March 2005 Archives

Guardian Unlimited | Columnists | The greatest stories ever told

"We are right in the thick of a golden age of children's literature," says Dina Rabinovitch, at the start of a long feature in today's Guardian, arguing that it is now children's literature that is exerting the same gravitational pull that stage drama did in the Elizabethan Age, and the novel did in the nineteenth century.

So how is it, she asks, that it is only a handful of names that are widely known. It's certainly not the publishers' fault. Rabinovich gives examples of some of the more lavish launches of recent times. She rounds on the media... "The books pages in the national press are sticking to their occasional round-ups of children's books; non-specialist TV and radio aren't interested either... ...It is a mark of these fertile times that the arts reviewing is lagging behind the news."

Highly Recommended

Guardian AUthor Of The Month

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Record Print Run

| No Comments | No TrackBacks - 'Potter' print-run record goes 'poof!'

The sixth in J.K. Rowling's blockbuster series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, due in bookstores July 16, will have the all-time-highest initial print run of 10.8 million, according to an announcement Tuesday from the U.S. publisher, Scholastic...

Six Figure Macmillan Deal

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Macmillan Children's Books has announced the acquisition of world rights in four new novels by Gwyneth Rees. The deal, for a six-figure sum, was brokered by Caroline Walsh of David Higham Associates.

The Macmillan Press Release says that Rees qualified as a doctor and practised as a child and adolescent psychiatrist for some years, before giving up her medical career to write full time.

THE MUM HUNT won the Award for Younger Children in the Red House Children's Book Award 2004. MY MUM'S FROM PLANET PLUTO has been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Sheffield Book Award. Her Fairies series achieves ever-increasing sales, with the third title, FAIRY DREAMS, publishing in May 2005. She has also been selected to write a World Book Day 2006 title.

This new four-book deal takes Macmillan's publishing programme of Gwyneth Rees's books up to the end of 2008.

Sarah Davies, Publishing Director of Macmillan Children's Books, says, 'Gwyneth Rees is a star. She has an incredible ability to connect with children in a way that is always entertaining but also very insightful. I am delighted that this new deal will enable us to continue building Gwyneth's profile and sales well into the future.'

Zach Braff's Next Film

| No Comments | No TrackBacks - Zach Braff takes director's chair in DeGraw's Chariot

Zach Braff, writer-director of 'Garden State' (my favourite film of the moment) and star of the NBC series 'Scrubs' (sadly not yet available on DVD in the UK), is to base his next film on a children's book:

Braff, 29, plays Dr. John "JD" Doran on NBC's Scrubs. His next feature film directing gig will be an adaptation of Doris Burn's children's book, Andrew Henry's Meadow.

This is old news to movie buffs (I believe it was first known almost a year ago) but new news to me, and I know hardly anything about the book, so educative comments would be welcome.

Observer Roundups

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The Observer | Review | Teenage fiction: Mar 27

There were roundups of both Teenage Fiction and Picture Books in yesterday's Observer.

The Teenage link is above - here's the link to Kate Kellaway's picture book reviews and to her review of the latest Jacqueline Wilson novel, Clean Break....

Shanville Monthly

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Darren Shan Monthly 57

Darren Shan has posted his monthly newspage, Shanville Monthly, a bit early this month, because he's heading off on a short tour of Taiwan before the end of March...

I can heartily recoomend a visit to Shan's Taiwanese publisher's page, for a taste of the distinctive Far Eastern covers and, lowdown on the right-hand side, a mini-movie of a berobed Shan speaking directly to his Eastern fans.

Shojo Review

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Athens Awards Ceremony

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High Profile State Children�s Literature Awards Ceremony
report by Dominique Sandis

On the evening of the 21st of March the Ceremony for the 2004 State Children�s Literature Prizes was held at the Athens Music Megaron...

