderful story is brought to life with the illustrations of Ayesha Lopez.
Joe’s Dog is a Collins Big Cat Progress book, specifically designed for children at Key Stage 2 who have a Key Stage 1 reading level, giving them age-appropriate texts that they can read, building their confidence and fostering positive attitudes towards reading.
Do you believe there’s life after death?
Slog does. He reckons that the scruffy bloke sitting outside the pork shop is his dad come back to visit him for one last time – just like he’d said he would, just before he died.
Slog’s mate Davie isn’t convinced. But how does this man know everything Slog’s dad would know? Because Slog says it really is his dad, that’s how.
Slog’s Dad is published by Walker Books, with ilustrations by Dave McKean.
It is also included in Half a Creature from the Sea.
A magnificent tale of crackpot notions and sky-high courage – from David Almond, the master of magical realism, with illustrations by the award-winning Polly Dunbar.
Paul believes that the moon is not the moon, but is a great hole in the sky.
It’s one of many strange ideas that he’s never told anyone (at school he was told that he had no ideas at all), until he meets Molly, his irrepressible neighbour, who begins to convince him that his theory might just change the world.
Helped by a very long ladder, some highly irregular characters, two rather worried parents and a great deal of community spirit, Paul takes to the sky.
But his astonishing discovery there can’t keep him away for long – what is waiting for him back at home is turning out to be better than he’d ever imagined…
"[A] deceptively simple, surreal tale about freedom, imagination and friendship." – THE SUNDAY TIMES
Join a father and daughter as they find their wings together and take to the skies in this funny, tender tale from the master of contemporary storytelling.
Lizzie and Dad live in a rainy town in the north of England. It’s just the two of them, and Auntie Doreen, who pops round to check Lizzie’s spellings and tell Dad he’s daft – and make them nice hot dumplings.
But today there’s something unusual going on: why is Dad building himself a pair of wings and studying the birds to see how they fly? The Great Human Bird Competition of course!
My Dad’s a Birdman is published by Walker Books: a warm and wonderfully wacky tale told with heart and hope by Carnegie award winning author David Almond and illustrastor Polly Dunbar.