Klaus Flugge Prize winner Kate Milner's new picture book has been snapped up by indie Barrington Stoke.
The former librarian's latest book, It’s a No-Money Day, will focus on life below the poverty line in a "gentle, poignant and pertinent" insight into the lives of families who rely on foodbanks.
Barrington Stoke editorial director Ailsa Bathgate acquired world rights from Penelope Killick of David Higham Associates. It’s a No-Money Day will be published on 15th October 2019.
Milner said: “It’s likely that most school classes in this country contain four or five children who sometimes depend on foodbanks to eat. It is also likely that those children experience shame and confusion. They know their parents work very hard but they also know that poor people are generally thought to be lazy and incompetent. It is all desperately unfair. I made It’s A No-Money Day to explain to children whose families are lucky enough not to have to use food banks what they are, and how they work. I also want children whose families do have to use them to see their own experience and not feel ashamed. This is a story about a mother and daughter going through a difficult time but I hope they are seen as more than victims. They are sticking together and helping each other, showing resilience, love and humour."
Milner won the 2018 Klaus Flugge Prize for the most exciting newcomer to children’s picture book illustration with her picture book My Name is Not Refugee, which was published by Barrington Stoke in 2017. Milner studied Illustration at Central St Martin’s before completing the MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University. Milner, who was awarded the V&A Student Illustration Award in 2016, is an active campaigner and advocates for access to sanitary products and toiletries at foodbanks for women in need.
She added: “In the Ken Loach film 'I, Daniel Blake', the character Katie can’t get sanitary products from the foodbank, so she is forced to try and steal them. I don’t think there is a woman in the world who couldn’t relate to that predicament. I got in touch with the Trussell Trust to check that this is a real problem (it is), before using social media to ask people to donate sanitary products to foodbanks. I was a small part of a movement to solve this problem for poorer women. There are now lots of groups who collect and distribute these much-needed products, and politicians like Scotland’s own Monica Lennon have done a lot to find more systemic solutions.”
Bathgate added: “The UK is one of the world’s wealthiest countries and so it can only be a source of shame for our society that rising numbers of people have been forced to use foodbanks to survive. Kate Milner’s beautifully illustrated picture book is carefully crafted to encourage empathy and understanding of the situation many families find themselves in, and it sensitively clears a path to allow discussion of a difficult issue with young children. We hope that this important and moving book will highlight the problem and encourage debate.”