Anyone Can Do It

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Guardian Unlimited | Arts features | Macca the paperback writer

Michael Rosen can't understand the hissy-fitting of children's authors who resent it when celebs and other 'amateurs' have a go at writing children's books. After all, he says, writing a children's book "is not very difficult". This Guardian article was published last Tuesday, and my excuse for missing it was that I was engrossed in rehearsing my "hot chilly" act for the end-of-term staff variety show.

In normal circumstances it would have been blogged immediately. As it is, I'm thankful to Michael Rosen himself for drawing attention to it on ACHUKACHAT where, so far, there has been only one reaction. Perhaps this belated blogging will promote further discussion.

what possible objections can we have to anyone, anywhere, writing a book for children? After all, it's not terribly difficult. I'll rephrase that: it's difficult to write a brilliant one, but anyone who was once a child should have at least one children's book in them. Anyone who comes anywhere near children ought to be able to write at least one more. And in an ideal world, shouldn't every parent, teacher, grandparent, child-carer have a go?

ST Book Of The Week

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Children's book of the week - Sunday Times - Times Online

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

Traction Man Is Here by Mini Grey

Grey has produced a splendidly tongue-in-cheek picturebook about a little boy�s commando doll... NICOLETTE JONES

Guardian Features

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In place of its regular page of children's book reviews, The Guardian has chosen Easter weekend to print two excellent features:

The first, by Joanna Carey, is called 'Fish Fingers And Chandeliers' and is a profile of Lauren Child.

The second, by Lyn Gardner, is an admirable overview of E. Nesbit.

The Railway Children is at the Peacock Theatre, London WC2, until April 10. Box office: 0870 737 0337.

Both links Highly Recommended

Scotsman Reviews

| No Comments | No TrackBacks News - News Archive - An explosion of words

My latest Teeen/YA recommendations are published in The Scotsman today. They end with a timely mention of Thirteen, the story collection edited by John McClay, whose own contribution is a touching tale about a boy�s embarrassment at revealing his Doctor Who obsession. If there is a seed of autobiography in that story, the author will be looking forward to 7pm this evening, and the return of Doctor Who on BBC TV.
[You have to be registered, but it's free.]

Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man by Justin Richards

TOKYOPOP GmbH Wins "Buchmarkt-Award" for "Newcomer of the Year" at Leipzig Bookfair 2005 :: :: Where Anime News and Reviews Matters

The 6th annual BuchMarkt-Award � the only marketing prize in Germany's book publishing industry � was awarded to TOKYOPOP at this year's Leipzig Book Fair, marking the first time ever a manga publisher has been awarded this prestigious honor.

A statement from the BuchMarkt Award judging committee reads, "Because of TOKYOPOP's eye-catching booth design at the 2004 Frankfurt Bookfair, their strategic advertising efforts with both retailers and customers, a user-friendly website, and the company's clever advertising slogan 'TOKYOPOP is Manga,' the company succeeded in communicating its message through all consumer channels."

Comic Cover Art

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Mike's Amazing World of DC Comics-Cover Gallery

Excellent archive of comic cover art from 1935 to the present.

George Adamson

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George Adamson - The Herald

Another obituary...

Newbery Winner Interview

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U-Press Telegram - Books

Feature interview with this year's Newbery winner, Cynthia Kadohata, who was awarded the Medal for her novel Kira-Kira:

When Cynthia Kadohata was startled awake by a ringing phone on Jan. 17, the Long Beach resident didn't know what to expect. Phone calls at 4:25 a.m. usually portend bad news, so her initial reaction was one of worry. And the early morning call was indeed life-changing... ...


ST Book Of The Week

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Children's book of the week - Sunday Times - Times Online

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

Nicolette Jones, unlike Amanda Craig [see below], likes Silverfin by Charlie Higson:

What is unexpected about this James Bond prequel is that its hero is so ordinary. Fast Show comedian Higson has also written a surprisingly straight-faced adventure, with few in-jokes... ... NICOLETTE JONES

See also
this article about the book by The Observer's Arts & Media correspondent, who tells us that the book is already doing better than the early sales of Harry Potter or Northern Lights, which sounds good to those who don't know that both HP and Northern Lights (particularly the Pullman) were rather slow burners.

