Walker Goes into Paperback
From the end of April this year Helen Oxenbury’s distinctive candle-bearing bear will be appearing on a new imprint – Walker Paperbacks. For the last 18 months tantalising tastes of Walker in paperback have been appearing – the Little Dracula stories, Michael Rosen’s Scrapbooks, some Red Nose Readers – now comes the feast with 42 titles in the launch list building to a total of 80 by the end of June.
The books will be of the same paper and printing quality as the hardbacks. Those designed to get into the hands of the youngest readers will in fact be printed on slightly heavier quality, coated board designed to be wipe-clean and make for easy page for small fingers. Jan Ormerod’s lovely quartet – Reading, Sleeping, Messy Baby and Dad’s Back – get this treatment and are re-titled Dad and Me. In the same style is a new series by Helen Oxenbury – the Tom and Pippo books – about a lively three-year-old and his toy monkey. These will also appear (by popular library demand) in a limited hardback edition but Walker does not intend to make a habit of simultaneous hardback/paperback publishing. Also in the launch three Oxenbury First Picture Books (£1.50 each), four Burningham Concept books (£1.99 each). six of Shirley Hughes Nursery Collection (£l.50 each) and three of Niki Daly’s Storytime books (£l.50 each). Pick of the picture storybooks (all at £1.99) must be Jill Murphy’s Five Minutes’ Peace.
So far the list plays to Walker’s strength in books for the younger age-range but there are two adventure gamebooks (£2.99 each). The existing 22 titles already in paperback will be re-issued for the launch.
Calling all Young Writers
If you are between eight and eleven and like writing stories. George Layton is inviting you to send him one. The nine he and the other judges like the best will be published by Collins as a collection, together with a new story, by George Layton, called The Tree House.
The general theme of all stories should be Something to Look Forward To; they should be approximately 2,000 words long and must be submitted by 18 April 1988 to George Layton. c/o Children’s Editorial, Collins Publishers, 8 Grafton Street, London W1X 3LA.
All royalties from the book will go to the Leukaemia Research Fund’s Amazing Greats Appeal to establish a Centre for the treatment of childhood leukaemia. The winners will receive a Sony Walkman, a Hot Air Balloon flight and an invitation to a super party.
Honour for Quentin
Quentin Blake, one of the most distinguished and popular illustrators of children’s books in this country, was awarded the OBE in the New Year’s Honours List.
Quentin is a writer as well as an illustrator. Mister Magnolia, with its joyous rhyming text, won the Kate Greenaway Award in 1981; more recently The Dancing Frog and Mrs Armitage on Wheels have delighted readers.
He has collaborated with a string of famous writers – most memorably, for children, with Michael Rosen and Roald Dahl. A new book with Dahl. Matilda, is scheduled for publication in April. Quentin Blake has also taught at the Royal College of Art. for ten years as Head of the Illustration Department and currently as a visiting tutor.
National Tell a Story Week
30 April – 7 May
Anyone interested in telling or reading stories, or organising activities linked to children’s stories, is invited to join with the Federation of Children’s Book Groups in its annual celebration of stories. This year’s theme is Another Time, Another Place. A helpful list of ideas for activities, a booklist and order forms for posters, stickers. balloons, etc. will be available from Jan Sanderson, NTASW Publicity Officer, 5I Trent Vices Gardens. Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottingham NG12 I AY.
This year NTASW is sponsored by Baxter Healthcare Ltd. The National Launch will be held in Edinburgh.
Beasts in Books
The Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ Annual Conference is this year from 8-11 April. Appropriately – with a theme of Beasts in Books – it is being held at the Royal Agricultural College. Cirencester. Speakers include Elaine Moss, Mary Rayner, Judy Taylor, Naomi Lewis, Johnny Morris. Ann Jungman, Anthony Masters and Mollie Hunter. Details from Pat McPhedran, Downside. Southward Lane, Aldbourne, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 2DF (tel: 0672 40316).