Nowadays, parents are worried about computer games and apps competing with books for children’s time; it was no different back in the ‘70s when Usborne Publishing began, with comics and TV being the ‘hot new things’ that were vying for kids’ attention. So Peter decided to do something about that by publishing a range of books that were just as interesting, entertaining and exciting as all the other forms of kids’ entertainment. The books were a huge success.
Since then, Usborne has established itself as a leading publisher of children’s books with award-winning series and ranges that our little ones adore from an early age. In 2014 they were awarded Children’s Publisher of the Year by the UK Independent Publishers Guild, with the judges remarking –
“Its presence around the world is phenomenal, and it is evangelical about getting people to read. All publishers could learn something from Usborne.”
Usborne books have supported multiple generations through early literacy, with many parents eager to share their favourite Usborne books with their own children. Though series such as Farmyard Tales and That’s not my… are most familiar to us, Usborne have also released many non-fiction books around topics such as art, languages and cooking, and have even released illustrated dictionaries!
Continuing to grow and learn with both parents and children, and adapting to new ways of learning in their tireless work to help children learn to read, it’s no wonder that Usborne books are more popular than ever before.
Five Fascinating Facts About Usborne:
- Before setting up Usborne Publishing, Peter Usborne founded the satirical magazine Private Eye.
- One of the first Usborne books ever published, The KnowHow Book of Spycraft, was used in evidence at the high court trial of a Soviet spy, who testified that this book gave away the KGB’s tradecraft.
- There are now more than 2,600 Usborne books in print in the UK, from cloth books for babies to young adult novels.
- Almost all Usborne books are written by in-house editor/writers – that’s people who are employed on the Usborne staff to write children’s books for a living!
- Usborne author Fiona Watt is one of only five writers to be in every overall Top 20 Author Chart since records began (the others are Julia Donaldson, James Patterson, Jamie Oliver and Terry Pratchett).
Here we take a look at some of the best loved books from Usborne over the years:
There are more than forty books in this hugely popular series of touchy-feely books for babies and toddlers. The first, That’s not my puppy…, was published in 1999. Since then, Usborne has sold more than 9 million copies around the world. In 2014, That’s not my… was a bigger brand in children’s books than Disney’s Frozen!
“The brilliantly simple concept is a winner with very young children, trusted by parents and still one of the best baby series on the market.” – The Bookseller
“Touchy-feely books are a great way to encourage lots of interaction between parent and child, and this range from Usborne Publishing does it best.” – The Sun
Usborne’s See Inside books are detailed, lift-the-flap books for 8+ readers, covering a range of non-fiction topics from Ancient Egypt to Art, and from the Universe to Your Body. There are almost forty books to choose from, each introducing children to a world of fascinating facts. See Inside Your Body continues to top the children’s non-fiction and reference charts nearly a decade after it was first released.
“A super collection of information books from Usborne, which really engage the reader by providing interesting information, colourful graphics and plenty of flaps with yet more information.” – Parents in Touch
The younger cousin of Usborne’s See Inside series, Peep Inside allows little children to find out about non-fiction subjects like Animal Homes, The Zoo, The Garden and Night-time. Almost 40,000 people have bought a copy of Peep Inside Animal Homes, which was the first book published in the series, at the start of 2014. With gorgeous artwork, lots of flaps to lift and holes to peep through to the next page, this series is taking non-fiction books for children to a new level.
“For little fingers, the Peep Inside series illustrated by Simona Dimitri is stunning.” – Rhino Reads
“Like all Usborne books, it is beautifully illustrated… another fab offering from Usborne!” – Activities 4 Kidz
This much-loved sticker series has revolutionised the world of children’s activity books since it was first launched in 2006, with 3.5 million copies sold in the UK to a legion of Sticker Dolly fans. In 2014, this iconic series made Usborne the number one publisher of children’s activity books in the UK. Sticker Dolly Dressing is now branching out into spin-off series such as Historical Sticker Dolly Dressing and Sticker Dolly Dressing Fashion Designer.
“Even I can’t resist a little go at designing the ultimate outfit for one of the models (if and when my daughter allows me too!)” – Babyworld
“How cute is this for little girls!!!?? Harper’s favourite book! X vb” – Victoria Beckham, via Twitter
Take a look at our website for more fantastic Usborne books for your little ones.