Spotlight on...


I currently work as: a Freelance illustrator (hooray!)

This year I have worked for: Random House, Bloomsbury Children's Books, Oxford University Press, WHSmith, Higgidy (mmm lovely pies), Usborne Publishing, Macmillan, Historic Royal Palaces (Kensington Palace) and many more . . .

In a former life I was: a social worker

One of my proudest work moments was: when I finally quit my day job and concentrated on the job I love - being an illustrator!  

My favourite children's book is: 
Alice in Wonderland. I remember seeing Sir John Tenniels illustrations when I was a tiny child and being amazed by them.

You'd never guess but: I once made a hat for Lady Bracknell!

If you'd like to contact me: visit my website

2016 Events


Beatrix Potter at 150: Keeping Her Legacy Alive

Friday 28th October

6:30 for 7:00 pm start

6th Floor

80 Strand


Members - free

Non-members - £5

To buy tickets please click on the Events tab

The Children's Book Circle is thrilled to announce Jo Hanks and Thomas Merrington as the speakers at this year's Patrick Hardy Lecture on Friday 28th October. This annual talk, which commemorates celebrated children's book editor and publisher Patrick Hardy, explores a subject of the speaker's choosing within the field of Children's Literature. Join us for a fascinating in-conversation event with Penguin’s Beatrix Potter publishing and licensing team for a discussion of Potter’s legacy in her 150th anniversary year.

Beatrix Potter was much more than a children’s book creator. She was the first ever licensor – producing and licensing designs for a plush toy Peter – as well a pioneering scientist, farmer and landowner without whom the National Trust would not exist today. Her books still sell in their millions every year and her characters have spawned toys, clothing, parties, plays, animations and a brand new film just announced for 2018. Since her death her publisher has worked hard to keep her characters fresh and exciting for new readers, while maintaining the heritage and classic style so beloved by generations of children. The discussion will bring insight into what it takes to manage a global literary property on this massive scale, as well as a sneak-peek into the ground-breaking licensing programme and innovative publishing planned for the near future.
There will be time for questions at the end of the session, so please do think about what you might like to ask Jo and Thomas. 

Jo Hanks is Publisher of Classic Characters at Penguin Random House and has managed the Beatrix Potter publishing for over 10 years, during which time she has commissioned new Tales written by the actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson, and this year published the forgotten Potter classic The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots with new illustrations by Quentin Blake.

Thomas Merrington is Head of Product Development and Brand Manager of Peter Rabbit in the Ventures team at Penguin Random House, looking for new and exciting opportunities for Potter's characters beyond the book.

PATRICK HARDY (1936-1987) joined Constable Young Books as Grace Hogarth’s assistant, where he succeeded Grace as Editor. Constable Young Books then became Longman Young Books and from there Patrick transferred, with his list, to Penguin, where he founded Kestrel Books. Between 1982 and 1985 he ran his own company, maintaining the high standards he had always set himself. November 1989 saw the very first inaugural Patrick Hardy Lecture, given in the form of a dialogue between Jill Paton Walsh and John Rowe Townsend. These series of lectures have continued, occurring annually, with honoured speakers from the world of children’s books.

The Eleanor Farjeon Award - November 2016

More details coming soon!


Who are we?

Founded in 1962 as an informal association of children’s book editors, we are a not- for-profit organisation run entirely by a committee of volunteers from the industry. Over the past 50 years, the CBC has expanded to embrace anyone with a professional interest in children’s books, from publishers, librarians, authors and illustrators, to teachers, booksellers and agents.

What We Do

Each year, we put on 10-12 children’s book events in order to promote, explore and celebrate the importance of children’s publishing. These can range from Meet and Critique evenings, to panel debates about everything from digital futures to where to draw the line in teen literature. Hosted by a diverse range of industry experts, we believe that discussion and debate are key factors in driving the children’s book industry forward, and audience participation is actively encouraged.

In order for industry professionals to meet in a less formal setting, we also organise several purely social events, from pub quizzes to spring and christmas drinks evenings.

Connect with us!


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