Dave and the Tooth Fairy is now available as an interactive whiteboard resource from Oxford University Press as part of the Oxford Reading Tree series. Click here to see how you can use Dave for speaking and listening, writing and fun in the classroom.
We love all our books, but if you need recommendations, here they are: 10 books every library and school must have! Click on the titles to find out more.
|A classic! Former National Curriculum text celebrating over 15 years in print. Currently on Oxford Reading Tree.|
Themes: jobs, losing teeth, Down’s Syndrome, wheelchair use, fairies
|A hilarious rhyming romp through careers for boys.|
Themes: jobs, poetry, humour
|A tropical Thumbelina tale, highlighted in children’s book week 2009.|
Themes: climate change, giants, agriculture
|Stunningly illustrated tale about saving the environment highlighted in children’s book week 2010.|
Themes: environment, water, creation, animals, African jewellery and pottery
|An asylum seeker’s search for peace and quiet in the noisy city – a great book for discussion.|
Themes: immigration, making friends, noises and silence, urban life, ESL, SEN
|A clever class saves their beloved teacher in this rhyming story.|
Themes: humour, poetry, school, hospital, pets
|Space, magic and wizards! Great junior fiction for boys.|
Themes: space, humour, wheelchair use, single-parent family, working mums, moving house
|Including Benjamin Zephaniah, Malorie Blackman and the Obamas. Click here to view all.|
Themes: Black History Month, non-fiction, biography, careers
|A tale of alien adoption.|
Themes: humour, aliens, sibling rivalry, adoption
|Pacey 11+ fiction where L.A. skater boy Jamie MacDoran faces up to an ancient Scottish legacy.|
Themes: dual heritage, bereavement, family history, responsibility
And a little something for bed time…
The Night the Lights Went Out
A soothing, lyrical story for anyone who’s afraid of the dark.
Do you remember how old you were when you first saw a black person in a book? Join Patsy, Commissioning Editor at Tamarind Books, for a fun creative writing workshop on writing multicultural stories for children and teens. Patsy will give aspiring children’s writers practical tips for success and discuss the importance of representing black children in literature. Bring your notebook and pen!
Click to read Tamarind’s manuscript submission guidelines.
We’ve delved into the lives of a picture book author and an illustrator so far in this feature. (If you missed out, you can catch up by clicking on interviews.) In this interview you’ll meet the woman who puts words and illustrations together on the page to create our fantastic picture books: designer Zoe Waring.
Which Tamarind books have you worked on?
Baby Ruby Bawled, The Day the Rains Fell, Why Can’t I Play?, Ben’s Birthdays, Miss Bubbles Troubles… The other books are all top secret for now!
What would you be if you weren’t a designer?
I’d love to have my own little art studio where I could listen the radio and doodle all day long! I’d also quite like to be an art teacher, helping children to develop their creative skills, unleashing their imaginations and making lots of mess in the process!
Describe a typical day.
I tend to work on a couple of books at a time, and each is usually at different stage of development. The first stage for a picture book is the editor and I looking at the story. We discuss each character, how old they are, their personalities, ethnicity, hobbies etc. Then we look at the scenes throughout the text and I work out what each page will look like. I start by scribbling ideas on paper then take this on to my Mac to add in the type and move things around. I design the insides and then the cover. This is the most important part; it has to be really eye catching and tell the reader what the story is about all in one image! Once we are happy with the design and layout, I write a creative brief for an illustrator to follow.
The next stage is to find the right illustrator. I search online, in magazines, at exhibitions and through artwork submissions. It’s often difficult to choose! Once we have somebody whose style is perfect for the story, I send them the text, my designs and a brief to work from. First their rough sketches arrive, which is really exciting. After this, the illustrator begins the final artwork with their paints, pastels, pencils, Photoshop, pens, pies and whatever else they like to work with. Unveiling the finished artwork is a big moment for everyone involved – lots of excited ‘Oooh’s! I send the artwork off to be scanned so that we have it as digital files, ready to drop into layout software. I experiment with fonts to match the artwork, story and age range, making sure everything fits and is looking amazing. When I’m finally happy I send copies to the editor, author and illustrator to make sure they are too!
My last job is sending the work to the production team to arrange printing. Eventually the shiny new books arrive, ready for all the lucky readers!
What are you reading at the moment?
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, a collection of short stories by my favourite weird and wonderful Japanese author, Haruki Murakami.
What’s your favourite Tamarind book and why?
This is far too difficult to answer. I have too many favourites to choose one!
To find out more about Zoe’s designs and illustrations, you can follow her on Twitter.