February 2011 Archives
John Burningham and Philip Pullman have been nominated by IBBY UK for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Awards which are given to "great authors and illustrators who have made an outstanding contribution to children's literature". Regarded as the equivalent of Nobel Prizes, they are the leading international awards in the fields of writing and illustrating for children and young people. In their fifty year history they have been won by some of the great names in children's literature, including Britain's Anthony Browne, Aidan Chambers, Quentin Blake, and most recently, David Almond.
The Lost Thing, co-directed by Tan and based on his book of the same name, won this year's Oscar for Best Short Film (Animated).
The Bookette Blog, run by a UK school librarian called Becky, interviews the author of Hidden:
Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari (winner of the Waterstone's Children's Book prize), reviewed by Mary Hoffman
very much a "girls' book". And the symbolism of the artichoke heart charm given by Josie to Mira, with its references to protective layers that mask emotions, could have been maudlin in less capable hands. MARY HOFFMAN
Includes links to profiles of Lauren Myracle, who's experiencing success along with controversy surrounding some of her books, and Sophie Blackall, who provided the cover illustration for the spring announcements issue..
Scans of Tim Burton's submission of his first picture book idea, and a copy of the polite rejection.
I'm grateful to @PublishersWkly for linking to this on twitter because it's a fascinating blog, which I'll be following from now on....
Kate Wilson writes about Nosy Crow's first year in this piece from The Bookseller...
as reported by Los Angeles Times
mogen Smallwood, Blyton's youngest daughter, told the BBC: "There's always excitement when an unknown typescript is found of anybody's who is well known. Because this wasn't even known about, it has to rank quite high."
The story is not dated, but according to the BBC, it bears the address Old Thatch, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, which was Blyton's home until 1938.
Mr. Tumpy's Caravan follows the adventures of a caravan with a mind of its own.
Julia Donaldson, Barry Hutchison and Catherine MacPhail were named yesterday as this year's winners of the 2010 Royal Mail Awards, Scotland's largest Children's Book Prize (each winner receives £3,000 ) which is voted for exclusively by Scottish children themselves. The winners were announced during a special circus themed ceremony at Glasgow's Tramway Theatre, attended by 500 young people from all over Scotland.
Early Years (Bookbug) category (0-7)
Julia Donaldson for her picture book What the Ladybird Heard ((Macmillan), which is illustrated by Lydia Monks.
"I am absolutely thrilled that What the Ladybird Heard has won - especially as it's the fourth time I've been shortlisted, so I have been saved from despair! These are such worthwhile - and fun - book awards and I'd like to offer a big thank you to Scottish Book Trust and the Royal Mail, to my brilliant illustrator Lydia Monks, to the other authors and illustrators, and especially to the children who took part (even the ones who voted for the other books!)"
Younger Readers category (8-11)
Barry Hutchison for his first novel, Invisible Fiends - Mr Mumbles (Harper Collins).
"When I found out that my first book was shortlisted for the award, I was shocked and delighted in about equal measures. I've been practicing my 'gracious runner-up' face for months now, fully expecting not to win. So to find out that Mr Mumbles has taken the prize was an absolutely brilliant surprise!"
Older Readers category (12-16)
Catherine MacPhail for Grass (Bloomsbury).
A previous winner of the Royal Mail Awards in 2006, Catherine commented:
"To win this wonderful award once was exciting enough, but to win it twice, I still can't quite believe it's true. It's a mistake, someone is going to come up and snatch it from me. But they won't get it. It's mine! And I am so proud that so many young people voted for Grass, such a simple story about such an ordinary boy. Delighted doesn't come close to describing how I feel."
|stopped at p92|
|Read On? NO|
It's getting difficult to actually finish some of the books I pick up these days, so I have decided that, rather than ignore them, it would be better to confront the situation and actually record the point at which I give up on a book, for whatever reason.
Sometimes it is the awkwardness of the prose. I was once at a launch party and was discussing with the husband of a fellow reviewer why he did not read children's books. He picked up a copy of the launch title, opened it at the first page, and seemingly at random pointed at a sentence in the middle of a paragraph. He didn't need to add any further explanation. It was a horribly worded sentence. Children love a good story and will happily pass over stylistic hiccups if the narrative is sufficiently gripping. This, it seems to me, is taken too much for granted by contemporary children's authors and their editors. There are too many books that are awkward to read aloud, that have a sentence to stumble over on every page.
