Based on Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson’s 1936 children’s book The Story of Ferdinand, this gently subversive Madrid-set feature from animation studio Blue Sky and frequent collaborator Carlos Saldanha (the Ice Agefilms, Rio) follows an adorable, flower-sniffing bull named Ferdinand. “Is it OK if that’s not my dream?” the baby bull asks his father of fighting. When he discovers that he has no choice, Ferdinand scarpers, hoofing it to a flower farm, where he befriends a human girl and her shaggy sheepdog. Ferdinand’s passivity (and flower obsession) isn’t explicitly coded as queer, though the film hints that this might be the case.
Either way, Ferdinand celebrates his mild temperament and non-confrontational masculinity, which remain unchanged as his bull’s body grows resplendently large. The adult Ferdinand (voiced by WWE superstar John Cena) ends up causing a ruckus at a local flower fair (and offers viewers a very funny scene in a china shop) and so is carted back to the ranch he came from. Other fun characters include a neurotic, calming goat voiced by Kate McKinnon, a trio of bitchy German horses with swishy pastel manes, and mischievous, pilfering hedgehogs Uno, Dos and Cuatro (“We do not speak of Tres”).
In another story regarding plagiarism…
Yaniv Shimonyn claims that a character from his ‘Uncle Leo’s Adventures’ is being used in Habima’s Hanukkah production without his permission
Whilst the theatre appears to have collaborated with the author (Yannets Levi) on the production, this seems not to have been the case with the illustrator.
The so-called Battle of the Monsters has proved a canny and lucrative winner for independent publisher Andersen Press and past laureate Chris Riddell.
Andersen Press has seen unprecedented reaction to their marketing campaign, with over 4,500 copies of the book leaving their warehouse before Christmas, the number of orders of the book 9,582% higher in November 2017 than the previous month.
Support across the trade has been incredible, with book shops up-and-down the country tweeting support and ordering in copies to capatalise on the media interest.
Andersen Press created special Mr Underbed posters which over 500 shops received.
Speaking about the campaign Chris Riddell has said; “I have been so heartened by the wonderful support that my picture book Mr Underbed has received after I pointed out similarities with the John Lewis Christmas ad. I think this has sent a powerful message to John Lewis who I hope will work more directly with picture book authors in the future. This Christmas, why not visit a bookshop and buy a picture book as a gift for someone you love? Sharing a book is a gift that keeps on giving.”
Superb book by Martin Salisbury, Course Leader for MA in Children’s Book Illustration and Director at the Centre for Children’s Book Studies at Anglia Ruskin University.
From the 1920s, as the potential for the book’s protective wrapping to be used for promotion and enticement became clear, and artists and illustrators on both sides of the Atlantic applied their talents to this particular art form.
Rising to the wide-ranging challenges posed by format and subject matter, artists and illustrators including John Piper, Edward Bawden and John Minton in the UK and Ben Shahn, Edward Gorey and George Salter in the USA, brought their unique personal vision to bear on the world of books.
Many of their designs reflect the changing visual styles and motifs of the period, including Bloomsbury, Art Deco, Modernism, postwar neo-romanticism and the Kitchen Sink School.
A wonderful gift for any bibliophile.
from Publishers Weekly
[James Baldwin’s] picture book Little Man, Little Man: A Story of Childhood, published by Dial Press in 1976, did not stay in print long, but will return to bookstore shelves next August, when Duke University Press reissues the title with the original illustrations by the Parisian artist Yoran Cazac; an introduction by the edition’s coeditors, Baldwin scholars Nicholas Boggs and Jennifer DeVere Brody; a foreword by Baldwin’s nephew, Tejan “TJ” Karefa; and an afterword by Aisha Karefa-Smart, the author’s niece and Karefa’s older sister.
Blackwell’s has named Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (Particular Books) by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo as its Book of the Year. The book was previously announced as Foyles Children’s Book off the Year and has been mentioned in many Best Books of 2017 features.
The book, which began life as a Kickstarter campaign is a collection of short biographies of 100 women across time from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams.
The prize is voted for by booksellers who chose this title over the other category winners: Arundhati Roy’s long-awaited The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (Fiction); Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge (non-fiction); This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay (debut).
A multiple prize-winning hit in Wegelius’s native Sweden, this extraordinary book acquires a passport full of stamps – Portugal, Egypt, India, Greece – as it masterfully juggles skulduggery and malaria, accordion-making and aeronautics, fado and pastries, police corruption and at least two love stories. To say anything more would spoil what is a rare treat: a book you want to thrust into the hands of children and adults alike.
said Ktty Empire of The Murderer’s Ape (Pushkin £16.99) by Jakob Wegelius in her roundup of older children’s fiction in Sunday’s Observer….
not sure this approach is one most suited to achieve its purpose…
Raymond Briggs, 83, has been told to ‘stop being a Scrooge’ and attend a theatre version of the famous children’s animated film, which is based on his book, in Brighton next month.
But so far there are no signs that he will turn up, according to composer Howard Blake, who wrote the legendary ‘Walking in the Air’ theme song for the TV film.
Mr Blake, who created the theatre version of The Snowman, has begged Raymond to drop his boycott of the theatre show and join him on stage in Brighton next month.
