Showing posts from July, 2012

Under of the Spell of... Picture Books

One of my greatest life-long loves has been picture books.The incredible journeys and dreams that a reader (or even not-yet reader) experiences within the limited number of pages presented in a picture is unsurpassed as life and literacy moves forward. Anyone who has spent much time around me as a bookseller has, no doubt, heard me say that I believe we take picture books away from children at far too early an age (Generally, only to have the child go back to more 'mature' picture books at a much later age... we call them 'graphic novels' now.) But the pleasures and fascination of picture books remains steadfast in my heart.
Picture books do so much for a child (and adult!). Visual literacy developed in the earliest years is the foundation for 'reading' literacy as it help develop the imagination and assists the growing ability to interrupt signs and symbols and to give meaning to the random. (When you consider what letters and written words actually are... th…

Arthur Quinn Returns This September

The next installment of the Father of Lies Chronicles... Arthur Quinn and the Fenris Wolf... is due out this September. And what a brilliant follow up to Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent!
"Life is finally back to normal for Arthur Quinn. Three months ago, he and his friends put their lives at risk to stop the trickster god Loki from taking over the world. However, just when Arthur is starting to relax again, the dreams start once more; dreams of gods, dreams of war, dreams of wolves. It can mean only one thing. Loki is back." Look for it this September... I've had a sneak preview of the proof. It is great!!! (Review coming soon.) And if you haven't read Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent.... what are you waiting for?!?

Niamh Sharkey; an amazing Children's Laureate

I just came across this article by Niamh Sharkey (thanks to the equally amazing Maeve Friel) entitled 'Why I Want to Give a Book to Every Child in Ireland.'... an incredible and important idea that needs much support! IN the UK, BookTrust do this with free books to children at birth, to encourage children's literacy. But books in the hands of all children do much more than this... they begin a life long journey of literacy, imagination, creativity, investigation, curiosity. Books help children learn how to think (not what to think) and expand awareness. The challenging times we live in require, and are going to require even more, creative thought process and understanding. And, books offer a much needed escape from the pressures and stress surrounding all children. We know this. You're never lonely; you're never bored if you love books. Now, here's a quote from the article (link below) from Niamh herself.
"I believe children are never too young to start en…

The (final) Return of Artemis Fowl!

Out now!!! This is the final chapter for Artemis Fowl. All you Fowl fans, this is a must read! (of course.) With the spirits of the ancient dead warriors (well, not completely dead) rising up and possessing the bodies of Artemis Fowl's nearest and dearest(?), it time for one last battle. And nothing will ever be the same again.
Here's a trailer with the illustrious Mr. Colfer himself....

Queen of Teen 2012!!!!

A big congratulations to Maureen Johnson; the new Queen of Teen (and the first American writer to be given the honour.) Maureen was crowned Queen of Teen in a ceremony on Thursday , 6th July and was voted in by thousands of you loyal readers!
Maureens' books include 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Girl At Sea, Scarlett Fever and The Name of the Star. Congratulations again, Maureen... enjoy your reign!

Branford Boase Award 2012

The winner of the 2012 Branford Boase Award is My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher, edited by Fiona Kennedy, publisher Orion Children's Books. The Branford Boase Award is given annually to both the author and editor of the most outstanding debut novel for children. Congratulations to both Annabel and Fiona for their fine work on a truly outstanding novel!

Happy July!

Hello to you good people who check in with Fallen Star Stories! I just wanted totake a moment to say Happy July to you all... and Happy Independence Day to all my friends and family in the States. With the Volvo Race Week in full swing here in Galway, today is a special one for me, as the US Embassy has chosen Galway for it's official 4th of July celebrations with a parade and fireworks, music and mirth... it's going to be a glorious day (well, I don't know about the weather, but the day itself will be fun!)
But as I am all about the children's books, I can't forget about reading and what the summer brings. The summer months, whether rainy or sunny, was always a time to read what we wanted to read... just for fun! (Which is what reading is supposed to be about.) While there are many new books out for the summer, and many more new ones coming up in the next two or three, I always like to revisit old favourites in the summer months. In the next day or so, I'll s…