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All children should find themselves in the books that they read.

We believe that no child should have to qualify for entry into the wonderful world of books. 

Screen shots of earlier Verna Wilkins' books

Building on the powerful legacy of Verna Wilkins’ 30 years in the industry, Firetree books is expanding, updating and refreshing important messages for a new audience in today’s diverse classrooms and homes.
Firetree presents unselfconscious representations of all children in our books. We aim to inspire and entertain readers by depicting the real lives of children in our shrinking, inter-dependent world.   

Dr. Verna Wilkins, working for diversity since 1987

Verna Wilkins

Verna founded Tamarind Books in 1987 and was the Publisher for 25 years. She is the author of over 40 children’s books. Her books have featured on BBC Children’s TV programmes, been included on National Curriculum in schools and chosen among the Children’s Books of the Year.  She has received many awards, including the British Book Industry Decibel Award for Multicultural Publishing in 2008 and more recently an Honorary Doctorate of Letters for her work as a champion for children’s literature. Verna was born in Grenada and is an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, facilitating conferences in the UK, Europe, Africa and The Caribbean.
Close up book cover of a black boy with a butterfly on his shoulder

Simona Sideri

Simona Sideri

Simona worked at Tamarind Books for 15 years as editor and production manager. She is Editor in Chief of Bayard Children’s Magazines in the UK and has also worked on apps and websites for children. She has written 8 picture books and translated children’s books from Italian, French and Dutch. Simona’s Italian parents travelled a lot for work. She was exposed early to different cultures and speaks several languages. She has been volunteering in schools for over 15 years to observe and monitor children’s reading and development and to keep up to date with teaching methods. 

The Firetree team has 30 years of experience, successfully developing, writing, publishing and selling illustrated multicultural books that are meaningful, entertaining and educational.


Three book covers with diverse themes
  •  Hundreds of thousands of books sold  

  •  Featured on Best Books of the Year lists  

  •  Selected for National Curriculum’s Key Reading Stages  

  •  Featured on BBC Children’s TV      

    We went to wherever the children and their families were – schools, libraries,  churches and exhibitions such as Afro Hair and Beauty Show – and sold thousands of books year on year. The delight on the faces of children and parents when they see people like themselves depicted in our multicultural books tells us that what we believe is true: PICTURE BOOKS ARE POWERFUL.  

    We will continue to take our books to a variety of venues to reach a wide audience and make families aware of the Firetree books. We will also continue our successful work in schools and libraries to enthuse children and adults about books. We present work in progress – from idea to finished product – and receive valuable insights that allow us to make books that are relevant to children’s lives in today’s multi cultural world. We collaborate with teachers and children to find out what works.

    Illustrations from two books showing diversity