Bilingual rhyme book named Books Council of Wales’ Book of the Month
A new Welsh and English picture book about a gang of mischievous monsters which have become familiar faces in homes, nurseries and schools in Wales and beyond has been named Books Council of Wales’ Book of the Month.
‘Where are you, Bwci Bo?’ tells a tale of the Bwci Bo (Celtic origin – ‘hobgoblin’, bogey’ ‘scary monster’) who travel from oceans into outer space whilst introducing themes such as nature or saving the planet.
The book, written by Joanna Davies and illustrated by Steven Goldstone, follows two colourful, popular picturebooks in the series, ‘How Many Bwci Bos?’ and ‘How are you, Bwci Bo?’
The Bwci Bo books have been commended by organisations that promote literacy for their bilingual, humorous rhymes and striking illustrations, which encourage reading and learning.
The first book in the series, ‘How Many Bwci Bos?’ was selected as the BookTrust Cymru’s ‘BookStart’ book in 2022. This was the first original Welsh book to be selected for the scheme since its inception in the nineties. 40,000 copies were distributed to families across Wales as part of this scheme and a new initiative, Storytime, in 2023.
A Bwci Bo animation was recently selected for the BookTrust’s Big Welsh Rhymetime event in 2023. The second book, ‘How are you, Bwci Bo?’, was also praised for encouraging children to express their feelings in a simple and positive way. This is a priority in schools and early learning settings following the new Curriculum in Wales.
Rachel Lloyd, Head of Publishing, Atebol, said: “We are thrilled to have the Bwci Bo picture books on our children’s list. This particular series is a valuable addition to our programme of publications at Atebol, and it has been a joyful journey to work with this dynamic duo! The first book in the series was selected by BookTrust Cymru and has since sold over 40,000 copies. An incredible achievement for anyone!
“We’re delighted to see the Bwci Bos go from strength to strength with the latest publication (Ble Wyt Ti Bwci Bo? / Where Are You, Bwci Bo?) being chosen as children’s ‘book of the month’ by both BookTrust Cymru (Nov 23) and the Books Council of Wales (Dec 23). These loveable little monsters are visually striking, with bold and bright artwork making the brand immediately identifiable, undoubtedly contributing to the success of the books.
“The funny, bilingual, rhyming text is sure to make this a firm favourite with families and early years practitioners alike. The perfect read-aloud picture book series for little ones everywhere!”
‘Out in the wild’
Author, Joanna Davies, said: “We are delighted that the Bwci Bos have been selected by BookTrust Cymru and the Books Council for Wales as ‘book of the month’. We are also grateful to our publisher, Atebol, for giving us the opportunity to create this series of picture books. It’s fantastic to see the books ‘out in the wild’ in bookshops across Wales too. The Bwci Bos are a labour of love for us both and we hope readers enjoy the books as much as we love to create them.”
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