The tale will be published in September, which also marks the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth.
Veteran illustrator Quentin Blake, 83, known for his work on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s books, will bring the characters to life for the new story.
The illustrations for the other Potter books were drawn by the author herself. He said: ‘It seemed almost incredible when, early in 2015, I was sent the manuscript of a story by Beatrix Potter, one which had lain unpublished for a hundred years and which, with the exception of a single drawing, she had never illustrated.’
An important new prize is launched today: the Klaus Flugge Prize will be awarded to the most promising and exciting newcomer to children’s book illustration. It honours publisher Klaus Flugge, a supremely influential figure in picture books, who this year celebrates the 40th anniversary of his publishing house Andersen Press.
It will be the only prize specifically to recognise a published picture book by a debut illustrator. The winning illustrator will receive a cheque for £5,000.
The prize, to be run independently of Andersen Press, will be administered by Julia Eccleshare, Anne Marley and Andrea Reece, who also run the Branford Boase Award for debut authors.
The Klaus Flugge Prize will be open to all picture books illustrated by a debut or first time illustrator first published by a UK publisher during 2015. The panel of judges will be announced in February when submissions will open. The shortlist will be announced at the end of April and the winner will be revealed in September 2016.
Klaus Flugge was born in Hamburg in 1934, apprenticed to a bookshop and sent to Book Trade School in Leipzig. He emigrated to America at the age of 23 as an East German refugee who spoke only German and Russian. After a variety of jobs, and two years as an American GI, he was offered a job working as a Personal Assistant to Lew Schwartz, owner of Abelard-Schuman publishing in New York. After only a year and a half Schwartz suggested he go to Europe to build up the very small list they had there and came to London in 1961. He launched Andersen Press – named after Hans Christian Andersen – in the autumn of 1976.
In 1999, he became the first publisher to receive the Eleanor Farjeon Award for outstanding contribution to children’s books and in 2010 he became the first and so far only publisher to be awarded Honorary Membership of the Youth Libraries Group. In 2013 Klaus was made an honorary citizen of the City of Bologna in recognition of his commitment to children’s books abroad.
Andersen Press is one of the leading independent children’s publishers, publishing some of the biggest names in the world of children’s books including the much-loved picture book characters the Little Princess and Elmer the patchwork elephant. Andersen Press is the home of many award-winning authors and illustrators including Melvin Burgess, Rebecca Stead, Satoshi Kitamura, Tony Ross, David McKee, Chris Judge and Jeanne Willis. Andersen Press was founded in 1976 by Klaus Flugge.
Julia Eccleshare is the children’s books editor of The Guardian and a regular contributor to Radio 4’s Front Row and Open Book programmes. She is the children’s director of the Hay Festival and head of Public Lending Right policy and advocacy.
Anne Marley is co-director of Authors Aloud UK and was head of Children’s, Youth & Schools Services for Hampshire Library & Information Service for many years. She has served on many children’s book award panels, including the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Awards.
Andrea Reece is managing editor of Books for Keeps, editor for book recommendation site Lovereading4kids.co.uk, and director of the children’s and young people’s programme of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival.
Excellent profile of the P J Lynch in the Irish Times:
Lynch was never interested in writing. Publishers were happy to send on “texts presented as fait accompli”. It came as a surprise to him, then, that he should find himself embarking on an original book project that would take him eight years to complete at a time when he had never been busier with commissions.
The seeds of the book that would become The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland’s Good Fortune were sown when Lynch was invited to illustrate a story about colonial pilgrims in America. “I was very interested in the subject matter, but the version, in rhyming couplets, was too sweet. I thought relations between Indians and the colonisers couldn’t possibly be that good, and I turned it down.”
He was interested enough in the subject matter, however, to do his own research, and when he read about John Howland, a servant who fell off the Mayflower and survived, “I became obsessed with finding out more about him”.
Interesting panel discussion from Quill & Quire website on subject of Canadian picture books…
If you’ve noticed that Canadian children’s book authors and illustrators seem to be garnering a lot of attention lately, you’re not alone. International awards and recognition and a ton of buzz are becoming the norm for homegrown talent. It got us thinking: are we in a golden age of Canadian picture books? Q&Q asked a panel of kidlit experts, including librarians, authors, and reviewers, to weigh in.
