Archive for March, 2011

Top author turns down Gruffalo ebook plans

Well-known children’s author Julia Donaldson has breathed new life into a much contested debate by revealing that she has decided against releasing ebook editions of her much-loved Gruffalo stories.

Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler have enjoyed phenomenal success over the past few years, with the Gruffalo – a story of a mouse’s eventful walk through the woods – selling more than 10.5 million copies alone. However, Donaldson has insisted that she won’t be “controlled by technology” and would rather preserve the integrity of her creation in book form.

While the tale of the Gruffalo has been marketed in a range of different ways, including most recently a pop-up theatre book, Donaldson made her feelings clear with regards to the electronic format.The Gruffalo book jacket

“I don’t like it for children’s books. I feel if everyone just says yes to there being an ebook of everything, there is a danger they could take over.”

While the transition to electronic reading has gathered pace with the success of the iPad and the increasing popularity of Amazon’s Kindle, there has remained a traditional school of thought that in a world so saturated by digital content, children should continue to be taught the value of books and the joy of reading a physical copy. As the bestselling Scottish author revealed, she believes children have enough distractions without the added temptation of buttons to press.

“The publishers showed me an ebook of Alice in Wonderland. There’s a button the child can press to make Alice’s neck stretch and I thought, ‘Well, if the child’s doing that, they are not going to be listening or reading. They’re just going to be fiddling with this wretched button’.”

It will be interesting to see whether other children’s authors follow suit in snubbing the ebook format and what the public reaction will be to the news that  this hugely popular series of children’s books will not be embracing the electronic age. Do you think Donaldson is right to attempt to protect the original format of her books or is she denying a new audience an opportunity to enjoy her work?

Puffin Book Club nominated for ECMOD Award

ECMOD Awards 2011

There was some good news for one of the Book People’s children’s brands this week, as Puffin Book Club was shortlisted for the Best Catalogue Makeover Award at ECMOD 2011.

The awards ceremony seeks to give recognition to direct commerce retailers who have excelled over the past year and Puffin Book club takes pride of place amongst some prestigious companies such as Naked Wines, and Jessops in competing for the various accolades on offer.

Puffin Book Club logoThe Puffin Book Club catalogue has gone through a massive overhaul during the past year and we feel it is fully deserving of its place on the shortlist. Not only has it helped to bring great books to children’s bookshelves around the country, the commission that those purchases have earned schools nationwide has helped to stock up school libraries too!

Keep your fingers crossed on the 6th April when the winners will be announced at the awards evening in London.

Book People Review – RSVP by Helen Warner

RSVP book jacketRSVP

One recent addition to the Book People’s fiction section is Helen Warner’s romantic novel RSVP. It jumped to the top of my reading pile last week and here’s what I thought of it.

Toby and Anna are in love. So in love that they are going to spend the rest of their lives together – or so Anna thinks. Fast forward 10 years to 2010 and Toby is getting married, but Anna – far from being the bride – is merely a guest.

RSVP is set around the lives of four women, Anna, Claire, Ella and Rachel. Using past and present tense you learn these lady’s stories and discover why Toby’s wedding day is so important to the rest of each woman’s life.

RSVP was surprising, I don’t usually warm to characters in books as quickly as I warmed to Claire and Anna. Claire is the girl everyone needs as a best friend and Anna represented the heartbroken woman in an alarmingly real way; completely unable to move on from her one true love. After the first two chapters I was hooked and I was desperate to know what was going to happen.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading RSVP; it’s far more than your average dose of ‘chick lit’. In only 400 pages, the author Helen Warner manages to cover love, death, heartbreak, rape, recovery and pregnancy.

I would specifically recommend this title to… well in actual fact, I think I would recommend this title to pretty much everyone! Don’t be fooled by the title, it’s not a complete wedding feast – this book has bite.

I devoured RSVP in a single day and thoroughly enjoyed it, but we would love to hear what you thought of Helen Warner’s novel. To purchase your copy or leave a review, just click here.

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