Down The Rabbit Hole
By Down the Rabbit Hole Radio
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE is a podcast for grown-ups who love children's books.
Each week, our hosts Caroline Carpenter, Hannah Love, Charlie Morris and Sam Sedgman welcome special guests for wide-ranging chats about our new discoveries and perennial favourites, from picture books to young adult novels and everything in-between.
Each week, our hosts Caroline Carpenter, Hannah Love, Charlie Morris and Sam Sedgman welcome special guests for wide-ranging chats about our new discoveries and perennial favourites, from picture books to young adult novels and everything in-between.
Independent Bookshop Week Special with Namina Forna and Round Table Books
To celebrate Independent Bookshop Week in the UK we're bringing you a special extra episode recorded live at Round Table Books in Brixton, featuring the brilliant YA author Namina Forna in conversation with guest host Stacey Thomas - book reviewer at Bad Form Review and judge on The Diverse Book Awards longlist. Join Namina as she discusses her latest YA book The Merciless Ones published by Usborne, how it tackles issues such as colourism and Black female power, and the importance of community spaces like bookshops to her creativity. - This episode was produced by Charlie Morris. Our music is Hustle by Kevin MacLeod from incompetech.com, licensed by Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0
June 19, 2022
Stories from Other Times with Emma Carroll and Michelle Paver
Hark, listenerfolk! Gather round the campfire, or the wireless, and listen carefully to Ye Olde Podcaste, which this week brings you exciting tales of stories set in other times. Sam and Hannah are joined on this 100% historically accurate quest by magnificent authors Emma Carroll and Michelle Paver, who have plenty to share with us about the thrills and fascinations of writing and reading historical fiction. Find out when we’d most like to be stranded in time, why fantasy and history are closer than you think, and, most chillingly of all, why 2019 counts as ‘historical’. This is the last episode in our current series of Down the Rabbit Hole, but don’t fret – we will be back with a new weekly season later in the year. Until then, you can let us know what you make of the show – or pitch us some new ideas for future episodes – on Twitter or Instagram @dtrhradio. Plus, don't forget to check out our website at dtrhradio.com. -- This episode was produced by Sam Sedgman. Our music is Hustle by Kevin MacLeod from incompetech.com, licensed by Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0
April 26, 2022
Our 100th Birthday Party! With Imogen Russell-Williams and Katherine Webber
Put on your best frocks and party hats because you’re invited to Down the Rabbit Hole’s 100th birthday! To mark this special occasion, hosts Caroline and Charlie are joined by guests of honour, author Katherine Webber and Down the Rabbit Hole alumna, Imogen Russell-Williams, for an episode all about parties in children’s and YA stories. From The Magic Faraway Tree’s Land of Birthdays to Wonderland’s Mad Tea-Party, we share some of our favourite literary celebrations and even have a go at hosting our own, taking inspiration for the best party outfits, venues, music, food, decorations and guests from the world of children’s books. What’s your favourite party in kids’ lit? Let us know on Twitter or Instagram at @dtrhradio. Plus, don't forget to check out our website at dtrhradio.com. -- This episode was produced by Caroline Carpenter. Our music is Hustle by Kevin MacLeod from incompetech.com, licensed by Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0
April 19, 2022
Magical Creatures and Animal Companions with Lee Newbery
The world of children’s literature is brimming with creatures great and small...and magic. This week Charlie and Sam are joined by March's Waterstones Children's Book of the Month author of The Last Firefox, Lee Newbery, to chat all about the animal companions that bring their powers to enrich (or sometimes upset) the lives of children in books. From Narnia to Animorphs, we dissect what makes an animal magic, and what unique spins we can put to tales of firey fox tails, mythical beings, and even a whole new take on unicorns. Who are your favourite magical creature from the world of kids' books? Let us know on Twitter or Instagram at @dtrhradio. Plus, don't forget to check out our website at dtrhradio.com. -- This episode was produced by Charlie Morris. Our music is Hustle by Kevin MacLeod from incompetech.com, licensed by Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0
April 05, 2022
Kid Lit: Assemble! with Daisy May Johnson and Piers Torday
If you had to take on the world, what characters from children’s literature would you want by your side? A magician? A talking animal? A detective? A tech genius? This week, Hannah and Caroline are joined by Piers Torday and Daisy May Johnson to assemble their own teams of characters from children’s books! But who has the most well-rounded squad? If you think you could draft a better band of characters for anything life might throw at you, let us know! Share your selections with us on Instagram or Twitter - you can find us on both @dtrhradio. Plus, don't forget to check out our website at dtrhradio.com. -- This episode was produced by Hannah Love. Our music is Hustle by Kevin MacLeod from incompetech.com, licensed by Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0
March 22, 2022
Pirates and Smugglers with Annabelle Sami and Alex Wheatle
Avast, me hearties! Climb aboard ship as we set sail for adventure on this week's show with an episode all about timeless stories of pirates and smugglers. Captain Charlie Morris is pouring out the grog and First Mate Hannah Love is swabbing the poop deck to welcome about two very special guests: Alex Wheatle, author of Kemosha of the Caribbean, and Annabelle Sami, author of the Agent Zaiba Investigates series, and its most recent instalment, The Smuggler's Secret. Follow Down the Rabbit Hole on Twitter and Instagram, and check out our website at dtrhradio.com. -- This episode was produced by Charlie Morris. Our music is Hustle by Kevin MacLeod from incompetech.com, licensed by Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0