Michael Lacapa Death Notice

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Arizona Daily Sun-

Michael Lacapa, an award-winning author and illustrator of books for children, died at home on Tuesday. He had been seriously injured in a car accident last September.

The Flute Player, one of Lacapa's best-known books

Not The End Of The World

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | When Amy met Stanley

Adele Geras on Love, Fifteeen, Ros Asqwuith's breezy novel about teenage pregnancy:

Asquith is light where other writers would be heavy, but that doesn't mean she doesn't care. There's real emotion here and a lot about love in all its forms, and some of the scenes that could be presented as tragedy she delivers as farce. The moral of the book is: if you're going to sleep with your boyfriend, be very careful and more than careful, and if you do get pregnant, there are options and it's not the end of the world....

Brilliantly Nauseating

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Children's books - Books - Times Online

Amanda Craig finds Charlie Higson's Young Bond outclassed by the latest Alex Rider and is impressed by the 'brilliantly nauseating' Hellbent by Anthony McGowan, in her latest Times children's ficitoin review:

Hellbent isn?t a spy story but a brilliantly nauseating thriller about a cocky 16-year- old boy who dies and goes to Hell...

George Adamson Obit.

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George Adamson - Obituaries - Times Online

The illustrator George Admason died on March 5th. A Times obituary appeared yesterday:

Ted Hughes?s first collection of poetry for children, Meet My Folks! (1961), was submitted to Adamson for illustration. Sylvia Plath?s verdict on his efforts was that they were ?very fine and witty?. He followed in the path of Heath Robinson, illustrating new editions of Norman Hunter?s Professor Branestawm books in the mid-1960s and also illustrated The Faber Book of Nursery Verse(1958) and Alan Garner?s The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (1960) and The Moon of Gomrath (1963)... ...

A further obituary from The Herald:

Andre Norton Dies Aged 93

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Science fiction and fantasy author Andre Norton dies

Science fiction and fantasy author Andre Norton, who wrote the popular "Witch World" series, has died. She was 93.

Her death was announced by friend Jean Rabe, who said Norton died Thursday of congestive heart failure at her home in Murfreesboro, a Nashville suburb.

Norton requested before her death that she not have a funeral service, but instead asked to be cremated along with a copy of her first and last novels.

Born Alice Mary Norton on Feb. 17, 1912, in Cleveland, she wrote more than 130 books in many genres during her career of nearly 70 years. She used a pen name _ which she made her legal name in 1934 _ because she expected to be writing mostly for young boys and thought a male name would help sales.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America recently created the Andre Norton Award for young adult novels, and the first award will be presented in 2006.

Three Hands of Scorpio, Norton's most recently published novel

Daily Telegraph

Official author site
An interview (1991)
Witch World fan page
Andre Norton Award for YA Fiction

Kiriyama Prize Shortlist

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Kiriyama Prize - 2005 Finalists

The $30, 000 Kiriyama prize, established in 1996, is awarded to exceptional English fiction and non-fiction from the Pacific Rim and South Asia, including fiction translated into English from other languages in the region.

Amongst the shortlisted titles is Tara Publishing's Seasons of the Palm, translated from the Tamil. The book focuses on the arduous lives of a group of lovingly drawn child characters with colorful names like "Shortie," "Tallfellow," "Matchbox," and "Stumpleg."

Seasons of the Palm is the first Tamil novel to have earned international recognition. Novelist Perumal Murugan is a college teacher by profession. He teaches Tamil language and literature at a state college in western Tamil Nadu, India. Murugan grew up in a harsh landscape, amidst hardworking peasants. His fiction recreates the everyday brutality of caste society in relentless detail while hinting at the possibilities of joy and comradeship that are yet possible.

