A celebration of the rich and varied career of John Burningham, one of Britain’s most distinguished and best-loved illustrators, is to be held at The Fleming Collection at 13 Berkeley Street, London W1 from 13 September to 22 December 2011. The retrospective exhibition, entitled John Burningham: An Illustrated Journey,will include illustrations, working drawings and previously unseen archive material.
The exhibition is accompanied by a new book, John Burningham: An Illustrated Journey by John Burningham published by The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation. The price will be £19.95.
The life of a children’s book publicist can be demanding – and varied! When you publish books for all ages from toddlers to teenagers you really can find yourself at all manner of events. Then of course, you never can predict when a riot is going to get in the way of everything!
Firstly, on Friday afternoon last week I tootled over to Regent’s Park for the gorgeous Lollibop festival. This is a festival just for children, which was going on all weekend, and had performances from Rastamouse, Charlie and Lola and Horrible Histories as well as all manner of brightly striped tents filled with activities like face-painting, rocket building and storytelling. Over at the Lollibooks tent, I was with Anthony McGowan, author of the fantastic new series The Donut Diaries and plenty of other brilliant books like Einstein’s Underpants and The Bare Bum Gang. Settled on rugs and cushions in the centre of the tent, children were entranced by Anthony’s reading and were desperate to have a Donut Diaries badge and bookmark at the end.
Also performing was John Dougherty, whose hilarious Zeus series has a new addition, also just published, Zeus Sorts it Out. John has also written the Jack Slater series and Bansi O’Hara books. John was on a bit later, so we decided to check out some of the entertainment, which meant to my JOY we saw a bit of Rastamouse on stage! Hooray for the Easy Crew!
Ahem… back to business and John had an equally enthralled group of youngsters at his event, who he entertained with readings and several songs – by the end he had his own crew of backing dancers running around him in circles, who all proceeded to hug him once he’d finished!
The next day I found myself in an entirely different environment with absolutely no toddlers in sight – Bitten 2, this year’s unnofficial True Blood convention! Along with marketing, I was there to help sell copies of Lauren Kate’s Fallen series, and to draw in the crowds to have their photos taken with this man:
Yes that’s right! A living, breathing, TOPLESS angel. I had trouble having a normal conversation with this man I tell you – not used to chatting to the scantily clad! But he was lovely and bravely posed for lot of photos with fans, which you can see over on Fiercebook.
I also had a slight heart attack at spotting one of the stars of True Blood, werewolf Alcide wondering around the room we were in. I was too struck by amazement to take a photo sadly!
So I thought that was the end of the excitement, until Monday night which was spent fretfully biting my nails as I could hear sirens and smashing outside my window in Camden, and reading that Ealing was suffering in the riots too. By the time we arrived at work on Tuesday it was safe but lots of damage was visible in the street and the police advised us to evacuate the office at lunch time. So we fled. As I said, never a dull day…
Ranger’s Apprentice – the hit children’s fiction series from Australia which has become an international bestseller – coming free to a town near you this weekend!
Harry Potter fans weep no more! This Saturday the 23rd July, we will be bringing a new fantasy to life at cinemas around the country as they screen the final film. Teams from Random House will be donning their finest magical capes to hand out 5000 free copies of book one – The Ruins of Gorlan. Fill the magical void in your heart and start a new adventure…
With rights sold in 26 countries, 900,000 copies sold in the author’s native Australia, the series has the power to become a phenomenal success here in the UK.
Books will be handed out in Odeon Glasgow Quay, Cineworld Sheffield, Odeon Manchester Trafford Centre, Cineworld Nottingham and Odeon Wimbledon. Sampling activity will focus around Harry Potter film screening times, so head on down tomorrow to get your free copy!
We’ve been waving our lighters in the air and chuckling along to the latest tune penned by author John Dougherty in honour of An Awfully Big Blog Adventure’s online festival. Let the music speak for itself…
This weekend saw us host our third RHCB Blogger’s Brunch with our lovely friends from the blogosphere! Staff from publicity, editorial and marketing spent their Saturday morning chatting about some of our most exciting YA and early teen titles to the bloggers, getting the early buzz going for lots of 2012 titles as well as Autumn 2011 titles.
We invited along our most influential blogging contacts and gave them some jam-packed goody bags as well as jam-filled cakes – a stalwart of any children’s publicity event of course! These cakes were indeed particularly special as the brunch was sandwiched either side with publicity birthdays… The cake stand in the photo was our present to Clare!
After we presented the titles, we moved out to the cafe area to welcome authors Lindsey Barraclough and Andy Mulligan, whose books Long Lankin and Trash have been hugely popular on the blogs. Everyone queued up to get everything from finished copies to early proofs and bound manuscripts signed – some of which they received at the last blogger’s event in January!
We’ve already had some happy emails from bloggers who attended, including Sarah at Feeling Fictional who said “I just wanted to say a massive thank you to you all for a fantastic event yesterday, I had a brilliant time and am very excited about all the new titles you have coming out soon. Thanks also for all the amazing books we got to bring home – I don’t know which one to start with!” You can also see her brill photos of the event here. Vivienne at Serendipity Reviews says “You all work so well as a team and are all so enthusiastic over the books that you have coming out that you have whipped me up into a book frenzy. I was amazed by the new books you have coming out over the next few months.” Darren at Bookzone for Boys said “with less than two weeks to go until the school summer holidays I have a feeling that RH books will be a huge part of my reading summer for the second year running.” Thanks for all your lovely comments! We had a great time with you all as usual and look forward to all continuing to read your blogs, and seeing you at another event soon!
