During my last weekly-but-increasingly-frequent Waterstones visit, I spotted a title I’ve had my eye on for quite some time: Playbook Farm, published by Nosy Crow.
In case you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a ‘pop-up book and play mat in one’ that was published in September of last year. So, it essentially works in the same way as a board or picture book but also folds out into a 3D model that children can use to play with on the floor.
I’ve always been amazed by the intricacies of pop-up books. I remember trying my hand at making my own pop-up cards as a child (usually Blue Peter-style!) where the characters would all stand up in front of a painted background as you open the card, creating a little model. Even as adults, there’s no doubt that seeing something transform in front of your eyes is just as amazing as it is for children. The only difference is that us adults might tend to have a ‘wow’ moment and a secondary ‘how did they do that?!’ moment, whereas children probably hold on to that ‘wow’ moment for that little bit longer… read more
Just a quick post to mention that the Reading Agency have decided on their theme for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge – ‘Creepy House’, with illustrations by the well-known author Chris Riddell.
I never fail to be impressed by the theme ideas that The Reading Agency come up with year-on-year – from Circus Stars to The Reading Mission, to Space Hop and many more since 1999. As they say – they always ensure that they suit both genders… read more
So, today was World Book Day in the UK and Ireland – a UNESCO-organised day to promote reading, publishing and copyright around the world…
As part of the many events organised for it around the country, thousands of children were expected to tune in to ‘The Biggest Book Show on Earth’ this morning to watch some of their favourite authors and illustrators celebrate reading. It was a live event in London streamed to 40 cinemas in the UK, with such popular figures as Tony Robinson, Anthony Horowitz and Shirley Hughes taking part. The hour-long event was also made available online to watch at home or in schools – and if you missed it, you can watch it again here from tomorrow… read more
The winners of the Red House Children’s Book Awards for 2013 were announced last night at an awards ceremony at London’s Southbank Centre. And the winners are… read more
This Saturday, we find out who the winner of the Red House Children’s Book Award of 2013 will be! Authors, publishers, illustrators and readers will all get together for the award ceremony to find out who young readers have voted for out of the shortlisted entries.
Recent data provided by the Public Lending Right (PLR) has demonstrated an increase in the borrowing of children’s books from UK libraries, according to a Bookseller report on Friday.
The PLR data is based on a sample of UK book loans between July 2011 and June 2012 which, although showing a trend towards a decline in adult book loans, shows that children’s book loans are marginally increasing… read more
Whilst passing through the corridors of Penguin’s children’s division the other day, I came across these gorgeous clothbound versions of some children’s classics on display, including Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, The Wind in the Willows and Black Beauty.
I’m sure that, by now, most people will have seen Penguin’s range of clothbound classics (e.g. Charles Dickens’ titles) lining the shelves of high street book stores, with a surge of other publishers producing equally fancy editions of old favourites. It seems a profitable way… read more
Earlier today, the Bookseller reported on the findings of the new Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report (4th edition). It’s a report that’s been conducted since 2006, based on a survey of adults and children in the US (1,074 children between 6 and 17 in this one), giving useful insight into reading habits and trends.
The results didn’t really come as a surprise to me… read more
National Libraries Day takes place on Saturday the 9th of February this year, and it’s just been announced that school libraries around the country will be marking the event by attempting a Guinness World Record.
Parallel Universes, as the project has been called, will involve over 50 schools attempting to create a record for the world’s largest simultaneous story writing workshop… read more
I was thrilled to hear that Quentin Blake has been knighted in the New Year honours list.
Known perhaps most widely for his illustrations for Roald Dahl’s stories and his drawings during episodes of Jackanory in the 1970s, as well as his support for hospitals and health centres around the country, Blake has apparently referred to the honour as ‘quite a nice 80th birthday present’… read more
I’m about to sign up to do the Where’s Wally? fun run, which takes place on March 23rd, 2013. It’s a 5k or 10k run (depending on how fit you feel) to raise money for the National Literacy Trust. With such shocking revelations as the fact that one in six people in the UK have poor literacy, it’s a worthy cause.
The NLT run community projects; provide support to schools and practitioners and fund extensive research projects to do with literacy… read more
I came across a collection of Shirley Hughes’ Alfie books in Waterstones the other day, which brought a smile to my face – as they manage to do every time I see them. Seeing the classics there on the shelf next to The Wind and the Willows and beautifully bound copies of Peter Pan made me wonder about what made these books so successful.
I remember being so captivated by Alfie Gets in First as a child, and to this day have held on to my copy of Alfie’s Feet and another of Shirley Hughes’ titles – Lucy and Tom’s Christmas – which still sit proudly on my bookshelf. But the success of a book wasn’t something… read more