March 08, 2022
How to Survive a YA Dystopia with Melinda Salisbury and Sanne Vliegenthart
Grab your ration kits and your longbows, listeners - there's danger out there! Today we are delving into the perilous world of Young Adult dystopias, as Caroline and Charlie consider which warped futures and apocalyptic presents they would have most luck surviving. (Spoilers - not many!) Joining them on their hazardous fight for survival are bestselling Young Adult author Melinda Salisbury, and dystopia enthusiast and BookTuber Sanne Vliegenthart, also known as Books and Quills. Follow Down the Rabbit Hole on Twitter and Instagram, and check out our website at dtrhradio.com. -- This episode was produced by Caroline Carpenter. Our music is Hustle by Kevin MacLeod from incompetech.com, licensed by Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0
March 01, 2022
Food, Glorious Food, with Katherine Rundell and Kate Young
Scour the cupboards, stock the fridge, and get your marmalade sandwiches ready as we talk all about the mouthwatering delights of FOOD in children's literature! What do we remember eating in books when we were younger? Are midnight feasts all they're cracked up to be? And why doesn't real life have as many picnics in as we want it to? Joining Sam and Caroline around the dinner table with lashings of ginger beer are the award-winning children's writer Katherine Rundell, author of beloved and bestselling books stuffed with plentiful delicious delights, and Kate Young, award-winning food writer, cook and bookworm, author of The Little Library Cookbook with recipes to bring meals from literature to life. Come for the whipple-scrumptious fudgemallow delight, stay for the edible tarantulas. Will Katherine eat a rat? Can Kate persuade us to try a pie floater? All this, and plenty more, in this week's fully-stocked episode. Follow Down the Rabbit Hole on Twitter and Instagram, and check out our website at dtrhradio.com. -- This episode was produced by Sam Sedgman. Our music is Hustle by Kevin MacLeod from incompetech.com, licensed by Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0
February 22, 2022
Book Crushes with Caroline O'Donoghue and Kate Saunders
Happy Valentine's Day everyone! We kick off our brand new season of weekly episodes with a dreamy chat about our favourite book crushes. Who did we fancy in books growing up? How do we feel about those crushes now, as adults? Is it okay to fancy Aslan? Why is The Secret Garden so sexy? And how do today's children's books broach the subjects of love and yearning differently to the classics? Two brilliant special guests join us for our season premiere: Caroline O'Donoghue is the host of the podcast Sentimental Garbage and author of the magical YA novel All Our Hidden Gifts. Kate Saunders is the author of Five Children on the Western Front which re-imagines E. Nesbitt's young heroes as older characters facing the spectre of war - and romance. Follow Down the Rabbit Hole on Twitter and Instagram, and check out our website at dtrhradio.com -- This episode was produced by Hannah Love. Our music is Hustle by Kevin MacLeod from incompetech.com, licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0
February 15, 2022
Down the Rabbit Hole is back!
Prick up your bunny ears, listeners - your favourite podcast about children's books is back! From Tuesday 15th of February we're launching a new season - you'll be able to hear a brand new episode of Down the Rabbit Hole every week! Stay tuned to this feed for fun conversations with special guests about the best food in kids' books, surviving Young Adult dystopias, crushing on book characters, and much more! -- Our music is Hustle by Kevin MacLeod from incompetech.com, licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0
February 14, 2022
21 December 2021 | Episode 93: Christmas Special
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Your Down the Rabbit Hole presenters have huddled around Hannah's Christmas tree to share a sleigh full of our favourite festive reads with you. So grab some mulled wine and mince pies, and join us! We talk about our most nostalgic reads we remember from our own childhoods, and why Christmas is the perfect time to reconnect with who we were as a child. We unearth some of the best modern Christmas books out this year and last, as well as looking back on the greatest hits of 2021, sharing some of our favourite books from the year gone by - and the ones we've saved up to read over the holidays. Plus, we discover the secret to a perfect Christmas book. Foil. The secret is foil. And possibly a really cosy murder, too. Follow the show on Twitter @dtrhradio.
December 21, 2021
23 November 2021 | Episode 92: Separated Parents and Blended Families
This month Caroline and Charlie are joined by authors Jason Reynolds and Tom Vaughan to talk about children's books featuring separated parents, single parents and blended families. Tom Vaughan's Bin Boy was published earlier this year and Jason Reynolds' Stuntboy, in the Meantime came out this month. Both feature characters with complex families, and they're here to share their thoughts and inspiration about books with families of all shapes and sizes. You can buy the books mentioned in today's show from our shelf on Bookshop.org - https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/downtherabbithole
November 24, 2021
26 October 2021 | Episode 91: Vampires
Invite us into your ears this Halloween to hear us sink our teeth into one of the spookiest characters in children's books - vampires! The fangs come out as Hannah and Sam talk with special guests Amy McCaw and Harriet Muncaster about their favourite bloodsucking heroes and villains, what makes a good vampire, and why we seem to be seeing more vampires in books for young readers than ever before. You can buy books mentioned in today's show from our shelf on Bookshop.org - https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/downtherabbithole Follow us on Twitter @DTRHradio or on Instagram @DTRHradio. You can find Amy McCaw at @YAundermyskin and Harriet Muncaster at @H_Muncaster.
