The 2015 London Book Fair has just finished – three busy and exciting days of meetings, talks, seminars, parties and more – and here are eight things we learnt:
1. The biggest change that’s come about from the move from Earl’s Court to Olympia (to me at least) is that this year’s book fair was bathed in glorious natural light, thanks to Olympia’s marvellous glass roof. It made the most EXTRAORDINARY difference to the atmosphere inside.
2. Iceland has a population of just 300,000, but they buy a surprising number of children’s books.
3. The signature cocktail at the tequila bar was the aptly-named Tequila Mockingbird.
4. The newly-combined Penguin Random House stand is ENORMOUS.
5. One of the big theme’s of this year’s fair – in children’s publishing, at least – was diversity and inclusion. There were several well-attended events on the subject: on why children’s books should be inclusive, and how we can make them more so – and, from the looks of the #lbf15 hashtag, it seemed to be the subject on everyone’s lips.
6. Mary Berry, who officially opened this year’s fair, is incredibly glamorous in the flesh.
7. Gate-crashing other people’s drinks receptions at the end of the day seemed to be easier than ever.
8. I will leave the last word to literary agent Caroline Sheldon – there was no stopping these dinosaur beauties at the Nosy Crow stand:
Yesterday, while I was at the London Book Fair, some INCREDIBLE post arrived in the Crow’s Nest: the first beautiful finished copies of My Brother is a Superhero, the hilarious, laugh-out-loud debut by David Solomons. This is an EXTRAORDINARY book – very funny, truly gripping, and full of heart – and we are so thrilled and proud to be publishing it later this year.
Here’s the finished book in all it’s foiled glory:
We’ve got some very exciting plans for the book over the next few months (including a website and an INCREDIBLY addictive game app), and we’ll have lots to share in the run-up to publication in July. And soon we’ll be offering the chance to win a copy of the brilliant finished book! To be eligible, all you need to do for now is sign up to our books newsletter, and we’ll write to all of our subscribers soon.
In the meantime, here’s a look at the book’s opening two chapters:
And here’s an early review from one lucky reader who enjoyed the book so much that he filmed his response:
You can pre-order My Brother is a Superhero here – we can’t wait to share it with you!
We’ll be meeting on Wednesday, April 22 at 6.30pm, here at the Nosy Crow offices – 10a Lant Street, London, SE1 1QR. Although there’s currently a waiting list for places for the physical event, if you’d like to still take part, please do join in online, either on Twitter with the #NCGKids hashtag, or in the comments section of this post.
We’ve prepared a few questions in advance to get everyone thinking – here’s some of what we might be talking about:
1) Which of these two books do you think has the greatest “re-read” potential?
2) Did you feel an “absence” in either of these books, or do you think they felt complete? Do you think the “missing” element would have added anything to either book?
3) How child-friendly do you think each book is?
4) How successfully do you think each book developed its narrative with only words or pictures?
5) Why do you think each Novak and Becker chose to tell their stories in this way?
Here’s a trailer for Journey:
And here’s a video of B.J. Novak reading from The Book With No Pictures:
You can buy The Book With No Pictures online from Waterstones here, and Journey here.
If you’d like to add your name to the waiting list for a place (or add your name to our mailing list for future reading group events), you can do so with the form below, or with this link.