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We are delighted to announce that Michael Rosen, Benjamin Zephaniah, Jamila Gavin and Meera Syal are to be taken on as Tamarind Patrons.

Meera Syal commented, ‘What can be more important in building a love of reading, than for children to see themselves reflected in the books they read? As a writer and mother, the ethos of Tamarind is close to my heart and I’m proud to be a supporter of its achievements and future ambitions.’

Jamila Gavin added, ‘I am very proud to be an ambassador for Tamarind Books. I have always believed that children need to see their mirror image. As a dedicated publisher reflecting our multicultural society, Tamarind do just that.’

Jamila Gavin

Jamila Gavin

Michael Rosen also commented, ‘Part of the way we can progress as a society is to find out about each other, find out each other’s histories, and find out the tragedies and injustices alongside the moments of great achievements. Tamarind has done just this. Tirelessly, patiently, in the face of what has at times been indifference, Tamarind has gone on producing books that inform, educate, delight and amuse. We are extremely lucky to have them amongst us.’

Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen

It is an exciting time for Tamarind Books.  In addition to our new patrons, we have a new look website and logo, a fantastic new team and of course, some wonderful new titles coming up.  

Random House Children’s Books MD, Philippa Dickinson, commented, ‘We have expanded our fiction list for Tamarind and have exciting plans over the coming year. The team is thrilled about the support of our Patrons. It’s an honour to add their voices and names to our list.’

Tamarind was set up by Verna Wilkins in 1987 when she found that her young children believed that only white children could feature in children’s books. Since then it has produced high quality books featuring children from all backgrounds.

Verna Wilkins - Founder of Tamarind Books

Verna Wilkins - Founder of Tamarind Books

For the past fifteen years, Tamarind books have been featured on BBC children’s television, on the national curriculum and it was awarded the 2008 British Book Award for cultural diversity. Bestsellers on the list include The Life of Stephen Lawrence and Dave and the Tooth Fairy, the latter of which has remained in print for over twenty years and has sold over two hundred thousand copies. Tamarind was brought into Random House in 2007.

Publisher Annie Eaton and Fiction Editor Parul Bavishi said, ‘We feel passionately about the role of Tamarind in children’s publishing – we urgently need more books that reflect the diverse world we live in, and for this we need talented authors and strong writing. This is about publishing stories that simply have to be told.’

Deputy Publisher Sue Buswell and Picture Book Editor Joe Marriott are planning a re-issue of select Tamarind’s picture books in 2012 with fresh new cover designs, including Boots for a Bridesmaid by Verna Wilkins and Mum’s Late by Elizabeth Hawkins. Several brand new picture books are also in development for 2013.

Highlights for the fiction 2012 list include Now is the Time for Running by Cape Town Opera Director, Michael Williams, a raw and beautiful tale of two brothers on a journey of their life; GB Olympic Gold Medal holder Christine Ohuruogu is also releasing two Camp Gold fiction titles about a girl who discovers her talent for running. Verna Wilkins and Doreen Lawrence will be updating the Stephen Lawrence biography, which will be released in paperback early next year. The Tamarind Stars series will continue with Sporting Heroes released in June 2012. It will highlight the careers of young sporting heroes and include as-yet-unseen personal photos from the family albums of stars such as the boxer Amir Khan and the gymnast Louis Smith.

With so much to look forward to, 2012 promises to be a great year for Tamarind Books.  We hope that you are as excited as we are.

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