The chance to win any our upcoming print titles has come around once more! We’re publishing a fantastic selection of books in May, and any one of them could be yours for free. 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.
In May we’re publishing Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam, by Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton – a funny, quirky story, full of depth of detail and colour, with a rhyme that will trip off the tongue and wonderful illustration by debut picture book artist Steven Lenton. It’s a real treat – especially for dog-lovers everywhere! Here’s the book’s trailer:
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.
The Rescue Princesses series are my daughter’s favourite books. They are perfect for her as she’s a ‘thrilly tom boy’ – you know the type of girl who loves climbing trees, riding her bike down steep slopes at top speed, and getting covered in mud – as long as she can do it dressed in pink. So when I asked her how she wanted to celebrate for her 9th Birthday she replied with, ‘A Rescue Princesses Party!’
The party (I was told) had to include all essential Rescue Princesses elements: pretty dresses, sparkly things, and a feast – all easy enough, but then… adventure!
So after thinking long and hard this is what I came up with for an adventure: Foiling the Poachers. When the children arrive they will see a herd of deer that will disappear, and in their place they will find ‘The Evil Poacher’s Plans.’ This will include a map of our village, and clues to all the other animals the poachers are planning on stealing whilst they escape with the deer. The animals are images and carvings that I found on house/pub signs and monuments around the village. Then the Rescue Princesses will chase down the poachers and rescue all the animals.
The day came and we woke up to a BLIZZARD! Fortunately all children arrived togged up so in true Rescue Princesses style when the deers went missing all the girls braved the snow. With great resolve the six (eight & nine year old) girls plotted a route around the village, solved the riddles, found all the animals, and then tackled the poacher (tickling seemed to be the mode of attack) and saved all the deers!
After warming up with hot chocolate, the girls all slipped into their frocks, transforming themselves into princesses, and set about personalising their crowns. Then all the girls did a Rescue Princesses quiz, answering questions to find out which rescue princess they were most like. We had one Lulu, two Jamintas, one Emily and two Clarabels. They then made bracelets based on that character’s favourite gem stone.
By this time all the princesses’ were very hungry and ready for the feast. At the table they each found a small heart shaped coloured ring (from a pack of 20 from the local 99p shop), which they spoke to each other with for the rest of the party.
There was lots of squealing when the cake came out. The cake was a Rescue Princesses cake, I scanned in the front covers from the books, cropped and merged the images of the princesses and got a rice-paper cake topper printed.
The party concluded with a dance, and then all the little princesses wrapped up warm and headed back out in the cold, gripping their Rescue Princesses party bags, with a copy of latest book, The Magic Rings, inside of course!
Rescue Princesses go!
Thank you, Sally, for sharing this fantastic party with The Rescue Princesses!
After a very enthusiastic take-up last month, we’re repeating our Nosy Crow Books Newsletter competition for our new March titles. If you’re a resident of the UK or Ireland you can win any of our upcoming 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 here are the books that you can win!
This month we’re publishing Baby and Me by Emma Dodd, a delightfully girly and ingeniously interactive book for all toddlers who are enjoying playing mummies and babies – with robust pull-tabs and clever touch-and-feel elements.
We’re also publishing Littleland by Marion Billet (illustrator for our Noodle series) – a picture book for the very young, designed to stimulate speech and build vocabulary through familiar scenes and fascinating detail. With a ‘Can you see?’ feature on every spread and a simple, chatty narrative, Littleland mimics the daily conversations between mother and child and makes the perfect next step up from board books. Here’s a look inside:
We’re releasing Books Always Everywhere by Jane Blatt and Sarah Massini – a joyful celebration of the physical book in all its glory. A simple, rhyming text is brought to life by Sarah Massini’s delightful and nostalgic illustrations of babies and toddlers discovering the new, magical world of books. Here’s a look inside:
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 on Thursday.
As regular visitors to this blog will have noticed, we often post previews of our print titles ahead of publication – you can see the first few spreads for all of our picture books and read the first chapter of all our fiction titles for free on each book’s web page. We use issuu to power this service, which provides a nice reading experience and is great for keeping track of all our titles and allowing other people to post each preview on their own website. The platform is now also available (in beta mode) on the iOS Safari browser for the iPhone and iPad, so that even more people can read our previews. And today I was very pleased to see we’ve almost hit 100,000 total views across our library, which, as any fan of large, round numbers will appreciate, I found incredibly exciting.
