Mr Badger and the Magic Mirror by Leigh Hobbs

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Mr Badger and the Magic Mirror
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Mr Badger is a portly badger who gets into scrapes and adventures in Boubles Grand Hotel, where he works very hard.

 Mr Badger and the Magic Mirror, is the fourth in the Mr Badger series from Australian Children’s Laureate, Leigh Hobbs.

One day a mirror is moved from the room of Sir Cecil Smothers-Carruthers to a place above the stairs.

But something is not quite right, Mr Badger inspects the mirror, and ends up falling straight through it, a magic mirror! The adventure has started and Mr Badger finds much more than he had bargained for!

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A brilliant books with characters emerging from every page, illustrated with line drawings and bringing the book and Mr Badger to life.

Really good for children from 6 – 8 years,Mr Badger and for sharing with adults, who may just end up reading the book to themselves!

Leigh visits the UK regularly and we are pleased to work with Leigh for any events in the UK.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

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Imagine – words by John Lennon, illustrated Jean Jullien

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Imagine Amnesty International cover image
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‘Imagine all the people living life in peace’ John Lennon

Imagine is a new book published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books in association with Amnesty International UK.

It brings the original words from the song, Imagine, by John Lennon, into a beautiful hard back book with the simplicity of the message of ‘peace’ into 2017 and our world of unrest and conflict.

The illustrations by Jean Jullien show a pigeon with a small brown case as he wanders across the globe sharing a message of peace and friendship. Each page is wonderfully simple in design, which matches John Lennon’s thoughts on living in peace and harmony. They echo a simple truth across different countries and borders.

This is a book that needs to be bought and shared in the home, in school, in faith groups and just to read on your own, when you have been getting depressed listening to the world news.

There is a wealth of material available to support the book; Amnesty International UK, shows many reviews and there is a message board where artists across the world have written their own message of peace.

‘Peace isn’t just the absence of noise, peace is also the absence of hatred and that starts right here, inside of you and of me. So come on, look inside and imagine! ‘ …Laurence Anholt

Buy this book ahead of publication here...

 

(…we ship pre-orders the moment they arrive from the publisher…The BgW team…)

There are also downloadable activity packs and a fun craft kit to create ‘peace bunting’ from the birds in the book.

Imagine from Amnesty International image
Imagine from Amnesty International

To watch an amazing animated video with the song from John Lennon visit The Creative Cooperation, brilliant!

Final words must go to Yoko Lennon 

Everybody wants to feel happy and to feel safe. And we can all help make the world a better place in our own way. We should always share what we have, and we should stand up for people who are not being treated fairly.’  …Yoko Lennon

Make this a Christmas present for someone you know, or even yourself!

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Into The White, Scott’s Antarctic Odyssey by Joanna Grochowicz and illustrated by Sarah Lippett

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Into the WhiteA first children’s book for Joanna Grochowicz and an amazing start to a career in writing.

The book is full of adventure from beginning to end. This is a journey into the unknown, into a world full of extremes and hardship. It is an amazing story of a team bound together with courage and endeavour.

If you’re into happy endings, best look some place else. This story does not end well. This is a story where men die and their dreams of greatness with them. But it is a fine story and one that is worth telling, from heroic beginning to tragic end.

This is the story of Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova expedition and the memorable characters, who with a band of shaggy ponies and savage dogs, followed a man they trusted into the unknown. Battling storms at sea, impenetrable pack ice, man-eating whales, crevasses, blizzards, bad food, extreme temperatures, and equal measures of hunger, agony and snow blindness, the team pushes on against all odds.

Buy this thrilling book here…

A thrilling story about leadership, resilience and facing adversity with courage, Into the White will leave you on the edge of your seat, hoping against hope that Scott and his men just might survive their Antarctic ordeal and live to tell the tale.

Joanna Grochowicz was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1972.  Following a career as a business writer, Joanna decided to take the plunge and did a Masters in Creative Writing.  Into the White is her first book.

