Bonnier Books UK has appointed Sophie Hallam as publishing head of Templar Books. Hallam will lead the creative strategy and output of the imprint, curating its list of illustrated children’s non-fiction, picture books, fiction, gift and novelty books for all ages.

She starts at the company on September 29th, and will report into Helen Wicks, Children’s Executive Director.

After a number of years working with literacy charities such as Pop Up Projects CIC, The Reading Agency and BookTrust, Hallam joined Quarto Children’s Books to work across their non-fiction and picture book imprints. From there, Hallam was approached by independent publisher Tiny Owl to grow their emerging picture book list, focusing on books that introduced diverse artistic and literary traditions from around the world. Hallam has since worked as Creative Commissioning Editor at Walker Books and, most recently, at Puffin Books, developing their illustrated non-fiction list.

Hallam said: “I’m thrilled to be joining such a fantastic team and finding a new home with Templar Books. For the last 40 years, Templar has produced ground-breaking and innovative books and I can’t wait to be part of its future legacy: publishing books that spark children’s imaginations and kickstart a lifelong love of reading for generations to come. From picture books, gift and novelty to illustrated non-fiction, Templar works with some of the best illustrators and authors in the business. I’m looking forward to joining the team in creating a highly commercial, diverse list and growing the imprint in new and exciting directions.”

Helen Wicks added: “Sophie’s passion for storytelling and creative expression for all, coupled with her proactive commitment to representation and inclusion, made her our perfect match. We are delighted to welcome Sophie to the Templar team. She has an engaging, clear-sighted vision that we’re certain will take Templar in exciting new directions.”

Hallam has been an active member of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) since 2014. A worldwide organization, IBBY represents a network of over 80 national sections devoted to supporting excellence in children’s books and reading promotion projects. Elected in 2020 as IBBY’s Vice President, she volunteers in an international team developing and managing key strategic areas of IBBY’s work, including promoting diversity and translation in children’s books as well as forging connections between publishers and supporting children’s rights globally.