Posts

We Are Four

Image
Children’s Books North We Are Four! Children's Books North is four today! We have grown so much since our first social event in Manchester, and it has been an incredible journey  –  connecting publishing professionals in the North and Scotland, promoting regional diversity and championing the creativity of our members. Take a look at some of our highlights from last year! Launching Looking North: the CBN Directory In 2023 we successfully launched our Directory of Members, which lists published children’s authors, illustrators and publishing professionals based in the North and Scotland. Including CBN members’ details and recent works, the Directory is a valuable resource for members to forge new networks with each other, as well as for booksellers, festivals and other organisations to easily get in touch.  We will be updating the Directory annually as the network grows. You can download a PDF of Looking North: Children's Books North Directory of Members here . Hosting our Edinb

Northern Highlight - Andy Ruffell

Image
   Northern Highlight Andy Ruffell Where are you based, and how would you sum up the place in three words?  I live in North Yorkshire, on the edge of the fabulous North York Moors, about 15 minutes south of Teesside. It's friendly, wild and open. What is special to you about working with children's books, and what is your favourite thing about it? While children are our key audience, I love the fact that children’s books are there to be read and enjoyed by everyone. They are such a special genre of books because they don’t just open young people’s eyes to worlds beyond their own, but also welcome adults back to worlds they thought had passed them by. My favourite part of the creative process is the moment at which an idea or character drops into your thoughts. Sometimes they sidle in without much of a fanfare, and sometimes they appear with a bang, but however they arrive, they are always welcomed as new friends. They never fail to trigger an unstoppable flood of daydreaming – 

Bookshop of the Month - Pritchard's Bookshop

Image
   Bookshop of the Month (February) Pritchards Bookshop Interviewee: Amy Wright (owner) Can you tell us more about Pritchards Bookshop? Pritchards has been in Crosby village since 1975, and I bought it in 2021 once original owner Steve Pritchard retired. We have recently moved to a bigger premises and are going from strength to strength. I have been able to build on this local institution and bring new customers in on top of our very loyal existing customer base. What, for you, is so special about children's books?  I love children’s books and have fond memories of my favourites as a child: Roald Dahl, Goosebumps, Babysitter’s Club, Point Horror. And my own children, who are 6 and 8, love books. Myself and my husband read to them both every night before bed since they were born, so now they read to themselves before bed which brings me such joy, knowing we helped instill that love of reading. There’s nothing I love more in the shop than when a child comes in super excited to choose

Northern Highlight - Clare Mackie

Image
   Northern Highlight Clare Mackie Where are you based, and how would you sum up the place in three words?  I’m based halfway up a hill in a pretty cottage near Kinross and my studio looks out onto trees and my garden, and not a wall with a hint of sky which was my previous view. In 3 words: squirrels, verdant, peace. What is special to you about working with children's books, and what is your favourite thing about it? I love it when the pencils are done and the book is visually making sense. Prepping the paper for the paintings in anticipation of bringing all the hard work and discussions to life feels alchemical. Once the book is published it’s so endearing hearing children’s feedback – good and bad! And it is fun getting their versions of my artwork, which I prefer to my own illustrations. Tell us about the most recent book you've worked on or come across in your job.  I have to confess I’ve been mainly painting private commissions, ceramic designs, hairbrush designs, greeti

Bookshop of the Month - The Children's Bookshop (Lindley, Huddersfield)

Image
  Bookshop of the Month (January) The Children's Bookshop (Lindley, Huddersfield) Interviewee: Nicola Lee (Owner) Can you tell us more about The Children's Bookshop? The Children’s Bookshop recently moved property (just down the road) so we have a lovely bright colourful space full of books for children of all ages. We also sell some games and toys. Our aim is to provide the best quality books for children and young people in a safe and fun environment, and encourage children to read for pleasure. We consider ourselves a welcoming space for all people and wish to be a friendly presence in Lindley.  We organise author events in schools, and in-house events and activities; we host pre-schools for story sessions and school children who have earned a reward or are choosing books for their school; we do half-termly book bonanzas for schools; we supply books to schools for libraries and reading corners; we do bookstalls at reading/teaching conferences. If we can encourage children to

Northern Highlight - Caroline Deacon

Image
   Northern Highlight Caroline Deacon Where are you based, and how would you sum up the place in three words?  I live in Edinburgh, and for me it’s stunning, stimulating and small enough so you can walk  everywhere. But you need to keep looking up  –  the statues and incredible stonework  everywhere are easy to miss! What is special to you about working with children's books, and what is your favourite thing about it? My childhood and teenage years are the ones which are freshest and most vibrant in my mind, and drawing on those memories and feelings to create something scary, gripping and entertaining is just the best thing ever. I love plotting and I love editing –  it’s the bit in the middle which is hardest. Tell us about the most recent book you've worked on or come across in your job.  I always have several projects on the go, but the one that is dominating me right now is a  battle between science and nature, land management and re-wilding, and hopefully will get  reader

Northern Highlight - Cally Johnson-Isaacs

Image
 Northern Highlight Cally Johnson-Isaacs Where are you based, and how would you sum up the place in three words?  North Northumberland: inspiring, invigorating, coastal. What is special to you about illustrating children's books, and what is your favourite thing about it? Being a children’s book illustrator is a dream come true. It’s a privilege to turn words into visuals and to plant seeds of imagination that will grow for a lifetime. It’s so special to be part of a child’s journey of discovery through the magic of illustration and to know that my artwork might contribute to cherished childhood memories in the same way picture books and story time with my dad meant so much to me. It always amazes me to think of children enjoying my pictures with their families around the world. Little Tiger Press, August 2020 Tell us about the most recent book you've worked on.  My next book, The Best You , will be published in January 2024 by Little Tiger. It’s an inspirational and thought-pr