“People fascinate me. I love oddballs and misfits, saints and creeps, the selfish, the needy, the dreary, the nerdy and the enormous tangle of real life characters you come across in life.  History offers a boundless source of fascinating characters to reanimate. It can be a wonderful thing to rehabilitate a great story – like restoring a dilapidated castle and making it magnificent again.”

Sarah Lippett, the illustrator has created some classic drawings of the characters and the teams of ponies and dogs on the journey. For a book for 9-14 year olds, the sketches add hugely to the feel of the time period and of the difference in equipment between 1912 and 2017. The maps are wonderful and are a great help to plot the journey as you read through the book.

Into the White, is published by Allen and Unwin, Australia, who have created a wonderful paperback book of this epic journey.

It has just been released in the UK, on November 2nd 2017 and is available to purchase in most good stores and online.

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At Books Go Walkabout, we are delighted to be working with Joanna on her first visit to the UK from November 3rd 2017.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

 

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

The Family with Two Doors by Anna Ciddor

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The Rabinovitch family lived in Lublin, Poland. There were so many of them in the family that they had two apartments with two front doors. There were nine children and they grew up in the 1920’s as a devout Jewish family, with their father as the Rabbi.

The book is an engaging read about life in the 1920’s, written by Anna Ciddor and published by Allen and Unwin. 

The Rabinovitches include: mischievous Yakov, bubbly Nomi, rebellious Miriam, solemn Shlomo, and seven more! Papa is a rabbi and their days are full of intriguing rituals and adventures. But the biggest adventure of all is when big sister Adina is told she is to be married at the age of fifteen – to someone she has never met.

Although I expected the book to be about problems and issues, it wasn’t! It dealt very easily with a proposed and arranged marriage and was empathetic to a good family life. It is written carefully and with lots of fondness around the authors experience and  makes an excellent read.

It is based on the author’s real family. The Rabinovitches dance, laugh and cook their way through an extraordinary life in the 1920’s. The biggest adventure is the preparation for the wedding of Adina to Mordechai, which was arranged, but nevertheless a happy affair.

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At Books Go Walkabout, we are now selling books directly on-line, so just click on the link, and buy through our secure portal and we will send you a copy of The Family with Two Doors.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Little People, Big Dreams from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

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Frances Lincoln Children's BooksA brilliant series of books about the lives of women who have made a difference. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, part of Quarto Knows, have produced eight books in this series, published in hardback, with stunning illustrations and aimed at children from around 6-9 years.

At Books Go Walkabout we know they also make excellent books  for older children in schools around the world who are translating from their own language into English.

The three latest books, released in August 2017 are Rosa Parkes, Emmeline Pankhurst and Audrey Hepburn. If you would like to purchase them, we have an online purchasing system or you can contact us direct for larger quantities.

Little People Big Dreams Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks, an inspiring read…

Rosa Parks is written by Lisbeth Kaiser and illustrated by Marta Antelo.

Rosa was the ‘Mother of the Freedom Movement’ and an inspiring activist for civil rights in Alabama in the days of segregation on public transport.

Rosa refused to give her seat to a white person…read more here…

She knew that many of the rules just weren’t right and one day when travelling on a bus she refused to allow someone else to take her seat just because she was a black woman.

As a result she was taken from the bus and jailed.  The rest is history! Rosa made such a difference to people’s lives. She remained a activist for the rest of her life and was an inspiration to many people.

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Emmeline Pankhurst is written by Lisbeth Kaiser and illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo.

Emmeline was one of the famous suffragettes in the early 20th Century protesting against the government for the vote for women, as up until 1918, women had no rights to vote.

Emmeline and her daughters became the leaders of a new group of women, a group that would stop following the rules and would fight for their rights. People called them suffragettes.’

Emmeline Pankhurst spoke to many people.

The text is appealingly written and gives a good idea of how life was in the early 20th Century. The illustrations are delightful and add hugely to the impact of the book in portraying life at that time.

Buy 'Emmeline Pankhurst' from Bookmonitor here...

