Strong year for Children's publishing as W H Smith unveils Books of the Year

Strong year for Children's publishing as W H Smith unveils Books of the Year

W H Smith has unveiled its Books of the Year, with the retailer recognising two children's books for the first time.

In recognition of the "diverse choice across children’s publishing and the importance it plays in supporting literacy and engagement in young readers", W H Smith has chosen both bestselling rhyming read-aloud picture book Oi Puppies! (Hodder Children's Books) by Kes Gray and Jim Field, and the inclusive Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention (Simon & Schuster Children's UK) by Pip Jones and Sara Ogilvie as its Children's Books of the Year. 

Beth O'Leary's debut novel The Flatshare (Quercus), which has sold 15,362 copies through TCM, has been named Fiction Book of the Year. W H Smith said the "brilliant rom-com" story of Tiffy and Leon who share a flat but have never met is "one of the most uplifting debuts of 2019". 

It’s Not Okay To Feel Blue (and other lies) (Penguin) by Scarlett Curtis is crowned Non-Fiction Book of the Year. The collection of writings from inspirational people opening up about their own mental health and what is means to them is the second book from Curtis and includes contributions from Emma Thompson, Fearne Cotton, Sam Smith and Alastair Campbell. It has sold 18,916 copies, according to Nielsen. 

W H Smith said: "At W H Smith we believe that mental health is just as important as physical health, so we’re delighted to be supporting this book as our Non-Fiction Book of the Year. All royalties from the sale of the book go Shout, the UK mental health crisis text line."

Pete Selby, head of Books at W H Smith, said: “I’m thrilled with all the choices for the 2019 W H Smith Books of the Year. Each book has been selected by our category buyers and they all have their own unique and brilliant merits. The thing that links them all is that they each have a strong voice and pertinence in UK publishing this year. Here we have a great selection of recommendations that are popular both with our Books team and with our customers.”