We’re really pleased so many people are reading these previews – so we thought we’d share some of our upcoming titles. Here are a few great picture books that we’re publishing over the next couple of months:
The Magic Rings features four brand new princesses – and they’re set for their first adventure. A beautiful foal has mysteriously disappeared from the palace stables. The girls have a plan of action, but Princess Lottie is worried. What if they’re not brave enough? Or can’t keep a secret? After all, it takes more than a few ninja moves to make a proper Rescue Princess…
For your first introduction to Lottie and her friends, here’s chapter one:
The Rescue Princesses: The Magic Rings will publish in March and you can pre-order it here – and you can find out more about the whole series here.
It’s January publication day, and we have two fantastic fiction titles out now!
The Rescue Princesses: The Snow Jewel
A new princess for a new year… The fifth book of Paula Harrison’s excellent series for 5-8-year-old girls, The Rescue Princesses, sees Princess Freya join her new royal friends in a snowy animal adventure. Her little kitten, Minky, has run away from the palace and is sheltering from the snow on a thin branch over an icy pond. And the branch is cracking and the water beneath freezing cold… The girls use all their bravery to save him just at the last minute, and then head back to the palace for hot chocolate and cake. As the January chill sets in, this is the perfect book to cuddle up with, preferably in front of a roaring fire…
Shadows of the Silver Screen
Another great fireside read is the second novel by Christopher Edge about the adventures of intrepid heroine, Penny Tredwell, a thoroughly modern Miss chafing under the constraints of Victorian society. Shadows of the Silver Screen finds a charismatic filmmaker attempting to bring to life one of the tales of the macabre published by Penny’s magazine, The Penny Dreadful. And bring it to life he does, in a most sinister way… A thrilling read, set on a fabulously misty Dartmoor, Shadows of the Silver Screen is hard to put down and impossible to forget.
Michael Cummings is in Year 11 and is doing his GCSEs. He’s also quite possibly the BEST big brother in the world. For his sister Poppy’s sixth birthday, he decided to read aloud – perform comes closer to doing it justice – the first book in Paula Harrison’sRescue Princesses series, The Rescue Princesses: The Secret Promise, in its entirety. It’s such an undertaking that he hasn’t finished yet – he’s up to Chapter 9 – and we think that it’s brilliant. You can watch part one above, and the following chapters by clicking through to Michael’s channel on YouTube.
So, belatedly, happy birthday from us, Poppy – and well done, Michael, for such a kind and thoughful present!
You can buy The Rescue Princesses: The Secret Promise online here and read the first chapter for free below.
We’re launching a new, monthly books newsletter (delivered by email) and, to celebrate, we have lots of things to give away.
As well as covering all our latest releases, the newsletter will include interviews with our authors and illustrators, exclusive competitions, a first look at what’s to come in the months ahead, details of upcoming events, and insights into what we’ve been up to in the Crow’s Nest.
The first bumper issue will cover our June and July titles (shown above in the picture at the top of this post), which are:
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.
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.
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:
TheBFG 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
Being a new author, I approached my first ever author event – the launch of my new series, The Rescue Princesses – with some apprehension. Would enough people come to the event? Would they enjoy it?
I needn’t have worried. My local book shop was welcoming and people were very happy to come and chat to me on the day.
So here’s my guide to enjoying a first event with young readers and their parents.
First, get into your role! I felt a little old to be a princess, but I could manage being a queen! Just don’t expect your other half to let you off household chores afterwards. Apparently, even if you’re royal, you still have to wash up!
Me in my queen costume
Second, connect with your readers! Talking to the children who were buying the book was a joy and a privilege. I even had one baby call me Santa! It must have been the red cloak that confused him…
A Princess Emily look-alike
Third, have an activity planned! The Rescue Princesses characters might have swung from one bookshelf to another, but tiara-making was probably more acceptable to the book shop staff!
Most of all, enjoy the day! Many thanks to Waterstones at Midsummer Place in Milton Keynes for having me along.