October 26, 2021
28 September 2021 | Episode 90: Celebrating Black Joy
In honour of the start of Black History Month in the UK, Charlie passes the mic to guest host Aimée Felone, Managing Director of independent children's publisher Knights Of, who is joined by Clare Weze, E. L. Norry, Chanté Timothy and Camilla Ru, four of the contributors to children's anthology Happy Here, a book which champions joy and celebrates the work of Black British authors and illustrators. Down the Rabbit Hole joins them for a candid conversation and a look behind the scenes at the aims and inspiration of the book - copies of which will be delivered to every school in the UK in partnership with Booktrust and CLPE. Plus, we all recommend a book that's been making us happy this month, and our guests share their hopes for the future of publishing, and what legacy they would like to leave with their work. You can buy books mentioned in today's show from our new shelf on Bookshop.org - https://bookshop.org/shop/downtherabbithole Follow us on Twitter @DTRHradio or on Instagram @DTRHradio. For more information about Happy Here, follow Knights Of at @_KnightsOf or check out their website - knightsof.media.
September 28, 2021
24 August 2021 | Episode 89: The Magic of Debuts
Welcome first-timers and seasoned listeners alike! Today we are talking all about the wonder of debuts in children's literature, and finding out what's so special about an author's first piece of published work. Caroline Carpenter and Sam Sedgman are joined by two very special guests: Struan Murray, author of Orphans of the Tide, and his editor at Puffin, Ben Horslen. Struan and Ben join us fresh from winning this year's Branford Boase Award, which honours the author and editor of a debut title in children's fiction. Buy all the books mentioned in today's episode from our shelf on Bookshop.org - https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/downtherabbithole Follow us on Twitter @DTRHradio or Instagram at @DTRHradio. Follow Caroline @CarolineC1988, Sam @samuelsedgman, Struan @Struan_Murray, and Ben @BenHorslen.
August 24, 2021
11 August 2021 | Episode 88: Summer Holiday Special
Pack your bags and climb aboard this very special bonus edition of Down the Rabbit Hole all about travelling the world by book. Sam Sedgman is joined by special guests Rumena Aktar and Katherine Woodfine (yes, she's back!) to share our favourite children's stories set in other countries, and discuss the joys and perils of writing and reading books set in foreign countries. Plus, we share which books are making us happy. Buy all the books mentioned in today's episode from our shelf on Bookshop.org - https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/downtherabbithole Follow us on Twitter @DTRHradio or Instagram at @DTRHradio. Follow Sam @samuelsedgman, Rumena @rumena_aktar and Katherine @Followtheyellow
August 11, 2021
27 July 2021 | Episode 87: Grief
In today's episode, presenters Hannah Love and Caroline Carpenter are joined by author Elle McNicoll and Harry Woodgate to discuss the presentation of grief in children's books, and why children's books can be a perfect refuge in difficult time. Buy all the books mentioned in today's episode from our new shelf on Bookshop.org - https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/downtherabbithole Follow us on Twitter @DTRHradio or Instagram at @DTRHradio. Follow Hannah @AitchLove, Caroline @CarolineC1988, Elle @Booksandchokers and Harry @harryewoodgate.
July 27, 2021
22 June 2021 | Episode 86: Audiobooks
Listen up! Today's show is all about the magic of audiobooks. Sam Sedgman and Caroline Carpenter are joined by two special guests: Laura Marlow, an Editor in Audio at Penguin, and Jot Davies, an award-winning audiobook actor and voice artist. Together they share memories of their favourite childhood books on tape, discuss where the modern audiobook industry is headed, and recommend some new modern favourites for listeners to try out. Plus, Caroline listens to her very first audiobook - and we share some of the books that are making us happy this month. Buy all the books mentioned in today's episode from our new shelf on Bookshop.org - https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/downtherabbithole Follow us on Twitter @DTRHradio or Instagram at @DTRHradio. Follow Sam @samuelsedgman, Caroline @CarolineC1988, Laura @LauraMarlowW and Jot @JotDavies.
June 22, 2021
25 May 2021 | Episode 85: Pride Special
Charlie Morris and Hannah Love celebrate the start of Pride month by exploring the rainbow of recent children's books that put LGBTQ+ families and youth at the heart of the story. Joining us on our parade of must-read books are Jodie Lancet-Grant: debut picture book author of The Pirate Mums, L.D. Lapinski: author of magical middle grade adventure series The Strangeworlds Travel Agency, and Benjamin Dean, author of Waterstones’ Children’s Book of the Month Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow. From lonely mermen to misunderstood monsters, to two daddies and a road trip of remembrance, we talk about why LGBTQ+ representation in books matters to us and why allowing Queer kids to go on all sorts of adventures means we can help young readers find themselves and their families along the way. Plus, we all share a book that's been making us happy this month. Buy all the books mentioned in today's episode from our new shelf on Bookshop.org Follow us on Twitter @DTRHradio or Instagram at @DTRHradio. Follow Charlie @charlieinabook, Hannah @aitchlove, Jodie @JodieMullish, L.D. @LDLapinski, and Benjamin @notagainben
May 25, 2021
27 April 2021 | Episode 84: Earth Day
Caroline Carpenter and Charlie Morris celebrate Earth Day by reaching for their binoculars and exploring the thriving world of children's books about nature and the environment. Joining us on our ramble through the library shelves are Lauren James: YA author and founder of the Climate Fiction Writers' League, and Dr Jess French: qualified vet, TV presenter and non-fiction author of children's books. After airing our shared trauma of The Animals of Farthing Wood, we discuss beloved encyclopaedias, terrifying dystopias, and reflect on some more positive visions of the planet's future. Plus, we all share a book that's been making us happy this month. Buy all the books mentioned in today's episode from our new shelf on Bookshop.org - https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/downtherabbithole Follow us on Twitter @DTRHradio or Instagram at @DTRHradio. Follow Caroline at @CarolineC1988, Charlie @charlieinabook, Lauren at @Lauren_E_James and Jess at @zoologist_jess
