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Creating a Life-long Passion: The Indie Publishers Driving Children’s Literature Forward

The Bookseller recently published an article that drew attention to the lack of review space given to children’s books. So, over in the children’s team, we thought it only right to offer up our space this issue to showcase some of the many new children’s books that will be published this Autumn.

An often-overlooked part of the industry, children’s publishing plays a crucial role in creating life-long readers, and it goes without saying that inspiring a passion for reading at a young age is a brilliant means through which to support a child’s development.

Without children’s books being there to encourage young readers to be curious, imaginative and inspired to dream big, there would be no future audience for the rest of the publishing industry. This issue we have chosen our top picks from the independent children’s publishers paving the way.

Tiny Owl Publishing

Established in 2015, Tiny Owl’s focus lies with discovering beautiful books that are not only visually breath-taking but also distinct in the ideas that they convey. Ideas about friendship and the diverse world we live in are reflected in the rich spectrum of colour and flawless illustrations contained within each book. Here’s a peek at what’s new at Tiny Owl:

Where’s Baby Elephant? by Ali Khodai

HB Publication 1 October 2020

Brightly coloured images will delight young children in this adorable flap book. With surprises on each page, it is the perfect way to excite young children about the world around them and create a passion for animals.

Last: The Story of a White Rhino by Nicola Davies

PB Publication 24 September 2020

Based on a true story, this is Davies’ illustrative debut about a rhinoceros living in a world of grey misery. But as the colour returns, so too does the reminder not to give up hope.

Find out more at or check out #FlyWithTinyOwl to access a library of resources.

Nosy Crow

Nosy Crow, the winner of the British Book Awards Independent Publisher of the Year, is quickly becoming one of our favourite children’s publishers. Publishing books for children aged 0-12, they make commercial fiction and non-fiction, child- and parent-friendly books. Here are a few of their new releases:

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright! is beautifully illustrated by Britta Teckentrup and features an animal poem for every day of the year, collected by Fiona Waters. This fabulous sequel to I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree includes poems by Lewis Carroll, Ted Hughes and Emily Dickinson, to name a few. (Published 3 September 2020)

What Are Little Girls Made Of?, written by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Isabelle Follath, markets itself as featuring “nursery rhymes for feminist times.” It is a reworking of classic nursery rhymes with the likes of ‘Jack and Jill’ and ‘Humpty Dumpty’ altered to empower young girls and teach them about consent. (Published 3 September 2020)

Find out more on Twitter @NosyCrow or

Lantana Publishing

Lantana Publishing is a small independent publisher on a “mission to publish inclusive books celebrating diversity, social-emotional learning, and environmental sustainability.” Lantana recognises just how important it is for young children to be able to see themselves in the books that they read and have worked with authors and illustrators from around the world to achieve this goal.

A Story About Afiya, written by James Berry and illustrated by Anna Cunha, tells the tale of a young girl walking through nature in wonder as everything she passes becomes magically printed on her dress, from sunflowers to tigers, to mirror the natural world around her.

Upcoming Autumn 2021 release: The Queen On Our Corner by Lucy Christopher, featuring illustrations by artist Nia Tudor.

See @lantanapub on Twitter for more updates on Lantana’s 2021 line-up or visit



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