The Daily Telegraph publishes its obituary.
March 2011 Archives
The Australian author-illustrator Shaun Tan is the winner of this year's Astrid Lindgren prize - the richest children's literature prize in the world, with a purse of 5m kroner (£490,000).
Tan is the second Australian to be awarded the prize in its nine-year history, following Sonya Hartnett's win in 2008.
Nosy Crow announcement:
We've been cooking up a deal on our apps for a while, and today we announced that Carlsen will be publishing in German, and Gallimard Jeunesse will be publishing in French, a full range of Nosy Crow's story book apps, beginning with our The Three Little Pigs app. The picture shows Carlsen's Klaus Humann (right) and Frank Kuehne (left) with Kate, signing the agreement on the Nosy Crow stand today.
...from one writer to another
Diana Wynne Jones - Guardian obit...
Anthony Rider, writing in the |Daily Mail, explains why he is 'killing off' his teenage spy hero:
I've loved every syllable of the Alex Rider novels and still remember fondly the moment, in 1999, when I sat down and wrote the first line of the first one - Stormbreaker.
'When the doorbell rings at three o'clock in the morning, it's never good news.' Until that time, my career as a children's author had seemed to be flatlining. My sales were respectable but never exciting. All in all, writing books for teenagers brought more frustration than rewards.
from The Guardian:
The bestselling children's author Julia Donaldson, whose signature rhyming picture books dominate top 10 lists, has revealed that she vetoed an ebook version of her most famous title, The Gruffalo, because she thinks interactive book apps for children are a bad idea.
"I actually really don't like it for children's books," she said on the phone from her home in Glasgow. "I think there are lots of pros to ebooks but I don't feel we have to be controlled by technology and I don't feel we should say, 'Oh, that's the way things are going, that's the future, let's do it.'
Mary Hoffman blogs about Diana Wynne Jones, whose death was announced today.
Everybody Jam by Ali Lewis, reviewed by Mal Peet
The landscape itself is a major character in the book, but there's an obvious disadvantage in seeing its awful beauty and strangeness through the eyes of someone to whom it is normal and familiar. Nevertheless, Everybody Jam is an engrossing, edgy, fast-paced book and an extremely promising debut. It also features a play fight using the balls of castrated bulls as ammo. Caveat emptor, then, if you're squeamish. MAL PEET
Got an email from the indie writer and self-publisher from Belgium who created this children's app for the ipad, asking if we review apps.
Something ACHUKA ought to start doing I think. Just need an ipad!
The Daily Mail reported yesterday:
Children's author Frank Cottrell Boyce is writing a new series of books featuring the flying car Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
The first book of three will be published in November but the writer admitted he had 'no idea' why the family of the original author, James Bond creator Ian Fleming, had asked him to do it.
It will bring the tale into the modern world and tell the story of a family who get more than they bargained for after they soup up their VW camper van with an old racing car engine.
Cottrell Boyce said: 'I have no idea what made the Flemings think of asking me to write the sequel. I haven't asked them in case it's all a case of mistaken identity..."
The fourth and final book in Christopher Paolini's global bestseller Inheritance Cycle will be published this autumn. Following the number one bestselling novels Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, the book will be called INHERITANCE.
'The burning questions asked by fans around the world will be finally answered in this last instalment,' said Christopher Paolini. 'All will be revealed!'
INHERITANCE will be published in the UK on Tuesday 8th November 2011, simultaneously with the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, priced £18.99. It will also be available in ebook and audio editions.
Nosy Crow hass announced that it will publish four newly-acquired illustrated novels about The Grunts family, written by Philip Ardagh, with black-and-white drawings by Axel Scheffler.
Kate Wilson said, "Philip makes me laugh - as a person and as an author. Always has done, always will. His combination of professionalism and irreverence make him the perfect Nosy Crow author, and we are pleased and flattered that he's chosen to publish with us. Pairing him with Axel Scheffler is going to make this an utterly irresistible series for children of 7 and up."
feature from the UK's Express newspaper about the enduring character from the Beano
An article in the Telegraph highlights the discovery of a story, published a year before E. Nesbit's famous novel, in which many key episodes parallel scenes in The Railway Children...