MEET THE PANEL:
Sarah Sorensen is an historian, author, and librarian currently working at the Hamilton Public Library. She is also a frequent reviewer for Q&Q.
Judith Saltman is a professor at the School of Library, Archival & Information Studies at the University of British Columbia, where she teaches courses in children’s literature. She has written three books on Canadian kidlit and publishing.
Linda Ludke is a collections management librarian at the London Public Library who reviews children’s books for Q&Q and the National Reading Campaign.
Helen Kubiw is the blogger behind CanLit for LittleCanadians, a teacher-librarian, former chair of the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading, and current YA authors’ co-ordinator for the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival.
Sarah Ellis is a Vancouver author and former librarian. She has won numerous awards, including a Governor General’s Literary Award, Vicky Metcalf Award, Sheila A. Egoff Award, TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, and the B.C. Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence. Her latest children’s book is Ben Says Goodbye, illustrated by Kim La Fave (Pajama Press).
Kerry Clare is the editor of 49thShelf.com, and writes about books and reading on her personal blog, Pickle Me This. She also edited the anthology The M Word: Conversations about Motherhood (Goose Lane Editions).
Shannon Ozirny is the head of youth services at the West Vancouver Memorial Library and reviews regularly for Q&Q and The Globe and Mail. She has been a jury member for the B.C. Book Prize, and sat on committees for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids and the American Library Association’s Odyssey Award.
Click through for the discusssion via Kidlit spotlight: the golden age of Canadian picture books | Quill and Quire.
Superb full-length profile (by Gaby Wood) of illustrator Jim Kay.
Very highly recommended
Kay is the uncommonly gifted illustrator of A Monster Calls, the dark, award-winning children’s book written by Patrick Ness, and of an elaborate glossy pop-up book about bugs. More recently, he produced haunting monochrome drawings for a collection of stories about the First World War, and did some concept work for the television production of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Now that A Monster Calls is being turned into a film starring Liam Neeson, Kay is helping the film-makers, the monster being based very much on his own gigantic, creaking creation – one of the most spectacularly imagined nightmares in children’s literature. Still, no one was more surprised than Kay when JK Rowling’s publishers asked him to illustrate not one but all seven of the Harry Potter books, for glorious new large-scale editions, over the next seven years.“I’d not really drawn children,” he says quietly, as if still stunned. “And I’m not known for a cheerful style of illustration.” Then there was the fact that the Harry Potter films had already visualised that universe so fully – why do it again, he wondered. And, of course, there was the pressure. As Kay puts it: “You don’t want to be known as the person who ruins the most popular children’s book in history.”But after almost two years of work, seven days a week, Kay’s illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is a triumph – a book so alive it seems to jump, explode and slither out of your hands as you read. Rowling has given it her public seal of approval: “Seeing Jim Kay’s illustrations moved me profoundly,” she wrote for the dust jacket. “I love his interpretation of Harry Potter’s world, and I feel honoured and grateful he has lent his talent to it.” She also wrote to Kay privately. “She sent a really lovely letter, and that’s the first time it hit me that this was real,” he says. “Imagine you’re a vicar and you find a Post-it note from God on your fridge. It was like that.”
“I see a lot of children’s books where the eye level is set at an adult’s,” Kay explains. “Which I find odd, because children see the world from a lower perspective. It’s nice drawing giants because it reminds you of being a child again. The illustration of Hagrid is that perspective, looking up.”
Mr Dursley is based on the local butcher. Hermione is based on Kay’s niece. Harry was a boy he spotted swinging from the bars on the London Underground, and Kay had two stops to introduce himself to the boy’s mother and persuade him to pose for him – for a book whose subject he could not yet disclose. Draco Malfoy and Ron Weasley both came from a school in Burford, to which he’d been invited by a pupil who’d loved A Monster Calls.
Go to the full piece via Jim Kay: ‘I worried I’d ruin the most popular children’s book in history’.
