Saturday, September 25, 2010

Graham Oakley and a Church Mice bonanza.

‘Drawing so lively you can hear the mouse squeak’ (The Guardian) Welcome back to the wonderful world of Humphrey and Samson the cat. Graham Oakley’s Church Mice series are a household institution and entertained generations of devotees. So to celebrate the re-publishing of the two latest books in this hugely popular series we are pleased to present an exhibition of the original artwork. Published work by Graham Oakley for The Church Mice Adrift and The Church Mice at Christmas is now on show at the gallery here at 22 Bury St as well as online at Over forty pictures are on view Entrance is free. Prices for original published artwork start at £450.Hardback signed books (£10.99) are also available. Nearest tube: Green ParkBuses: 8, 9, 14, 19, 22 and 37.
22 Bury StSt James’s London Sw1Y 6AL+44 (0)207 976 9.30am – 6.00pm Weekdays11.00am – 5.00pm Saturdays

Friday, September 17, 2010

Diverse Voices: call for manuscripts

Frances Lincoln Limited, the award–winning publisher, and Seven Stories, the Centrefor Children’s Books, are delighted with the success to date of the Diverse Voices Award, set up in memory of Frances Lincoln (1945 – 2001) to encourage and promote diversity in children’s fiction. The prize of £1,500 plus the option for Janetta Otter-Barry at Frances Lincoln Children’s Books to publish the novel is awarded to the best manuscript for 8-to-12-year-olds that celebrates diversity in the widest possible sense. The closing date for the current award is Friday 25th February 2011. For full information about the award and to download anentry form go to, contact the Award Co-ordinator, Helena McConnell by emailE: or
“The exceptional quality of the winners of the first two awards is a real measure of the successof our Diverse Voices joint venture with Seven Stories. And by the time the third winner is announced in June 2011 I will have commissioned or published six books by writers who entered the award:the Takeshita Demons trilogy by Cristy Burne, winner of the inaugural award, Too Much Troubleby Tom Avery, the 2010 winner, and A Hen in the Wardrobe and Chess and Chapattis, the first two titles in the Cinnamon Grove series by Wendy Meddour, who entered the 2009 award.I am proud that the Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Award is achieving exactly what it set out to do –to discover and encourage new writers of exciting, culturally diverse fiction.”Janetta Otter-Barry at Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2010 Shortlist

The Roald Dahl Funny Prize was founded in 2008 by Michael Rosen as part of hisChildren’s Laureateship. It is the first prize of its kind; founded to honour those books that simply make children laugh.
The shortlists are:
The Funniest Book for Children Aged Six and Under
Angelica Sprocket's Pockets by Quentin Blake (Jonathan Cape)
Dogs Don’t Do Ballet by Anna Kemp, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie (Simon & Schuster)
Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates (Jonathan Cape)
The Nanny Goat's Kid by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Tony Ross (Andersen Press)
One Smart Fish by Chris Wormell (Jonathan Cape)
The Scariest Monster in the World by Lee Weatherly, illustrated by Algy Craig Hall(Boxer Books)
The Funniest Book for Children Aged Seven to Fourteen
The Clumsies Make a Mess by Sorrel Anderson, illustrated by Nicola Slater(HarperCollins Children’s Books)
Einstein's Underpants and How They Saved the World by Anthony McGowan (Yearling)
The Incredible Luck of Alfie Pluck by Jamie Rix, illustrated by Craig Shuttlewood (OrionChildren's Books)
Mr Stink by David Walliams, illustrated by Quentin Blake (HarperCollins Children’sBooks)
The Ogre of Oglefort by Eva Ibbotson (Macmillan Children’s Books)
Withering Tights by Louise Rennison (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
The judging panel comprised the comedian Shappi Khorsandi; author, founder and Chair of Judges Michael Rosen; author and winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2009’s seven to fourteen category Philip Ardagh; illustrator Bruce Ingman; and journalist and author Nicolette Jones.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