 

Audrey Hepburn

Little People Big Dreas Audrey HepburnIsabel Sanchez Vegara (Author) and Amaia Arrazola (Illustrator)…

Audrey is an iconic figure from the 1950’s but her life started in Holland during the World War 2, she experienced hunger and became very ill. When her mother finally was able to come to England Audrey pursued her dream of acting and dancing starring in Gigi and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Later, when she had retired she became a Goodwill Ambassador with UNICEF and travelled the world raising awareness of children needing food and medicine, something which she had experienced first-hand.

Audrey Hepburn and UNICEF Ambassador
Audrey Hepburn UNICEF Ambassador

The text is good to read and accessible for children from around the ages of 6, and the illustrations are beautiful, bold and full of character.

Buy 'Audrey Hepburn' from the pages of Bookmonitor here...

 

Little People, Big Dreams… an apt title for this series of books which will bring to young children the lives of people who have made a huge difference. Alongside the story there is a timeline and further historical context. Great little books in the classroom and library.

Sue Martin

Books go Walkabout, stories across the world

 

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Chris Riddell The Age of the Beautiful Book

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The Philippa Pearce Memorial Lecture 2017 was presented by Chris Riddell, award winning author, illustrator, political cartoonist and Children’s Laureate 2015-2017.

Not many lectures start with a cartoon of the anticipating audience and the back of the presenter’s head on the large screen! An intriguing way of getting the messages across, and amazing to see book characters come to life before your very eyes! Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, the first in the Goth Girl series, evolved in the screen in front of the audience at Homerton College, Cambridge

Discover Chris’s work on his web site here.

An exploration into the development of the book itself was a joy to listen to, so often we hear of the ideas behind the book but Chris was keen to portray the business of getting the book into print. A meeting with the book development side of the publishers meant that Goth Girl books have plenty of book bling, deep blue, silver foil, varnish effect and above all sprayed edges. At the back of the books is a tiny book in an envelope attached to the back cover; further information about Ishmael the mouse. Brilliant idea! 

The book then travels to the ends of the earth (that may mean China, I suspect!) and back to our country for sale.

The Age of the Beautiful Book was much more than a lecture about illustration in children’s books, but about how that precious book does become beautiful, something to keep and treasure.

Chris talked a little about his own childhood, as the son of a vicar, and how important  books are in exploring new worlds; he talked about finding worlds in wardrobes or indeed down rabbit holes. He has a warm and reassuring tone and when he mentioned that he had, ‘ a vague and reassuring feeling that God doesn’t mind that he doesn’t believe in him’, there were many quiet nods and mmm’s.

This empathy with people is shown throughout his illustrations and he has some ingenious ways of bringing books to life. Now, as he is thoroughly into social media, he has a good way of illustrating characters in all sorts of books and then sending photos to gain many, ‘ little blue thumb likes’! ‘Pictures turbo post words’ he said.

Chris is also an advocate for the real book, the attraction to the senses, tactile, the smell, the sound of turning the pages and being a feast for the eyes. Reading is a pleasurable thing to do and should not be turned into a grammatical exercise only. He  wants children to draw for fun and for expression and we had some amazing cartoons on what would happen if education ever created assessments for drawing; ‘analyse the makeup of the graphite, the ergonomics of pencil sharpening… it would suck the life joy out of it!’

An enthralling lecture, this Philippa Pearce Memorial Lecture on  Friday evening September 8th with Chris Riddell will be remembered for its engagement, fun and how to bring the best in children’s books alive through beautiful books.

Sue Martin

Books go Walkabout, stories across the world

 

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

The Philippa Pearce Lecture, September 8th, Homerton College, Cambridge

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Read more: Philippa Pearce Lecture

The Age of the Beautiful Book is the title of the 2017 Lecture which will be given by Chris Riddell, a multi award winning illustrator and political cartoonist, who was the Children’s Laureate from June 2015 – June 2017.

The series of lectures was established in 2008, as a living memorial to celebrate the achievement of author, Philippa Pearce, who lived close to Cambridge. Philippa’s most famous book was Tom’s Midnight Garden, which won the Carnegie Medal in 1958. There were many more books, including The Minnow on the Say. You can find lots of resources and information on The Philippa Pearce website.