April 27, 2021
23 March 2021 | Episode 83: Cats Vs Dogs
Hannah Love and Sam Sedgman are joined by authors Steven Lenton and Michelle Harrison to tackle the greatest question of our lifetime: which are better, cats or dogs? Hear the fur fly as we share some of our favourite canines and felines from children's literature past and present, debating which is funnier, cuter, more adventurous and more loyal. Plus, we each share a book that's making us happy this month. Buy all the books mentioned in today's episode from our new shelf on Bookshop.org - https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/downtherabbithole Follow us on Twitter @DTRHradio or Instagram at @DTRHradio. Follow Hannah at @AitchLove, Sam Sedgman @samuelsedgman, Steven at @stevenlenton and Michelle at @MHarrison13
March 23, 2021
23 February 2021 | Episode 82: Updating the Classics
New presenters Sam, Caroline, Charlie and Hannah offer some alternatives to recommend instead of the same old dependable children’s classics, with some of our favourite picks in different genres from the last 20 years. Plus, we each share a book that’s making us happy this month, and find time to address some of the most pressing questions in children’s literature: "were Goosebumps actually scary?" and "exactly how many Animorphs books were there?". Buy all the books mentioned in today's episode from our new shelf on Bookshop.org - https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/downtherabbithole Check out the YA Book Prize on Twitter at @YABookPrize or at YABookPrize.com Follow us on Twitter @DTRHradio or Instagram at @DTRHradio. Follow Sam Sedgman @samuelsedgman, Charlie at @charlieinabook, Caroline at @CarolineC1988 and Hannah at @AitchLove
February 23, 2021
27 January 2021 | Episode 81: Meet our new team!
For a special handover episode, Katherine chats to the new team who'll be taking over Down the Rabbit Hole - Caroline Carpenter, Charlie Morris, Hannah Love and Sam Sedgman - including finding out all about their favourite children's books
January 27, 2021
26 December 2020 | Episode 80: Christmas Special with Frank Cottrell Boyce
We discuss festive favourites and the best new books of 2020 with special guest author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce, who joins us to celebrate the many ways that children's books help us to celebrate small pleasures and find the magic in ordinary things
December 26, 2020
24 November 2020 | Episode 79: Funny Books for Older Readers with Alexandra Sheppard and Simon James Green
Special guests Alexandra Sheppard and Simon James Green join Katherine and Louise to talk about funny books for older readers, including some joyful and hilarious reading recommendations to cheer up even the gloomiest day
November 24, 2020
27 October 2020 | Episode 78: Funny Books with Pamela Butchart and Michelle Robinson
Authors Pamela Butchart and Michelle Robinson join Katherine and Louise to talk about the children's books that make them laugh - and why funny books matter.
October 27, 2020
23 September 2020 | Episode 77: Taran Matharu
Katherine and Louise chat to young adult author Taran Matharu about his 'Summoner' and 'Contender' series - and his journey from NaNoWriMo and Wattpad to New York Times bestseller.
September 23, 2020
25 August 2020 | Episode 76: Detective Stories with Robin Stevens and Sharna Jackson
Katherine is joined by two fellow middle grade mystery authors - Robin Stevens and Sharna Jackson - to discuss writing detective series. This month's episode celebrates the publication of the final Murder Most Unladylike book, Death Sets Sail, as well as High Rise Mystery winning the young fiction category of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize.
August 25, 2020
28 July 2020 | Episode 75: Shaun Tan
To celebrate his CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal win for Tales from the Inner City, Jack interviews acclaimed artist, writer and film-maker Shaun Tan
July 28, 2020
25 June 2020 | Episode 74: Independent Bookshops Special
We celebrated Independent Bookshop Week 2020 by chatting to three independent booksellers - Katie Clapham of Storytellers Inc, Steven Pryse of Pickled Pepper Books, and Fleur Sinclair of Sevenoaks Bookshop - to hear about their experiences of bookselling during lockdown, plus their top children's and teen book recommendations
June 25, 2020
26 May 2020 | Episode 73: Children's Laureate Special with Cressida Cowell
Waterstones Children's Laureate Cressida Cowell joins us to talk about creativity and the magic of reading - plus find out about our exciting competition for young writers
May 26, 2020
28 April 2020 | Episode 72: Murder Mysteries with Holly Jackson
New York Times bestselling author Holly Jackson joins the gang to talk about all things murder mystery - including an insight into her writing process and new book Good Girl, Bad Blood
April 28, 2020
24 March 2020 | Episode 71: Spring Special with Levi Pinfold and Kes Gray & Jim Field
In this special bumper episode, Imogen interviews award-winning artist Levi Pinfold about his extraordinary books and exquisite work on Harry Potter; and Jack talks to picture book creators Kes Gray and Jim Field about their wildly brilliant Oi! partnership.
March 24, 2020
25 February 2020 | Episode 70: Jasbinder Bilan and Kesia Lupo
To discuss this month's crop of new children's books, Katherine and Jack are joined in the studio by two special guests - Costa Children's Book Award winner Jasbinder Bilan and her editor Kesia Lupo, who is also a young adult author.
February 25, 2020
28 January 2020 | Episode 69: New Year Special
For January's show, Louise and Jack are joined by two children's publishing insiders - Pari Thomson and Charlie Morris - to look back at some of the best books of 2019, as well as some of those you can look forward to in 2020. Plus an insight into what it's like working in the world of children's books.