Angel Experiment

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Publishing News - News Page

WHILE IT'S BECOMING almost de rigeur for adult authors to think it might be mildly diverting to have a go at a children's book, writes Graham Marks, it is noteworthy when their adult imprint decides to not only retain the right to publish, but backs up the whole project with a serious marketing and sales campaign. On 4 July this year, Headline will publish The Angel Experiment, the first book in the Maximum Ride trilogy by best-selling thriller writer James Patterson, who has come up with a series aimed straight at the 12 market.

Kathe Koja Interview

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An interview with YA author Kathe Koja, about her new book Talk:

Book Ban

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WCJB - TV20 News - Your Home Team - Gainesville - Lake City - Ocala

A Babette Cole book has been removed from a children's library in America:

A children's book depicting sexual intercourse and the creation of babies through rough drawings of genitals and sexual poses will be moved away from the children's section of the Suwannee River Regional Library, in accordance with a unanimous county commission vote Tuesday night. The book, 'Mommy Laid An Egg', was seized on by parents and others as an unwholesome portrayal of the act of recreation.

Astrid Lindgren WInners

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CBC Arts: Philip Pullman shares kids' lit prize

British children's author Philip Pullman and Japanese illustrator Ryoji Arai [have been] named winners of the third annual Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Literature. The children's literature prize, named after the Swedish creator of the Pippi Longstocking book series, was established by the Swedish government and carries a value of $888,000. The two winners will split the money.

Teen Lit

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Teen chick-lit: good, bad or just pukerama? - Home - Times Online

The Times has run a diverting 2-day feature on teen-lit, each time getting a parent and child to react to a selection of current titles.

This link is to yesterday's piece about teen chick-lit. In the paper today (I can't find an online link yet) the focus is dark fiction for boys.


Manga In Da Library

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Racy fluff or reading aid?

some people dispute the value of books that feature female characters dressed in sexy outfits and sometimes behaving in ways that conform to sexist stereotypes.

An interesting column that explores the issues that have arisen surrounding the purchase of manga by public libraries in Maine. The comments are also worht reading.

Highly recommended

Pullman In The Pulpit

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Text of talk given by Philip Pullman at the University of East Anglia:

Thank you for inviting me to speak here in this distinguished series of lectures. Quite what prompted you to ask me to talk about religious education I can`t immediately see; you must have been desperate. As I`m not an academic, nor a member of the clergy, nor a teacher, whatever I say about the subject will be the observations of an amateur with no standing in the field. Furthermore, given that I`ve voiced some criticisms of religion in the past, and that various Christian groups have expressed their criticisms of me, it might be that whatever I said on the subject would be hostile in any case.

Well, I hope it won`t be that. But we shall see.

UK Manga

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U.K. Publisher Jumps Aboard Manga Craze

Gollancz is launching a new imprint, Gollancz Manga, through an exclusive deal with San Francisco-based publisher Viz.

The new imprint will publish Viz's Manga series in the U.K. from 11th August. Thirty titles across four series - Dragon Ball, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Case Closed and Fushigi Yug? - will be released over the first 12 months, priced at ?4.99 each.

Last Column

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Opinion Page

A good column is part of the routine, like the caffeinated beverage of your choice or the sequence of landmarks on the way to work. When it is gone, you should miss it sharply...

We will miss Peni sharply and invite those of you who have enjoyed her columns to contribute to a leaving gift. The tin'll stay open till the end of the month.

McCaughrean for Pan Sequel

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Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Peter Pan prepares to go exploring

At the opening of the London book fair, it was announced that McCaughrean has been chosen as the new JM Barrie. Already one of the country's most popular children's writers, she was picked out of a field of 100 entrants for the "awfully big adventure" of writing the official sequel to Peter Pan.

Willis Hall Obit.s

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Telegraph | News | Willis Hall

Daily Telegraph obit. for Willis Hall, playwright and children's author, who died on March 7th.

