September 2011 Archives

Big Blog Story - ACHUKA's episode - CHAPTER 12

[Chapter 13 will appear here]

Scribble stood with his legs and arms crossed, hands hugging opposite shoulders.


"Are you cold?" asked Mr Catch.

Scribble said nothing. He was looking at the heap of blue fur that had so recently been a part of him.

Mr Catch tried to smother a snigger.

Scribble looked up with a hurt expression.

"Sorry." Catch felt instant remorse. "It's just... you look so... so different."

Scribble began to laugh at his own predicament.

"I feel ridiculous," he said.

There was no time to give his new hairlessness and bluelessness further thought. The yellow submarine, which had been lurching and rolling its aquatic way with no greater speed than an old Lisbon tram, was suddenly affected by a soundless thrust of acceleration. The sensation was like being in an aeroplane gathering speed for take-off, except that neither Scribble nor Mr Catch was strapped into a seat, and their vessel, rather than being tipped upwardly airborne, was jetting ahead with its nose down, diving deeper and deeper toward the seabed.

Scribble and Mr Catch, both thrown backwards by the force of acceleration, along with a motley assortment of unsecured items on the craft, were pinioned side by side against the rear end of the submarine.

"Looks like we're going to reach it sooner than I thought," Mr Catch bellowed.

"Why are you shouting?"

Catch felt foolish. There had been no need to raise his voice. He associated such headlong speed with noise, but the craft he had constructed with his own hand from the mysterious design found in the chest, made no noise of any kind. It had no engine. The mechanism of its movement was an unexplained miracle.

A different and other miracle had apparently occurred.

Scribble was sniggering again.

"We're both blue now."

The blue fur was no longer in a neat pile on the submarine floor. Gravitational force had thrown it back with Scribble and Mr Catch and it had stuck to the only two crew members like iron filings on a magnet, sprouting out at comical angles so that the pair looked like a couple of bizarre and exotic parrots.

They turned their beady eyes on one another.

"Aye aye, Cap'n," they said in unison, immediately dissolving into hysterical giggles.

The time for laughter did not last long. There was a rhythmic slapping sound and a loss of speed as the craft tried to force its way through thick fronds of underwater plant life.

Our two submariners dashed to the front of the craft and peered out. They seemed to have come to a complete standstill. Of the glow in the distance which they had so optimistically thought was nearly within reach, there was no longer any trace.


Previous episodes here...
http://catherinebruton.com/2011/09/27/big-bath-blog-story/

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The Bath Festival of Children's Literature launched a unique collaborative storytelling event on Thursday 8 September featuring well known authors and bloggers. There are 20 collaborators in the project including authors Marcus Sedgewick, John Boyne, and Annabel Pitcher who will be appearing in the Bath Festival of Children's Literature Festival, 23 September- 2 October. The story will be written in real-time with readers following the trail as it moves from blog to blog, with an addition to the story being posted at each stop.

The story runs from 8 September - 16 October with the first installment posted on the Bath Festival of Children's Literature blog http://bathkidslitfest.wordpress.com/ where readers can click through to the next installment. Every other day a new piece of the story will be posted and as it is being written in real-time it has the potential to touch on any genre imaginable.

Artistic Director John McLay said "We are hoping to highlight the creativity and dedication of both book blogs and author blogs, through which potential readers are enthused and entertained. There is an amazing amount of support for the book industry via blogging and this is a great way for Bath to capture that and do something fun and unique".

