Archive for the ‘events’ Category

Last week the CILIP awards for the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals were announced. The winner for the Carnegie Medal is Patrick Ness for ‘Monsters of Men’. The award recognises an author for their oustanding contribution to children’s literature whether this be through style, theme or subject.

Patrick Ness won the award for

“An outstanding novel, involving huge ideas about life, death and love that really challenges the reader to think about big questions. The split narrative works extremely well, the style is highly distinctive, and the main characters are beautifully drawn.”

Patrick Ness is an outstanding author and many children, teenager and adults look to his books as quality reads, addressing big themes in fantastic ways. His craft of writing is incredible and he has a great understanding and association with his characters. His new book, ‘A Monster Calls’ has just been published.

And very well done to Patrick Ness for openly and enthusiastically supporting the importance of our libraries.

The Kate Greenaway medal was awarded to FArTHER illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith:

“This is a clever picture book with a dream-like quality. It is beautifully designed with a wealth of detail, conveying dark emotions, storms of war and weather, and a powerful sense of loss and bereavement.”

Like many previous winner, this years winner deals with emotion in a significant way. These picture books often deal with loss and death in a most hauntingly beautiful way and that’s a rare talent. FArTHER is also a magical tale, full of wonder and that element of surprise. A lovely book. A shame though, that the paperback is not available until next spring!

Do take a look at the CILIP website for information on current and previous winners and the history of the medals.


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Little Miss Princess

The Royal Wedding is but a few days away and the fever has been building for months. As soon as Kate and William announced their engagement, publishers were quick to announce their royal publications with children’s titles not far behind. My children’s section is chock full of fun and informative books on the big day and the happy couple and I want to share the best of them. In the first of three posts, there books are for very young readers…

Little Miss Princess

A new Mr Men or Little Miss story is always something to be celebrated, especially when you can also get a colouring book edition!

Little Miss Princess lives the life every girl dreams off; with beautiful dresses, lots of servants and a beautiful castle to live in, she has it all. She’s also very kind and caring and does good things for people so when Mr Bump has a little accident (what a surprise) she’s there to help him. But can Little Miss Princess help Mr Bump withouth her servants at the ready?

Little Miss Princess is published by Egmont Books 9781405257039 £2.50 www.egmont.co.uk

Little Miss Princess and the Very Special Wedding Colouring Books is published by Egmont Books 9781405259965 £3.99. The Princess has been invited to the Royal Wedding but needs to find a way to get there. Features pages for colouring, a feature on weddings and two pages of fun stickers. Perfect for little bridesmaids to be…or Princesses in the waiting!

Sticker Dolly Dressing Weddings

The Usborne Sticker Dolly Dressing series is so popular and such fun, even for adults (yes, I’ve had a go). This wonderful activity book is great for getting the young children involved in family or street celebrations of the wedding. Packed with over 350 stickers, this will keep them going for hours. There are some beautiful wedding dress outfits just waiting to be created!

Sticker Dolly Dressing Weddings is published by Usborne, 9781409535379 £5.99 www.usborne.com

Perfectly Pretty Royal Wedding Activity Book

This activity book, published by Scholastic is a great all-rounder and lets the kids be involved in all aspects of the wedding from outfits to arranging the beautiful flowers. But my favourite bit has to be decorating the all important cake- shame we don’t get to eat it. I also like the fact that real-life photographs are use as well as illustrations – it brings it all to life and helps to visualise the event.

Perfectly Pretty Royal Wedding is published by Scholastic, 9781407129976 £4.99

William and Kate – The Royal Wedding

A lovely souvenir book depicting the life of William and Kate in a simple and informative way with pictures throughout. Starting with how they met to their blossoming romance and with information about the upcoming wedding; this is a great book for the little ones who really want to know all about the happy couple. There’s also a fascinating family tree – great for history lessons!

William and Kate – The Royal Wedding is published by Ladybird 9781409310525 £4.99

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I am so passionate about the charitable Nation Non-fiction Day that I wanted to keep its spirit alive by mentioning another fantastic title, this time from Macmillan Children’s Books imprint Kingfisher. This was sent to me to review.

The Book of Bad Things may seem like a bad omen but it’s anything but. Instead it’s a ‘sinister guide to history’s dark side’ and I for one love it. Published in a beautifully dark, padded hardback format this book is full of facts you never knew and perhaps never wanted to know. But I just love it and it will make a perfect present for curious kids!

Ever wondered what bibliophobia is? The fear of books…well I never. Or pupaphobia? I think that’s quite an obvious one…puppets of course.

This is such a visually stimulating book full of pull outs, secret guides and lift the flap sections. The narrator, a curiously omnipresent Count Droffig will haunt until the end of days and has much to tell from the poisonous pits and perilous libraries. There’s quite a few references to death but they’re told purely as statement.

In 1542 the poisoner Margaret Daby was the last woman in Britain to be executed by being boiled in a cauldron of wine. Puts Dickens’ saying “they should be boiled in their own pudding” in a different light, doesn’t it?

Each page of this wonderfully vast book is a treasure trove to be explored and looked at in awe. The kids will be impressing their friends with amazing facts for weeks to come. What’s great also is how the book also reads like a novel, thanks toCount Droffig. Use the book however you choose but know that once you open it, there is no turning back.

One last thing… did you know the North American Horned Toad can squirt blood from its eyes?      Charming.

