March 2006 Archives

Tucker's Teenage Tips

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Independent Online Edition > Reviews

Nick Tucker, in his selection of recent teeenage fiction, welcomes a new imprint, Marion Lloyd Books:

A new imprint should always try to get off to a good start, and this certainly is the case with Ally Kennen's Beast (Marion Lloyd Books).

PN Bologna Report

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Publishing News - News Page

Graham Marks reports from Bologna:

While US and UK publishers are working in harmony everywhere you look, there is an element of disbelief from across the Atlantic at our retail trade�s discount policy... ...

Book Of The Year

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J. K. Rowling's ``Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,'' won the WHSmith Book of the Year prize at the 17th annual British Book Awards.

The awards will be broadcast on Saturday on Channel 4.


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in an age when visual literacy exercises an increased dominance � whether through computers and the internet, the television, cinema etc � it can surely only be a matter of time before proponents of the graphic novel exert influence to ensure works such as �A.L.I.E.E.E.N.� assume their rightful place within mainstream literary discourse. JAKE HOPE

Read Jake's review in full, together with other recently-posted reviews by him, on ACHUKAREVIEWS.

New Canadian Prize

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CBC Arts: Canada gets new children's book prize

The former CEO of TD Bank Financial Group is launching a new $10,000 children's book award.

Marilyn and Charles Baillie have announced a new children's literature prize for Canada. (Photo courtesy Art Gallery of Ontario)
Charles Baillie announced Tuesday that he's funding the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award to be given out each year, beginning in November.

Peter Pan Illustrator

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the Special Trustees of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and Oxford University Press announce:

It is with immense pleasure that [we] can reveal that the illustrator of Geraldine McCaughrean's Peter Pan in Scarlet, the official sequel to JM Barrie's Peter Pan, will be the globally renowned artist Brian Froud. The announcement is made today at the 2006 Bologna Children's Book Fair, the world's leading event in children's book publishing.

From the time Great Ormond Street Hospital first announced the commissioning of the official sequel in August 2004 it was clear that finding an appropriate illustrator was not going to be easy. Whoever was chosen would be following in the footsteps of Arthur Rackham, one of the greatest, most celebrated illustrators of all time. It is entirely fitting that Brain Froud has been selected to be the illustrator of Peter Pan in Scarlet. Not only is he internationally regarded as a visionary artist and as a world authority on faeries and faery folklore, but he also cites Rackham as one of his chief creative influences and inspirations.

Brian's lifetime fascination with the world of faery has provided the foundation of his diverse and highly original creative life. He is the author of the best-selling books Faeries (with Tolkien illustrator Alan Lee) and Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book (with Terry Jones) and was the conceptual designer of Jim Henson's classic fantasy films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.

Born in Winchester in 1947, Brian Froud graduated with Honours from Maidstone College of Art in 1971 with a degree in Graphic Design. �Following graduation Brian moved to London where he worked on projects in advertising and publishing, and began illustrating books.

For over 30 years, Brian Froud's significant accomplishments have spanned a wide variety of media and a diverse range of applications. His internationally best-selling book, Faeries (with Tolkien illustrator Alan Lee) is considered a modern classic. With over 5 million books sold to date, Brian has continued to revolutionise the concept of "faery" in his hugely successful titles, Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book (with Monty Python's Terry Jones), Good Faeries/Bad Faeries and The Faeries' Oracle. Recent works include Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Letters and the 20th Anniversary Edition of The World of the Dark Crystal.

Brian's landmark work with Jim Henson as conceptual designer on feature films The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and other Henson projects set new standards for design, puppeteering and animatronics in film and are considered landmarks in the evolution of modern day special effects. It was on the set of The Dark Crystal that Brian met and later married, Wendy Midener, a puppet designer and creator of "Yoda" (from The Empire Strikes Back).

Brian's work has been licensed by numerous companies around the world including Hot Topic, Sideshow Collectibles, C&D Visionary, Treefree Greetings, Chateau Lorane Winery, and Fenton & Lee Chocolates. Since 2002, the annually produced Faerieworlds Festival - an art, music and theatre experience inspired by Brian's work - has regularly attracted over 5000 attendees. He is currently beginning the initial concept designs for a sequel to The Dark Crystal and will soon start working with a major Hollywood studio to produce a live action/CGI feature film based on his book, Goblins!. Brian is also scheduled to supply faery themed designs for a water-themed theatrical production and retail area in Las Vegas.