Other obit.s:
The Times

Mobile Manga

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Symbian OS mobile operating system - News, articles, software wireless developer tools for Symbian Series 60 (Nokia 7650, 3650, N-Gage), UIQ (Sony Ericsson P800) and Symbian device Users and wireless developers

In an exclusive arrangement, TOKYOPOP and GoComics have launched three original properties for wireless use. Princess Ai, @Large and ShutterBox are now available to mobile operators and their subscribers. Manga graphic novels are a Japanese comic phenomena that has quickly become the fastest growing segment of North American book retail sales. "Everything is manga these days," says GoComics CEO Chris Pizey. "Book stores' comic book shelves are dominated by this style of art. It's tremendously exciting to be working with TOKYOPOP to bring the hottest graphic trend in the world to mobile phone users."

Only applicable to US.

The Rise Of Manga

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The Galveston County Daily News

Another piece charting the rise of manga.


ST Book Of The Week

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Children's book of the week - Sunday Times - Times Online

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

Conrad's Fate by Diana Wynne Jones

This is the first novel for 20 years in Wynne Jones?s Chrestomanci series. Chrestomanci is a nine-lived enchanter who moves between many parallel worlds. In this story, he is a teenager in an eclectic world in which England never separated from Europe and where magical powers are everyday... NICOLETTE JONES

Love Manga

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Love Manga

Just added to the ACHOCKABLOGGER listing, this excellent Manga Blog, maintained by David Taylor and Immelda Alty...

NYT Bookshelf

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Diana Wynne Jones

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Mistress of the multiverse - Books - Times Online

A longish feature by Amanda Craig who has been to Bristol to visit Diana Wynne Jones:

The world of one of our most original and fertile fantasists is about to become a lot more famous this year thanks to a film of her novel, Howl?s Moving Castle. The great anime director Hayao Miyazaki, whose Spirited Away became an international hit in 2003, has released the film in Japan, where it is breaking box-office records.

Highly recommended

Making Celia Smile

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Review: The Wish House by Celia Rees

Diane Samuels gives Celie Rees a review to smile over, in contrast to the thumbs-down The Wish House received from Amanda Craig last weekend:

The Wish House could have been just another story about the hot summer when a boy got laid and had his heart broken. In Rees's hands, though, it is more sensitive than that, more intriguing, never calculating, almost obvious but not quite and, by the end, genuinely moving.

Big Hair

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McCall Smith Backlist

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Publishing News - News Page

BLOOMSBURY HAS ACQUIRED 14 of Alexander McCall Smith's backlist children's books, aimed at the 7-9 age-range, and is to publish them with new cover designs and illustrative look created by Ian Bilbey.

Harry Covers

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Bloomsbury Publishing Plc today unveiled the cover designs for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K.Rowling, to be published on 16th July 2005. The cover illustration for the children?s edition is by Jason Cockcroft, who provided the cover image for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, in addition to illustrating many other children?s books including Daddy?s Lullaby and Billywise (both published by Bloomsbury).

The cover design for the adult edition is from a photograph by Michael Wildsmith.

These covers will be used throughout the world excluding the USA.

'Arthur' author tells how tales came to be

Feature interview with Marc Brown, creator of the 'Arthur' series...


TV Transcript

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7.30 Report - 07/03/2005: Childrens author John Marsden to build perfect school

Transcript of TV conversation with John Marsden talking about schools...


Seven Sequel

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Seven for a Secret: Woodall hopes to hit jackpot again - The Times of India

Supermarket manager Clive Woodall sat down in his lunch hour every day to write a fairy tale for his two young sons.

Now, after landing a $1-million deal with Disney to film his debut novel, stacking shelves is just a memory. One for Sorrow , a dark tale of magpies plotting genocide in the bird kingdom ? proved a surprise hit last year with the publishing rights sold to 20 countries within days.

Now, with the publication on Monday of Seven for a Secret, Woodall, 47, hopes the sequel could fulfil another Hollywood fantasy.