A Beautiful Lie by Irfan Master, reviewed by Tony Bradman
I don't think the book is entirely a success, the main problem being a lack of tension. There are few references to the very specific date looming over the story, so no ticking clock, and no sense in the plot that a major revelation or reversal will deliver a final surprise. That tends to make the story episodic, and although some of the big set-pieces are terrific - particularly the massive riot at a cockfight in the cemetery - there's no ultimate sense of resolution. The prose also needs more work, with far too many hanging participles for my liking, especially in the second half. But it's a good effort... TONY BRADMAN
Ursula Jones signs to Inside Pocket for five figure sum
Independent children's publisher Inside Pocket announced today that they have signed a four book deal with award winning children's author, Ursula Jones - best known for her Witch's Children picture book texts (illustrated by Russell Ayto) - for a five figure advance. Three of the books make up a trilogy set in a strange world of slave cities, power struggles and betrayal, and the fourth is a stand alone novel about a children's acting troupe in the 1930s.
Inside Pocket's Creative Director, Christoph Kenshole, said: "Ursula brings a wonderful exuberance to her writing, drawing on her theatrical background and we are thrilled to be working with her."
Ursula Jones has had a long and highly successful career writing for children. Early on she wrote seventeen plays for children, six of which were subsequently produced in Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Holland and Germany. During a year spent as Dramaturge for the London based Unicorn Theatre For Children, she wrote three Street Shows, which formed part of a Royal National Theatre street programme. One play, Monkey Puzzle, was then commissioned as the British contribution to a European Festival of Theatre for Young People
She helped create, and was one of the players in, a show for three actors who set out on a self-funded tour of Europe and parts of Asia for the benefit of children in the care of UNESCO and the Save The Children Fund. It was then filmed for BBC Children's TV. She has also scripted twenty-six episodes of Green Claws, a BBC TV series for young children.
Her picture books include:
The Witch's Children (shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway prize)
The Witch's Children And The Queen (winner of a 2003 gold Smartie Award)
The Witch's Children Go To School (winner of the 2008 inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize)
An online auction to help the people devastated by the earthquake and tsunami...
Steven Kroll, a prolific author of popular children's books, many of them evoking his experiences growing up in what he called "the ethnic stew" of Manhattan's Upper West Side, died in Manhattan on March 8. He was 69 and lived in Manhattan and Bucks County, Pa.
Substantial overview from Publishers Weekly...
Chicken House Books has announced that award-winning British feature film company, Warp Films, have acquired Rachel Ward's novel NUMBERS.
NUMBERS, the story of a girl who can see the date of a person's death in their eyes, has been published in over 20 countries to date, with two sequels completing the bestselling YA trilogy.
The book will be adapted for the screen by Paul Fraser (A Room for Romeo Brass, Heartlands, Somerstown).
The Orion Publishing Group has announced the launch of INDIGO, a new imprint that will publish a wide variety of genres for teens and young adults by both established authors and rising stars.
Launching in September 2011 INDIGO will publish four titles per month.
from the Press Release:
Fiona Kennedy will be the publisher of INDIGO alongside her role as publisher of Orion Children's Books, with
commissioning editors Gillian Redfearn (also Gollancz) and Amber Caraveo (also Orion Children's Books).
INDIGO will publish fiction for older teen readers focussing on the strengths of the publishing that currently sit on the popular and successful Gollancz and Orion Children's Books imprints.
A stellar list of authors will launch the new venture, becoming our first INDIGO authors:
Mia James, Cinda Williams Chima, Harlan Coben, Kate Harrison, Holly Black, Marcus Sedgwick, Sara Grant,
Sally Gardner, Chris Wooding, Anna Kendall, Cliff McNish, Sarah Silverwood, Alan Gibbons, James Dawson,
Chloe Neill and Annabel Pitcher.
Fiona Kennedy, Publisher, INDIGO says of the launch:
INDIGO will publish teen fiction with style and poise, as the clutch of starry authors on the list shows. It will
give our teen titles an identity and status as a whole, and each book more profile individually. A number of our
authors have been writing older novels and INDIGO will give them the support and freedom to develop their
work for this readership, as well as giving us the perfect opportunity to extend the range of titles we publish. As
always, our list will be one of hand-picked titles that we feel passionate about.
