Wednesday, October 22, 2014
By Murray Ball
'…..the dog is one of my favourite characters of all time' - Charles M. Schultz
For 40 years, Murray Ball’s ‘Footrot Flats’ has ruled both the New Zealand and Australian comic strip roost.
In fact, “Dog” — the central character in the Footrot Flats cartoon strips — has been voted New Zealand’s best-loved fictional character.
Now, Upstart Press presents The Essential Footrot Flats. From more than 5,000 strips produced since the mid-1970s, the Ball family has hand-picked 450 strips, including 32 colour illustrations, to make up this ‘best of’ compilation.
This beautifully presented volume incorporates the highest possible production values. Accordingly, The Essential Footrot Flats will be a must-own for all fans of iconic strip.
Timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the much-loved Footrot Flats cartoon strip, Upstart Press also present a beautifully illustrated calendar to commemorate the event: The 2015 FOOTROT FLATS 40TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE CALENDAR.
MURRAY BALL is probably New Zealand’s greatest cartoonist and his Footrot Flats strips are familiar to almost every New Zealander. His books have sold millions of copies worldwide and even though he has not drawn any of the Flats characters for a number of years, his books continue to sell in huge numbers. His most recent book, a beautifully packaged collection of 'Luv' strips, was a runaway bestseller in New Zealand and Australia.
Charles M. Schultz, creator the famous Peanuts cartoon strip, once said of Murray. ‘I love the way Murray draws these animals. I love the relationship among all the characters and am especially fond of the absolutely original approach to the humour . . . the dog is one of my favourite characters of all time.’
"I just love sitting in this room with people who understand my references," a young Rick Riordan fan said during a sold-out author appearance at the Fox Theater in Redwood City, Calif., which housed more than 1,200 fans. Indeed, many of the tween and teens who showed up to the October 15 event, the last stop on Riordan's nine-day, nine-city tour are obviously deeply engrossed in his ancient-myth inspired series. And PW was there, sitting among the fans. more
Celebrating Shel Silverstein:
Five Book Birthdays
Few people know author-illustrator Shel Silverstein's design preferences better than Antonia Markiet at HarperCollins Children's Books, who first worked with him in the mid-'70s. Markiet has been chief caretaker of the Silverstein catalogue since 2001 – a role in which, she says, she aims to keep his titles "fresh and available," and anniversary editions are a way to do just that. "They are wonderful opportunities to put backlist titles into the public's eye," she says. more
Feiwel and Friends to Publish
Cecelia Ahern YA Novels
Macmillan’s Feiwel and Friends imprint has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to Cecelia Ahern's debut YA books, Flawed and its sequel, Perfect, due out in summer 2016 and summer 2017, respectively. Jean Feiwel, senior v-p and publisher, brokered the deal with Ahern's literary agent, Dublin-based Marianne Gunn O'Connor. Ahern, whose bestselling books for adults include PS, I Love You and How to Fall in Love, sets Flawed and Perfect in a future society where perfection is valued above humanity and "flawed" people who commit acts of disobedience or rebellion are branded with an F. more
In the media:
From the New Statesman:
"Read whatever the hell you want": why we need a new way of talking about young adult literature. Click here
From the Bookseller:
Illustrators should be recognized in the Carnegie Awards, says Sarah McIntyre. Click here
From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Celebrities join the rush of authors writing children's books. Click here
Poisoned Apples author Christine Heppermann on five modern YA books and their fairy tale counterparts. Click here
From the Sydney Morning Herald:
There's a world of challenging, skillfully written books for readers far beyond the youth market. Click here
From the Washington Post:
His namesake had a terrible, horrible day, but Alexander Viorst is doing just fine. Click here
From the New York Times:
Sesame Workshop will explore how to use conversational technology to teach preschool literacy. Click here
Also from the Bookseller:
McIntyre's complaint prompts a CILIP Carnegie rethink; the awards’ criteria may be revised. Click here
From the Christian Science Monitor:
Children's books written by celebrities: the good, the bad, the charming. Click here
From the Guardian:
"She" for "He" in children's books: a call for more literary portrayals that reflect how women really are. Click here
Also from the Sydney Morning Herald:
An Australian editor visits New York City and reports back on YA publishing. Click here
From the Guardian:
Frank Cottrell Boyce writes: today's schools are destroying the power of stories. Click here
By Sarah Jane Abbott | Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - Off the Shelf
Folks, this is not a Stephen King or Gillian Flynn. I was dubious, but the lender is a good friend and an editor with excellent taste, to boot, so I figured I would give it a shot — and I am so glad I did. After a few chapters, I was neglecting my other books and diving into I Capture the Castle again and again.