New Manga

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Animation Insider - March Key Manga Releases

Kids Joker is an interesting new manga release that follows Hotaru Yanagawa, a high school aged girl that in between her homework and chores at home, likes to hit the streets and clean up crime.

From Kaneyoshi Izumi is the shoujo manga title Doubt!!, which is the fun and exciting tale of a young high school girl and her adjustments to popularity...

Broadcasting & Cable: The Business of Television

This article, focusing on The O.C., is about teen TV in the States, rather than Teen/YA publishing, but it's a very interesting piece...

Highly recommended

ST Book Of The Week

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Times Online - Sunday Times

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

Me And My Mammoth by Joel Stewart

This funny book celebrates the pleasure of making things and carries the reassuring message that it doesn't matter if the finished creation doesn't end up quite as planned. Drawn with a relaxed ink line, scribbly shading and a mix of watercolour and gouache, the book has the slightly muted and nostalgic tones of early comics and dated toy packaging. NICOLETTE JONES

Charlie & Lola Deal

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BBC Worldwide has agreed major deals (including sales into Australia, Denmark and Sweden) for its CBeebies/Tiger Aspect cartoon Charlie & Lola.

These new deals (for 26 episodes) follow sales to Disney in the US and TF1 in France.

The series is based on the award-winning children's books by Lauren Child and the animation reflects the distinctive cut-out style of the books.

Nice One, Charlie

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | James Bond's schooldays

Philip Ardagh says, "Nice one, Charlie" - apropos the new book about Bond's schooldays, Silverfin by Charlie Higson:

This is a most enjoyable, well-written book which is well worth a read even if you're not a James Bond fan. There are a few in-jokes (the "female interest", Wilder Lawless, has a horse called Martini, for example), but Higson is sparing with these and very skilfully melds the known elements of Bond's childhood with those of his own invention. In SilverFin, Higson gives us that little extra something ... in much the same way that, say, a bay leaf does to a bolognese sauce. Nice one, Charlie.

Zephaniah's Grooves

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Guardian Unlimited | Arts features | Rhymes and reason

Benjamin Zephaniah was the subject of yesterday's Home Entertainment feature The Guardian, a weekly item that looks at what music celebrity guests like to listen to, what films they watch etc.:

On the day we meet him, Benjamin Zephaniah has just finished a spoken-word album called Naked, and that evening he will be adapting his novel, Gangsta Rap, into a musical...

NZ Author Tour

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Top New Zealand children�s writers get ready to rumble!

Some of New Zealand's favourite writers and illustrators for children are preparing to hit the road in a series of author tours visiting schools, libraries and bookshops in a national festival of reading and literature beginning on Monday 9 May 2005.

The fourteen touring writers and illustrators are finalists in the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults 2005. Their tours and events culminate in the New Zealand Post Book Awards ceremony at Parliament on Thursday 19 May, when the winners of the Awards will be announced.

Scottsdale girl makes 'top teen' list

"I would like to see myself as part of a movement, but there are a lot of young adults reading young adult books," she said. "I think it's a significant trend."

McWilliams wrote Doormat in the summer between her eighth- and ninth-grade years, when she was 14. Her mother, Jewell Parker Rhodes, thought the teen was reading good books behind her closed bedroom door, not writing one.

To celebrate the release of Angelina Ballerina?s How to be a Ballet Star published by Puffin Books to raise money for Red Nose Day 2005, 25 lucky children had the opportunity to meet Angelina Ballerina and world-famous ballet star Darcey Bussell, OBE, at Harrods yesterday.

Angelina Ballerina herself and Darcey Bussell joined the children for the first live performance of the official Angelina Red Nose Day Dance.

Angelina Ballerina?s How to be a Ballet Star costs ?2.00 with ?1.50 from each sale being donated to Comic Relief.

