The Network of Information Book Writers and Editors in Britain.

Bookseller Children’s conference 2018

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The Bookseller magazine’s annual conference this year is to feature a strand on children’s nonfiction – which is being organised by Nibweb members Lionel Bender and Jenny Vaughan. The aim is to raise the profile of nonfiction in all the many forms it can be found, or should be found or might be in future. The conference lasts a day and is to take place at County Hall, London. (That’s the old County Hall building, just south of Westminster Bridge.)

Lionel will be speaking on the experience of publishing nonfiction in the US, where it’s definitely part of the mainstream, and there will be speakers addressing issues such as what readers are looking for, the different forms that nonfiction can take and what the future might hold.

There’s a lot to think about:  it’s time to bring nonfiction out of the shadows and think about just how exciting it can be!
For more information, go to:


Book Fair 2018

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Several Nibwebbers attended, but on different days – so there wasn’t much in the way of a get-together. Reports are that several of us enjoyed meeting old colleagues and picking up work from them and from publishers they hadn’t worked for before. So, all in all, successful for our members. Anne Rooney’s Dinosaur Atlas took pride of place the Lonely Planet stand, along with Moira Butterfield’s City Trails.


Bees in the frame: ALCS Educational Writers’ Award 2017

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This year’s ALCS Educational Writers’ Award was given at a reception of the All Party Writers’ Group at the House of Commons on 5 December. It went to The Book of Bees  by Wojciech Grajkowski, illustrated by Piotr Socha and translated into English from the Polish by Agnes Monod-Gayraud. Beautifully illustrated, it covers the history of bees from the time of the dinosaurs until today, taking in information about bees in history (ancient people ate them along with honey), and amazing facts about them – including the famous ‘dance’ they use to communicate sources of nectar and pollen. With the crisis in bee (and other insect) numbers we see today, this is an especially valuable book for children of all ages – and even adults – though it’s aimed at the 6+ age group.

The award is sponsored jointly by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) and the Society of Authors (ALCS).

The Book of Bees: written by  Wojciech Grajkowski and illustrated by  Piotr Socha; published by Thames and Hudson. ISBN: 9780500650950


At the same event, children’s author Cressida Cowell  received the 2017 Ruth Rendell Award for services to literacy for her tireless championing of literacy throughout the UK. This award is jointly sponsored by ALCS and the National Literacy Trust.

School Library Association Awards – winners for 2017

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Nibweb member Nicola Davies came away from the School Library Association (SLA) award ceremony on 22 November with two accolades.

Firstly, she was  the judges’ first choice for My First Book of Animals, which brings more than  fifty different animals, birds, insects and marine creatures vividly to life through poems by Nicola and beautiful illustrations by Petr Horace. (The children’s choice was Our Very Own Dog by Amanda McCardie.)


Nicola was also given the very first Hachette Children’s Group Award for Outstanding Contribution to Information Books.

The overall winner (judges’ choice) was Survivors of the Holocaust by Kath Shackleton, Zane Whittingham and Ryan Jones – making an exciting break with the children’s nonfiction tradition by being in the form of a graphic novel. Is this something we’ll see more of in future? The children’s choice was Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson with advice from Dr Olivia Hewitt.


A First Book of Animals by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horacek. Walker Books, ISBN 9781406359633

Our Very Own Dog by Amanda McCardie, Illustrated by Salvatore Rubbing. Walker Books, ISBN 9781406356205

Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson with advice from Dr Olivia Hewitt, illustrated by Gemma Correll, Hot Key Books ISBN 9781471405310

The SLA Information Book Award is sponsored by Hachette Children’s Group and is supported by Peters Books and Furniture. For more information and a complete list of winners, see

The next date in the children’s nonfiction awards diary is the ALCS/Society of Authors Educational Writers Award, on 5 December at the House of Commons.

Social issues for KS2

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Honor Head writes to say she’s just finished a six-book series on social issues for Key Stage 2. They cover Overcoming Fear of Failure; Family Differences; Self-Esteem and Confidence; Understanding Sexuality, and the title she found most interesting of all, Understanding Transgender.
Franklin Watts
ISBN: 9781445155661


Travelling around … in place and time

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In place …
Moira Butterfield has just published two Lonely Planet, City Trail books for children – Rome and Washington. They features themed trails that that introduce readers to history, culture, food and nature, and plenty of amazing facts, too. Look out for her forthcoming book in the same series on Barcelona.
Rome: ISBN-10: 1786579634/ISBN-13: 978-1786579638
Washington: ISBN-10: 1786577275/ISBN-13: 978-1786577276



… and time
1968. A turbulent year turbulent times, in an age that saw huge advances in science and music that remain with us today. The era was also marked by what seemed like a never-ending war and, in the U.S, 1968 saw the assassinations of both Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. Brian Williams charts a tempestuous year in, inevitably, Those Were the Days.
The History Press
ISBN-10: 0750984309/ISBN-13: 978-0750984300


And further back still ...
Stewart Ross is pleased to announce that his Timewarp Trials, launched by Evans before they disappeared, have now reappeared under the Readzone imprint. Stewart describes the idea: ‘Professor Geekmeister has found a way to bring historical characters back to life for your readers to put on trial … are they guilty or innocent?’ Titles are Boudicca, Guy Fawkes, Henry VIII and William the Conqueror. Interacative and delightfully illustrated. For ages 7–11.
ReadZone Books
ISBN-10: 1783226331/ISBN-13: 978-1783226337


Always room for dinosaurs …

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Dinosaurs may be extinct, but books about them never are.

Dinosaur atlas
Anne Rooney has just published an amazing Dinosaur Atlas, with fold-out maps and ‘lift the flaps’ to reveal all kinds of astonishing facts about the world in which they lived, how they lived, what they looked like – and how we know. It also has information about famous paleontologists and young measure themselves against life-size bones, teeth and claws. Fantastic illustrations by James Gilleard.
Lonely Planet
ISBN: 9781786577184


And two more …
Steve Parker has just published:
The Science of Killer Dinosaurs, for 8–11-year-olds is about he world in which these predators lived, their physical characteristics, and how they hunted and survived.


Franklin Watts
ISBN-10: 0531269019/ISBN-13: 978-0531269015
And, for slightly younger children, he’s written 100 Facts: Dinosaur Science, with pictures, activities and, as the title suggests, exactly 100 fun facts.


Miles Kelly Children’s Books
ISBN: 9781786172518

Everything you ever wanted to know …

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Well, maybe not quite, but Sue Nicholson’s two new titles for 4–7-year-olds will help … Can You Touch a Rainbow answers questions such as ‘Why does the sun set? How are snowflakes made? Why is the sea salty? Why do volcanoes explode?’


Quarto Kids/QED Publishing
ISBN: 9781784938369

And if you want to know about animals, turn to Can you Tickle a Tiger’s Tummy? – and find the answer to that as well as to questions such as ‘How slow is a sloth?’ and ‘Who lays eggs as big as a football?’


Quarto Kids/QED Publishing
ISBN: 9781784938376