Brian has won numerous awards, including the ASFA Best Interior Illustration and the Hugo Award for Best Original Artwork in 1995. Through his unique style - utilizing acrylics, coloured pencil, pastels and ink - he has created some of the most well known fantasy images of the 21st Century. His work has been featured in exhibitions throughout the world and his paintings reside in many private and public collections. He lives in Devon, England with his wife, internationally acclaimed doll maker, Wendy Froud, and their son, Toby.

The Official website of Brian & Wendy Froud is:

[biographical details from Press Release]

Hans Christian Andersen Award 2006

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Margaret Mahy �
winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Author Award 2006

In awarding the 2006 Hans Christian Andersen Medal for Writing to Margaret Mahy, the jury of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) has recognized one of the world�s most original re-inventers of language. Mahy�s language is rich in poetic imagery, magic, and supernatural elements. Her oeuvre provides a vast, numinous, but intensely personal metaphorical arena for the expression and experience of childhood and adolescence. Equally important, however, are her rhymes and poems for children. Mahy�s works are known to children and young adults all over the world. The award will be presented a the opening ceremony of IBBY�s Congress in Beijing, China, on 20 September 2006.

Manchester Book Award

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After eight months, hundreds of votes and hours of passionate debate in reading groups across the city, the first Manchester Book Award has been won by Jeremy Strong's teen novel Stuff.

The award's ceremony took place last Thursday (23rd)with an audience of over 300 people at the City of Manchester Stadium and Jeremy was presented with the award by fellow children's author Melvin Burgess.

Accepting his award, Jeremy Strong admitted to being bowled over. "I'm gobsmackingly amazed and terribly chuffed to have been shortlisted - and flabbergasted to have won. Manchester, you have the most wonderful taste!"

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

translated by John Nieuwenh

Quirky, touching, magical and blackly humorous, this most unusual book will reward readers of all ages. NICOLETTE JONES

Sleek And Streamlined

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Bring out your dead

It's all in the words. And Leslie Wilson likes the way Ann Turnbull uses them in Forged In The Fire:

Throughout, the quality of Turnbull's writing gives the maximum impetus to the story. It has utter, unaffected simplicity and enormous power. Take this passage: "A hooded figure went by carrying a white staff, and I saw how the mass of people parted around this person, like water around an island, and none came near. An apothecary, I supposed, or a searcher, some such that dealt with plague sufferers. I shivered." Sleek and streamlined, the words deliver their menace straight to the reader's imagination.

The research, clearly meticulous, never laborious, is part of the muscle and sinew of the narrative. This is a superb book, one to love, read and re-read till the pages fall apart.

Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Press gang

Philip Ardagh reviews Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton

Skelton's is the kind of writing in which everything has to be described. A person doesn't just think when staring into a glass of water. She blends her thoughts in its vortex of reflections. Someone doesn't just quiver with excitement. The quiver is described as being "a bit like a slide whistle of pleasure". If you enjoy descriptive writing, then this is the book for you. I personally hankered after a bald statement and a simple "he said/she said" once in a while.... ...


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Books - reviews and literary news from The Times and The Sunday Times

Amanda Craig recommends both Evil Star by Anthony Horowitz and Jimmy Coates: Target by Joe Craig:

Horowitz is an absolute master of narrative suspense, knowing just how to balance his imagination between horror and satire, cruelty and kindness.


For younger boys, there is a further treat in the shape of Joe Craig�s Jimmy Coates series, which is basically The Bourne Identity for kids.

Lotte Klaver #56

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Lotte's sketchbook

One of Lotte's latest:

Lotte Klaver is a young Dutch illustrator. ACHUKA is continuing to feature her work because we are convinced she has a bright future as an illustrator generally, and as an illustrator of children's books in particular.

Monstrously Enormous Advance

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Ahmet Zappa, Hollywood based youngest son of late rock legend Frank Zappa, has signed a major three book deal with Puffin Books.

The first, The Monstrous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless, will be published in the UK by Puffin in August 2006 with a simultaneous release in the US by Random House.

Legendary talent spotter, literary agent Darley Anderson, whose bestselling clients include Martina Cole, Lee Child, Lesley Pearse, John Connolly, Constance Briscoe and children�s author Cathy Cassidy conducted a fiercely contested auction which finally ended with Puffin Fiction Publisher, Sarah Hughes, securing UK and Commonwealth rights.

