Articles tagged with: hay on wye
Posted by Kate on Jun 19, 2012
Well, the truth is that I have had a horrid cold for a ridiculous two weeks. The whole family’s been down with it, but the adults have had a particularly lingering version. This has meant that I haven’t been so up-and-at-‘em with my blog posting as I’d like to be.
Anyway, Hay was wet and cold but nevertheless jolly, with facepainting (see the picture above) and fudge as well as books, authors and illustrators. It was, as always, a surreal experience to be in the same room as Caitlin Moran, for whose permission to reproduce her brilliant defence of libraries we are always grateful, Salman Rushdie, Jo Brand and Eric Hobsbawm.
We kicked off on the first weekend with a lively Pip and Posy event led by Axel Scheffler, reading the stories, drawing characters suggested by the audience from scratch and answering questions with a little help from – ahem – me and an appearance by Pip and Posy themselves.
Pip meets some of his adoring fans
And Posy meets some of her adoring fans
NIkalas Catlow and Tim Wesson did two great interactive writing sessions connected to the Wicked Young Writers’ Award and then a brilliant, big, funny event, drawing mash-up characters to order based on their Mega Mash-up series.
Nikalas Catlow and Tim Wesson with their picture of a mashed-up character suggested by the audience: Zic Zac Zoo is a Zampoid (a vampire/zombie combination with one granny leg and one chicken leg) who eats rotting human brains and likes talking to ladies at the bus stop and playing golf
On Sunday, I spoke on a panel at a Business Breakfast about the Future of Books with James Daunt of Waterstones (whose comments were reported here), Dylan Jones of GQ, and Simon Morrison of Google.
Leigh Hodgkinson did a crafty event, involving many hundreds of sequins and much glitter to introduce children to her new Magical Mix-ups series.
A glittery model of Leigh Hodgkinson’s creation, Princess Sapphire
Lyn Gardner engaged potential readers and hard-core Olivia fans alike with her event on Tuesday, while Tracey Corderoy mentioned Hubble Bubble, Granny Trouble at her event for her Little Tiger Books.
Lyn Gardner in the Green Room
And, finally, Helen Peters, who’d hoped to make a long weekend of it and had hired a tepee for her whole family, ended up taking shelter from the floods and wind with us for a couple of nights before sharing the autobiographical inspirations for her debut novel The Secret Hen House Theatre.
Helen Peters singing copies of The Secret Hen House Theatre in the signing tent
Hand-drawn thank you cards from Helen’s children
The festival was a triumph of organisation (thanks to the indefatigable Peter Florence and children’s programme organiser, Sophie Lording), good spirits and committed reading over bad weather. We had a great time, as authors, illustrators, publishers and, for those of us who squeezed in a few events as punters, as enthusiastic audience members.
Posted by Kate on Jun 03, 2011
Today, I did an event at the Hay Festival – for parents, authors, illustrators and teachers – with the title “Are Apps The New Picture Books?”
In short, I don’t think that they are: I think that the best apps are a different kind of engaging, personal, interactive, different-every-time reading experience from the picture book experience. I have said before that I think that it is absolutely right that we should be providing children with reading experiences wherever they are spending their time. (You can read a bit about our views in this blog post.)
At the event, I spoke about the importance of children reading for pleasure; about trends in children’s reading frequency, enjoyment and chosen reading material in the UK; about children as, in that rather tired phrase, “digital natives”; and about Nosy Crow’s experience of the process of making an app. But the one thing that I promised to include in a blog post was the list of 9 children’s “picture book” apps that I spoke about at the event. Here they are, with links, where available, to their YouTube trailers:
At the top of this list is – of course! – our very own The Three Little Pigs
The Heart and the Bottle
I said: “A good example of how interactivity can be added to an existing book.”
What Does My Teddy Bear Do All Day?
I said: “Terrific animation.”
I said: “Simple, fit for purpose, rather lovely to look at.”
Wild About Books
I said “Great to see print books celebrated in app form, and this has a real liveliness about it.”
Miss Spider’s Tea Party
I said: “The grandmother of highly-produced apps. Almost more of a movie than a book, it looks lovely”.
I said: “Clear focus on one aspect – the parent reading to the child – but with very good reuse of old art that’s very attractively animated.”
Pop Out! Tale of Peter Rabbit
I said: “A more child-friendly use of the accelerometer than the better-known Alice For IPad app.”
I said: “As ever, Winged Chariot’s inclusion of multi-language versions within the one app is a stand-out feature.”
