Gosh, it’s been a funny old week. On the one hand, we’ve had great moments of hoopla and celebration. Yesterday was the publication day of The Bird Spotter Guide, the first non-fiction title in our partnership with the National Trust and I couldn’t have been more happy. The Bird Spotter Guide is a brilliantly useful little book and, with binoculars, a notebook and pencil too, it really is perfect for budding ornithologists (I’m a bit of a twitcher myself now). I also hope that you saw the front cover of the Bookseller last week with the list of our launch titles for The National Trust – always an exciting day for a publisher when months of hard work and planning are suddenly revealed to the world!
On the other hand, this is the week when I say goodbye to the Non-Fiction list. I have been looking after both Picture Books and Non-Fiction for the last year and a half but, as Nosy Crow continues to grow and grow, we’ve decided that a separate Head of Non-Fiction might be a Good Thing. The wonderful Katherine Halligan has now joined the team and I am thoroughly delighted to leave things in her more than capable hands. She is brilliant and fizzing with ideas so watch this space – I just know that she is going to come up with some very gorgeous things.
As I say, it’s a funny old week with a rattlebag of emotions. Goodbyes are always a little sad, aren’t they? I know I’m not meant to have favourites amongst my non-fiction children but I do have a soft spot for Hares, Hedgehogs and other Mammals, beautifully illustrated by Nikki Dyson and coming out later this year. Then again, how can I resist Ros Beardshaw’s beautiful collection of concept board books? And what about Sebastien Braun’s Look and Say What You See in the Countryside? They are ALL my favourites, and I shall be using cards from our lovely Colouring Book of Cards and Envelopes to say a proper thank you to everyone (just forgive me if I sometimes go over the line).
But, as most of you probably know, picture books have always been my first and greatest love, and I’m delighted to return to my full-time focus on this part of the list. The list has continued to expand and, boy, do we have some lovely things lined up. The latest Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam title (by the brilliant Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton) has just proofed and Sarah Warburton is sharpening her pencils ready for Caryl Hart’s latest princess story, The Princess and the Rescue. Again, no favourites are allowed, but I do think this might be Caryl’s best Princess title yet. We also have new books coming from Frann Preston-Gannon, superstar Nicky O’Byrne is working on a follow-up to Open Very Carefully (honestly, no one is more excited about this than me, no, not even Nicky) and we’re delighted to welcome the multi-talented Jason Cockcroft to the list. And did I say that we have a beautiful classic list launching soon? Not to mention some wonderful debut talent . . . sorry, getting over-excited, must remember to B R E A T H E.
So, it is a little goodbye to Non-Fiction but, as you can see, there’s no time to mope. Where’s that new notebook? I’ve got things to do!