Pan Macmillan South Africa held their Children’s Book Conference last week in Durban. Our beautiful city didn’t disappoint the international guests from the various publishers with blue skies and warm Summer sun. We were guided through a detailed line-up of the new and upcoming titles for 2018 from the four different publishers, these being Macmillan Children’s Books, Walker Books, Hachette and Priddy Books. There were also a number of the new books on display to browse through and make you even more excited for this brilliant line-up.
Walker Books presented a wonderful line-up of new titles for both younger children and the young adult audience. Here’s a round-up of what you can look forward to in the coming months.
The popular Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald is being relaunched to keep fans busy until the new title Judy Moody and the Right Royal Tea Party hits shelves in November. Where’s Wally continues to be an addictive activity, and to keep you busy there’s a new Where’s Wally? Games on the Go in the wings. It will feature puzzles, activities and the fun searches too of course. Another inventive new Where’s Wally? title is The Spectacular Spotlight Search, challenging you to find Wally in the dark using a new spotlight wand which you slide into each scene to help you locate him.
Guess How Much I Love You is back, this time with a Here I Am finger puppet book. There is a soft Little Nutbrown Hare finger puppet that can play peek-a-boo on every page as the two famous hares play a game of hide-and-seek in this interactive board book. The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett is a unique story about a duck and a mouse who have been swallowed by a wolf but have no intention of being eaten.
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall looks to be a wonderful tale of a young boy who is working up the courage to jump, softly reassured by his father. It will also be available in Afrikaans and features a lovely message about taking the time you need to overcome your fear. Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke is another fantastic looking title, set in a bustling West African marketplace that sees the baby enjoying a few more snacks than mama notices.
Tropical Terry is a beautifully illustrated story of a fish who wants to stand out, but soon learns that it may be better to sometimes blend in. Jarvis also created the funny Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, which I browsed at the event and can’t wait to read together with my children now that it’s available.
Giraffe Problems by Jory John is one of the sweetest and most humourous books I have heard of in a while, another title I cannot wait to read with my little ones. Cyrus the giraffe is self-conscious about his neck, but after making an unusual friend he begins to realise that his neck is beautiful after all.
Other titles that stood out to me were Three Cheers for Women! by Marcia Williams, a comic-strip style book featuring inspirational women including Jane Austen, Joan of Arc and Florence Nightingale. The Teenage Guide to Life Online by Nicola Morgan also looks like an interesting read to educate us all on the positives and negatives of social media.
Ariki and the Giant Shark is the first in a new trilogy by Nicola Davies and is a mystery-adventure about a young girl living on a tropical island. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is a powerful book discussing prejudice and a young girl’s search for justice. White Rabbit, Red Rabbit by Tom Pollock also looks like it will be a gripping murder mystery. The psychological thriller Small Spaces is a debut novel by Sarah Epstein that promises to keep you guessing, while Hello, I Must Be Going is set to be an intriguing ghost story by Dyan Sheldon.
The Button War by Avi promises to be reminiscent of Lord of the Flies as it follows a group of friends who dare each other to steal the finest military button during the Great War. And the Ocean was our Sky is a new book from Patrick Ness that is a story of Moby Dick told from the whale’s point of view.
As you can see Walker Books has a number of amazing new books for children lined up for 2018, I can’t wait for them to arrive on our shelves! Stay tuned for reviews of these new Walkers Books over the coming months and watch this space for more details of the other publisher’s line-ups from Pan Macmillan South Africa’s Children’s Book Conference soon! You can browse through Macmillan Children’s Books incredible line-up here and the Priddy Books line-up here.
You can browse through the gallery below for a closer look at a few of the awesome new books that will be coming out this year.