Posted by Tom on Apr 04, 2013
It’s an exciting Spring publication day in the Crow’s Nest: the evenings are lighter, the days are longer, the weather may still be miserable… but our new books are in shops!
Today we’re launching a brand new novelty series with adorable illustration by Jannie Ho – the Tiny Tabs books. Chunky board sliders reveal the hidden faces in these chunky little peekaboo books – and baby readers will love the simple stories, repeated refrains, and sweet resolutions in each book. The first two books in the series, out today, are Teeny Weeny Looks for his Mummy! and Bunny Boo has lost her Teddy!
Weasels is also out today – a very special picture book debut by Elys Dolan. We bought this book at the Bologna Book Fair almost exactly a year ago (and you can read a bit about how Elys’ incredible bound proof became what it is now here) and today, here it is! This is an absolutely hilarious picture book, featuring a dastardly plot to take over the world, some very big drills, questionable coffee beverages… and LOTS of weasels. There’s a Weasels-takeover of our @NosyCrowBooks Twitter account taking place today – and you can take a look inside the book below:
You can buy Weasels online for just half price from Foyles, here.
It’s publication day for Troll Swap by Leigh Hodgkinson, author and illustrator of the Greenaway-longlisted Goldilocks and Just the One Bear. This is another hilarious and heartwarming story with clever fairytale themes, sparkling prose and Leigh’s fantastically distinctive illustration. Timothy Limpet feels out of place in the troll family – he likes things to be just so, and most trolls, frankly, don’t. Tabitha Lumpit likes things to be loud, loopy and messy and she feels a fish out of water in her very neat family. Sometimes they wonder if their families really see them for who they are, so when Timothy and Tabitha meet on the bridge they decide each other’s family is a better fit and they swap places . . . with hilarious and touching results. Here’s a look inside:
Buy the book online.
The paperback edition of Guinea Pig Party by Holly Surplice is out today – a charming picture book featuring the world’s cutest guinea pigs. Based on a familiar childhood counting rhyme and combining birthday fun, counting and cute fluffy animals, this is the perfect birthday gift for pre-school children everywhere. Here’s a look inside:
Buy the book online.
And we’re publishing Magical Mix-Ups: Pets and Parties by Marnie Edwards and Leigh Hodgkinson – the third book in the brilliantly innovative drawing-activity-storybook Magical Mix-Ups series. It’s Sapphire’s birthday and she longs for a pet of her own. Emerald’s present is the next best thing – tickets for an amazing animal magic show! But the star – a performing cat! – has mysteriously disappeared. Can the girls find her one their own? They may need you to finish the illustrations and make sure Sapphire’s birthday is perfect… This volume of Magical Mix-Ups is publishing in an EXTRA-large format – even better for doodling and creativity. Here’s the first chapter:
Buy the book online.
Congratulations to all of our newly-published authors and illustrators!
Posted by Tom on Mar 27, 2013
This competition is now closed.
In what’s fast becoming a monthly tradition, we’re running another of our Books Newsletter competitions and giving away copies of our upcoming April titles. If you’re a resident of the UK or Ireland you can win any of next month’s releases simply by subscribing to our Books Newsletter and either tweeting to @NosyCrowBooks or leaving a comment underneath this blogpost, telling us the name you subscribed with and the book you’d like to win. And without further ado, here are the glorious books up for grabs…
We’re publishing the first two books in the brand new Tiny Tabs series, illustrated by Jannie Ho – Teeny Weeny Looks for his Mummy! and Bunny Boo has lost her Teddy! Designed for the smallest of hands, these robust, colourful books will delight baby readers again and again. With simple stories, repeated refrains and a host of faces to spot and name, they are the perfect books to engage and entertain the very young.
It’s publication time for Weasels, the HILARIOUS picture book debut by Elys Dolan. It’s almost impossible to put into words how original and witty this book is: imagine spoof James Bond meets Scaredy Squirrel if you can. It’s packed with cross-over humour that’s guaranteed to amuse the very young and the not-so-young in equal measure, and the art is stylish yet accessible, and full of details for poring over time and time again – there’s always a new joke to find! We posted the Weasels Workplace Survival Guide earlier this month, and you can take a look inside the book below:
We’re releasing Troll Swap by Leigh Hodgkinson, author-illustrator extraordinaire and creator of the Greenaway-longlisted Goldilocks and Just the One Bear. Another fantastic picture book that cleverly plays with fairy tale conventions, Troll Swap tells the story of Timothy Limpet (a troll) and Tabitha Lumpet (a little girl) who both feel a bit out of place in their own families… so they decide to swap! Here’s a look inside:
The paperback edition of Guinea Pig Party by Holly Surplice is also out next month – a charming picture book featuring the world’s cutest guinea pigs. Based on a familiar childhood counting rhyme and combining birthday fun, counting and cute fluffy animals, this is the perfect birthday gift for pre-school children everywhere. Here’s a look inside:
And finally, it’s publication time for the third book in the brilliant Magical Mix-Ups series by Marnie Edwards and Leigh Hodgkinson – a fantastic combination of fiction and doodle book, with a real story, great characters, and lots of drawing involved. This volume, Magical Mix-Ups: Pets and Parties, is publishing in an EXTRA-large format – you can find more details here, or read the first chapter below:
You can subscribe to the books newsletter here (if you’ve already subscribed you’re still eligible for this competition) – and every month we’ll write to you with details of our upcoming titles, author events, exclusive interviews, and all of our news. So have a good think about which book you’d like to win (we can only accept one entry per person), and good luck – we’ll pick the winners at random next week.