The Laureate Asks

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Times Online - Books

.... Writers and illustrators visit schools all the time, the books exist, various and brilliant enough for all ages and tastes, the publishers design them beautifully, there are dedicated librarians, teachers and booksellers working their socks off to engage children in reading and there are bold and imaginative initiatives such as World Book Day, the wonderful Book Start project and Storyquest. So why do we fail to engage so many children? Why do millions of them never become readers? ...

If I Were Boss

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Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Rumour has it: fans spread word on bestselling books

Asked to provide a book for the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, readers suggested If I was Boss by Kes Gray (25%)...

according to a World Book Day survey, which also found that word-of-mouth was the most significant factor in turning a book into a bestseller.

World Book Day (tomorrow)

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Six new stories by bestselling writers, including Roald Dahl, Garth Nix and Benedict Blathwayt, will be published for children of all ages on World Book Day, 3rd March 2005, priced at ?1.

Over 13 million school children will have received a ?1 World Book Day Book Token which can be exchanged for a World Book Day ?1 Book between Monday 28th Feb to Sunday 27th March or put towards any book or audio book costing ?1.99 or more.

The World Book Day ?1 Book Token is supported by National Book Tokens and funded by bookshops across the country

Each World Book Day ?1 Book is suitable for a different age range, which means that every child can enjoy at least one of the unique books being produced to celebrate the day. For the first time a ?1 board book has been specially produced for toddlers.

The six World Book Day ?1 Books are:

Joe Casey Interview

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Comic Book Resources - CBR News - The Comic Wire

A 'remixed, remastered, funkified' extended interview with Joe Casey, comic book author, who is working on a new US manga called Krash Bastards...

It's a little less "they're not buying" and a little more "they're not listening" if you follow me.

I guess I'm not sure who "they" are, in this instance. If you're talking about teenagers themselves, there's no use in proselytizing. When I talk about "speaking to" a teenage readership (again, whether they exist or not), I'm talking about trying to give them something that they don't outright reject, as they probably do with most modern superhero comic books these days. As far as that's concerned, I think the best you can do is hold up a mirror to their experience. Give them something that - on some level - is recognizable to them. At least, that's what we try to do with "The Intimates."


Teen Lit In Bulgaria

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Teenlit festival - Literature - Arts and culture - British Council Bulgaria

Nicola Morgan and David Lee Stone (check out the new Illmoor Chronicles website) will be speaking in ten days' time at a British Council conference in Bulgaria on the subject of Teen Literature

Red House Centre for Culture and Debate
15 Lyuben Karavelov Street
11 and 12 March

Guided by local writer Alex Popov and by our two guest authors from the UK, Nicola Morgan and David Lee Stone, teenagers themselves will be arguing the pros and cons of literature for their age group in Bulgaria and how teenage authors can make a name for themselves. The answers will be of interest to all those of us who are keen to increase the number of teenagers reading for pleasure in Bulgaria.

Corralling Creativity

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Sophie Masson argues that all the theory is killing English literature for school children. - On Line Opinion - 28/2/2005

Sophie Masson speaks her mind about the Australian 'English' curriculum...

The constant harping on ?values? - by which is meant values of patriarchy, or what have you - dulls and blunts kids' reactions to literature. Why in the name of God do they need to browbeat kids about what to think, and how to interpret a work of art? I've listened to my kids and their friends discuss books they've loved, with great fervour, intelligence and understanding. They simply detest all this corralling of creativity into ?values?, it's so damned Victorian: despite the fact the people who construct these things obviously think they are so daring and subversive. Damn it, don't they think it's them who are ?the dominant paradigm?? In my experience, the really bright kids who love literature simply mouth the stuff they have to in order to pass exams, and rebelliously, in their own minds, cleave to their own ideas. And they avoid English at university like the plague.

BBC NEWS | UK | How MI5 watched children's author

One of the UK's best known children's authors was watched by MI5 in the 1920s and 30s because it feared he was a traitor working for Moscow.

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