Chris is going to talk about words and pictures working together for a reader both on the traditional page, and  in a digital age. He will explore how books are ever more covetable as objects in their own right, as well as valued for the words and illustrations inside, plus how libraries remain vital as repositories for these beautiful productions.

Chris has now published his Laureate’s Log as a book with PanMacmillan and is a beautiful journey of his time as Laureate.

This will be an excellent opportunity to explore the interests and ideas of an esteemed author working in illustration and the value of books in their own right for children.

In today’s world, we are surrounded by media, in digital and paper and formats. Often the value is only seen in what we can instantly gain and attain from reading and looking at the books. There is much more to be developed in the ongoing level of cognitive interaction and illustrations in books.

At Books Go Walkabout we work with illustrators and authors across the world, including Leigh Hobbs, the Australian Children’s Laureate, who was recently in conversation with Chris at The Children’s Bookfair in Bologna.

Looking forward to the lecture, exploring the Laureate’s Log and listening to further tales.

Sue Martin

 

Books go Walkabout, stories across the world

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Ehsan Abdollahi at The House of Illustration

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Ehsan AbollahiEhsan is an award-winning illustrator of children’s books, his work is published through Tiny Owl Publishers.

He teaches at Tehran’s top Honar (Art) University and he is currently in the UK to attend the Edinburgh International Book Festival and other engagements.

On Thursday 10th August he joined a discussion panel at The House of Illustration  in conjunction with Tiny Owl Publishers.

The panel was made up of James Mayhew, Erica Jarnes, Beverley Naidoo, Azita Rassi and Delaram Ghanimifard.

Discussion was fascinating and there was a strong focus on the initial refusal to entry and visa for Ehsan, a ban! After considerable pressure and public energy from many people, including The Bookseller and The Guardian, this was overturned and Ehsan was allowed entry into the UK.

But what does it mean to be ‘banned’? And who is affected by the ban? The panel felt that a ban meant that not only the person was banned from the country but also the children and recipients of the books were also banned from listening to Ehsan and his work, creating an apartheid situation.

Banning affects us all as we are not allowed to hear or take part. In effect it stops dialogue.  A dialogue, in this case where children can share an understanding of cultural differences, through books.  Where they experience a greater  understanding of a global world, sharing lives and concerns, knowing similarities and differences and valuing both.Ehsans colouring materials

Ehsan had also run some workshops for children, creating passports of peace and hope and, ‘using a poem as a springboard to explore how you might change the world and what colours you would use.’ Tiny Owl.

His books are amazing, the illustrations depict life in colour and style, they have a beautiful expressive feel about the images and tell the stories, often with no need for words.

When I Coloured the World‘ and ‘A Bottle of Happiness‘ are both wonderful books to have and to share. They tell more than the story written in the words, they are moral stories and full of meaning.A Bottle of Happiness

As picture books they have a place in libraries for children of all ages and adults too. By sharing the books with parents and teachers, there is much to discover in words, pictures and meaning.

Buy a Bottle of Happiness from BgW

 

At Books Go Walkabout, we are keen explorers of books in different places, reaching out across the world, using books and stories in a global dimension.

We are delighted to share Ehsan’s work and that of Tiny Owl Publishers with the world. We do this directly when travelling to the other side of the globe and through our blog which is read across Australia, South East Asia and in Europe.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

 

 

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

A Bottle of Happiness by Pippa Goodhart and Ehsan Abdollahi

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A Bottle of Happiness - cover image and web link
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On one side of a big mountain the people were rich and worked hard to become richer, but they were not happy.

On the other side of the mountain,  people were not rich but shared things, including stories and they were happy. A small boy climbs the mountain to find the other side is full of wealth.

He returns one day with a bottle and brings the riches of happiness into that community. The moral is, share with others and you will have riches in abundance.

A story about people and getting on with each other, a fable with meaning and a positive ending.

Created and published by Tiny Owl, who are a very exciting new, independent publishing company, established in 2015. They believe in having stories which act as bridges. They have a number of books from Iranian authors.

They have a programme of intercultural projects where authors and illustrators from different countries work together in creation of a children’s book.