John Burningham Exhibition

Mr Gumpy and Other Outings: Celebrating 50 years of John Burningham’s work On September 18, 2010 Seven Stories in Newcastle will open its doors to a brand new exhibition, Mr Gumpy and Other Outings: Celebrating 50 years of John Burningham’s work. The exhibition will incorporate John’s creative process highlighting artwork, rough sketches, dummy books, letters, photos and childhood toys all from his personal archive. John Burningham has been making picture books for almost fifty years, and has been a master craftsman from the beginning, exploiting the potential of colour lithography with eccentric narratives making him one of the defining illustrators of our time. John is an inspiration to many illustrators today. “Burningham's own part in this great renaissance is not quite as widely documented as the rise of The Beatles, or the emergence of the Rolling Stones. But his personal contribution to the redefining of the British creative landscape, and that of his like-minded colleagues, was just as significant in its way. The 1960s also saw a revolution in the way that books for very young children were conceived and presented, with a decisive shift away from preachy narratives to exuberant and colourful chunks of wonder that strove to capture the world from the perspective of the pre-school child.” Deborah Orr, The Independent 18 April 2009. Seven Stories Exhibition Curator Gill Rennie said: “John Burningham’s first picture book, Borka, the Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers, was so perfect it was published without the editor making any changes and went on to win the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1963. John has continued to make unique and entrancing picture books ever since. Working on this exhibition has been an absolute joy.” Exhibition runs to 17 March 2011

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Book Trust Writer in Residence, Polly Dunbar

Award winning author-illustrator Polly Dunbar today (Monday 13 September) starts as Booktrust’s fourth online writer in residence. Polly, best known for her character Penguin, will be inviting visitors to the Booktrust website into her studio, opening up her sketch book with illustration tips and to download an exclusive picture book created especially for her residency. As well as winning the Nestle Silver award 2007, The Booktrust Early Years awards 2007, The Red House award 2008 and being shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, Penguin has been made into an enormously successful puppet show. Long Nose Puppets, of which Polly is co-founder, also tours adaptations of her popular books Shoe Baby and Fly Away Katie. Polly lives and works by the sea in Brighton.
Polly takes the virtual baton from award-winning debut author and independent bookseller Evie Wyld. For Evie’s last blog and for Polly’s first blog please visit the Booktrust website

Queen of Teen 2010

Cathy Cassidy has been crowned Queen of Teen! The most glamorous award in the world of fiction celebrates the authors of teen and tween fiction who are sometimesoverlooked by other awards, but who make a big difference to the lives of their young readers.
Hundreds of teenagers nominated their favourite authors for the award and the writers of the best and most heartfelt nominations were invited to meet their heroines at the utterly pink award ceremony which took place today at Catteshall Manor in Godalming, Surrey.All of the shortlisted authors, apart from Jacqueline Wilson who is on a book tour in Japan, attended the ceremony, and each was presented with a tiara and pink sash on the Queen of Teen throne before the winner wasannounced. Authors present included nominees Helen Bailey, Chris Higgins,Cathy Hopkins, Samantha Mackintosh, Sarra Manning, Joanna Nadin, Sarah Webband outgoing Queen of Teen Louise Rennison.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Royal Mail Awards 2010 Shortlist

THE 2010 SHORTLIST CONSISTS OF: Bookbug Readers (0-7 years) - WHAT THE LADYBIRD HEARD by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks (Macmillan)- LOVE FROM LOUISA by Simon Puttock and Joe Kiddie (Harper Collins)- STORMY WEATHER by Debi Gliori (Bloomsbury) Younger Readers (8-11 years) - THE DRAGON WHISPERER by Lucinda Hare (Random House)- THE SECRET OF THE BLACK MOON MOTH by John Fardell (Faber)- INVISIBLE FIENDS – MR MUMBLES by Barry Hutchison (Harper Collins) Older Readers (12-16 years) - GRASS by Catherine MacPhail (Bloomsbury) - CROSSING THE LINE by Gillian Philip (Bloomsbury)- THE WITCHING HOUR by Elizabeth Laird (MacMillan).
Originally set up by the Scottish Arts Council in 1999, the Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children’s Books are now run by Scottish Book Trust in partnership with Creative Scotland. Gavin Wallace, Head of Literature at Creative Scotland said “The Children’s book awards have gone from strength to strength to become the largest of their kind in Scotland. With already so many children registered, I've no doubt 2010 will be bigger and better than ever, and that the thirst for reading among younger people is insatiable!'
Scottish Book Trust has once again teamed up with the Royal National Institute of Blind People Scotland to transcribe all shortlisted books into Braille, audio and large print simultaneously. This means that hundreds of blind and partially sighted children will be able to help judge the competition alongside other young readers. John Legg, director of RNIB Scotland, said: "We're delighted to have been able to transcribe a further nine of the best children's books in Scotland into accessible formats, thanks again to the generous support of the Rangers Charity Foundation. We have now been able to transcribe 21 children's titles over the past two years - a wonderful achievement given less than 5 per cent of all books published in the UK makes it into alternative formats, so children with sight loss can often struggle to access the same books as their peers."