At the end of an event in Hay the author or presenter gets a rose. The picture above shows mine.
Posted by Kate on Jun 02, 2011
I went to Philip Ardagh’s event at the Hay Festival yesterday. He was talking mainly, but far from exclusively, about his latest Grubtown Tales book for Faber and Faber, When Bunnies Turn Bad.
Honestly, I’d have gone even if he hadn’t been a Nosy Crow author (we’re publishing the first in his new series, The Grunts, next year, with illustrations by Axel Scheffler). His events are masterclasses in high-energy, interactive, stand-up comedy and for a child-and-parent audience, that weave together the story of how Philip became an author with lots of great scatalogical and tongue-in-cheek self-aggrandising material that had the child one along from me actually falling off her chair she was laughing so much.
However professional and brilliantly prepared Philip is, he can’t predict everything, and a high-point of the event was him putting his foot (clad, as everyone in the audience knows, in size 16) through the set of one of Hay’s two swankiest event spaces:
Philip worked the incident into the event so brilliantly that even the technicians in charge of the venue were laughing in the aisles. Here he is with a triangle of broken stage after the event:
I, for one, can’t wait for the Philip–Axel The Grunts double-act.
Posted by Kate on Jun 01, 2011
Nikalas and Tim’s Mega Mash-up event at the Hay Festival yesterday was fast, furious and funny.
They took the – big and lively – audience through the creation of the series, a unique and silly blend of doodle book and young novel that they describe as “draw your own adventure” which they both write and illustrate.
They said that some of their ideas come to them on the Thinking Couch in their studio. Here’s Nikalas on the Thinking Couch:
And here’s Tim on the Thinking Couch:
However, they also confessed that they traded ideas for cookies with the elves at the bottom of their garden.
Conveniently, Nikalas is right-handed and Tim’s left handed, which means that they can illustrate the same picture at the same time without either getting in the other’s way… and they demonstrated this on a flip-chart at the event:
They pulled in audience suggestions and questions brilliantly. Here’s Tim getting a suggestion from half-way up the theatre:
They asked, for example, what the roundish object might be that they’d drawn being spotted through a telescope hurtling toward the Romans’ and Dinosaurs’ Martian city, Romasauria. “A grape!”, suggested one child (it was an asteroid). In turn, they were asked whether they liked brussels sprouts. So we covered a lot of ground, not all of it fruit-and-vegetable-related, as well as drawing mashed-up characters together.
There was a long queue of enthusiastic children waiting for them to sign books, and I was surprised and pleased to see how many girls were in the audience, as I’ve always thought that these books skewed towards boys, and reluctant boy readers in particular:
Described by Library Mice as “… exactly the kind of books us parents need to be able to hand to our offspring in school holidays or on long car journey!” you can find out more about the Mega Mash-up books on the Mega Mash-up website, where you can also post your own pictures, like this one by Alex Kosowicz:
Posted by Pip and Posy on May 31, 2011
Hello, everyone. Pip and Posy here, posting from the Hay-on-Wye festival. It’s fantastic here – there are millions of books, quite a few clever grown-up people talking about books, and loads of wet other people wearing wellies. We even saw a royal Duchess (Camilla – no crown, but no wellies either).
The first thing we did when we arrived was run down to Penny Dale’s Dinosaur Dig! event. Here’s Penny reading the story:
It was brilliant fun. We didn’t have to sit still, or behave ourselves properly or anything. Penny showed us how she drew the pictures which was really interesting – how do you get a T-rex’s tail in a dumper truck cab? But the best bit was when she got us all to stamp and stomp, and to roar a lot, just like in the book!
We had such a good time that Pip very nearly had a little accident, but we got to the (really nice) toilets just in time, so it was ok.
After that it was time to meet up with Axel Scheffler, for our very own show. He and Kate were on a big stage, with bright lights and loads of people watching. They told our stories, Pip and Posy: The Little Puddle and Pip and Posy: The Super Scooter. Axel did lots of pictures of us doing funny things, and Kate made everyone laugh by talking about wee and sick and things.
Axel even drew a picture of us meeting the Gruffalo, because, of course, even though people were very pleased to meet us, they all love the Gruffalo:
At the very end, we were allowed to come in and say hello to all the children:
It was lovely because absolutely everyone wanted to give us a cuddle:
Afterward, in the bookshop, Axel signed and signed copies of our books. And then he signed and signed some more. He was signing for an hour!
Then we all went back to the house where we were staying for dinner cooked by Adrian. With gooseberry fool for pudding – Hooray!