Having attended the launch for Katherina Manolessou’s first picture book, Zoom Zoom Zoom, it was a pleasure to be invited to the launch of T-Veg, written by Smriti Prasadam-Halls, illustrated by Katherina and published by Frances Lincoln.
Katherina’s artwork from the book is being exhibited by the gallery and is on show until 20th September.
An unexpected pleasure at this launch was an appearance by one of my favourite comedians, Sally Phillips (of Smack The Pony fame), who performed a full reading from the book, after separate talks from Rachel Williams, the publisher, and then the author and illustrator.
The launch was really well attended and after the talks a long queue formed for signing the book, which was being sold at a specially reduced price of £10 for the event.
All photographs are by me, with the exception of the final captioned picture, which is by the fabulous publicist Nicky Potter
Talk to Brian Selznick about his work and he doesn’t describe himself as a writer or illustrator. He’s a book maker.
More than just semantics, the title speaks to the craftsmanship behind the 49-year-old La Jolla author’s unique illustrated children’s novels. His newest, “The Marvels,” comes out Tuesday.
It joins “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” and “Wonderstruck” in what Selznick views as a “loose trilogy” – loose because none of the characters or storylines overlap, but all three are experiments in storytelling and all three concern themselves with questions of family.
“Hugo” came first, in 2007, and it was a genre-buster, upending notions of what a children’s picture book could be. Standard fare for decades was text complemented by pictures across 32 pages; his book was 533 pages, and for much of it the pictures were the story: wordless close-ups and action sequences, like watching a silent movie on paper.
Dazzling in its imagination and execution, the book was a New York Times best-seller, won the Caldecott Medal (the top prize in American picture books), and was made into an Oscar-winning film, “Hugo,” by Martin Scorsese.
“Wonderstruck” (2011) took it further, weaving back and forth between two independent stories set 50 years apart – one told in Selznick’s distinctive black-and-white pencil drawings, the other in prose – and then merging them. It, too, was a best-seller and is in Hollywood’s pipeline.
Now comes “The Marvels,” another leap of literary ambition that has received strong early critical acclaim in the trade press, with starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist and School Library Journal.
It opens with a shipwreck in 1776, the story unfolding across 400 uninterrupted pages of pictures. It then shifts to 1990 and a tale that’s told in 200 pages of prose. The final 50 pages are drawings.
Artist Ingela Hallberg has been reimagining Tove Jansson’s beloved children’s books, with a series of artworks called The Moomin Project. And the results are pretty striking.
To celebrate [Fred]Marcellino’s career, as well as the 25th anniversary of the publication of “Puss in Boots,” the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst is hosting the exhibit “A Renaissance Man: The Art of Fred Marcellino,” which runs through Oct. 25. It features over 90 of his works — from collegiate paintings and drawings, to album and book covers he designed, to the art and text of his children’s books.
Ellen Keiter, the Carle’s chief curator, said Marcellino was “really a scholar” who would spend months researching his children’s book topics, including visiting the European locales where a number of them, such as “Puss in Boots,” are set.
Marcellino was also a book jacket designer. Some of his most famous covers include Birdy by William Wharton, Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The White Hotel by D. M. Thomas, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and The Accidental Tourist by Ann Tyler.
ACHUKA was privileged to be invited to Book Trust’s presentation of the first Lifetime Achievement to Shirley Hughes yesterday, at the Orangery in Holland Park.
Michael Morpurgo agave an introductory speech (written in the mistaken assurance that Shirley would be wearing a hat, as she generally does to literary parties) which had just the right mix of humour and veneration. There were lots of ‘great & good’ people in attendance, including the new Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell. It was a particular pleasure for me to see Clare Hall-Craggs acting as Shirley’s chaperone as well as meeting up with, for the first time in years, Ted Dewan, both longtime ACHUKA friends. After the formalities, a local Y2 class were treated to a special live drawing session in an outside marquee. Shirley drew Alfie running and two illustrations based on comical rhymes, all undertaken in a charming non-performance-like way, so that it was as if we were watching her draw in a home setting. I wish my three grownup children and both grandchildren, all of whom have loved her books, could have been there.
The cupcakes featuring Shirley Hughes book jackets (pictured below) were made for the occasion by Bluebell Kitchen.