Darley Anderson said: �As soon as I read the ms of The Monstrous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless I realized it was very special and very commercial, which is why I turned down a �150,000 pre-emptive bid offer and went to auction. The auction went on for weeks and was one of the most fiercely contested I�ve ever conducted. Finally Puffin just edged it over the underbidder HarperCollins.

�The advance is monstrously enormous by any standard but it will sell by the truckload.

�Ahmet has a wild and wonderful imagination and as Disney recognized, his monsters will prove irresistibly appealing and highly merchandisable. Kids and adults alike will love it.�

Sarah Hughes says: �When I read The Monstrous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless I got that gut reaction that told me I was reading something that had the power to reach vast numbers of children. It has such direct child appeal, it�s the kind of book that turns non-readers in to readers. This kind of distinctive talent doesn�t come along every day. We are thrilled to welcome Ahmet to Puffin.�

Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films have already paid $1.5 million for the film rights to The Monstrous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless. Disney and Bruckheimer won a bidding war against Warner Bros� David Heyman and Paramount�s Plan B that began just days after Zappa finished the manuscript. Ahmet�s US agent Helen Breitweiser brokered this deal as well as the US sale to Random House.

New Author For Random

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Random House Children�s Books has announced the acquisition of a fantasy adventure series from author Philip Caveney. Sebastian Darke: Prince of Fools will be the first of three novels acquired by Charlie Sheppard at RHCB. Caveney is a copywriter currently living in Manchester.

The author�s d�but work for children is pitched squarely at the 9+ market. Featuring the eponymous hero (a would-be jester desperate to make money, let alone make people laugh); a shaggy, sarcastic �buffalope� called Max who can talk (and does, at great length); and Cornelius, an unlikely warrior in constant search of adventure, it's described by the publisher as "a fast, funny story that will grip readers from the very first page. Fans of Shrek, Terry Pratchett and The Princess Bride will not be disappointed!"

Charlie Sheppard, Editorial Director at RHCB comments �I am hugely excited about this find. Sebastian Darke has everything I look for in a classic children�s book: humour, excitement and a touch of pathos that will speak to generations of children. As I read the manuscript I felt like a ten year old again discovering a lifetime�s favourite book. I can�t wait to get kids reading this book and I�m so thrilled that we�re going to be publishing it.�

The deal is for World Rights, all languages.

Sebastian Darke: Prince of Fools will be published by The Bodley Head hardback in early Spring 2007 to be supported by a "massive publicity and marketing campaign".


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The Welsh Books Council has announced the titles on the short list of the prestigious Tir na n-Og Awards 2006 which recognise the exceptional quality and range of books for children and teenagers.

The Awards are presented annually by the Books Council to acknowledge the work of authors and illustrators of children�s books in three categories: the best English-language title, the best Welsh-language book for the primary sector and the best Welsh-language books for the secondary sector.
Two of the awards are sponsored by CILIP Wales.

�It is a great honour for these authors and publishers to have their books on the short list,� said Menna Lloyd Williams, Head of the Books Council�s Children�s Books Department, �as the awards reflect the best of children�s books from Wales.�

The winners of the Awards will be announced later in April.

The following titles have been nominated for this year�s short list:

Best English-language Title

Framed, Frank Cottrell Boyce (Macmillan)
Tirion�s Secret Journal, Jenny Sullivan (Pont Books)
The Wish House, Celia Rees (Picador)

Best Welsh-language Primary Title

Carreg Ateb, Emily Huws (Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion)
Ffion a�r T�m Rygbi, Elin Meek (Gwasg Gomer)
Stori Cyn Cysgu, gol. Gordon Jones (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch)

Best Welsh-language Secondary Title

Creadyn, Gwion Hallam (Gwasg Gomer)
Yr Oesoedd Canol Cythryblus, Catrin Stevens (Gwasg Gomer)
St@fell, Meleri Wyn James (Gwasg Gomer)

Bisto SHortlist

| No Comments Entertainment - Bisto Book of the Year nominees announced

Bisto Book of the Year nominees announced

The shortlist for the 16th Bisto Book of the Year Awards has been announced, with 10 authors in the running for the prestigious award for children's books in Ireland.
The nominees include Eoin Colfer for 'Artemis Fowl and the Opal Deception', Oliver Jeffers for 'Lost and Found', Kevin Kiely for 'A Horse Called El Dorado', Gillian Lobel for 'Fancy That!' and Deirdre Madden for 'Snakes' Elbows'.
Also on the shortlist are Oisin McGann for 'Under Fragile Stone', Dairnine Ni Dhhonnchu for 'Briona ag Briongloidach', Eileen O'Hely for 'Penny The Pencil', John Quinn for 'Bill and Fred?' and Kate Thompson for 'The New Policeman'.

