We do things a little differently at Usborne. Unlike most publishers, we conceive and write almost all our children’s books in-house. With a team of over 35 editor/writers, and over 50 designers, we publish over 300 distinctive and engaging books a year. Usborne is a medium-sized UK publishing company with a staff of over 250 including production, accounts, sales and marketing, rights and foreign imprint teams.
The Usborne list of nearly 3,000 titles ranges from playful baby books to thought-provoking young adult fiction, and includes activity books, gift books, levelled reading books, lift-the-flap information books and of course Sticker Dolly Dressing and That’s not my… touchy-feely books. There really is an Usborne book for every child, from birth to teen, all displaying the trusted Usborne balloon.
People often tell us how much they loved reading Usborne books as a child. Special favourites from the past include The KnowHow Book of Spy Craft, Usborne Puzzle Adventures and the Farmyard Tales and First Thousand Words books illustrated by the legendary Stephen Cartwright. We recently released the original 1980s Usborne coding books as online pdfs, and heard from many IT professionals that these were the books that started them on their careers!
When Peter Usborne founded the company in 1973, affordable full-colour children’s books were a relatively new invention and his ambition was to create enriching books that could compete with comics and TV. Over 45 years later, we are delighted to have accompanied several generations on their path to a love of reading in their adult lives.
Usborne balloon illustration by Adam Larkum
Usborne children’s books are written in our offices in London, UK, but they are enjoyed all around the world. In fact, you can find Usborne books in over 100 different languages – whether they’re under our own Foreign Editions imprints in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean and Chinese, or licensed to local publishers. Find out more about Usborne around the world.
The educational benefits of children being exposed to books at an early age are indisputable. An Oxford University Press study in April 2018 revealed that almost half of all Year 1 pupils in an average UK primary school have a limited vocabulary, which affects their learning. Children who are read to when very young, and who go on to enjoy independent reading, tend to have a much more developed vocabulary. This not only improves their exam performances all the way through to secondary school, but is also likely to improve their self-esteem and chances of staying on in education.
Reading also helps children develop empathy. Stories help them connect with characters from many different backgrounds, and understand other people's feelings – and their own. Recent neuroscience research even suggests that books trick our brain into thinking we're part of the story!
Peter Usborne and his daughter Nicola, who is now Deputy MD of Usborne Publishing (Copyright © 2018 Martin Usborne)
Many Usborne books are designed as ‘talk-about’ books. These are books that you can share with your child, and talk about together. This provides lots of special moments when your child has your undivided attention – and also helps your child formulate sentences, learn new words and gain confidence in speaking. Word books such as the Usborne 199 Pictures series provide lots to talk about, and so does searching for the Little Yellow Duck in Farmyard Tales Poppy and Sam stories, and the little white mouse in That’s not my… books.
You can buy Usborne books on this website for delivery in the UK and EU, and they are available worldwide in bookshops, online retailers and via Usborne Books at Home direct sales Organisers and Consultants in the UK, US and Canada.
On this website you can browse the full range of Usborne books by subject or age – or try the Usborne Gift Finder to choose books on a specific topic by age.