Big Blog Story Schedule

8 September Bath Festival of Children's Literature
10 September Robin Etherington
12 September Annabel Pitcher
14 September Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
16 September Hannah Shaw
18 September Writing From the Tub
20 September Lauren Kate
22 September Marcus Sedgewick
24 September Alan Gibbons
26 September John Boyne
28 September Catherine Bruton
30 September Achuka
2 October Samantha Mackintosh
4 October An Awfully Big Blog Adventure
6 October Kate Maryon
8 October Barry Hutchinson
10 October My Favourite Books
12 October Joanna Nadin
14 October LA Weatherly
16 October Bath Festival of Children's Literature

On Writing A Memoir - Sendak

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Maurice Sendak, On (Not) Writing A Memoir

Another Sendak feature:

"I didn't sleep with famous people or movie stars or anything like that. It's a common story: Brooklyn boy grows up and succeeds in his profession, period," he explains in his friendly growl. "I hate memoirs. I hate them. What you have is your private life. Why make it public? And how different is it from anybody else's life? People want to read things like, 'Did you have an affair with Oprah Winfrey, really and truly?' "

Kids Can Press

Promotions announcement

Eoin Colfer Performs

An account of Eoin Colfer's performance at The Telegraph Bath Festival Of Children's Literature - includes some of his gags.

There Is No Dog Event Cancelled

A Christian school has cancelled an appearance by Meg Rosoff, the award-winning children's author, on account of her book's "blasphemous" content...

Children's Books Roundup

from The Globe and Mail - reviews by Susan Perren

Guardian Review

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Guardian Review

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick, reviewed by Chris Riddell

Everything about this book begs you to love it. The printing and design are gorgeous, the paper of the highest quality, and the heft of the book, a Selznick trademark, would shame a Russian novel. No expense has been spared, and not just in the design. Several Minnesotan forests have been sacrificed to furnish an initial print run of half a million copies. CHRIS RIDDELL

No More Blue Peter Annuals

Hardly surprising in the light of these viewing figures, which shocked me...

Next week the show returns, after its summer break, from the BBC's new Salford Quays studio. At its peak, eight million children would tune in to watch Peter Duncan dive to see the treasures of the Mary Rose or Janet Ellis shock the nation with the news that the garden had been vandalised. In recent years, this has fallen to 100,000 an episode.

From 8 million down to 100,000!

'Christopher Robin' Bookshop To Close

Harbour Bookshop, a bookshop once owned by AA Milne's son Christopher Robin, is to close at the end of September, due to falling profits...

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Foreman, McKee & Ross Panel

Last night Michael Foreman, David McKee and Tony Ross took part in a unique and riveting panel discussion with children's book expert Wendy Cooling, MBE, at the Random House building in front an audience of booksellers, librarians and press.

Photos from the event on the Andrsen Press weblink

Maurice Sendak Interview

Another interview with Maurice Sendak, on the publication of his new book - this time from The Atlantic



William Steig - Unpublished Drawings

a collection of unpublished drawings, "Cats, Dogs, Men, Women, Ninnies, & Clowns" (Abrams Image, $40) appears as a fresh and quirky way of discovering the celebrated illustrator's oeuvre...



Maureice Sendak NYTimes Interview

...With books today, I'm not always sure if they're truthful or faithful to what's going on with children. If you look at the work of Tomi Ungerer, it's passionate, it's personal, it's marvelous and it's cuckoo, and it's that's kind of veracity that's always made for good children's literature.

If there's anything missing that I've observed over the decades it's that that drive has declined. There's a certain passivity, a going back to childhood innocence that I never quite believed in. We remembered childhood as a very passionate, upsetting, silly, comic business.

I teach. I stress character, character, character. And for authors to go where you want; go where you will. Children will go everywhere.

BBC Radio Re-Run For Adrian Mole Dairy

....the BBC have dusted off the 1983 radio adaptations of The Secret Diary, read in seven parts by Nicholas Barnes, and it can be heard on Radio 4 Extra from this afternoon.

The Children's Authors Who Broke The Rules

recommedned NYTimes feature

Next Harry Potter

Well done to Doubleday's publicity machine...


Guardian Review

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Guardian Review

A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle, reviewed by Frank Cottrell Boyce


This is an uncluttered book, though you sense that its luminous simplicity was only achieved by spending hours and hours bagging up all the unnecessary stuff and hauling it to the dump. FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE

John Burningham Exhibition

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Visitor Information: 13 Berkeley Street, London W1J 8DU Tel: 020 7042 5730 | www.flemingcollection.com
Tuesday - Saturday 10am-5.30pm | Admission Free

Kate Wilson of Nosy Crow on the Book-App Mix

a Guardian link I missed on Tuesday...