This competition is now closed.
Posted by Kate on Jun 06, 2012
Well, we know that we’re running this blog post a bit late, but it’s been a hectic few days at the Hay Festival, and we haven’t got round to it. Nevertheless, we’ve been putting our minds to the theme of Royal Reads for children and have come up with a regal list.
As a publisher, our own royal preference so far has been for princesses rather than queens.
First, we published our multi-award-winning Cinderella app.
Then, earlier this year we launched our new series The Rescue Princesses, a feisty and irresistible combination of friendship, ninja skills, magic jewels and animals in peril by Paula Harrison.
We’ve just published the first of a new series that’s a cross between a novel and an activity book, Magical Mix-ups, by Marnie Edwards and Leigh Hodgkinson, which features Princess Sapphire, who’s princess tendencies are kept in check by her friend Emerald, a witch.
Later this year, we’ll publish The Princess and The Peas by Caryl Hart and Sarah Warburton, a story for fussy eaters whether they turn out to be royal or not.
But, generally, royalty is a big theme in children’s books. In fairy tales we meet powerful but often misjudged or misled kings; wicked stepmother queens who are the epitome of evil; and a variety of princesses. We meet princesses who are spoiled girls who have to unlearn their arrogance, girls in peril who need to be rescued, or beautiful (and sometimes talented) young women plucked from obscurity. But all of them get to marry their prince… and the prince is generally, sadly, the least interesting character of all of them – either a rescuer or someone to whom marriage represents rightful elevation and recognition.
The Arthurian legends have also generated many children’s books from Roger Lanceyln Green’s King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table through Rosemary Sutcliff’s Tristan and Iseult and T H White’s The Once and Future King to contemporary takes like Philip Reeve’s Here Lies Arthur.
Being made royal as a kind of apogee of self-realisation is part of the Narnia tradition.
Some takes on royalty, though, particularly more recent ones, are less reverential: poems by A A Milne, such as The King’s Breakfast and King John’s Christmas rejoice in the incongruity of royalty and childish foibles like the desire for “a little bit of butter” or “a big, red, India-rubber ball”. The same is true for the conjunction of royalty and underwear in Nicholas Allan’s The Queen’s Knickers and in modern fairy tales like Carol Ann Duffy’s Queen Munch and Queen Nibble, a sort of love-story between some mismatched queens which finishes with some regal gluttony and bouncing. Of course, Terry Deary’s non-fictional Horrible Histories draw out the grotesque and the ridiculous to make royalty memorable.
I don’t have a TV at Hay, but as I see the images of the Royal Family from the Diamond Jubilee, I am reminded that the current British Royal Family (or the idea of them) and Buckingham Palace play a part in numerous books and poems:
The BFG by Roald Dahl
They’re Changing Guards at Buckingham Palace by A A Milne
Two Weeks with the Queen by Morris Gleitzman
The Witches Children and the Queen by Ursula Jones and Russell Ayto
Thanks to Twitter followers who suggested books:
@Louiestowell suggested The Chronicles of Narnia.
@CethanLeahy recommended The Queen’s Nose.
@JodieMarsh31 suggested Me, The Queen & Christopher and Billie Templar’s War
And thanks to @GrahamBancroft for the picture of The Baby.
This post just covers Western story-telling traditions: I am sure that there are many kings, queens, princesses and princes in other traditions, and I am sorry for leaving them out.
But even within the Western story-telling tradition, what right royal reads have we missed out in this blog post that you’d like to see included?
Posted by Kate Burns on May 03, 2012
Today is a pink and sparkly day for me as it sees the publication of Magical Mix-Ups: Birthdays and Bridesmaids in paperback, written by debut author Marnie Edwards (she is actually hilarious both in person and on the page) and illustrated by the superlatively witty and talented Leigh Hodgkinson, of Goldilocks and Just the One Bear fame. All books are special but this one holds an extra-special place in my heart as it is two-colour illustrated fiction, so a new venture for both Leigh and me – and the wonderful Marnie too. And none of us would have been able to do anything without the brilliant design skills of Giselle Gimblett. Go, Team!
Magical Mix-Ups: Birthdays and Bridesmaids is the first book in Magical Mix-Ups, the sister series to our successful Mega Mash-Ups. The books are an ingenious marriage of fun and engaging chapter stories and doodle books – draw as you read! Read as you draw! Cunning. I would have loved these as a child. Little girls will aspire to draw in the style of Leigh – she is so cool and contemporary! – and we’ve added loads of ‘design’ ideas to the book, which will really appeal to the target audience. Every page is full of detail and ideas, but with just the right amount of space for the reader to add her own style.
The story and characters are totally suited to the book’s audience – witches, princesses and a magical land called Mixtopia; what more could one want? – and the main protagonists will feature throughout all the titles in the series. The second title Magical Mix-Ups: Friends and Fashion is out in September so fans won’t have long to wait for their next foray into Mixtopia. Magical balloon ride anyone? Hurrah!