January 28, 2020
26 November 2019 | Episode 68: Sara Barnard
Louise and Jack are joined in the studio by YA Book Prize 2019 winner Sara Barnard to review three new books for children and young people.
November 26, 2019
22 October 2019 | Episode 67: AF Harrold and Emma Yarlett
For Halloween, Louise, Jack and Imogen are joined by special guests AF Harrold and Emma Yarlett to discuss a trio of books about dead things, ghosts and shadows...
October 22, 2019
24 September 2019 | Episode 66: Sibeal Pounder
In this month's episode, Melissa is back in the host's chair, to discuss three new children's books with Louise and special guest author Sibeal Pounder.
September 24, 2019
23 July 2019 | Episode 65: Rebecca Cobb
Louise and Jack discuss three new children's books with this month's special guest, award-winning author-illustrator (and designer of the Down the Rabbit Hole logo!) Rebecca Cobb.
July 23, 2019
25 June 2019 | Episode 64: Judith Kerr Special
Louise, Imogen and Jack are joined by picture book creator Rob Biddulph and editor Sue Buswell to celebrate the life and work of beloved author and illustrator Judith Kerr. Plus a discussion of the 2019 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal winner The Lost Words illustrated by Jackie Morris.
June 25, 2019
28 May 2019 | Episode 63: Maz Evans
Author Maz Evans is this month's studio guest, joining Louise, Jack and Imogen to discuss a selection of great new books for children and young people.
May 28, 2019
23 April 2019 | Episode 62: Sophie McKenzie
Louise, Imogen and Jack are joined in the studio by young adult author Sophie McKenzie to talk about three new books for children and teenagers.
April 23, 2019
26 March 2019 | Episode 61: Springtime reads with Emer Stamp
For Melissa's last ever show, she is joined in the studio by Imogen, new DTRH team member Jack Noel, and special guest Emer Stamp to discuss an array of new springtime books for children and young people.
March 26, 2019
08 March 2019 | Episode 60: International Women's Day Special
For this special episode to mark International Women's Day, Imogen is joined in the studio by three authors - Laura Wood, Lauren Ace and Julia Gray - to talk about their favourite female characters in children's literature
March 08, 2019
26 February 2019 | Episode 59: Sita Brahmachari and David O'Connell
Melissa and Imogen are joined in the studio by author Sita Brahmachari and writer/illustrator David O'Connell to talk about three brand new children's books.
February 26, 2019
22 January 2019 | Episode 58: John Burningham Special
This month, Louise and Imogen are joined in the studio by author-illustrator Neal Layton and editorial director for picture books Andrea Macdonald to celebrate the extraordinary work of John Burningham.
January 22, 2019
25 December 2018 | Episode 57: Christmas Special
For a bumper end-of-year special, Melissa, Louise and Imogen are joined in the studio by author, illustrator and designer Jack Noel and fiction editorial director Lauren Fortune to discuss favourite Christmas reads and books of the year 2018.
December 25, 2018
27 November 2018 | Episode 56: New books for November
Melissa, Imogen and Louise discuss three new children's books - plus an interview with top Canadian author Susin Nielsen, a chat about Doctor Who publishing with Puffin editor Emil Fortune, and Imogen reports back from judging the Children's category of the Costa Book Awards 2018.
November 27, 2018
23 October 2018 | Episode 55: Illustrated Non-Fiction Special
Children's book critic Imogen Russell Williams and award-winning author David Long are this month's guests for a special episode exploring the latest in illustrated non-fiction for children and young people.
October 23, 2018
12 October 2018 | Episode 54: DTRH Live at Sevenoaks Literary Festival - Emma Carroll and Hilary McKay
For this special live event recorded at the Sevenoaks Literary Festival, top authors Emma Carroll and Hilary McKay join Katherine to discuss their latest books, and their approach to writing historical fiction for kids.
October 12, 2018
25 September 2018 | Episode 53: Steven Butler and Kate Pankhurst
Katherine and Melissa are joined in the studio by two top children's books creators, Steven Butler and Kate Pankhurst, to discuss three of September's new books.
September 25, 2018
28 August 2018 | Episode 52: Summer Special with Chelsea Clinton and Katherine Webber
For a special summer episode from the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Katherine is joined by Chelsea Clinton and Katherine Webber, to talk about Chelsea's new picture book 'She Persisted Around the World' plus children's books ranging from US children's classics, to favourite fairy-tales.
August 28, 2018
24 July 2018 | Episode 51: Catherine Doyle and Candy Gourlay
Katherine and Melissa are joined in the studio by authors Catherine Doyle and Candy Gourlay, to discuss three new children's books. Plus an interview with the 2017 and 2018 winners of the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award about what makes school libraries so special.
July 24, 2018
26 June 2018 | Episode 50: Greenaway Special with Sophy Henn and David Melling
Louise and Katherine are joined in the studio by picture book creators Sophy Henn and David Melling, to discuss the shortlisted titles for the 2018 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal. Plus we hear from children at Victoria College Belfast about taking part in the Greenaway Shadowing Scheme.
June 26, 2018
22 May 2018 | Episode 49: Fourth Birthday Special with Laura Dockrill and Alex T Smith
To celebrate DTRH's fourth birthday, Melissa and Katherine are joined in the studio by two of the guests from the first ever show - Laura Dockrill and Alex T Smith - to reflect on the last four years in children's books, and what might be around the corner next.
May 22, 2018
24 April 2018 | Episode 48: Karen Gregory
The gang are joined in the studio by young adult author Karen Gregory to chat about three new children's books. Plus an interview with Kwame Alexander, who reads from his latest book Rebound.