A Bottle of Happiness is written by Pippa Goodhart and illustrator is Ehsan Abdollahi. The text and illustration matches the idea behind the story.

Pippa has also written over a hundred books, including Winnie the Witch. Ehsan works as an illustrator of children’s books and newspapers as well as teaching at university in Iran, He recently was initially refused entry to the UK, when booked to deliver an event at Edinburgh Festival 2017. After much support and pressure Ehsan was granted a visa into the UK. Hooray!!

Ehsan AbollahiBuy this book from BgW

This is a beautiful book and a heart-warming story. Recommended for homes, sharing, libraries and schools.

Sue Martin

Books go Walkabout, stories across the world

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

The Comics Exhibition at Seven Stories in Newcastle, UK

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Approaching Seven Stories - image
Approaching Seven Stories….

Seven Stories is the National Centre for Children’s Books. Nowhere else in the UK matches the uniqueness of Seven Stories.

There are collections from authors with titles galore and notes of their work as it progressed. There are amazing original pieces of artwork from illustrators, as well as the printed book.

Seven Stories are custodians of the only collection in the world of British authors from 1930’s to present day.

Children’s books change the lives of those who read them, they capture thoughts and feelings, they create adventure and exploration, they help children to face and understand the world.

The centre has many roles and activities, including workshops, events for children of all ages, connections with schools in the North-East. It has a wonderful bookshop and a café for lunches, with a view over the Ouseburn river.

Exhibitions have a big place in Seven Stories. The two exhibitions running now are about Bears and Comics. There are also exhibitions with material from previous exhibitions, archived digitally and accessible as a resource. Once the exhibitions have finished at Seven Stories they often go on tour around the country, such as the recent Michael Morpurgo exhibition, on tour this year.

Always worth a visit to Seven Stories - Comics image
Always worth a visit to Seven Stories…

The Comics exhibition, is showing until Summer 2018 on the fifth floor and once you enter, you are immersed in the world of comics, old and new.

Comics, illustrations, graphic novels, adventure, showing a whole world of characters and story. One page of a comic would lead you into another world with weekly episodes keeping you on the edge of your seat. There are many favourite characters, heroes and superheroes, good guys and bad guys.

The exhibition is set out to show the different aspects of comics; story, character, setting, props and power, and style. As you journey through the exhibition there is a really good sense of the components of creating a comic adventure, with characters and plots larger than life! The quality of the illustrations and huge amount of time involved in creating a page with many panels of sketches is enormous.

Ahoy there? - panels image at the Comics Exhibition, Seven Stories
Ahoy there?

A story for a comic is generally made in a series of panels, with each panel including some words in speech bubbles or a displayed text, but often there are no words at all!

Characters can be anyone really, monsters, jokers, friends, people you know or even yourself. The exhibition shows how you can define your character in clothes, height, features and special powers.

Other areas are Props and Power; an amazing collection held in some drawers of destiny and a wardrobe full of ideas or possible impossibilities!

Alongside the comics with superheroes and other characters were also some well-known novels, made into comic or graphic style. My favourite was Tom’s Midnight Garden, which looked amazing and also Moomin on the Riviera, The Snowman, Guardians of the Galaxy and Asterix.

Would you enter the wardrobe - image
Would you enter the wardrobe?

This is a fantastic exhibition and we could well have spent a whole day there.

The team at Seven Stories, who collate and present the exhibitions, have real professionalism and flair in the creation of this amazing space, especially the interactivity of many of the displayed artefacts.

Maybe one day soon, I will go back and wander into the Wardrobe of Impossible Possibilities. If you visit the exhibition and find the wardrobe you may discover new  solar systems, characters and stories within.

A visit to Seven Stories and the Comics Exhibition is a must for the school holidays or at any time.

Sue Martin

Further reading and exploration of ‘the comic’?

https://comicswap.wordpress.com/       https://comicsclub.blog/

Great archive and news stories on a theme, featured links at the exhibition.


Image Credits: With thanks to Seven Stories for the images of the 'front door' and the magical wardrobe...

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.