Sometimes, I find myself thinking 'Who on earth is the target readership for this title?' Largely because of the 17yr old character's life amid "fast cars and flash women" you are probably talking Y7+ or age 12+ here. But by 14+, if not earlier, surely any adolescent boy (this is male-oriented writing) wanting to read a good thriller will be turning to a fully-blown adult thriller, something a little more savage than Eddie Savage. So the target audience is very narrow indeed, and one notoriously difficult to reach.
It's a shame because Cocks writes well enough and the book grabs the attention at the start. But it falls hopelessly in between the appetite for true juvenile thriller-writing, as so well served by the likes of Horowitz, and the adult genre. Cocks and his publisher clearly think there is some middle ground waiting to be served. I think they're wrong. It takes a quirky one-off like Kevin Brooks to really reach the teenage audience with thriller-style material.
This is nearly a year old, but nevertheless....
A book reviewing blog maintained by Lyndsey (Rushby) and Vicki (?), featuring mainly YA fiction.
Recommended, and will be adding to our site listings
The Dangerous Journey by Tove Jansson (in a new translation by Sophie Hannah), reviewed by Frank Cottrell Boyce
As ever Frank Cottrell Boyce's review merits reading in its entirety. I cannot resist quoting the opening and closing paragraphs in full...
This is a rollicking and vivid new translation of a lavish, beautiful picture book by Tove Jansson. Depending on how you feel about Jansson, that sentence will read either like a straightforward item of publishing news, or like the announcement of the discovery of a previously unknown Shakespeare sonnet. Or Beatles album. Or species of dolphin. Among the ridiculously excited might be Philip Pullman, Ali Smith, Esther Freud, a Japanese man who had Snufkin tattooed on his arm "as a symbol of freedom" and half a million Scandinavian girls who were christened "My" after another of Jansson's characters.
One of the many debts we owe to our favourite children's authors is the way that they alerted us - at an impressionable age - to various small pleasures. To this day I can give myself a sense of freedom and carelessness by setting out on a walk with a couple of hard-boiled eggs and some buttered bread - thank you, Milly Molly Mandy. William Brown pointed out the peculiarly sensual pleasure of beating your opponents into submission through extended bouts of spurious moral outrage. Jansson valorised coffee and pancakes and reticence and the mystery of others. But more to the point she showed me how it might be just those small pleasures that keep us together when we start to grow apart; that when words fail you can still express love by making sure the roof isn't leaking, the woodshed is full and the meal ready. Competence, manners and hospitality will keep us connected when nothing else will. We can tolerate any amount of difference, as long as we all agree to share the raspberryade.
No surprises here, but all the same...
According to the Public Lending Right, children borrowing books from the library has been on the rise for the past six years with almost 80% of 5 to 10 year olds regularly visiting their local library.
Following concerns that the future of public libraries is looking bleak, these statistics reveal that there's still a huge number of people borrowing books from libraries - and that it's children's books that they're reading most.
This list comes after the Office for National Statistics found that 69 million children's books were borrowed during 2009, compared with 63 million four years ago.
a mention for Nosy Crow's The Three Little Pigs ipad app.
Following his work with The Mighty Boosh and his intriguing dalliance with a big screen Paddington Bear movie it appears Paul King has found his next project.
Eva Ibbotson's book Island of the Aunts is the material King is working on currently...
Deadline report that King is directing the BBC Films project from a script by Enda Walsh whose work with Steve McQueen on Hunger was well received...
a certain Russell Smith wirtes, in The Globe & Mail:
anyone in this business knows that kid-lit authors are a particularly sensitive bunch. They are always complaining that they don't get enough attention or respect (or funding). To put it bluntly, they have a chip on their shoulder.
And so no one says out loud that children's books do tend to be quite a bit shorter and not quite as linguistically or philosophically complex as, say, Nabokov. (The kids' book I'm writing is indeed quite difficult to get right, but it is also 537 words long, as opposed to 100,000 for a novel, and so has taken rather less time.)
And after this kerfuffle, we're all going to have to tread extra carefully around these offended and indignant sensibilities, and honestly that's a bit of a bore.
Orion Children's Books have announced the acquisition of PREDATOR, a full colour non-fiction guide to the survival of the fittest and most deadly, together with a quartet of debut novels for 9-12 years old by CBBC wildlife expert and adventurer, Steve Backshall. The deal for world rights in all books was struck between Fiona Kennedy, Publisher, Orion Children's Books and Julian Alexander at LAW.