Lisa Milton, Trade MD of the Orion Publishing Group says of the new venture:
Finding growth in this challenging market is difficult, and encouraging children to continue as readers as they
become young adults and are faced with myriad distractions is vital to the future health of our industry. INDIGO
will publish books for teenagers that challenge, entertain, question and delight. Harnessing the potential of
social networking sites we will create a community of Fierce Fiction readers. We are thrilled to launch with
such amazing authors, and look forward to attracting even more to our lists.
INDIGO will be launched with a comprehensive marketing and publicity campaign that plays on the strengths of
the authors and books, and the list itself. A full and wide ranging digital PR and marketing campaign will reach
our audience through the medium they most inhabit and value: online, in addition to more traditional routes.
United Agents co-founder and children's agent Rosemary Canter died yesterday morning. She started out in publishing as assistant fiction editor at Penguin Books in 1972, eventually working in children's book publishing at companies including Macmillan and Methuen, where she launched its teen paperback list in 1987.
New York Times announces additional weekly picture book review, online only...
Readers of the Web version of the [NYT] Book Review may have noticed a new feature, "an online-only review of a new picture book each week, supplementing -- but not replacing -- our print coverage," to quote Pamela Paul, the Book Review's new children's books editor. Paul, who had the idea, will be writing the reviews herself. Why single out picture books? "Children's literature has entered what many believe to be a new golden age," she explained. "One in which the artistry in picture books rivals the latest apps, even as the creativity of game designers influences illustration and pacing. Online is often the best place to showcase this work."
Pip and Posy are the German-born 54-year-old's newest creations - a rabbit and a mouse - and their first adventure, The Little Puddle, is due to be published next month. According to publishers Nosy Crow, Pip and Posy are 'friends - most of the time' whose stories chronicle 'the dramas of toddler life'.
Given a plub on babygadget.net
Imagine a series of tabletops and shelves, filled with the very best of both modern and classic picture books: it doesn't matter what you pick up, because every single book has been chosen for its excellence in design.
The Glass Collector by Anna Perera, reviewed by Josh Lacey
Perera guides us through the everyday lives of ordinary people living in Mokattam, describing their houses and routines, their diet and dress, their romantic aspirations and prosaic reality. She neatly shows how wider events have an impact on life there. Worried about the spread of swine flu, the Egyptian government slaughters the pigs who usually snuffle up all the food that can't be recycled, and the stench of rotting rubbish hangs heavily over the city.
The setting is vividly described, and the characters are unusual, but The Glass Collector doesn't have much of a plot. I wonder why Perera has chosen to write fiction rather than travelogue or documentary. Nevertheless, this novel will definitely interest teenage readers who are eager to know more about the wider world, particularly if their curiosity about Egypt has been piqued by recent events. JOSH LACEY
In particular, the days of profitable scouting are over, Gegoski reckons:
In those days, dealers went on "scouting" trips, and might spend weeks on the road, driving from one such shop and village to the next, building up their inventory, taking advantage of knowing that little bit more than the local proprietors did. In the 1970s and 80s, when my family went on holiday to Cornwall or the Lake District, a tour of the local shops would almost always cover our expenses. On trips to America I would count it as a failure if I couldn't pay my way within the first two days. It was genuinely fun, and I regarded it then - I was still a full-time academic and only a part-time dealer - as a free holiday.
from The Bookseller:
The latest crop of £1 World Book Day books, led by Cope & Davies' Spy Dog/The Great Pet Shop Panic (Puffin/S&S) take positions one-through-six in this week's Official UK Top 50, with sales totalling 247,235 copies--a significant proportion of which will have come via pupils' £1 book token redemptions. The combined sales figure is down 8% on last year's £1 titles in the comparative week, and down 40% on the pre-flip-book days of 2008, although no doubt many tokens were once again redeemed against the price of "regular" children's books--not least L J Smith's latest Vampire Diaries instalment, Midnight, and the mass-market edition of John Grisham's first YA novel, Theodore Boone (both Hodder), both of which sold more than 10,000 copies last week. But as children went back to school following the half-term break, total spending on children's books through Nielsen BookScan's Top 5,000 bestseller chart fell by 12% week-on-week, and was down around 3-4% on World Book Day week last year.
Rather shamefully missed this at the weekend. I blame the brouhaha surrounding World Book Night.
Joanna Carey's profiles of illustrators cry out to be collected into a single volume one of these days.
