Showing posts from May, 2019

Perfectly Preventable Deaths- Talking Twins, Witches and Plants With Deirdre Sullivan

Happy Book Birthday to Perfectly Preventable Deaths ; an extraordinary new YA novel by Deirdre Sullivan. Deirdre Sullivan is the author of many wonderful books for children and young adults that really cry out to be read and loved. Her Primrose Leary trilogy (Prim Improper, Improper Order and Primperfect), writing 'with' Annie Graves in the Nightmare Club series, Needlework (which deals with creativity and trauma) and Tangleweed and Brine, a collection of retold fairytales for young adults, illustrated by the incredible work of Karen Vaughan, all gives us strong and unique voices that echo in our lives long after the book has been put down. Her writing simply calls the reader back for a re-read, each time offering a new nugget to ponder and feel. And now we have Perfectly Preventable Deaths .  Foreboding, reflective and completely consuming,  Perfectly Preventable Deaths  is the stuff of dreams and nightmares. I've known Deirdre for years now. She's is always so

Beloved Author; Judith Kerr

A friend of mine said that, wasn't it strange how strongly we feel the news when someone 'out the world' passes. And so it was when, earlier today, I heard the news that dear, dear Judith Kerr; author of The Tiger Who Came to Tea and so many wonderful childrens' books, had passed away at the age of 95. A simple text from a bookselling friend and colleague; and I was instantly sobbing...completely heartbroken. Yes...she was 95 and, oh my goodness; what an amazing life she had. She left behind an incredible legacy of stories that will, and certainly should, live in the hearts of children (and adults) for a long time to come. But still...that strange sense of personal loss is pervasive. Like I've lost a favourite auntie; humourous, adventurous, kind and so talented. Judith Kerr is quite simply irreplaceable.... a life filled with accomplishments, both personal and professional that needs to be celebrated, honoured and never forgotten. Judith Kerr was b

And The Winner Is.... CBI Book of the Year Awards 2019

At a ceremony in Dublins' Smock Alley Theatre; as part of the Dublin International Literature Festival; a crowd gathered for the announcement of the winner(s) of this years' Childrens Books Ireland Book of the Year Awards.  For the first time in its' 29 year history, one book received a hat-trick of awards, taking not only the Book of the Year Award (overall winner), but also the EilĂ­s Dillon Award for a debut childrens' book and (my favourite award) the Childrens' Choice Award. And that book is: FLYING TIPS FOR FLIGHTLESS BIRDS author: Kelly McCaughrain Walker Books (published 1 March 2018) ISBN: 9781406375657 (from my review on the teen page of this blog:) A gentle, quirky romance/coming-of-age novel lends a fresh and unique eye to the world and culture of young adults. The clever use of circus life allows difference in personalities and viewpoints to be easily woven into what could have been an all to typical tale. Each character is well-drawn and pr

The Return of Mouse and Mole

Back in 1993, an utterly charming, quiet book was published and captured the hearts and imaginations of so many. So, when I received the information that Graffeg Press was going to re-issue these books, I was beside myself with joy. That Mouse and Mole would be available to a new generation of readers is so wonderful. I had to give it a special shout on Fallen Star Stories . MOUSE and MOLE author: Joyce Dunbar  illustrator: James Mayhew Graffeg Press (16 May 2019) ISBN: 9781912050406 Those great friends Mouse and Mole always spend their days together. But what will they do tomorrow? That all depends on what sort of day it is. If it's lovely and fine, they plan for a picnic with cheese and cucumber sandwiches, taking their new picnic basket to a nice, quiet spot in the sun. If it's a wintry sort of day, they will just stay home in front of the fire and toast muffins and roast chestnuts. But what will Mouse and Mole do if it's an in-between sort of day? Well...some

Branford Boase Award 2019 Shortlist

Just a quick post here to congratulate the seven nominees on the shortlist for the prestigious Branford Boase Awards. Twenty years ago, the Branford Boase (childrens book) Awards were established to commemorate author Henrietta Branford and Walker Books editor Wendy Boase. Now recognised as one of the most important, influential awards in childrens books, The Branford Boase Award identifies outstanding debut authors; those who will go on to make a huge impact on the world of childrens books. Additionally, it recognises their editors, those unsung heroes behind the scenes whose invaluable work moves a book forward from the publishing house out into the world. Over the last twenty years, some of the authors honoured with this award include, Meg Rosoff, Frances Hardinge, Philip Reeve, Patrick Ness and Marcus Sedgwick. This years' shortlisted authors are hugely varied and incredibly talented. But they all echo the current themes and concerns of the majority of childrens literatu

Fallen Star Stories: a blogs' tale and a life in childrens' books

It's been nearly 9 years since I started blogging as Fallen Star Stories . (Wow! Hardly seems possible.) And I thought I'd like to tell you a little something about this blog, which no doubt will migrate on to telling you a bit about me and my life in childrens' books; the whys and wherefores, etc. A friend of mine has been talking to me (quite a lot really) about writing 'my story', so I thought, why not? I hope some of you find it all of some interest, but first, the blog. The picture above is an illustration by (the wonderful) Jessie Willcox Smith. It is the first picture I posted on Fallen Star Stories; a picture from my childhood and one that made a huge impression on me back then...and still now, if I'm honest. It is an illustration from Robert Louis Stevensons' A Childs' Garden of Verse for a poem entitled Picture Books in Winter. "...We may see how all things are, Seas and cities, near and far, And the flying fairies'