PREDATOR will be published for Christmas 2011, with the first novel to follow in summer 2012.
Steve Backshall is the fearless presenter of the BBC kid's series 'Deadly 60' and 'Live and Deadly'.
Steve's official website is www.stevebackshall.com
A blogger's response to Martin Amis...
Margaret K. McElderry, a book editor who employed shrewd intuition, critical acumen and a nurturing way with authors to help shepherd children's literature from a prewar cottage industry to today's billion-dollar business, died on Monday at her home in Manhattan. She was 98....
from The Daily Telegraph:
Michael Morpurgo, the author, will argue today that parents should be praised for putting their bonds with their child ahead of their career. He will also say that teachers should focus more on developing their relationships with children rather than constantly focusing on their pupils' grades. The author of more than 120 books, including War Horse and Why the Whales Came, is to deliver the 35th annual Richard Dimbleby Lecture today. In his speech entitled Set Our Children Free, to be broadcast on BBC One, Morpurgo, 67, will say that parents and teachers deserve more respect.
Quarry by Ally Kennen, reviewed by Mal Peet
Kennen's last book - Sparks, an exuberant tale of unorthodox funerary arrangements - was written for younger readers. Quarry will reassure her older fans that her grip on noir is as muscular as ever. MAL PEET
Remarks about children's books made by Martin Amis on the BBC's new book programme Faulks on Fiction, broadcast this week, have caused anger and offence among children's writers....
Debut author Sita Brahmachari has won the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize 2011 for her striking coming-of-age novel about life, death, friendship and love.
Artichoke Hearts was announced as the winner of the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize 2011 by Children's Laureate Anthony Browne at an evening ceremony at Waterstone's Piccadilly, Europe's biggest bookshop, on Wednesday 9th February. Anthony Browne described Artichoke Hearts as "a beautifully written book about family, friendship, grief and hope, which made me laugh and cry - sometimes at the same time."
Inspired by the author's 'beautiful and bohemian' mother-in-law, whose long battle with cancer was heartbreaking for her family, Brahmachari started writing the book as a way of dealing with her grief. Artichoke Hearts was praised by the judging panel for the way it tackles the issue of death head on, treating it as part of the cycle of life and of growing up, and for the "effortless way in which it shows how inspiring grandparents and the older generation can be for children."
Waterstone's Children's Buying Manager, Sarah Clarke, said:
"This is the most honest, emotionally affecting children's book I've read for some time, and a more than worthy winner of the Prize. Its characters lodge straight in the reader's heart and I defy anyone to read it without crying."
Beating off stiff competition from a nine-strong shortlist, Artichoke Hearts was published earlier this year, and has already received much praise within the industry. Caroline Horn, Children's News Editor of The Bookseller, said: "Artichoke Hearts is a delicate, perceptive coming-of-age novel. The author seems to have an instinctive grasp of the issues faced by young people of this age and I look forward to reading more by her."
Celebrating its seventh year, the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize was created to champion new and emerging talent in children's writing. As well as a £5000 cash prize - one of the most valuable for children's writing in the UK - the winner sees a significant boost in sales, and the promise of ongoing commitment to their writing career from over 300 Waterstone's branches nationwide.
The daughter of a doctor from Kolkata and a nurse from the Lake District, Sita Brahmachari grew up in Shropshire, and has worked in theatre and education for over a decade. She now lives and works in North London with her husband and three children.
Egmont Press Signs self-published Young Minds Winner
Egmont Press has acquired two books by Siobhan Curham: Dear Dylan and Finding Cherokee Brown, both aimed at girls aged 10 - 15 years old.
Curham self-published Dear Dylan in March 2010 with a print run of just five hundred copies, and immediately won the prestigious Young Minds Award. The book is already receiving rave reviews on Amazon.
Egmont snapped up the books in an intense auction and plans to publish Dear Dylan in July 2011 and Finding Cherokee Brown the year after.
