24 April 2012

April books

We are very proud of our three books out in bookshops this month. Each is very special in its own way. Tanglewood, written by Margaret Wild and illustrated by Vivienne Goodman, has been a labour of love. Over seven years in the making, this book was kept alive by people having faith in the artistic process. This book was worth the wait.

Already featured on the front page of their website, it was lovely to read how much reviewer Dani Solomon from Readings Carlton was looking forward to our next new book.  'It was quite thrilling knowing as I was about to open Emily Rodda’s The Silver Door that inside was a quiet, thoughtful boy named Rye reaching out to enter a silver door of his own which, just like the book in my hands, would lead him into a completely strange, new and exciting world.' 

The Ice-cream War by first-time author, Edwina Howard, is already a hit with readers. Starring a Shetland pony and two enterprising friends, this book is hilarious and a wonderful debut from a very promising children's book author. Congratulations, Edwina!

23 April 2012

I noticed this on the Wheeler Centre website.

What are the books that you loved when you were younger, but now make you cringe with embarrassment? We've asked bookish folk like Kirsten Tranter, Michaela McGuire, the Wheeler Centre's Jenny Niven and Ronnie Scott that very question – and the answers have included R.L. Stine, Sweet Valley High, Judy Blume and Michael 'Jurassic Park' Crichton.

Is it just me or is it unfair to pin point books from your childhood that you are ashamed to admit you loved as a kid.  What about targeting books from your adult life that you once loved but that now make you cringe?  It smacks of the superior attitude so many people in adult publishing demonstrate when it comes to children's books.  So what if you loved Goosebumps when you were eleven and read every one in the series?   Or Sweet Valley High?  Ok, so those books might have been rather a long time ago but every generation has had a series like these that wasn't the most literary in the reading world but they got us reading and kept us reading.  And isn't that the whole point?
Emily Rodda aka Jenny Rowe has always said that reading is what counts - so called 'rubbish' books might be what we want today but we are unlikely to always want them and as we grow our tastes change and our reading choices grow and mature.  But we should not be ashamed  about our youthful reading choices.  Books we loved should not make us cringe with embarassment.  So shame on you, Wheeler Centre, for intimating that there were ever books we loved that we should now hide from view, take off our shelves or refuse to admit to in public.  They made us happy once.  They were a friend, a place to retreat to and a comfort. 

And in case you're interested, I LOVED Cherry Ames, Student Nurse and A Little Bush Maid.  What did you love?

A note from your Conductor xx