Amongst other observations she makes about Foreman, she says this:
He's worked with countless authors, but most productively with Michael Morpurgo. They met originally to discuss a little book about a donkey, but that was shelved in favour of a much bigger project, Arthur, High King of Britain. With its stirring full-on illustrations depicting pounding hooves, clashing steel, magic and romance, this was the first of many collaborations - 25 books so far. It's a very creative, empathetic partnership: they have a lot in common, including (overlapping) memories of the war years which have inspired so many of their books.
The footnote to the piece reads:
"Next week, online only, Joanna Carey meets the Japanese illustrator Satoshi Kitamura."
So take note, lest I fail to include the link.
Cassandra Jardine takes issue with Joanna Lumley, in the Telegraph...
Sadly, or happily, books influence children's behaviour less than adults, and authors, like to think they do. Today's Mormon-written vampire books don't appear to have encouraged British teenagers to begin blood sucking any more than Harry Potter has duelling.
theparkgallery, Callendar House, Callendar Park, Falkirk
in collaboration with Artlink Central
12 March - 2 May 2011
Gillian Smith, Arts Development Officer said "As interest in the art of illustration for children has grown considerably in recent years the Park Gallery is delighted to collaborate with Artlink Central and invite Julia Donaldson to curate 'The Illustrators' - a unique and intimate exhibition of work by artists who have illustrated Julia's books.
The exhibition aims to highlight the diverse range of approaches to illustration and focuses on a number of artists who have worked with Julia over the years. Featuring original works (by, Axel Scheffler, amongst others) visitors will see examples of preparatory work - sketches, ideas and a unique display envelopes.
"I think my postman has a more interesting life than most,"aid Julia Donaldson, "because every time Axel writes to me he decorates the envelope, often involving the stamp in a witty way, like turning Prince William into a giant. Sometimes the postman has to search for my name and address, as when Axel wrote them on various bricks being played with by the Gruffalo's Child."
Kevin Harrison , Director of Artlink Central said, "This exhibition offers not only a diverse and rich spread of some of the most exciting children's art in the country, but also a personal insight into the processes and collaborations behind the work. We are hugely grateful to Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler and other contributors, their agents and publishers who have all generously supported the ambitions of this project."
The exhibition includes some not yet published images from forthcoming books illustrated by Axel Scheffler, Sam McCullen, Pam Smy and even sketches and drawings for a new book by Julia Donaldson with illustrator Charlotte Voake.
21st Annual Bisto Children's Book of the Year Awards - Shortlist
- A Bit Lost by Chris Haughton
- Dancing in the Dark by Peter Prendergast
- Mac Rí Éireann le Caitríona Hasting agus Andrew Whiton
- Prim Improper by Deirdre Sullivan
- Taking Flight by Sheena Wilknson
- The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
- The Lunatic's Curse by F.E. Higgins
- The Owl and the Pussycat illustrated by Kevin Waldron
- Tiny Little Fly illustrated by Kevin Waldron
- Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers
Tea Obreht, author of The Tiger's Wife, interviewed by Vanity Fair:
Review of Death Cloud by Andrew Lane
The founder of the Canadian indpendent publisher, Tundra Books, died at her home in Montreal on March 3rd.
Philip Pullman, interviewed in The Guardian by young readers...
And his three top tips?
One: work every day. Get into the habit of it. Work when you don't feel like it, when you've just broken up with your girlfriend or boyfriend, when you're feeling ill, when you've got homework to do. Put your work first. Habit is your greatest ally....
Two: find out what way of working (place, time, writing instrument, desk light, and so on) suits you, and insist that you get it.
Three: don't listen to anyone who tells you you should study what the public wants, and give it to them. They don't know what they want, or they'd be writing it themselves....
The Mail reports:
Sainsbury's is to ramp up its book publishing business with the launch this weekend of its first range of own brand pre-school children's book...
The Guardian yesterday put out a wanted call for young readers to become involved in their new children's only reading website to be launched on World Book Day (tomorrow).
The Children's Books website will be an adult-free zone, with contributions from an editorial panel of young people (known as curators) from all over the world. So far, 100 have signed up from as far afield as Peru and Egypt, and have been busily at work deciding which books they want to discuss and how to do it.
To get involved, email email@example.com