April 24, 2018
27 March 2018 | Episode 47: Garry Parsons and Jenny McLachlan
Katherine and Melissa are joined in the studio by author Jenny McLachlan and illustrator Garry Parsons to discuss three new children's books. Plus Louise interviews Francesca Cavallo about the Rebel Girls phenomenon, and new book Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls 2.
March 27, 2018
27 February 2018 | Episode 46: Holly Bourne and Bex Lindsay
We celebrate World Book Day by discussing three brand new children's books! This month, Louise is in the host's chair - and author Holly Bourne and radio presenter Bex Lindsay from Fun Kids Radio are our studio guests.
February 27, 2018
23 January 2018 | Episode 45: Patrice Lawrence and Kieran Larwood
Award-winning authors Patrice Lawrence and Kieran Larwood join Katherine and Louise in the studio to discuss three new children's books. Plus Cheryl Moscowitz interviews the five young poets featured in the anthology Rising Stars: New Young Voices in Poetry.
January 23, 2018
25 December 2017 | Episode 44: Christmas Special 2017
Join the gang for a bumper Festive Special, with guests Piers Torday and Ruth Knowles. Featuring DTRH's Books of the Year 2017, a celebration of the work of Brambly Hedge creator Jill Barklem, and some of our favourite books to enjoy over the festive season. Plus find out more about a new production of The Box of Delights at Wilton's Music Hall, and hear which books some young readers picked as their favourites of the year.
December 25, 2017
28 November 2017 | Episode 43: Philip Pullman Special
To celebrate the publication of the first instalment of The Book of Dust, Imogen Russell Williams joins the gang in the studio to discuss Philip Pullman's work, including the brand new La Belle Sauvage. Also featuring an interview with Philip Pullman's agent Caradoc King.
November 28, 2017
24 October 2017 | Episode 42: Halloween Special with Alex Bell and Christopher Edge
In a spooky Halloween special, the gang are joined in the studio by authors Alex Bell and Christopher Edge to discuss three new children's books, ranging from the magical to the macabre.
October 24, 2017
26 September 2017 | Episode 41: Will Hill and Lizzy Stewart
Guests Will Hill and Lizzy Stewart join Melissa and Louise in the studio to discuss three brilliant new children's books out this month. Plus a round-up of other new titles to look out for in September.
September 26, 2017
31 August 2017 | Episode 40: Summer Special
Katherine introduces a special episode featuring interviews with young adult authors Karen McManus and Irfan Master. Plus we go behind the scenes at launch for new anthology A Change is Gonna Come and Louise meets radio presenters Greg James and Chris Smith, who read from their first book Kid Normal.
August 31, 2017
25 July 2017 | Episode 39: Peter Bunzl and Polly Ho-Yen
This month's guests are authors Peter Bunzl and Polly Ho-Yen, who join the gang in the studio to discuss three new books, each with a connection to poetry and spoken word. Plus Louise goes behind the scenes at this year's CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award) where children from Benedict Primary School interview winning poet Kate Wakeling.
July 25, 2017
27 June 2017 | Episode 38: Books to help in troubling times - with Catherine Barter, SF Said and Sarah Shaffi
Author SF Said, journalist Sarah Shaffi and YA debut Catherine Barter join Melissa and Louise in the studio to talk about how books teach children to think, question and empathise with others - and recommend books that can help children to understand turbulent times.
June 27, 2017
03 June 2017 | Episode 37: DTRH Live at Hay Festival - The Illustrators Who Made Us
For this special live event at Hay Festival, top illustrators Rob Biddulph, Leigh Hobbs, Emma Lewis and Britta Teckentrup join Katherine to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal with a discussion of some favourite books from the prize's history and illustrators who have inspired them - as well as the power of pictures in children's books.
June 03, 2017
30 May 2017 | Episode 36: Yasmeen Ismail and David Solomons
This month's guests are picture book creator Yasmeen Ismail and award-winning author David Solomons, who join Katherine and Louise to discuss three new children's books. Plus an interview with YA superstar Nicola Yoon.
May 30, 2017
25 April 2017 | Episode 35: Kiran Millwood Hargrave with young readers Sterrett and Nicky
Melissa and Louise are joined by this year's Waterstones Children's Book Prize winner Kiran Millwood Hargrave and avid young readers Sterrett & Nicky to review this month's releases. Plus an interview with NYT #1 bestselling sensation Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give.
April 25, 2017
28 March 2017 | Episode 34: Alex Wheatle
A special episode with Guardian Children's Fiction Prize winner Alex Wheatle, discussing his award-winning Crongton Knights - plus a reading from new book Straight Outta Crongton. Also featuring a round-up of this month's best new children's books.
March 28, 2017
04 March 2017 | Episode 33: Down the Rabbit Hole Live: The Power of The Imagination
Our first live show! The very first live DTRH event took place on 2 March 2017, as part of the nationwide World Book Day celebrations.
March 04, 2017
28 February 2017 | Episode 32: Gemma Cairney and Rosalind Jana
This month's guests are BBC Radio 1 DJ Gemma Cairney and writer Rosalind Jana, who help us celebrate World Book Day and discuss their non-fiction books for teenagers. Plus a discussion of new young adult novel Ink and details of DTRH's first ever live show!
February 28, 2017
31 January 2017 | Episode 31: Lissa Evans and Martin Stewart
Authors Lissa Evans and Martin Stewart join the DTRH team in the studio to discuss three newly-published books. Plus we talk about how books can help children and young people understand more about complex world events.
