Penguin Random House Children’s celebrates picture book list

Authors and illustrators presenting included Nick Sharratt, Sophy Henn, Steven Butler, Emma Chichester Clark, Nadia Shireen and Ed Vere, pictured with m.d. of PRH Children’s Francesca Dow and publishing director of Puffin Fiction, Amanda Punter (centre).

Penguin Random House Children’s celebrated their 2016 picture book list with an original showcase event, the Picture Book Feast.

Taking place at the Anise Gallery in London and featuring talks from special guest authors and illustrators Ed Vere, Nadia Shireen, Nick Sharratt, Sophy Henn and Emma Chichester Clark, the evening was hosted by author and World Book Day compere Steven Butler, whose debut picture book, Odd Bods, publishes this June.

In the spotlight on the night were a variety of new picture books, including Nadia Shireen’s The Bumblebear, Michelle Robinson’s astronaut-inspired Goodnight Spaceman, Ed Vere’s latest Max offering, Max and Bird, and the rediscovered Beatrix Potter story The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, to name just a few.

Amanda Punter, Publishing Director at PRH Children’s, said: “Picture books play such an important part in turning children into readers, and we’re thrilled and privileged at Penguin Random House to be home to some of the best-loved picture book creators in the world. Alongside our classic heritage and perennial bestsellers like Nick Sharratt’s toddler- and parent-pleasing Shark in the Park, we are delighted to also showcase a diverse range of new author and illustrator talent. From the upliftingly positive Pass it On by Sophy Henn to the subversive, laugh out loud This is Not a Bedtime Story through to a perfect happy ending with The Fairytale Hairdresser, there really is something for every taste, mood and life lesson.” 

Guests on the night were treated to a gallery of picture book spreads, including Shirley Hughes’ upcoming picture book Alfie and His Very Best Friend, a Picture Book Pick ‘n’ Mix table complete with pick ‘n’ mix sweets, and canapes inspired by 2016 picture books. 

Lucy Mann, Head of Preschool Publicity at PRH Children’s, said: “We wanted the evening to be a feast of the senses, with food as our main theme. Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman’s recently published Alison Hubble had guests seeing double with double cooked chips and fillet steak, and double-stacked cod and salmon cubes. The menu turned to outer space with a Goodnight Spaceman table featuring breaded moon shapes, tin foil space helmets and chocolate planet lollipops! We invited authors and illustrators to talk about their food themed experiences, from Nadia Shireen’s dislike of cheese to Nick Sharratt’s love of illustrating spaghetti. The evening was a wonderful celebration of our magical and rich picture book list with the booksellers and media that have been such a huge support.”

Guests in attendance included media, booksellers, buyers, bloggers and influencers alongside authors and illustrators – all of whom received a goody bag with a signed copy of Will Mabbitt and Fred Blunt’s This is Not A Bedtime Story and one of the Royal Mint’s recently released Peter Rabbit 50 pence coins, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth.

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