Last week, RHCB held their first event for teachers to great success. Held at Cafe Twenty in VBR, this event brought together authors Lissa Evans, Nicola Davies and Ellie Irving for an audience of teachers and education professionals. Caroline Horn, from www.readingzone.com and also a journalist for The Bookseller chaired the event.
We had a great turnout – teachers were thrilled to attend and get goody bags stuffed with resources, as well as the offer of discount on books for their schools and information about hosting author events. We also sold over £350 worth of stock on the night.
We gained connections with new schools, added new names to our bespoke mailing lists, and have gained insight via questionaires. Also in attendence were staff from the TES resource website, who we hope to work with more in the future!
The following day we received happy thanks from those who attended, including one teacher who said:
“The evening that you provided (including the lovely spread and wonderful goodie bags!) in an environment like yours is a real treat for teachers!
I shall look forward to reading my new books and sharing them with my class.”
On a cold, grey Saturday morning I leapt out of bed to the lovely thought of heading down to Brighton for the day – grey or not, I love the British seaside! I did manage to sneak away and have a walk down the pier at one point which, although enjoyable was a bit like walking through a wind tunnel.
Sadly I had no-one to go on the waltzers with me…
Anyway, back to the Brighton Festival, myself and RHCB MD Philippa arrived in time to see Nick Sharratt wearing quite probably the coolest shirt known to man, whilst we waited to meet Anthony Browne for the first of his double event day!
Event number 1 for Anthony was a children’s event, packed full of a brilliantly creative audience who joined in with the shape game beautifully. They were also delighted to read along with Anthony on books including the latest title, Me and You.
After the event Anthony had a whopping signing queue of children and parents keen to get their books signed. Major thumbs up to The Book Nook in Hove who supplied the books for the event and fielded the manic stampede!
A bit of lunch (Carbonara mmm), a trip to a sweet shop (100g of raspberry millions please) and the trip down the pier (unsuccessful go on the 2p machines) and soon it was time to come back for the evening event. This one was aimed at adults, with Anthony discussing his recently released memoir Playing the Shape Game, which was written with his son Joe, who he was in conversation with for the event.
Once again there was a loooong signing queue after the event, during which time I had a chance to ask Joe if he’d inherited any of his dad’s drawing skills. He claimed he had perfected the gorilla Anthony often draws at signings so I tested this theory out with a handy post-it…
As the signing queue finally dwindled away it was time for me to board a train back to London… Thanks to Hilary Cooke at the Brighton Festival and all the staff who made the events run so well! We’ll be back next year!
If you live in London, then you may spend your weekly commutes as I do, looking forward to Wednesday. Why? Because it’s STYLIST DAY! This brilliant free women’s weekly is always full of thoughtful and interesting articles and makes the journey to Ealing Broadway that little bit more fabulous.
Well today when I hopped on the Northern Line at Camden Town, I accosted the Stylist man and demanded another copy because look who has illustrated the front cover! Quentin Blake!
It made being stuck under someone’s armit on the delayed Victoria line all the more cheery, let me tell you! Thank you to Stylist for acknowledging this brilliantly talented man, who just so happens to be largely published by Random House.. ahem.
To read more about Quentin, visit his official website here. To read Stylist’s piece on the 50 best children’s books, click here.
Shirley Hughes opened the newly refurbished Notting Hill Gate library yesterday with the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Councillor James Husband and Councillor Elizabeth Campbell, Cabinet Member for Education and Libraries. Shirley has always been a champion supporter of the library service, and it was particularly heartening to hear her praising librarians. Shirley turned to all of the librarians, and paid tribute to their skill and professionalism, saying that it is their skill that keeps libraries going, that no volunteer, however enthusiastic, or computer, could ever take their place. Shirley then had a chat with a class from Fox Primary School, telling them that the best drawings she does aren’t nearly as good as the ones they imagine in their heads as they read. She decided to do some drawing for them, and when she’d sketched just an ear of Dogger they all called out with glee ‘Dogger’. Another group of children made an impromptu visit to the library when we were there, and decimated the display table of Shirley’s books, so eager were they to take them home for themselves that afternoon. Shirley was joined at the library by her son the journalist Ed Vulliamy, who last visited the library as a child with his brother and sister over 40 years ago! Here they are together on the steps of the library.
Tales on Moon Lane was announced a double award winner at last night’s Bookseller Industry Awards. The shop won the Walker Books Children’s Independent Bookseller of the Year Award and George Hanratty was awarded the HarperCollins Sue Butterworth Young Bookseller of the Year Award thanks to her fab work in the shop. We’re really pleased for both Tamara and George, so congratulations from all at RHCB!
To read more about the awards, click here and to visit the shop’s website, click here.
Welcome to our UK Random House Children's Publisher's blog. You'll find behind-the-scenes talk from us, our authors, illustrators & events... and news on the latest cakes from the publicity department!