7 Highlights for Our 7th Birthday

by Lantana Publishing on August 21, 2021


It’s Lantana’s 7th Birthday! Dive in with our summer intern Aysha Nasir Rao and learn about our 7 best bits of the past year.

It goes without saying that this past year has been like no other for all of us, with most of our daily lives changing and plans placed on pause. It’s been a year full of unique hardship, but as the world is slowly starting to open up again and we are (hopefully) returning to some level of normalcy, we wanted to take stock of some of our wins over our sixth year. We are immensely proud and excited to be celebrating 7 great years with you!

1. Awards, Accolades and Exciting Events

We are so proud that so many of our titles have been recognised over the past year. Happily, there’s a few too many to mention, but here are some of the awards and accolades that made our year extra special!

The New York Times’ 25 Best Children’s Books of 2020, Northern Lights Book Award Picture Book of the Year and USBBY 2021 Outstanding International Book:  A Story About Afiya written by James Berry and illustrated by Anna Cunha

Northern Lights Book Award (winner of the Multicultural Category): Taking Time written and illustrated by Jo Loring-Fisher

BookTrust’s Great Books Guide: I Am Brown written by Ashok Banker and illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat

White Ravens List: Mira’s Curly Hair written by Maryam Al Serkal and illustrated by Rebeca Luciani)

We are also immensely proud that Boundless Sky (written by Amanda Addison and illustrated by Manuela Adreani) made it onto the shortlist of the North Somerset Teachers’ Book Awards and was nominated for the illustrious Kate Greenaway Medal, that I Am Brown was longlisted for the prestigious UKLA Book Awards and the Derby Children’s Book Awards, with I’ll Believe You When… (written by Susan Schubert and illustrated by Raquel Bonita) also making it into the latter, and that Tomorrow (written and illustrated by Nadine Kaadan) was honoured with a Sakura Medal nomination in Japan. Our books also received acclaim from several press and industry magazines, with Anita and the Dragons (written by Hannah Carmona and illustrated by Anna Cunha) and Escape: One Day We Had to Run (written by Ming & Wah and illustrated by Carmen Vela) nabbing Kirkus Starred Reviews, Sunday Rain (written by Rosie J. Pova and illustrated by Amariah Rauscher) and Science and Me (written by Ali Winter and illustrated by Mickaël El Fathi) making it into the children's book roundups of The New York Times. 

This year we’ve also had the chance to showcase our incredible books at some standout children’s festivals and television programmes, with a reading of I Am Brown on CBeebies Lunchtime Story topping the list! We were also delighted to participate in the Edinburgh International Book Festival for the first time, with Nadine Kaadan sharing a fantastic reading and draw-along video of Tomorrow. And also amongst our favourites: author Hannah Carmona and Anita and the Dragons getting featured in Barnes & Noble’s Storytime series, and the fantastic virtual book launch of Escape at the Holocaust Museum LA, where co-authors Ming & Wah and illustrator Carmen Vela shared some stories behind the book.

If you’d like to purchase or read more about any of these titles, you can of course find them on our website, where you can get 20% OFF all of our titles until the end of the month when you check out using the code LANTANA7!



2. New Fiction List and Shadowing Scheme

Mark your Calendars! We have been working hard behind the scenes to bring to you the first two titles in our new fiction list set for release in summer 2022. This new venture features the debut works of Puneet Bhandal with Starlet Rivals, a Bollywood-inspired school series, and Shiko Nguru with Mwikali and the Forbidden Mask, a Kenyan fantasy series inspired by West African mythology. Both books expand on our goal of exploring social and cultural themes that help our readers grow into brilliant, engaged young citizens. We are so excited to share these #ownvoices stories from the imaginations of two incredible authors.

The launch of our fiction list also marks the beginning of Lantana’s shadowing scheme for aspiring editors, where we pair experienced editors with guest editors from under-represented groups to nurture and develop the next generation of publishing professionals. Starlet Rivals is being edited by Lucy Rogers, former commissioning editor for Scholastic and Simon & Schuster, closely shadowed by aspiring publisher Natasha Arora, while Mwikali and the Forbidden Mask is being edited by Christofere Fila, former Publishing Coordinator of Amnesty International, who is closely shadowed by award-winning spoken-word poet Oluwaseun Matiluko. Our CEO Alice Curry said, “Our model is one we hope will be taken up by other publishers as we strive for greater parity of representation within the industry as a whole. We believe our shadowing scheme will provide the best possible support for our debut authors as they develop their fiction series, and we can’t wait for their launch next year!”

