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About Us
Tamarind Logo Image Tamarind Books was founded by Verna Wilkins in 1987 with the mission of redressing the balance of diversity in children’s publishing. Over twenty years later, the world has changed but the problem is still very relevant today. And so, Tamarind still exists to put diversity ‘in the picture’.

Tamarind is now integrated into Random House Children’s Publishers UK, which is part of The Random House Group which is a Penguin Random House Company. Penguin Random House is the world’s first truly global trade book publisher. It was formed on July 1, 2013, upon the completion of an agreement between Bertelsmann and Pearson to merge their respective trade publishing companies, Random House and Penguin.

Tamarind is looking to expand its fiction list over the next five years. We remain true to the Tamarind ethos of publishing compelling stories, stories that give a positive profile to children of all backgrounds, stories that allow all children to see themselves in the stories they read.

Many of the books feature on the National Curriculum and on children’s television. Tamarind titles have also been chosen among the Children’s Books of the Year. The company has won many awards for its contribution to children’s literature including the 2008 British Book Industry
Award for Cultural Diversity.

With twenty groundbreaking years behind us, Tamarind is looking forward to publishing more award-winning stories and reaching children across the globe.
The Team

Verna Wilkins founded Tamarind over twenty years ago. She is also an award -winning author, and has written over thirty picture books and biographies for young people. She is a champion for children’s literature and for diversity. Recently, Verna was recently nominated for the London Metro’s Black Hero list.

Michael Rosen is the former Children’s Laureate and one of Britain's foremost children's poets and writers. He regularly performs his poetry in schools, and can be heard on BBC Radio 4 as a regular presenter. He also teaches at the University of North London, and has published over one hundred books for children.

Meera Syal is an actress and writer. She co-wrote and starred in the BBC2 hit comedy series Goodness Gracious Me, and was awarded the MBE in 1998. She is the author of the award-winning books, Anita and Me and Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee, which was also adapted into a BBC three series.

Jamila Gavin's first book The Magic Orange Tree was published in 1979 and she has since been writing steadily, producing critically acclaimed novels and short stories. She has been shortlisted for major children’s book awards including the Smarties Award and the Guardian Award. Coram Boy, won the Children’s Whitbread award, was shortlisted for the Carnegie and adapted for the stage. A film is now planned.

Benjamin Zephaniah is one of Britain's most cherished contemporary poets. He was first published at the age of 22 and has since written numerous award-winning novels, plays and poetry collections including Talking Turkeys (1994), Refugee Boy (2001) Gangsta Rap (2004). He was voted the nation's third favourite poet of all time (after TS Eliot and John Donne) in a BBC poll in 2009. He is currently the Poet-in-Residence at Keats House and is the Chair of Creative Writing at Brunel University.

Editorial Team

Picture Books: Joe Marriott and Sue Buswell

Fiction: Kirsten Armstrong and Annie Eaton


Press: Jasmine Joynson

Schools and Education: Alexandra Taylor