Gavin Hilzbrich is promoted to Head of Digital Marketing, Transworld and Random House Children's Books. Under Gavin Hilzbrich, the digital component of Transworld and RHCB's new title campaigns has become core to the company's marketing strategy. He is a member of the Transworld Digital Publishing Board; has masterminded the globalisation of www.sophiekinsella.com and www.tessgerritsen.com and has co-ordinated the web presences of both Andy McNab and Lee Child. He created the Malorie Blackman MyCribaby app and the special fan's edition of Terry Pratchett's I Shall Wear Midnight. Gavin reports to Janine Giovanni, Transworld Marketing Director, and Barry O'Donovan, RHCB Marketing Director.
Suzanne Riley is promoted to Digital Marketing Manager, Transworld and RHCB. Since joining Transworld and RHCB in 2008, Suzanne has developed websites for many authors including Joanna Trollope and Malorie Blackman, and has steered the redesign of www.jackreacher.co.uk. She has been instrumental in creating Transworld's historical writing website and women's fiction website. She is the company's marketing specialist in social media and has set up and run generic Facebook pages such as What Shall I Read this Month for Transworld and Fiercebook for RHCB as well as campaigns for specific authors.
Suzanne reports to Gavin Hilzbrich.
E-books made up 25 percent of all young-adult sales in January at HarperCollins, up from about 6 percent a year before - a boom in sales that quickly got the attention of publishers there.
"Adult fiction is hot, hot, hot, in e-books," Susan Katz, the president and publisher of HarperCollins Children's Books says. "And now it seems that teen fiction is getting to be hot, hot, hot."
A former merchant sailor whose children's books sold millions worldwide has died aged 71...
This past weekend in The Times:
Amanda Craig reviewed (Saturday)
Heartless Dark by J. P. Buxton ("fiercely enjoyable")
Ice Maiden by Sally Prue ("startling, suspenseful and ultimatley very satisfying")
and Nicoltte Jones picked (Sunday)
Being Billy by Phil Earle ("empathetic and hopeful")
Short US news feature about the best-selling eBook author Amanda Hocking.
You will have to wait for a brief commercial to play first.
Nosy Crow's launch title for young readers will be The Three Little Pigs app for iPad™. This is the first in a series of 3D Fairytale apps from Nosy Crow for children ages 4 and up.
It will be available on the App Store from February 17, 2011.
"We aren't squashing books that already exist onto tablets," says Kate Wilson, Managing Director of Nosy Crow. "As publishers with decades of storytelling experience, we've created a new way for children to learn to explore and read stories. The Three Little Pigs app is fun, surprising, educational and worth reading again and again."
Save Our Libraries Day will see more than 80 events held across the UK to bring attention to proposed government spending cuts. More than 350 libraries are understood to be under threat of closure. The events will be attended by authors including Philip Pullman and the musician Billy Bragg...
Publuishers Weekly reports:
Jon J Muth will illustrate the first picture book edition of Bob Dylan's 1963 protest song, "Blowin' in the Wind," which will be published in November by Sterling Children's Books. The book will include a CD of Dylan's original recording, which was released on his album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. "Blowin' in the Wind" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
Disney Publishing imprint Disney-Hyperion has acquired a four-book science fiction series written by Rachel Cohn. Beta, the first book of the YA series, will be published in fall 2012...
From the press release:
The series is set in the island paradise of the Annex, the most exclusive playground on earth. Bioengineered to tropical perfection, it costs a fortune to get there and even more to stay...Two teenage girls--one a human clone and the other the human girl from whom the clone was duplicated--are both stranded in the Annex, and are in love with the same guy.
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, reviewed by Philip Ardagh
...though time travel is the frame around which the story is constructed, it's really a beautifully observed story about family and friendship PHILIP ARDAGH
This Saturday sees a national day of protest against 400 planned library closures. The Isle of Wight stands to lose more than most - a staggering nine out of 11 - and resistance there is mounting...
Penguin Children's Books has announced the creation of a new group within the Penguin Children's Division: Media and Entertainment, which combines the brand expertise and creativity of the BBC, Sunbird and Ladybird Licensing teams.
Eric Huang is promoted to Publishing Director and will head up the new Media and Entertainment group.
BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans Breakfast Show has announced a unique short story writing competition, which aims to inspire children aged 13 or under to put pen to paper.
Called 500 Words and launched in association with Hay Fever, the children's programme of the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts, the competition aims to inspire children to get creative and write a story with a maximum of 500 words about any fictional topic they choose. Entries can be submitted at the BBC Radio 2 website from today until 9.30am on Thursday 3 March 2011 - World Book Day.