Charlie Higson Trailer - The fear

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Bath Festival blog 2011

Part 4

ACHUKA is scheduled to host Part 12

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Part 5 will appear tomorrow, created by Hannah Shaw

Julianne Moore's Favourite Childhood Reading

As part of a new, occasional series on authors' favorite children's books, [the New York Times] asked Ms. Moore to tell us about her own favorite books as a child.

Here We Are -- The Horn Book

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The Horn Book's New Weblook

Just paid my first visit to The Horn Book's new webspece, and very good it looks too....

Archive material is being added gradually but can still be accessed at archive.hbook.com

Meg Rosoff: Interview - Telegraph

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Meg Rosoff Interview from the Telegraph

Interview with Meg Rosoff conducted by Philip Womack



Nosy Crow acquires two picture books by Waterstone's 'Picture This' short-listed illustrator Steven Lenton

Kate Burns, Head of Picture Books for Nosy Crow says:

From the moment the animator and merchandise designer and illustrator, Steven Lenton, came to see us in our tiny offices, I knew that we had to publish him. And it had to be special. His genuine enthusiasm for children's books and literature combined with his fabulous talent translated into a portfolio full of images with a contemporary, fresh palette, and wonderful characterisations of both people and animals - an increasingly rare ability! His work has a timeless quality, genuine warmth and is also really funny.
We feel he is a rare new talent and we are thrilled to be publishing his debut picture book, a hilarious tale about two bungling burglar dogs who come good in the end, written by the award-winning author, Tracey Corderoy. Tracey's first book for Nosy Crow, Hubble Bubble, Granny Trouble is illustrated by the highly acclaimed and award-winning Joe Berger and is out this month.

Steven says:

My ambition has always to be a children's book maker and I'm very proud to be realising this dream with Nosy Crow. I feel that the Nosy Crow team really understand my work, which I hope will sit nicely in their fantastic list!

Guardian Review

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Guardian Review

Too Small to Fail by Morris Gleitzman, reviewed by Philip Ardagh


... this wonderfully quirky - all right, downright odd - adventure is about the financial crash. Yes, it actually tackles the likes of credit default swaps ("a type of insurance that investors buy in case their investments go bung") and the matter of "investments turning to poo" ... which ain't typical territory for a fun-packed children's read. PHILIP ARDAGH


Jasmine Fassl, Children's Programme Manager at Scottish Book Trust said: "Scottish Book Trust is really pleased to announce the shortlist for this year's Scottish Children's Book Awards. These Awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate contemporary children's books and young fiction in Scotland, and we are particularly pleased with the hugely enthusiastic participation of children, parents and teachers this year. The number of children taking part continues to grow every year, which is proof of the huge appetite for reading in Scottish schools and libraries."


THE 2011 SHORTLIST CONSISTS OF:

Bookbug Readers (0-7 years)

- DEAR VAMPA by Ross Collins (Hodder)

- THE LOON ON THE MOON by Chae Strathie and Emily Golden (Scholastic)

- APPLE PIE ABC by Alison Murray (Orchard)

Younger Readers (8-11 years)

- ZAC AND THE DREAM PIRATES by Ross MacKenzie (Chicken House)

- THERE'S A HAMSTER IN MY POCKET! by Franzeska G Ewart (Frances Lincoln)

- THE CASE OF THE LONDON DRAGONFISH by Joan Lennon (Catnip)

Older Readers (12-16 years)


- WASTED by Nicola Morgan (Walker)

- THE BLACKHOPE ENIGMA by Teresa Flavin (Templar)

- THE PRISONER OF THE INQUISITION by Theresa Breslin (Corgi - RHCB)

The Bath Festival of Children's Literature is launching a unique collaborative storytelling event on Thursday 8 September featuring well known authors and bloggers. There are 20 collaborators in the project including authors Marcus Sedgewick, John Boyne, and Annabel Pitcher who will be appearing in the Bath Festival of Children's Literature Festival, 23 September- 2 October. The story will be written in real-time with readers following the trail as it moves from blog to blog, with an addition to the story being posted at each stop.