The winner will be announced May 31st.

Evil Star Launch

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Anthony Horowitz, speaking at the launch of
Evil Star (held at the Residence of the Ambassador of Peru), revealed
some startling news about the next title in The Power
of Five.

The first soundfile (with dimly lit movie image) is the
author's opening address in Spanish.

Find out why Horwoitz is so excited about the book he is currently

AH getting his tongue round those Spanish words...



Who is paying for whom on the bus home? Click for larger image
to help identify...

John R. Gardiner Obit

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Children's Author John R. Gardiner

John R. Gardiner Obit - Washington Post

Shocked By Controversy

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Deborah Ellis said that when she heard people were concerned that her book, Three Wishes, was promoting suicide bombings, she was beyond shocked -- she was upset. "God, the whole notion that I would encourage children to do this to themselves is incredibly offensive," the award-winning writer of children's books and long-time peace activist from Simcoe, Ont., told The Globe and Mail in a telephone interview from her Shelbyville hotel room... ...

Five Gold Chicks

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Philip Reeve gets five gold chicks from ACHUKA reviewer, Mi Lin Li, for the conlcuding volume of the Mortal Engines series.

Baldy & The Tddy Bear

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'The Edge': Two British dads create fantasy worlds for young minds

Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell - on tour in the US:

Riddell, 43, is the ebullient one -- a soft teddy bear with the piercing wit of a political cartoonist, which happens to be his day job. Riddell is on staff at the Observer, London's oldest Sunday newspaper, and his work also appears in the New Statesman magazine. He has three kids, ages 9 to 16... Stewart, 50, a veteran author, is the rugged-looking guy with the shiny dome. "Baldy" is the affectionate nickname bestowed on him by Riddell's young son, Jack... ...

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

While You Are Sleeping by Alexis Deacon

On lovely, sand-coloured cartridge paper, shadowy drawings of breathtaking dexterity, in smudgy, brown line and glowing oil pastel, express more than usual tenderness, particularly in the depiction of a sleeping child � in one touching instance cradled by bedtime toys in the attitude of a pieta... ... NICOLETTE JONES

Lotte Klaver #55

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Lotte's sketchbook

One of Lotte's latest:

Lotte Klaver is a young Dutch illustrator. ACHUKA is continuing to feature her work because we are convinced she has a bright future as an illustrator generally, and as an illustrator of children's books in particular.

Long Bok Falling Short

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Blame it on man

The Garden by Elsie V. Adinoff reviewed by Diane Samuels in The Guardian:

As a work of fiction this is at times intriguing, absorbing and touching, at times sketchy and heavy handed. Some readers - mostly girls and young women, I suspect - will enjoy Eve's journey of maturation. Others will see it only in the shadow of the Biblical original, finding that it falls massively short philosophically and theologically.

Dragon Fare

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Books - reviews and literary news from The Times and The Sunday Times

Amanda Craig reviews two books about dragons:

Dragon Keeper by Carole Wilkinson - "the most captivating children�s book I�ve seen so far this year"


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Fyte by Angie Sage - "her lavatorial jokes and details about spells and enchantments are just the kind of thing younger fans of Harry Potter will enjoy.

She needs more editing and the pencil illustrations at the start of each chapter are just a bit too cute (and repetitive). On the other hand, the baby dragon, when we finally get to him, is an absolute winner."

Naomi Wolf

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Questions for Naomi Wolf - Young Adult Fiction - The New York Times Book Review - New York Times

Naomi Wolf responds to questions (not from ACHUKA readers who have been strangely, if familiarly, eticent about responding) about her essay in The New York Times Book Review (blogged below) about a controversial genre of novels aimed at teenage girls.

Highly Recommended

Stone Fox Author Dead

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The Hindu News Update Service

John Reynolds Gardiner, who wrote the best-selling children's book 'Stone Fox' has died. He was 61.
Gardiner died at a hospital March 4 of complications from pancreatitis, according to his wife, Gloria.

Deakin Newslatter

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Deakin Newsletter March 2006

Andrea Deakin's highly recommended monthly online newsletter...

