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An end of 2019 round-up! 

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Here at Tiny Owl, we’ve had a fantastic year full of achievements and exciting events! We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us and our beautiful diverse books! We’re going to take a look back at all the wonderful things that happened!

New releases

Exciting new additions to our book series!

This year got off to a great start when the heartwarming Elephant’s Umbrella came out in paperback. Then in February, we published the delightful Grobblechops by Elizabeth Laird and Jenny Lucander, a fun book all about reassuring those common fears before bed. A new addition to our Tales by Rumi series, it was an instant hit, and even featured in the BookTrust’s Great Books Guide 2019!

Tiny Owl’s fantastic releases this year!

Spring releases for 2019 included The Flute, the second book in our Children, Music, Life series put together by award-winning picture book creator Ken Wilson-Max. We also saw the release of Dare, the inspirational poem which encourages children to dare to dream big, written by Lorna Gutierrez and illustrated by Polly Noakes.

The Elephant’s Umbrella, Cinderella of the Nile, and There’s Room for Everyone were all reprinted in paperback

The heartwarming Fair Shares was released in September and saw an exciting collaboration between Pippa Goodhart and Anna Doherty. The much-anticipated paperback editions of Cinderella of the Nile and There’s Room for Everyone were also released. 

Four more fabulous books were added to our series of retold fairytales and fables from around the world, One Story, Many VoicesIn June, the witty tale Quill Soup by Alan Durant and Dale Blankenaar came out. This African tale celebrates generosity and kindness. The magical and mysterious The Secret of the Tattered Shoes by Jackie Morris and Ehsan Abdollahi, and Sufiya Ahmed and Reza Dalvand’s vibrant and energetic Under the Great Plum Tree, were also published.

Tiny Owl’s most ambitious project ever!

The Phoenix of Persia was our biggest and most ambitious project ever! We had a spectacular launch event in the British Library to mark the book’s publication. There was a fantastic performance of the story by author and professional storyteller Sally Pomme Clayton, accompanied by musicians in the first ever live performance of the book! Children even got the chance to try out authentic Iranian musical instruments.

Nominations

As well as publishing some truly stunning books, we had a whole host of exciting award nominations! In March, we were delighted that IBBY UK nominated our two wordless picture books Caged and Chalk Eagle to be included in the children’s library at Lampedusa. The Italian island Lampedusa is home to large numbers of refugees from Africa and the Middle East. IBBY collected hundreds of ‘silent books’ from around the world to include in a library for local and immigrant children.

IBBY Italia then chose Chalk Eagle for their Silent Books Honours List! It was wonderful to see this beautiful wordless picture book being admired by publishers from around the world.

On top of this, in February, Tiny Owl were shortlisted for Small Press of the Year by the British Book Awards!

The stunning Cinderella of the Nile was also shortlisted for the English 4-11 Picture Book Awards.

In November, Quill Soup and The Phoenix of Persia were both nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2020. The Phoenix of Persia has also been longlisted for the UKLA Awards 2020! We are very excited and have our fingers crossed!

Quill Soup and The Phoenix of Persia were nominated for the Kate Greenaway Award in November!

Tiny Owl wins! 

In the summer we were delighted that our upcoming book Felix After the Rain won the PEN Translates Award. The award allowed Tiny Owl to commission a translation from Slovenian by the amazing Olivia Hellewell. It’s out in February!

Last but definitely not least, we were absolutely thrilled when our book Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me by Eloise Greenfield and Ehsan Abdollahi won Highly Commended in CLiPPA Award! We went along to collect our award at the ceremony held in the prestigious National Theatre. It was a wonderful experience and we are very proud.

Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me wins Highly Commended in CLiPPA Award

Campaigns

Polly Noakes’ illustrations from Dare were used in our Diversity Now campaign

This year we have run a number of very successful campaigns. Through our Diversity Now campaign, and reaching out directly to people who care about diverse books, we’ve been able to make a big impact. We were amazed by the overwhelmingly positive response. We heard from some brilliant people like Jackie Morris, Elizabeth Laird, Ken Wilson-Max, Teresa Cremin, Jane Ray, Nicolette Jones and many more! Publishers Assistant, Phyllida Jacobs, was even interviewed on the Independent Publishers Guild podcast. It was great to speak to them!

This year we’ve also had successful Fairytales and Wordless Picture Books campaigns and we were so grateful for the brilliantly insightful thoughts from authors, illustrators, teachers, parents and librarians!

In October we launched our Christmas donations campaign in aid of the wonderful reading charity Doorstep Library, to get more books into the hands of children from disadvantaged backgrounds and promote reading for pleasure. For every book donated, Tiny Owl donate one too. There’s still time to donate before the end of the holiday season!

Brilliant reviews

We’ve had a whole host of fantastic reviews over the last 12 months! We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to review our books, you are all wonderful! Our books have featured in publications such as Metro, The Evening Standard, The Sunday Times and the Guardian. Last month, our most recent release Under the Great Plum Tree was featured in The Sunday Times as one to Watch Out For!

This year for the very first time, we’ve started distributing our books in the US! In April, we celebrated the launch of The Little Black Fish. We’re thrilled that our American friends will get to enjoy this classic tale about a little fish who dares to swim against the tide. It was the first in our line-up of Tiny Owl books published in the US, followed by The Parrot and the Merchant, When I Coloured in the World and Cinderella of the Nile, all distributed by Consortium. Thinker: Puppy Poet and Me is also available to American readers through Sourcebooks. Dare will be available early next year! As a result, our books have featured in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal for the first time!

Best book of the year!

At the end of November, The Secret of the Tattered Shoes was featured in the Guardian’s Best Children’s Books of 2019! Despite only being published in late September, it’s been a huge hit! What a way to finish the year!

The Secret of the Tattered Shoes is chosen as one of the best books of the year!

Tiny Owl has spread its wings!

We have a brand-new website and you can now buy our books directly from us. In October, Tiny Owl took flight and settled into a new nest in Chiswick in west London!

We’ve had lots of our books translated into many languages throughout the world, but this year Quill Soup was translated into a remarkable TEN different African indigenous languages by our friends New Africa Books!

It’s so brilliant to see so many of our books being enjoyed all over the world! We were sent this truly amazing video of children in Malawi performing The Drum by Ken Wilson-Max and Catell Ronca!

During the summer, lots of exciting things happened at the Edinburgh Book Festival. Many of our authors and illustrators met for the first time, including author Sally Pomme Clayton and illustrator Amin Hassanzadeh Sharif!

Tiny Owl had a brilliant day at the Youth Libraries Group London Unconference, hearing from some wonderful children’s publishers and sharing our own experiences. The event was a great success and we had a lot of fun!

This year’s bestsellers

This year, our bestsellers have been Fair Shares, Grobblechops, Dare, Quill Soup, The Secret of the Tattered, Cinderella of the Nile and There’s Room for Everyone!

We’ve learnt a lot over the last twelve months and made some wonderful new friends. We cannot wait to share our fantastic new titles in the new year, including English PEN Award winner, Felix After the Rain and Nicola Davies’s first illustrated picture book Last!

We wish a happy new year to all of our little (and big!) readers!

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