DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE is a monthly podcast and radio show all about children’s books. Founded by three children's publishing industry insiders - Katherine Woodfine, Melissa Cox and Louise Lamont, it is currently hosted and run by Katherine and Louise, together with Imogen Russell Williams and Jack Noel.
Each episode features special studio guests, author and illustrator interviews, and reviews of the very best new books for children, from picture books to young adult novels.
The show began in early 2014, in response to discussions about the lack of children’s books coverage in the mainstream media. Children’s books currently receive just 3% of newspaper review coverage, though they account for over 30% of the UK book market and 1 in every 3 books sold in the UK is a children's book (see author SF Said’s campaign #CoverKidsBooks for more information). Looking for new opportunities to fly the flag for children’s books, Katherine spoke to London arts radio station Resonance 104.4fm about starting a children’s book show to give some much-needed space to a discussion of children’s literature.
The first episode broadcast on Resonance in February 2014, featuring Alex T Smith, Laura Dockrill, Tanya Byrne, Nikesh Shukla and the Etherington Brothers - and so DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE was born!
Since then, the show has played host to dozens of leading children’s books authors, illustrators and industry experts - as well as children themselves talking about the books they love. It was selected by the Times as one of their Top 10 podcasts for children; shortlisted by FutureBook for the 2018 Podcast of the Year Award; and given a special mention in the London Book Fair UK Book Blog Awards Podcaster of the Year Award 2019 for its 'pioneering childrens' book content'. Most recently it was shortlisted for Podcaster of the Year Award in the UK Book Blog Awards 2020.
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE broadcasts at 5pm on Resonance 104.4fm once a month, and is also available online and via Apple Podcasts.
Find us on Twitter @dtrhradio
Find us on Instagram @dtrhradio
Louise Lamont is the children’s and YA agent at LBA Books. She began her publishing career at the literary agency AP Watt Ltd, where for five years she lived in constant fear of sending Philip Pullman an email intended for her flatmate Philippa Mann. The first book she remembers reading (pointedly at her parents) was Not Now, Bernard; her favourite book is Anne of Green Gables – not unrelatedly, she is expert at identifying People You Didn’t Know Were Canadian.
Find her on Twitter @LLMonts
Jack Noel is an author, illustrator and designer of children's books. He was born in Brighton and then studied Maths at University, but that was by mistake. He has worked as a cover designer for Walker Books and Simon & Schuster and now works in an illustrators studio in Soho. Jack is the creator of Comic Classics, a series of highly-illustrated classic books. It starts in 2020 with Great Expectations and Treasure Island and will be published by Egmont. He is also working on a secret novel. Jack lives in Camberwell with his wife and daughter. His favourite things are The Simpsons and Weetabix.
Find him on Twitter @jackdraws
Imogen Russell Williams is a children’s literature critic for the Guardian, the Metro and the Times Literary Supplement, and a freelance editor. Her first non-fiction children’s book, The Big Book of the UK, was published by Ladybird in 2019.
Find her on Twitter @ImogenRW
Katherine Woodfine is the bestselling author of The Sinclair's Mysteries, including The Clockwork Sparrow which was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, longlisted for the Branford Boase Award and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. Her latest books are the Taylor & Rose Secret Agents series. Before becoming a children's author she worked for reading charity Book Trust on projects including the Children’s Laureate and YALC, the UK’s first Young Adult Literature Convention. When not writing, she can be found reviewing children's books for the magazine The Week Junior, or reading picture books with her daughter.
Find her on Twitter @followtheyellow
Melissa Cox sold children’s books for almost nine years; first as a bookseller at Waterstones and later as a buyer and then Head of Books at their head office. She has since made the switch to the publishing side of the fence and is now Editorial Director at Hodder & Stoughton. Her favourite book is I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith and she thinks the best Harry Potter book is Half-Blood Prince – do not fight her on this.
Find her on Twitter @mmdotcox
If you would like to get in touch, you can contact the Down the Rabbit Hole team by email on downtherabbitholeradio[at]gmail.com