The Book of Bad Things 9780753419137 HB £16.99


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Happy Roald Dahl Day


September is Roald Dahl Month and tomorrow, Monday 13th is Roald Dahl day. Throughout September schools and bookshops will be taking part in Roald Dahl events and celebrating everything that is great about his books.

Fittingly Roald Dahl’s biography has recently been published and is a fascinating read.

The bookshop I work in is hosting some fun events and I’ve put up bunting around the kids area to let the children know what’s going on. We got in to the spirit of things yesterday by fashioning badges proclaiming ‘I’m a Twit’ and ‘I’m an Oompa-Loompa’! I also found out an interesting fact about Mr Dahl himself…he was six foot 6 inches tall. Now I wonder where the subject of his book ‘The B.F.G.’ came from.

Roald Dahl day is all about having fun, celebrating in the crazy whimsy of all his books. They are timeless and will remain in our lives for a very long time. That I am sure of because silliness never goes out of fashion. I recently asked my twitter followers what their favourite Dahl book was. The winner was ‘The Witches’ followed by ‘Matilda’. Personally? ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’. I remember the illustrations of George stood on a stool stirring the medicine concoction in a massive pan. Perhaps it’s the cook in me, but I just love the story and George’s resilience.

So my message to you is get hunting. Go wherever it is you need to go to find your old copies of any Roald Dahl books. Under a bed, in the roof, in storage, in the garage…I don’t care, just get reading and share a story with a friend or two. The books are glorious escapism from some often heavy handed children’s books available today and you never know, you might find a nice moral in the story here and there.

For more information and lots of fun ways to celebrate Roald Dahl day visit http://www.roalddahlday.info/

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Yesterday I had the honour of attending the book launch of The Moomin Cookbook published by SelfMadeHero £12.99 9781906838164

We all piled into Books for Cooks, the most wonderful bookstore that only stocks cookbooks and Moomintroll himself graced us with his presence and posed for photographs. He tried to get his hands on some vodka cocktails- he’s a cheeky one.

The book itself is filled with delightful original illustrations by Tove Jansson and Sami Mailila has certainly done The Moomin’s justice by adapting some lovely recipes from the original stories. At the event we feasted on smoked salmon and dill on sourdough, herring on sourdough, cheese and onion tart, finnish meatballs, pancakes with lingonberry jam and cinnammon bun rolls. It was a feast fit for a Moomin.

Moomin’s love pancakes and whilst slightly different to the american style ones we may cook here, they certainly are delicious and a recipe I will be trying very soon. Other highlight include Finnish Fish Bubble and Squeak, Pumpkin Marmalade, Pumpkin Pie and Moominpappa’s Grog.

The recipes are indexed according to occasion; from summer feasts spent in the garden to the perfect birthday cake for a loved one and more dessert recipes that you can shake a snout at.

This book has brought back a wave of wonderful, innocent memories, of a time when I hunkered down on the sofa to watch the television series. There’s something so wonderfully simplistic about the Moomin’s that is captured in this book. It’s got the whimsy of a Moomin, the charm of a children’s book and the simplistic encouragement of a cookbook that makes you want to dive into the illustrations and spend an afternoon with Moominmama and LittleMy in her kitchen.

Congratulations Sami Malila and SelfMadeHero books on a wonderful publication sure to bring back a lost smile on many faces. Here are a few photos from last nights event.

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World Book Day is here. It comes round so quickly and yet again I am scanning through all the world book day tokens the kids have received from their school.

I think world book day is a great thing and a chance to celebrate books and reading and have some fun. I remember our celebrations in school that involved the whole class marching (single file) down into the village to the village bookstore to spend our vouchers. I felt an intense pressure to find a book in the alloted 15 minutes ‘perusing time’.

Today we seem to have evolved a bit more with the World Book Day £1 token valid from 1st-31st March and Waterstone’s has great World Book Day stands with books specifically published for the purpose of being bought with the tokens. Four days in to March and they are proving ever popular once again. 

You can visit the offical world book day website for great information on events and the overall benefits of this celebration.

You heard them!!

This is a full list of the official £1 WBD books available from Waterstone’s, but the book tokens can be used as part-payment on any other book. Before each title is an age recommendation/suitability. I will review my favourite titles for boys and girls later on today so please check back. Happy reading everyone!

5+ Magic Ballerina- Magic Dance by Darcey Bussell/ Kitten Chaos by Anna Wilson 9780956287700

7+ Pongwiffy & the Important Announcement by Kaye Umansky/Grubtown Tales byPhilip Ardagh 9780956287755

11+ The Medusa Project by Sophie McKenzie/ Walking the Walls by Chris Higgins 9780956287786

Magic Ballerina - The Magic Dance/ Kitten ChaosPongwiffy and the Important Announcement / Grubtown Tales: The Great Pasta Disaster: A World Book Day Flip BookThe Medusa Project: The Thief/Walking the Walls

5+ Charlie Small: Valley of Terrors/  Dinosaur Cove by Rex Stone 9780956287724

9+ Young Samurai: The way of Fire by Chris Bradford/ Born to Play by Dan Freedman 9780956287779

3+ Thomas to the Rescue- Thomas and friends 9781405251112

Dinosaur Cove: Battle of the Giants/The Charlie Small Journals: Valley of Terrors: World Book DayThomas to the Rescue - Thomas & Friends

Please visit www.worldbookday.com and their affiliate www.readtoamillionkids.co.uk where the authors of these special WBD books have produced videos reading their books in a bid to reach more children than ever before

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