April’s Garden shortlisted for Discover Book of the Year 2024

Graffeg is excited to anounce that Isla McGuckin’s debut children’s book, illustrated by Catalina Echeverri, has been shortlisted for the British Book Awards Book of the Year 2024 in the Discover category.

The British Book Awards, aka The Nibbies, is a celebration of books: it affirms, connects and energises the world of reading by showcasing those who create stories and everyone who plays a role in bringing those stories to life. The Books of the Year spotlight the titles that have stirred imaginations, started conversations, been part of book clubs and bestseller lists - books whose pages have been well-thumbed, well-worn and well-loved, whose ideas have formed that thread of inescapable connection between one reader and the next. The shortlists and winners all demonstrate the combination of unforgettable writing, exceptional sales, and an outstanding approach to publishing which make the book business the original creative sector, and the go-to home of storytelling. The Discover category is aimed at highlighting brilliant titles by underrepresented writers across all genres.

April’s Garden by Isla McGuckin and Catalina Echeverri has also recently been longlisted for the YOTO Carnegie Medal for Illustration. Isla’s debut children’s book touches on several challenging subjects, including displacement, temporary housing and poverty. All of which are experienced through the eyes of April who, with her mother, has been placed in temporary accommodation. A touching story about a young girl coming to terms with a dramatic change, April’s Garden inspires hope for children and families facing similar situations.

Graffeg Publishing Director Matthew Howard says, ‘There are many reasons Graffeg is delighted April’s Garden has been shortlisted. As a small press we’re pleased that there’s an award which recognises the quality of work produced by independent publishers. We’re also pleased that themes such as displacement and its impact on children, can gain wider recognition though this shortlisting. But above all we’re delighted that the quality of Isla’s words and Catalina’s images has been recognised by the judging panel. Their combination, as they describe the trauma and joy of the displaced child’s condition is, we believe, little short of magical.'

About the authors & illustrators

Isla McGuckin is a dreamer and a writer and the proud mother of daughters. Endlessly optimistic, Isla believes that words have the power to open hearts, change minds and make the world a better place. Born and raised in urban Yorkshire, Isla is now based in rural Donegal. Living in her tiny house beside the seaside – with her much-loved family of people and pets – feels like home.

Catalina Echeverri was born in Botogá, Colombia, and now lives in London with her Northern Irish husband and their three daughters. Having illustrated more than 20 books in various countries, Catalina is never without her sketchbook and loves to take inspiration from everyday life.

Graffeg have a well-established reputation for high-quality design and production and publish fiction, children’s fiction, non-fiction and gift stationery by internationally acknowledged writers, artists and illustrators. Our wonderful authors and illustrators include Jackie Morris, Nicola Davies, James Mayhew, Joyce Dunbar, Max Low, Julia Hubery, Dom Conlon, Anastasia Izlesou and many more.

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