The story will run from 8 September - 16 October with the first installment being posted on the Bath Festival of Children's Literature blog http://bathkidslitfest.wordpress.com/ where readers can click through to the next installment. Every other day a new piece of the story will be posted and as it is being written in real-time it has the potential to touch on any genre imaginable.

Artistic Director John McLay said "We are hoping to highlight the creativity and dedication of both book blogs and author blogs, through which potential readers are enthused and entertained. There is an amazing amount of support for the book industry via blogging and this is a great way for Bath to capture that and do something fun and unique".

Big Blog Story Schedule

  • 8 September Bath Festival of Children's Literature
  • 10 September Robin Etherington
  • 12 September Annabel Pitcher
  • 14 September Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
  • 16 September Hannah Shaw
  • 18 September Writing From the Tub
  • 20 September Lauren Kate
  • 22 September Marcus Sedgewick
  • 24 September Alan Gibbons
  • 26 September John Boyne
  • 28 September Catherine Bruton
  • 30 September Achuka
  • 2 October Samantha Mackintosh
  • 4 October An Awfully Big Blog Adventure
  • 6 October Kate Maryon
  • 8 October Barry Hutchinson
  • 10 October My Favourite Books
  • 12 October Joanna Nadin
  • 14 October LA Weatherly
  • 16 October Bath Festival of Children's Literature


Quercus Signs 50 Cent

Quercus has bought a children's book by US rapper 50 Cent. Playground, for the 12-plus age group, is a semi-autobiographical novel on the subject of schoolyard bullying....

AUGUST by Bernard Beckett, reviewed

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AUGUST by Bernard Beckett



I had not read Genesis, this author's award winning previous novel, nor indeed any of his earlier books for that matter. Although August is, in many ways, a deeply unpleasant novel, and very different from the one I was expecting, it is also, partly by virtue of being so unusual, a very interesting work of fiction....

click top link for full review...

Telegraph Review

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Telegraph Review

The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean by David Almond, reviewed by Dinah Hall

The ending is disappointingly saccharine. The build-up, the visceral language, drenched through with religion and butchery, leaves one expecting Armageddon at the very least. DINAH HALL

see previous Guardian Review entry for buy-me link to book....

Guardian Review

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Guardian Review

Kill All Enemies by Melvin Burgess, reviewed by Tony Bradman


Kill All Enemies is a novel that will have enormous appeal for teenagers and should probably be compulsory reading for policy makers too. In his efforts to give a voice to the voiceless, Burgess sometimes calls to mind the Orwell of Down and Out in Paris and London and The Road to Wigan Pier. He's the kind of gadfly we need at times like this. Indeed, if a children's author like Burgess didn't exist, we would most definitely have to invent him. TONY BRADMAN

Guardian Review

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Guardian review

The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean by David Almond, reviewed by John Burnside

David Almond's first book for adult readers is not only dramatically and emotionally suspenseful, it is also vividly drawn and wonderfully well paced, as one might expect from a master storyteller. It is full of poignant moments and comic scenes - the séance with Missus Malone, for example, where Billy interrupts her attempts to contact the dead with questions about her sex life - and it raises deeply unsettling questions about what happens to the innocent in a world where everybody wants something. More than anything else, however, it is the characters who shine, especially the superb, somewhat Dickensian Missus Malone and her dark counterpart, Wilfred the Priest, a genuinely sinister creature, reminiscent of Robert Mitchum's murderous preacher in The Night of the Hunter, who moves in and out of Billy's world like a malevolent, yet strangely pathetic, devil. JOHN BURNSIDE

EOin Colfer - LA Times Feature

The LA Times talks to Eoin Colfer on the eve of US publication of his adult novel, Plugged...


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