January 31, 2017
25 December 2016 | Episode 30: Christmas Special with Steven Lenton, Melinda Salisbury and Kate Wilson
Join the DTRH gang for a festive special: a review of the year in children's books with YA author Melinda Salisbury, illustrator Steve Lenton and Nosy Crow publisher Kate Wilson. Including our favourite books of 2016, an interview with Guardian Children's Prize nominee Zana Fraillon, a feature on YA charity anthology I'll Be Home For Christmas, and readings from a new collection of stories, Winter Magic.
December 25, 2016
29 November 2016 | Episode 29: NaNoWriMo Special with Barry Cunningham, Natasha Farrant and Catherine Johnson
Our NaNoWriMo special features writing tips and advice from our three studio guests - top children's publisher Barry Cunningham, author Natasha Farrant, and author/screenwriter Catherine Johnson. Plus Louise meets bestselling YA author Jennifer Niven to hear about her approach to writing.
November 29, 2016
25 October 2016 | Episode 28: Clara Vulliamy and Polly Faber
The duo behind the Mango and Bambang series, Clara Vulliamy and Polly Faber, join the DTRH team to discuss three new children's books. Also featuring Katherine Rundell and Julie Mayhew, who talk about the Russian settings of their most recent novels over a Russian tea.
October 25, 2016
27 September 2016 | Episode 27: Clare Balding
Author, journalist and TV presenter Clare Balding joins the team in the studio to talk about her first children's book The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop - plus a discussion of favourite animal stories, and some exciting Down the Rabbit Hole news.
September 27, 2016
30 August 2016 | Episode 26: Poetry Special with Joseph Coelho and Sarah Crossan
Katherine and Louise are joined by CILIP Carnegie Medal and YA Prize winner Sarah Crossan, and CLiPPA winner Joseph Coelho for a special episode all about children's poetry. Plus Louise goes behind the scenes at the CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education Poetry Award) to chat to some young readers about their favourite poems.
August 30, 2016
26 July 2016 | Episode 25: Steven Lenton and Katie Chapman
The gang are joined in the studio by illustrator Steven Lenton, and 16-year-old student Katie Chapman to talk about some new books for children. Also featuring a catch-up with soon-to-be-published young adult author Katherine Webber about her journey to publication.
July 26, 2016
28 June 2016 | Episode 24: Picture Book Special with Sarah McIntyre and William Grill
Two award-winning author/illustrators, Sarah McIntyre and William Grill (plus Will's dog Barney) join the gang in the studio for a special episode about this year’s CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, and the role of illustration in children’s books. Plus Louise and Katherine go behind the scenes at the awards to interview 2016 Greenaway winner, Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell.
June 28, 2016
31 May 2016 | Episode 23: Love and Romance Special with Harriet Reuter Hapgood and Jim Dean
Young adult author Harriet Reuter Hapgood and book blogger Jim Dean join the DTRH team in the studio for a special episode discussing all things love and romance in books for children and teenagers.
May 31, 2016
26 April 2016 | Episode 22: David Litchfield and Lisa Williamson
The gang are joined in the studio by Lisa Williamson and David Litchfield - the teen and picture book winners of the 2016 Waterstones Children's Book Prize. Plus Katherine interviews Ann M Martin, creator of The Baby-Sitters' Club.
April 26, 2016
29 March 2016 | Episode 21: Frances Hardinge
In this special episode, Katherine and Melissa are joined in the studio by the winner of the Costa Book Award, Frances Hardinge, as well as her editor at Macmillan Children's Books Rachel Petty to talk about The Lie Tree and the 'beautiful jungle' of children's literature.
March 29, 2016
23 February 2016 | Episode 20: Eve Ainsworth and Mike Revell
Authors Eve Ainsworth and Mike Revell join the gang to discuss this month’s new children’s book releases - plus Katherine talks about historical fiction with Ruta Sepetys and Gavriel Savit. Also featuring more book chat from the children of Netley Primary School.
February 23, 2016
26 January 2016 | Episode 19: Charlotte Eyre and Ross Montgomery
Louise and Katherine are joined in the studio by author Ross Montgomery and journalist Charlotte Eyre to discuss this month’s new releases in children’s books. Plus a feature with Finnish author Maria Turtschaninoff about her feminist fantasy YA novel Maresi.
January 26, 2016
15 December 2015 | Episode 18: Christmas Special with Tom Bonnick, Non Pratt and Nadia Shireen
In an hour-long festive bonanza, the gang are joined in the studio by Down the Rabbit Hole alumni Tom Bonnick, Non Pratt and Nadia Shireen. Featuring favourite books to read at Christmas, an interview with author Brian Selznick about The Marvels, a reading of a very special new picture book, Refuge by Anne Booth and Sam Usher, and DTRH’s best books of 2015.
December 15, 2015
24 November 2015 | Episode 17: Abi Elphinstone and Jonathan Stroud
Authors Abi Elphinstone and Jonathan Stroud join the gang to discuss three new children’s books. Plus an interview with Edward Carey, author of the Iremonger trilogy, and more from the children of Netley Primary School.
November 24, 2015
27 October 2015 | Episode 16: Superfan Special with Robin Stevens
The DTRH team are joined in the studio by children’s author Robin Stevens for a discussion of some of the biggest phenomena in children’s publishing, including Harry Potter and Twilight. Also featuring an interview with Adam Freudenheim of Pushkin Children’s Books about children’s fiction in translation, and the very first appearance of the children of Netley Primary School.