Astrid Lindgren Winner

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BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Huge prize for US author Paterson

US author Katherine Paterson has been named winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, which honours the best in children's writing.

The award is to be presented by Crown Princess Victoria at a ceremony in Stockholm on 31 May.

Publisher Website

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HarperCollins Launches Children's Book Website for Parents, Kids, Librarians

HarperCollins Launches Children's Book Website for Parents, Kids, Librarians
March 14, 2006
By Kimberly Maul

HarperCollins Children�s Books [US] today announced the launch of a new website, aimed at kids, parents, teachers and librarians, which is the �cornerstone of our future marketing efforts,� said Diane Naughton, vice president of marketing for HarperCollins Children�s Books...

Lotte Klaver #54

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Lotte's sketchbook

One of Lotte's latest:

Lotte Klaver is a young Dutch illustrator. ACHUKA is continuing to feature her work because we are convinced she has a bright future as an illustrator generally, and as an illustrator of children's books in particular.

Forever Young

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The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival, Times Online, Books

Secrets for staying young - by Shirley Hughes


If you are in the business of inventing fictional characters in children�s books, the graphic image, in many cases, is as important as the words. In stories that young readers have loyally taken to their hearts these characters stay around for years, even generations. Most of them remain perennially the same age.

Shan Feature

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Telegraph | Arts | Who scares wins

Telegraph feature on Darren Shan

Horror is the hottest genre in children's fiction, and Darren Shan's guesome stories sell by the millions. James Delingpole plucks up the courage to meet him...


Dedication For Sale

| No Comments Shoo Rayner-Famous Author-will dedicate a new book 2 U! (item 8045696130 end time 16-Mar-06 21:05:53 GMT)

The ever-inventive author-illustrator Shoo Rayner is inviting people to think early for Christmas, and giving them the opportunity to present someone with a book personally dedicated to them.

Rayner is just about to start work on the artwork for a series about a boy whose family are the only humans on the planet Hammerhead. All his school friends are aliens, so there's lots of scope for misunderstanding and inter-species faux pas!

The dedication is up fro grabs on eBay. Rayner wirtes: "This is your chance to get a book dedicated to yourself or someone else. Could this be the perfect Christmas present? The book is scheduled to come out later this year."

ST Book Of The Week

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The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival, Times Online, Books

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

A Darkling Plain by Philip Reeve

Save 50% !

this phenomenal work, which embraces continents and millennia, is violent and romantic, action-packed and contemplative, funny and frightening NICOLETTE JONES

Packaged Corruption

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Young Adult Fiction: Wild Things - New York Times

Naomi Wolf weighs in with a lengthy New York Times critique of three series aimed at young teenage girls:

Gossip Girl, A-LIst and Clique

while the tacky sex scenes in them are annoying, they aren't really the problem. The problem is a value system in which meanness rules, parents check out, conformity is everything and stressed-out adult values are presumed to be meaningful to teenagers. The books have a kitsch quality � they package corruption with a cute overlay.
The great reads of adolescence have classically been critiques of the corrupt or banal adult world. It's sad if the point of reading for many girls now is no longer to take the adult world apart but to squeeze into it all the more compliantly. Sex and shopping take their places on a barren stage, as though, even for teenagers, these are the only dramas left.

Highly Recommended

please comment - here or on ACHUKACHAT

Lacking Grip

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Books - reviews and literary news from The Times and The Sunday Times

Amanda Craig finds Susan Cooper's latest novel, Victory, lacks grip:

Victory, though meticulously researched and written with economy and sympathy, covers remarkably similar territory to Paul Dowswell�s Powder Monkey, while failing to be an equally gripping read

Benjamin Zephaniah mp3

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Guardian Unlimited Arts | Film & Music | We're jammin': Benjamin Zephaniah

We're jammin': Benjamin Zephaniah

'I get rhythms from kung fu, boxing ... even car indicators'

Guardian feature about Benjamin Zephaniah, with link to mp3 file...

The Giver Movie

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Entertainment News Article |

Vadim Perelman, who made his directorial debut with the critically acclaimed adaptation of "House of Sand and Fog," has signed on to turn the award-winning children's book "The Giver" into a feature...

