....[new c.e.o.] Downer said the business intends to roll out computer games alongside its CD and DVD offer "soon" and it is hoping to build upon its children's departments. "The children's book offer performance is spectacular. We are testing other approaches to toys and games. There's an opportunity to expand upon that and take the children's department to the next level. There's more that could be done with the space."
January 2008 Archives
Karen Breen will retire as the children�s book review editor at Kirkus Reviews next month, handing over the reins to Vicky Smith, a reviewer and contributor at the magazine.
Scottish Book Trust the leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing in Scotland, is pledging to invest �1.7 million in 2008/09 to encourage and inspire readers and writers in Scotland.
Julia Donaldson, together with The Gruffalo � the character that has made her famous - helped launch the new programme of literary events and projects along with a brand new identity and website, yesterday (Wednesday 30 January), at Forth View Primary School in Pilton, Edinburgh, This evening there was a second launch event in London at the Groucho Club.
The key elements of the 2008 Scottish Book Trust programme are:
~a new children�s festival which aims to inspire youngsters, including those in underprivileged areas, to read and write
~a virtual writer-in-residence � popular teenage author Keith Gray � commissioning exclusive stories for teenagers to read online. Video clips of Keith giving creative writing tips will also be available to download to those wishing to enter a creative writing competition: the literary alternative to Bebo and MySpace!
~a writers� development programme encompassing awards and mentoring for unpublished and established writers, as well as the high-profile Jura Malt Whisky Writer�s Retreat, which offers writers the chance to live and write for a month on the inspiring Scottish island
~ongoing provision of resources and a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme for teachers and learning professionals. This includes providing copies of On The Money � a new book exploring issues of financial responsibility � to all schools in Scotland
Scottish Book Trust�s new identity and website, also unveiled for the first time yesterday, have been designed to pull together and identify the diverse projects undertaken by Scottish Book Trust and raise the trust�s awareness among writers, readers and the public.
Booktrust has launched their Big Picture campaign with the search to find the UK�s Best New Illustrators.
Children�s books by the 27 longlisted illustrators were all first published in the UK after 2000. Ten winners will be chosen from the list by the Big Picture Committee and announced by Michael Rosen at Bologna Children�s Book Fair on 31 March 2008.
The ten Best New Illustrators will participate in promotional activity intended to raise the significance and importance of illustration. Such activity includes collaboration with Rough Guides to produce The Rough Guide to Picture Books which will be published April 2008. The illustrators will be appearing in a range of library, festival and bookshop events and promotions throughout 2008 with the Campaign for Learning and for The Big Draw in October. They will also be involved with Waterstones� promotional campaign over the summer �If you Liked�.You�ll Love� designed to introduce readers to modern illustrators and remind them of much loved classics.
The longlist is:
Il Sung Na
The Big Picture Judging Committee comprises author and illustrator Anthony Browne, Sunday Times journalist Nicolette Jones, Antonia Byatt, director of literature strategy at Arts Council England, and author Malorie Blackman.
Ask author Laura Amy Schlitz what it feels like to win the Newbery Medal, and you'll get a succinct but emotion-laden answer. "I'm drunk with joy," Schlitz said gleefully in a recent telephone interview from her home near Baltimore...
ACHUKA really rates this as a fine movie-style trailer for Eoin Colfer's new novel. A witty, effective pastiche that should impress its target audience.
As the 100th anniversary of the publication of Montgomery's first novel approaches, there is renewed interest in the author's life...
As the Observer's political cartoonist for 13 years, Chris Riddell has chronicled a tumultuous period in history - the reshaping of post-communist Europe, the rise of New Labour, 9/11 and the Iraq war. On the eve of an exhibition of his work, he talks to Phil Hogan about the inspiration and method behind his polemical art, and chooses some of his favourites... ....
Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine
Rich in sympathetic, unconventional characters and precise observation, the book has a lightness of touch that belies its skill. For a tale about grief, depression and divorce it is most enjoyable: a life-affirming, witty, romantic read, about freedom, responsibility and love. NICOLETTE JONES
a picturesque and finely drawn puzzle that is satisfyingly pieced together and ends, tongue gently in cheek, "Mostly happily, most of the time."
"This is an elegant, intelligent, moving and sometimes even funny book."
To celebrate the 50th birthday of Paddington Bear, BBC Radio 4 has produced a half-hour programme on Paddington, presented by children's author Michael Morpurgo. The station placed 50 Paddington Bears in train stations around the UK today (22nd January) to be found by prospective owners, which will be invited onto the Radio 4 programme "Please Look After This Bear", to be broadcast on 1st March.