October 27, 2015
29 September 2015 | Episode 15: David Roberts and Katherine Webber
Illustrator David Roberts and soon-to-be published author (and Down the Rabbit Hole superfan) Katherine Webber join the gang in the studio to talk about three new children’s books. Also featuring an interview with YA authors Lydia Syson and Catherine Johnson about writing historical fiction, and a behind-the-scenes report from the CLPE Poetry Award.
September 29, 2015
28 July 2015 | Episode 14: Phil Earle and Anna James
The DTRH team are joined in the studio by special guests journalist Anna James and author Phil Earle to talk about three new children’s books - plus an interview with US YA author Jenny Han.
July 28, 2015
30 June 2015 | Episode 13: Picture Book Special with Steve Antony and Helen Hancocks
For their annual picture book special to celebrate the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, the DTRH gang are joined by picture book creators Steve Antony and Helen Hancocks. Plus an interview with 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal William Grill, and comments from some of the children who took part in this year’s Carnegie Greenaway shadowing scheme.
June 30, 2015
26 May 2015 | Episode 12: Lucy Mangan
Guardian journalist, author and children’s book enthusiast Lucy Mangan joins the team in the studio to discuss three new children’s books. Plus blogger Daphne of Winged Reviews interviews US YA author Sarah J Maas about her new book A Court of Thorns and Roses.
May 26, 2015
28 April 2015 | Episode 11: Tom Bonnick and Imogen Russell Williams
The team are joined by two children’s book experts - Nosy Crow’s Tom Bonnick and journalist Imogen Russell Williams - to discuss three new books for young readers. Plus blogger Jim of YAYeahYeah interviews author Siobhan Curham about her new teen non-fiction book, True Face.
April 28, 2015
31 March 2015 | Episode 10: Bologna Book Fair Special
With the gang away for the Bologna Book Fair, this pre-recorded episode features an interview with founders of new illustrated non-fiction imprint Wide Eyed Editions, a look at favourite children’s book author Dick King Smith, and an interview with debut young adult author Anna McKerrow about her novel Crow Moon.
March 31, 2015
24 February 2015 | Episode 9: Birthday Special with David Maybury and Louie Stowell
To celebrate one year since Down the Rabbit Hole’s first show, Katherine and Louise are joined by two children’s books insiders - David Maybury, Commissioning Editor at Scholastic, and author Louie Stowell - to discuss a selection of brand new books. Also featuring a special trip down to the farm with author Helen Peters
February 24, 2015
27 January 2015 | Episode 8: Rob Biddulph and Non Pratt
The team are joined in the studio by picture book creator Rob Biddulph and author Non Pratt to discuss three new children's books. Plus a feature about forthcoming YA fantasy The Sin Eater's Daughter by debut author Melinda Salisbury.
January 27, 2015
25 November 2014 | Episode 7: Christmas Special with Chris Riddell
Author and illustrator Chris Riddell joins the gang in the studio for a DTRH festive special - including favourite Christmas children’s books, answering listeners’ Christmas book shopping dilemmas, and a chat with Chris about his latest books - Goth Girl and the Fete Worse than Death and The Sleeper and the Spindle (with Neil Gaiman).
November 25, 2014
28 October 2014 | Episode 6: Benji Davies and Katherine Rundell
Katherine, Melissa and Louise are joined in the studio by award-winning author Katherine Rundell and picture book creator Benji Davies to discuss three new children’s books. Also including a special feature with Young Bond author Steve Cole and his son Tobey, who interviewed each other for the programme, plus some spooky book recommendations for Halloween.
October 28, 2014
30 September 2014 | Episode 5: Middle Grade Special with Emma Carroll and SF Said
Katherine, Louise and Melissa are joined by two ‘middle grade’ authors writing for children aged 9-12 - Emma Carroll and SF Said - to explore books for this age group. Also featuring an interview with illustrator Johnny Duddle about reimagining Harry Potter for a new generation of readers.
September 30, 2014
29 July 2014 | Episode 4: YA Special with James Dawson and Sarra Manning
Katherine, Melissa and Louise are joined in the studio by two leading young adult authors - Sarra Manning and current ‘Queen of Teen’ James Dawson (plus Sarra’s dog, Miss Betsy) - for a discussion of all things YA. Featuring an interview with Rainbow Rowell, and a report from the UK’s first young adult literature convention, YALC
July 29, 2014
30 June 2014 | Episode 3: Picture Book Special with Nadia Shireen and Ed Vere
To celebrate the 2014 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, the team are joined by picture book creators Nadia Shireen and Ed Vere for an episode exploring picture book illustration. Featuring an interview with 2014 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal winner Jon Klassen, as well as a special visit to the queen of children’s book illustration, Shirley Hughes.
June 30, 2014
26 May 2014 | Episode 2: Susie Day and Tom Percival
To kick off their regular monthly series, Katherine, Melissa and Louise are joined in the studio by two special guests - author Susie Day and author/illustrator Tom Percival - to discuss three brand new children’s books.
May 26, 2014
25 February 2014 | Episode 1: The Pilot
For the pilot episode of Down the Rabbit Hole, Katherine, Melissa and Louise are joined by three special guests - author/illustrator Alex T Smith and authors Laura Dockrill and Tanya Byrne - to discuss a selection of brand new children’s books. Plus a peep behind the scenes at publisher Hot Key Books; roving reporter Nikesh Shukla interviews comic creators The Etherington Brothers; tips on how to get a literary agent; and a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.
February 25, 2014