John Fardell Feature

| No Comments News - Features - Drawing up a world of fun and adventure

[Fardell's] debut novel, The 7 Professors of the Far North, followed the adventures of 11-year-old Sam Carnegie as he arrives in Edinburgh for a holiday with Professor Ampersand and his great-niece and nephew and ends up on the ride of his life. Published two years ago by Faber & Faber, it sold more than 32,000 in the UK (a debut paperback is said to be doing well if it hits 6000) and 13,000 in the US thanks to its mix of inventions, secrets and eccentric geniuses...

SHowgirl Princess

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Guardian Unlimited Arts | Arts news | I should be so literary...

Kylie Minogue follows in Madonna's footsteps as children's author

Lotte Klaver #53

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Lotte's sketchbook

One of Lotte's latest:

Lotte Klaver is a young Dutch illustrator. ACHUKA is continuing to feature her work because we are convinced she has a bright future as an illustrator generally, and as an illustrator of children's books in particular.


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Macaulay Culkin on Fame, Michael Jackson, and His First Novel Junior - New York Magazine

Feature about Macaulay Culkin and his young adulty novel, Junior:

,blockquote>When I heard that Culkin was now a novelist, I rolled my eyes along with everyone else, a reaction I had to suppress repeating when he prefaced our chat by announcing, �The funny thing is, I�m not really a big reader, not a big fan of books in the first place.� But Junior turns out to be oddly, unwittingly . . . compelling. A postmodern mishmash filled with drawings, epistolary fragments, personal manifestos, and public diatribes, the book is best appreciated as a piece of conceptual art rather than a legitimate novel...

New Seuss

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Dr. Seuss calling

Inteview with Scott Nash, illustrator who has worked on a new Seuss edition:

Scott Nash calls it the "dream call." Nash, 46, is a children's book author who grew up on the books of Dr. Seuss, including many of the ones he did for Random House's "Bright and Early Books for Beginning Beginners." So Nash was thrilled when Random House called him and said they were reissuing some of the Seuss books in that series, and they wanted him to do new illustrations for one.

In Utopia With MMM

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Visions of a little girl's utopia - Education News -

Feature about the author of the Milly Molly Mandy stories

If I say that Joyce Lankester Brisley is the author of a series of children's books that have never been out of print since the first book was published in 1928 and have been translated into many languages, most readers will be puzzled. "Who is she? Never heard of her." That's because over time, Brisley has been paid perhaps the greatest compliment for a writer; she has become invisible, if not as anonymous as the unknown individuals who first narrated the stories of Cinderella and The Three Bears. Her books live on, though their author died in 1978 and her name is rarely recognised.

The Milly-Molly-Mandy books began almost by accident...

More On Mr And Mrs Smith

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Author goes to lawyers on spy movie - 06 Mar 2006 - TV, music & film

The New Zealand author of The Secret Life of Mr and Mrs Smith will send his book to intellectual copyright law experts to determine if he has a case against the makers of the US blockbuster Mr and Mrs Smith...

The Jakarta Post - 'Parents just let their children watch TV'

Children in Indonesia are not acquiring the reading habit because books are too expensive and parents are too busyto read to them, according to this brief article:

Much to the consternation of observers, few children here seem to spend much time reading. These same observers like to blame parents for failing to instill the reading habit in their children at an early age by providing them books or reading to them. Parents respond by saying there is a lack of quality children's books here, and books that are good are simply too pricey. The Jakarta Post spoke to residents about the issue....

Missed World Book Day Feature

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Ad? Geras talks about her experience of writing for children from Guardian Unlimited: Culture Vulture

Here's a link to an mp3 download of a talk given by Adele Geras at a Guardian World Book Day event...

one of the high points of the day was a talk from acclaimed children's author Ad? Geras (whose latest novel, Ithaka, is longlisted for this year's Carnegie Medal) on her own experience of writing for children. Click here to listen to her fascinating - and extremely entertaining - talk on your computer (MP3; 18), or paste into the Podcasts bit of iTunes or your RSS reader, to subscribe to the Culture Vulture feed and receive all the Vulture's podcasts as they become available.

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

Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett

There are only five words in this picturebook, and four of them are in the title. And yet it is illuminating, funny, has narrative and a clear ending and employs rhyme and rhythm.

Call For Google Boycott

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Google's literary land-grab

Bloomsbury Publisher Nigel Newton calls for a boycott of the Google search engine in protest at its plans to scan books

I call upon internet users worldwide to boycott the Google search engine until it ceases to scan books in America without prior permission, and desists from its mission to place ambient advertising on the great literary works. Switch your search engine from Google to MSN or Yahoo today, until you hear Google has withdrawn from the type of activities that have been described in another context as acts of "kleptomania".... ....

