Choose Love and April’s Garden are longlisted for YOTO Carnegie Medals 2024

Graffeg are proud to announce that two of our children’s titles, Choose Love and April’s Garden, have been longlisted for YOTO Carnegie Medals. Awarded by children’s librarians, the Yoto Carnegies are the UK’s longest-running and best-loved children’s book awards, recognising outstanding reading experiences created through writing and illustration in books written in English for children and young people.

Choose Love by Nicola Davies and Petr Horáček has been longlisted for the YOTO Carnegie Medals for Writing. A powerful poetry collection about the experience of

those forced to become refugees, Choose Love has already received several accolades including being Highly Commended for CLiPPA 2023, shortlisted for

SLA Information Book Awards 2023 and longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2024. The core of the collection was written in 2018 as part of a project with the charity Refugee Trauma Initiative. With the permission of both individual refugees and aid workers, RTI shared with Nicola a number of true and poignant stories which were then used as the basis for short-form poems. Over the following years Nicola added to this core of poems to create a coherent collection on the theme of forced migration, its wider causes and consequences.

April’s Garden by Isla McGuckin and Catalina Echeverri

has been longlisted for the YOTO Carnegie Medal for

Illustration. A touching story about a young girl coming to

terms with a dramatic change, April’s Garden discusses

several challenging subjects including displacement,

temporary housing and poverty through the experiences of

April and her mother, who have been housed in temporary


Graffeg Publishing Director Matthew Howard says,‘We’re so pleased to discover that two Graffeg titles have been long listed for this year’s YOTO Carnegie medals. April’s Garden is a brilliant example of what quality illustration 

can inspire with Catalina’s expressive sketches, adding layers of meaning to what are already emotive and thought-provoking text. And Nicola’s insight into the refugee experience, gathered from time 

spent listening to personal accounts both in Calais and here in the UK, makes Choose Love a truly remarkable book for those who would seek to understand and resolve rather than criticise and condemn. 

For more information about the YOTO Carnegie Medals:

For more information on Graffeg:

Review Copies & Editorial:

To request review copies, interviews or images for editorial

use, please contact Bethan Blake-Abed-Ali:, phone: 02922 404970.

About the authors & illustrators

Nicola Davies is the author of more than 80 books including picture books, non-fiction, fiction and poetry for children and adults. She has written widely on many subjects including environmental science, children’s rights, disability, grief and refugees. Recently two of her titles The Day War Came and The King of the Sky were endorsed by Amnesty UK. 

Petr Horáček is an award winning illustrator and author of books for children. His books include The Best Place in the World, Puffin Peter, Blue Penguin, The Greedy Goat, Silly Suzy Goose and A New House for Mouse.

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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