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Book Trust Teenage Prize 2010 Shortlist

The Enemy by Charlie Higson (Puffin)
The Enemy is a chilling post apocolyptic tale from TV actor, comedian and author of thebestselling Young Bond series.It is modern-day London, but something terrible has happened. A mystery illness has infectedeveryone over the age of fourteen. Those afflicted either die or become so crazed by diseasethey are little more than wild animals. Gangs of kids are left to fend for themselves, dodging thezombie adults who remain and trying not to tear one another apart in the process.
A story of one girl’s heroic voyage to discover her true identity in ancient Greece.Washed ashore as a baby in ancient Greece, Halo is discovered by a family of centaurs.Although her true identity remains a mystery, she is loved as one of their own. But when Halo isdragged away by fishermen, her wild adventure begins. Halo soon realises that if she is tosurvive then she must live in disguise – as a boy.
Nobody’s Girl by Sarra Manning (Hodder Children’s Books)
A novel about teenage love, loss and identity from the former editor of Ellegirl UK.Plain, frumpy, dull as mud – that’s Bea. So when super-cool Ruby and her posse want to hangwith her, it has to be a practical joke. But an invitation to a girly holiday in Malaga with Ruby andco. seems like the real deal. Even better, Bea can get away from her annoying mum.
Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace (Andersen Press)
A compelling and thought-provoking novel about race, bullying and the need to belong.Zimbabwe, 1980s. The war is over, independence has been won and Robert Mugabe has cometo power offering hope, land and freedom to black Africans. It is the end of the Old Way and thestart of a promising new era. For Robert Jacklin, it’s all new: new continent, new country, newschool. And very quickly he learns that for some of his classmates, the sound of guns is stillloud, and their battles rage on.
Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick (Orion)
From the winning author of the 2007 Booktrust Teenage Prize, this novel makes thereader look again at that weapon that has become so familiar to us all.1910. A cabin north of the Arctic Circle. Fifteen-year-old Sig Andersson is alone. Alone, exceptfor the corpse of his father, who died earlier that day after falling through a weak spot on the ice-covered lake. His sister, Anna, and step-mother, Nadya, have gone to the local town for help.Then comes a knock at the door. It's a man, the flash of a revolver's butt at his hip, and a meanglare in his eyes.
Unhooking the Moon by Gregory Hughes (Quercus)
Two orphaned siblings set out on a poignant and gripping road-trip adventure.Meet the Rat: A dancing, football-playing gangster-baiting ten-year-old. When she foresaw herfather’s death, she picked up her football and decided to head for New York. Meet her olderbrother Bob: Protector of the Rat, but more often her follower, he is determined to find theiruncle in America and discover a new life for them both.
Winner will be announced 1 November.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Chiswick Children's Book Festival

Sir Terry Pratchett – I Shall Wear MidnightFriday 17th September 2010, 4:30 for 5pmAt St Michael & All Angels Church, Bath Road, Chiswick, London, W4 1TT Tickets £3, from The best-selling creator of Discworld introduces his new book, just out. It’s the fourth featuring teen witch Tiffany Aching and her tiny, fightin’, boozin’ pictsie friends, the Wee Free Men. Books on sale for signing by Sir Terry Pratchett afterwards.

Saturday 18th September 2010, 10:30am - middayAt St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall, Priory Avenue, London W4 1TXFree entrySupported by Trotters in Turnham Green Terrace. Classic reproductions of children's books will be on sale through Jane Nissen Books, in aid of the Festival charities.
10.30am: Katie Cleminson - Box of TricksWriter and illustrator Katie tells the story of Eva, who conjures up a polar bear – and lots of other surprises - from a box of tricks. Books on sale for signing afterwards. For ages 0 to 5.
11.15am: Anthony McGowan - Einstein's UnderpantsAnthony McGowan is a brilliantly funny, award-winning author, best known for his exciting, highly-acclaimed books including Henry Tumour, The Knife that Killed Me, Hellbent and his eternally popular Bare Bum Gang series. Einstein's Underpants - And How They Saved The World - is his new book.
12 Midday: Josh Lacey – Grk Down Under In Josh’s best-selling stories, Tim picks up a stray dog called Grk. Their adventures take them all round the world. Books on sale for signing afterwards.
Also for children...Charlie Higson – The Dead11am, Saturday 18th September
At St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall, Priory Avenue, London W4 1TXTickets £5, from www.chiswickbookfestival.orgThe best-selling author of the Young Bond books - and Fast Show writer and performer – introduces the second in his zombie series for teenagers, published this week. Books on sale for signing afterwards.