ACHUKA will continue to link to the Google search engine for the time being.

Captivatingly Sinister

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Books - reviews and literary news from The Times and The Sunday Times

Amanda Craig thinks highly of Sarah Singleton's sixteenth-century-set second novel, Heretic:

Singleton�s rich, painterly description is one of the great pleasures of the novel, as is her portrait of a seductive, perilous land in which �time could be shaped and created, bound up, hastened or slowed� and where the immortals re-enact the same stories, which come down to us as fairytales. The clash between the mundane and magical has rarely been rendered so captivatingly sinister.

Lotte Klaver #52

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Lotte's sketchbook

One of Lotte's latest:

Lotte Klaver is a young Dutch illustrator. ACHUKA is continuing to feature her work because we are convinced she has a bright future as an illustrator generally, and as an illustrator of children's books in particular.

South Bank Show

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Don't miss the South Bank Show this Sunday. It will profile Children's Laureate, Jacqueline Wilson:

Publicity notes for the programme:

Jacqueline Wilson is one of Britain�s most popular children�s authors and the current Children�s Laureate. She has sold millions of books � over 20 million in the UK alone � and is currently the most borrowed author from British libraries. In one of her early books, Nobody�s Perfect, the teenage protagonist dreams of becoming a famous writer and being interviewed by Melvynn Bragg. This South Bank Show is the first serious documentary about her. Melvyn talks to Jacqueline Wilson about her upbringing in Kingston, her early ambitions to be a writer and her catalogue of work. It wasn�t until she was almost 50 that she devised her most famous creation, Tracy Beaker � a feisty, streetwise girl in a children�s home. This book was a breakthrough for her and its subsequent television adaptation introduced her to a mass audience. She has since carved out a unique position in children�s writing with her stories about real-life situations: families experiencing divorce, mental illness and bullying. Her popularity continues to increase and she now conducts legendary book signings, lasting up to nine hours. The South Bank Show explores why Jacqueline is such a popular author by talking to her fans. Her young readers recognize aspects of themselves in her characters - their fears, their dreams and the difficulties of being a child and facing the problems of growing up. They look upon Jacqueline Wilson as a friend who understands them. Despite her busy schedule, she replies to each child who writes a letter to her, and has been writing to some of them for many years. Jacqueline returns to her old school, Coombe Girls, to talk to the girls about her time there and what it�s like to be a young teenager today. She also visits Hay-on-Wye to indulge in her life-long passion of book collecting. She currently has over 15,000 books. Jacqueline is almost as well known for her extravagant rings which fascinate her fans. The South Bank Show talks to the jeweller who makes all her rings, as well as her illustrator Nick Sharratt, Julia Eccelshare, The Guardian�s children�s book editor, and the child psychologist Nicholas Tucker.

Irish Award For Kate Thompson

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The paperback edition is out next month

Kate Thompson's The New Policeman, which earlier this year took the Whitbread Children's Book Award, won the Dublin Airport Authority Irish Children's Book of the Year...

Debut Author Profile

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The Alien Online - Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror News, Reviews, Articles and more...

Profile of Hand Of The Devil author, Dean Vincent Carter, with link to his website.


Today Is World Book Day

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World Book Day 2006 Home Page

Today is World Book Day - enjoy!

Lotte Klaver #51

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Lotte's sketchbook

One of Lotte's latest:

Lotte Klaver is a young Dutch illustrator. ACHUKA is continuing to feature her work because we are convinced she has a bright future as an illustrator generally, and as an illustrator of children's books in particular.

Another Plagiarism Claim

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Mr & Mrs Smith my idea: author - Film - Entertainment -

A New Zealand author wants to sue the makers of the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie movie Mr and Mrs Smith for stealing the story idea from his children's book. Children's author Gavin Bishop said the film's plot was very similar to a book he wrote for schools in 1997 titled The Secret Lives of Mr and Mrs Smith...

Bedtyime Book Or Bedtime DVD?

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Telegraph | News | Third of children are never read a book at bedtime

More than 20 years after children lost Listen With Mother, new research suggests that the end may also be in sight for reading with her. One in three parents do not read to their children before tucking them up each night, and one in 10 admits that they never read a bedtime story, according to a study released yesterday....

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