Mystery Writers of American has announced the nominees for the 2008 Edgar Allen Poe Awards. The winners will be announced at a banquet on May 1 2008 at the Grand Hyatt in New York. Here are the shortlists in the children's and young adult categories:
The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Shadows on Society Hill by Evelyn Coleman (American Girl Publications)
Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn (Clarion Books)
The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh (Hyperion Books for Young Readers)
Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things by Wendelin Van Draanen (Random House Children�s Books � Alfred A. Knopf)
BEST YOUNG ADULT
Rat Lifeby Tedd Arnold (Penguin � Dial Books for Young Readers)
Diamonds in the Shadow by Caroline B. Cooney (Random House Children�s Books � Delacorte Press)
Touching Snow by M. Sindy Felin (Simon & Schuster Children�s Publishing � Atheneum Books for Young eaders)
Blood Brothers by S.A. Harazin (Random House Children�s Books � Delacorte Press)
Fragments by Jeffry W. Johnston (Simon & Schuster Children�s Publishing � Simon Pulse)
Addis Berner Bear Forgets by Joel Stewart
the draughtsmanship is reminiscent of Ardizzone... NICOLETTE JONES
The Master of the Fallen Chairs by Henry Porter
Amanda Craig reviews
Tumtum And Nutmeg by Emily Bearn and Nick Price
Barnaby Grimes: Return Of The Emerald Skull by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
ACHUKA, like Michael Rosen, used to enjoy a "good deal of galloping about whacking our backsides to make us run faster."
Find out why, by following this link, to a brief celebrity feature in yesterday's Times, accompanying an article by Caitlin Moran in which she argued that we are in the middle of a golden age for children's TV.
As you can tell, the redesign is now well under way, although still some way off being finished.
There will be an eLetter - the first for some while ;) - sent out shortly, outlining the new focus for the site.
In the meantime, any reactions to the new look & feel will be very welcome.
ACHUKA gets out and about for the first time in months later this week, when we shall be attending Orion's celebration of 10 million sales of Horrid Henry.
Sunday Times Children's Book of the Week
If A Tree Falls At Lunchbreak by Gennifer Choldenko
This lightly written but moving novel is a cut above the usual shallow school dramas. NICOLETTE JONES
Joanna Carey continues her series on children's illustration (always highly recommended) with a look at the work of Brian Selznick, including his latest book The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Catching up with cuttings put aside during the sabbatical ;)
Highly Recommended article from before Christmas about Z For Zachariah by Robert O'Brien.
better fun than this will be hard to come by. Airman will waft you over the shallows of this National Year of Reading and out into the wine-dark seas of true adventure. Enjoy it while it lasts. AMANDA CRAIG
Simon and Schuster UK are delighted to congratulate Jon Scieszka on his new post as the first National Ambassador for Children�s Books in the USA.
The post is modelled on the UK Children�s Laureate and is a two year appointment. It has been jointly created by the Library of Congress and the Children�s Book Council.
Jon will launch his appointment with the theme �Reaching Reluctant Readers� which will tie in nicely with Guys Read, his web-based literacy programme aimed at boys.
�There�s a huge population of kids who would be or can be readers, but just choose not to,� said Mr. Scieszka. �Kids see it just as a school activity or something that just can�t compete with a Nintendo Wii or just hanging out and text messaging your friends. Parents and booksellers and teachers are dying for some help.�
His new series, Trucktown, will launch in the UK with Smash! Crash! on 3rd March 2008, followed by Who�s that Truck? and Meet Jack Truck! in the summer.
About the author
Jon Scieszka is the author of some of the best known and funniest books written for children including The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Time Warp Trio series and the Caldecott Honor Book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Fairy Tales. He is a former elementary school teacher, and an avid promoter of literacy, particularly for boys. His website www.guyssread.com focuses on his national campaign and this passion led him to create a younger series�. and thus Trucktown was born. Jon lives with his family in Brooklyn, NY.
By keeping a firm rein on his narrative, Colfer animates it with a raconteur's instinct for both grand historical sweep and the tiny quirks that make us care about characters. Whether or not Airman enjoys the commercial success of Artemis Fowl, it may yet outlast his most famous creation.
Expect to see things changing over the next few days as we tweak things round a bit, do a bit of rationalising and prepare for a new lease of life!
The forum (ACHUKACHAT) will be deleted. The blog (ACHOCKABLOG) will gradually become your main point of entry to the site. I won't say more about it now. I need to get busy.
More info in an upcoming eLetter.