We hope you are just as excited as we are about our expansion, not only with our list, but within the Lantana team! 

3. Gifting over 1000 book donations to our charity partners

We’re thrilled to share that as of today we have donated over 1000 brand new Lantana books to our amazing charity partners through our A Book for A Book programme. Our goal is for everyone to have access to inclusive stories, and that’s why for every print book purchased from our website, we commit to gifting a book to one of our literacy partners, Read for Good and Children’s Book Project in the UK and Bernie’s Book Bank in the US. The work of these charities resonates with our values in their commitment to give all children access to quality books regardless of background or circumstance, and we are incredibly proud to be working with them. Learn more about them when you visit our website

And of course, none of this could have been possible without your amazing support! THANK YOU to everyone who’s supported our  donation programme by purchasing our books, and we hope you continue to help us donate more books and give the gift of reading to a greater number of children.

4. Shortlisted for the Inclusivity In Publishing Award at this year’s London Book Fair International Excellence Awards

Lantana has been shortlisted for the Inclusivity in Publishing Award at this year’s London Book Fair International Excellence Awards, which was ultimately awarded to Hachette. Inclusion and diversity is at the heart of everything we do, and we are so proud and honoured that our efforts have been acknowledged in such a special way by the London Book Fair and the Publisher’s Association.

We are always looking to innovate and find new ways to disrupt the publishing world to make it more inclusive and reflective of the diverse communities around us. If children see themselves, the world they imagine for themselves is so much bigger. And this is why we’re excited to take our commitment to representation to a whole new level through our work with a new amazing partner...

5. Partnering with Inclusion Labs

We are proud to be a founding partner and steering committee member of Inclusion Labs’ Decade Of Diversity initiative, which aims to permanently embed diversity, equity and inclusion in UK schools by 2030 through collective action. Especially close to our hearts is the 25% Diverse Literature pledge which aims to achieve 25% representation within children’s books in schools by 2030! Learn more about their amazing work and how you, your school, library, organisation or business can get involved through their website.

6. We’re on Not On The High Street!

Lantana is now an official partner of Not On The High Street! Joining one of the UK’s top gifting platforms and home to more than 5,000 of the UK’s best small creative businesses provided us with an incredible opportunity to expand our reach and also allowed us to create exclusive children’s book and art print bundles that make the perfect gifts for your younger loved ones. We are also thrilled to announce the strides we’re making with our sustainability efforts. All of our products sold on Not On The High Street are packaged beautifully in gift boxes that are eco-friendly, recyclable and produced from sustainable sources. Take a look at the lovely gifts you can choose from, just waiting for little hands to open them! 

7. 10K followers on IG

And last but not least, Lantana has officially reached 10,000 followers on Instagram! On our page you can find exclusive author and illustrator content, adorable posts of our youngest readers and generally everything Lantana! We are so grateful that so many of you have chosen to follow us on our journey as we grow, and we’re excited for you to see what we have in store!

A massive thank you to everyone who follows us and if you haven’t already, join our growing family to get the latest Lantana offers and news. You can also find us on Twitter and on Facebook

Although our birthday is a time for us to celebrate our accomplishments, we also want to take some moments to pause and reflect about the unique challenges we all faced in the past year, and our thoughts go out to all who continue to struggle. But as we begin our 7th year, we look forward to healthier, happier and brighter times. As always, this birthday milestone makes us hugely grateful for our partners and friends, and we’re honoured to be stepping into our 7th year with you by our side.

Thank you, Aysha! And many, many THANKS to you, our amazing readers. 

Don’t miss our BIRTHDAY SALE! Take 20% OFF your basket when you check out with the code LANTANA7*. Offer lasts until the 31st of August! 



Click HERE to shop our books. Remember, every print book purchased through our website will continue to support our charity partners!


Aysha is a lifelong bookworm and has always loved the way stories act to unite and illuminate the world around us. She recently joined Lantana as a Marketing and Research Intern in July and is a student from Manchester currently studying History at King's College London.


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