Usborne Publishing

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Usborne Publishing
FounderPeter Usborne
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Fiction genresChildren's literature
Official website

Usborne Publishing, often called Usborne Books, is a United Kingdom-based publisher of children's literature and direct sales company.

Founded by Peter Usborne in 1973,[1] Usborne Publishing uses an in-house team of writers, editors and designers and is translated into over 100 languages.[2] Its sister company Usborne Books at Home, a direct sales association selling to families, schools and communities, was founded in 1981 and won the Direct Sales Association Award for Innovation in 2004.[3]

To coincide with the 2008 National Year of Reading, Usborne created the Usborne Reading Programme with a marketing campaign to encourage beginner readers. The programme is a collection of over 150 titles graded in seven levels covering a range of subjects, both fiction and non-fiction.

Range of books[edit]

Making a range of books for all ages, fiction and non-fiction, some of Usborne's series include:

  • Touchy Feely
  • History of Britain
  • Discovery
  • Look & Say
  • First Picture Books
  • Phonics Readers
  • Farmyard Tales
  • True Stories
  • Classics Retold
  • See Inside
  • Fabulous Fiction
  • Things to Make and Do
  • Puzzle Adventures
  • Beginners
  • First Thousand Words
  • Spotter's Guides
  • Usborne Reading Programme

Usborne Books at Home and Usborne Books for Schools[edit]

Usborne Books at Home is a franchise operation that was founded in 1981. At its heart are Usborne's Independent Organisers who sell the entire range of Usborne books directly to friends, families, and libraries at discounted prices. Usborne Books for Schools is a branch of this operation and focuses on delivering books to schools nationwide, with sales representatives running book fairs, sponsored reads, themed events, storytime events and summer fetes. These events operate in a Multi-Level Marketing business model.[4]


  • Children's Publisher of the Year 2014
  • Independent Publisher of the Year 2014
  • Publisher of the Year 2012
  • Touchy-Feely That's Not My Penguin nominated for Children's Book of the Year 2008 at the British Book Awards
  • UK Times Literary Supplement Award
  • Touchy-Feely That's Not My… series – voted Best Buy in the Toddler Book category of the Prima Baby Reader Awards 2006
  • First Picture Action Rhymes – Practical Pre-School Gold Award 2006
  • Snuggletime Sleepy Baby – Practical Pre-School Silver Award 2006

Touchy Feely books[edit]

The award-winning Touchy-Feely board books, created by Fiona Watt, include the Hide-and-Seek Touchy-Feely series, the Noisy Touchy-Feely series, the Sparkly Touchy-Feely series and the That's Not My….series. Aimed at young children, they are designed to develop sensory and language awareness with their bright pictures and patches of different textures.[5] Over 7.5 million of these books have been sold worldwide.[citation needed]


Quicklinks were first introduced in 2000 as a way to incorporate the internet into modern reading habits. Peter Usborne has been quoted in the trade magazine The Bookseller as saying: "I initially thought that the internet would kill non-fiction, because teachers would tell children to use the internet to help with homework. But if you key in ‘castles' [on a search engine], you get 900,000 possible websites. The internet is an inadequate resource for children."[6]

Throughout each internet-linked book there are small entries informing the reader that more information on certain topics can be found using the Usborne Quicklinks website. By selecting the title and page number of the book in the site a list of recommended websites are given with extra material on the subject such as video clips, activities and games.

Farmyard Tales[edit]

Farmyard Tales is one of Usborne's series, following the "adventures of Poppy and Sam, their dog Rusty, Curly the pig and Woolly the sheep, as they go about their lives at Apple Tree Farm."[7] The series includes Board and Flap Books, Farmyard Tales Activity Books, Farmyard Tales Stories, Games and Jigsaws and Word Books and Flashcards. The books are designed for children who are just learning to read. Illustrations are by artist Stephen Cartwright.


Usborne fiction authors include:


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Who we are". Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  2. ^ "Obituary – Stephen Cartwright". London: 21 February 2004. Retrieved 2009-03-18.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "That's Not My Truck... Review". Dad's Space. Retrieved 2009-03-18.
  6. ^ "The Usborne Identity – an interview with Peter Usborne". The Bookseller. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
  7. ^ Extract of blurb from Farmyard Tales: The Snow Storm by Amery, Heather. ISBN 978-0-7460-6195-4

External links[edit]