Sara Keating (younger titles) and Claire Hennessy (YA) select their favourite books of 2017…
There are expected inclusions, but also some less-mentioned titles, as in this section of Claire Hennessy’s choices:
For high-concept plots supported by exemplary writing, look no further than the glorious page-turner that is MA Bennett’s S.T.A.G.S. (Hot Key Books, £7.99). Not clicking? Try Kendra Fortmeyer’s Hole In The Middle (Atom, £7.99), where teenage ‘emptiness’ is made literal, or Aaron Starmer’s Spontaneous (Canongate, £7.99), in which leaving-school-blues collide with spontaneous combustion, or Adam Silvera’s They Both Die At The End(Simon & Schuster, £7.99), which posits meeting the love of your life the day you’re both scheduled to die.
Saving lyrical wonderfulness for last: the Irish authors have it. Sarah Carroll’s The Girl In Between (Simon & Schuster, £7.99), Moira Fowley-Doyle’s The Spellbook of the Lost and Found (Corgi, £7.99) and Deirdre Sullivan’s Tangleweed and Brine (Little Island, €16; illustrations by Karen Vaughan) offer up haunting and stunning takes on what it means to be a teenage girl.
I was passing one of my bookshelves yesterday and a title by Ann Pilling caught my eye. It prompted the question, ‘Whatever happened to her?’ Throughout the 1980s and 90s she was a highly prolific writer of children’s books. I can find no previous mention of her in the ACHUKA blog archive, which goes back to 2003, coincidentally the year in which it appears she stopped publishing children’s fiction [see bibliography below]. Her second children’s novel, Henry’s Leg, was a winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, but appears now to only be available second-hand. I remember that book particularly fondly because I dramatised it for a primary school production and the legs from a mannequin that were used as props in the play rested in a corner of my office for many years after the event.
The answer to my question was readily found on the homepage of her website. She is still writing, but has turned exclusively to poetry.
I have written poetry all my life but on my 60th birthday I decided to set children’s writing aside and focus on poetry. Writing all those books for children was a good training ground. I have chewed over many millions of words before committing a few select ones to paper (children like directness, pithyness, strong colour and they deserve the best). Emily Dickinson advised few words in a poem then added ‘but they must be the chiefest words’. In weaving stories for the young, and the not so young, I sat for many years on my poetic instinct. The poet Kate Clanchy said that my poems have ‘the passion of long-stored speech’ so perhaps waiting for so long to ‘focus’ has had its benefits.
I’m surprised to find she has no entry in the the Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature. In Victor Watson’s Cambridge Guide to Children’s Books In English she does, where it is acknowledged that in addition to the success of Henry’s Leg she had two other books nominated for the Carnegie Medal. She also wrote as Ann Cheetham, and the Cambridge Guide gives attention to this side of her work.
For readers of ten upwards, a set of chilling Ghost Stories, published now as Ann Cheetham novels and combining aspects of the supernatural and elements of horror, form a distinct aspect of the author’s work.The first title, Black Harvest (1983), has become an eponym for the series and, in serving to enlarge the understanding of young readers, is the book which the author feels best represents her as a writer.
The following bibliography is taken from Wikipedia and is unverified
by Ann Cheetham.
Black Harvest (1983)
The Beggar’s Curse (1984)
The Witch of Lagg (1986)
The Pit (1987)
The Empty Frame (1997)
by Ann Pilling
The Year of the Worm (1984)
Henry’s Leg (1985)
The Friday Parcel (1986)
No Guns No Oranges (1986)
Our Best Stories (1986), eds. Pilling and A. Wood
The Big Pink (1987)
The Beast in the Basement (1988)
Dustbin Charlie (1988)
On the Lion’s Side (1988)
The Big Biscuit (1989)
The Jungle Sale (1989)
Our Kid (1989)
Getting Rid of Aunt Mildred (1990)
The Donkey’s Day Out (1990)
Before I Go to Sleep: Bible Stories, Poems, and Prayers for Children, selected and retold, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton (London: Kingfisher, New York: Crown Publishers, Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1990); reissued 2000 as A Kingfisher Treasury of Bible Stories, Poems and Prayers for Bedtime OCLC 59564291
The Boy with His Leg in the Air (1991)
Vote for Baz (1992)
Considering Helen (1993)
The Kingfisher Children’s Bible: Stories from the Old and New Testaments, retold, illus. Denton (2003); reissued 2003 as The Kingfisher Book of Bible Stories OCLC 53072371
Realms of Gold: Myths and Legends from Around the World, retold, illus. Denton (1993); reissued 2003 as The Kingfisher Treasury of Myths and Legends OCLC 52470749
The Baked Bean Kids (1993)
Mother’s Daily Scream (1995)
The Life of Jesus (1996)
Noah’s Ark (1996)
Amber’s Secret (2000)
Why Bear Has a Stumpy Tail and Other Creation Stories (2000)
The Catnappers: The Mystery of the Disappearing Cat (Collins, 2003), as by Ann Cheetham, illus. Clare Mackie OCLC 51107280
Many of these are unremarkable shorter titles for younger children but the novels and ghost stories are worth keeping an eye out for when browsing in second-hand booksellers.