Archive for February, 2012

Books for Mother’s Day – and a free gift!

Mother’s Day takes place on Sunday 18 March and what better way is there to treat your mum than by buying her a brand new book? The Book People have a variety of titles that are sure to suit her tastes and if you buy a selected title you’ll even get a free beautiful gift bag to present it to her in. It’ll show her just how thankful you are for all her love and support, and also how much you care! Now we’ll take a look at some of the titles that are part of this very special offer.

Making Cupcakes with LOLA is a tremendously stylish cupcake book from one of London’s most fashionable bakeries. If your mother sees herself as a keen baker, she’s sure to enjoy making classic flavours like vanilla and Rocky Road, as well as having the chance to recreate some of LOLA’s signature creations. Lorraine Pascale’s Baking Made Easy is also full of sweet treats that are a joy to bake. After all these cakes, she might fancy burning off some calories and Dance to the Musicals with Arlene Phillips is a great way to do that. A book that makes fitness fun by setting dance routines to some toe-tapping show numbers, it even comes with a DVD that showcases a selection of them!

For more crafty mothers, Janet Whittle’s Watercolour Flowers is an inspirational book that explains the artist’s evocative use of colour and creative techniques that she uses to capture the beauty of flowers in her paintings. This is perfect for both novice and experienced artists. Sewing in No Time contains 50 step-by-step projects to create cushions, table linen and much more, using the most basic of sewing skills! The Hedgerow Handbook is great for those who love the outdoors with its contemporary recipes that use wild ingredients, and Simple Pleasures sees some of the UK’s favourite writers discuss the little things that make life worth living. Staying on the nature theme, the acclaimed horticultural historian Jennifer Potter provides the definitive history of the queen of flowers in The Rose.

If your mum is more into fiction, than Anita Shreve’s Rescue might be just what she’s looking for. A compelling novel full of buried secrets and hidden truths, it tells the gripping story of estranged couple Peter and Sheila. Alexander McCall Smith is always a favourite and The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party continues the story of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Another book they’ll be pleased to receive is Classic Poems for Mothers, a celebration of motherhood featuring work from some of the most-loved English poets of all time.

The Book People Gala Dinner

Last night the Book People held what has to be the greatest gathering of children’s authors, illustrators, publishers and poets EVER! Somehow a few of us mere bookselling mortals managed to wangle an invite to the glamorous affair at London’s Southbank Centre where we tried to be helpful and witty but all too often ended up just gawping in amazement at the parade of childhood heroes and current favourites strolling by in all their finery.

After a drinks reception with children’s book themed canapés and cocktails – who could resist a James and the Giant Peach Bellini? – guests took their seats in the Clore Ballroom, at long, colourfully decorated tables that made us feel as if we’d ended up in Hogwarts.

The Book People’s Seni Glaister and Ted Smart welcomed the guests and explained how the evening was to be a celebration of children’s books. With everyone invited to bring along a copy of a favourite book to donate to children in care via The Letterbox Club, this was to be a party with a purpose as well as a pat on the back for the UK’s top talent.

With moving, funny and just-a-little-bit-controversial speeches from Michael Morpurgo (he sang a song!), Jamie Oliver, Anthony Horowitz and Southbank Centre Artistic Director Jude Kelly, and verse from Lemn Sissay, Daljit Nagra and Poetry Takeaway, the evening was as thought-provoking and entertaining as the authors present.

From Jacqueline Wilson, Patrick Ness and Meg Rosoff to Helen Oxenbury, Judith Kerr and Jeremy Strong, the event gathered together prize-winners and top sellers, funny writers, serious writers, crazy cartoonists, great artists, performance poets and several authors hard at work on long-awaited new novels. With food cooked by Jamie Oliver’s brilliant team (no one who attended will forget the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory dessert) and sparkling conversation continuing well after the midnight hour, this will surely go down as the most memorable literary event of the year.

Imagine Children’s Festival

Imagine Children’s Festival has been a huge success, delighting children of all ages with a whole host of activities. Sponsored by the Book People and taking place at London’s Southbank Centre, the festival saw amazing authors, one-off events, craft activities, comedy and music add up to create a unique celebration of children’s books. Taking place from 11 – 26 February 2012, there have been numerous highlights.

Children adored Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon’s speech and Jeremy Strong’s book signing also had queues stretching right out of the door. Comedian James Campbell delivered his live stand-up show for kids to a sold-out Queen Elizabeth Hall and absolutely brought the house down, before delighting his fans by signing DVDs afterwards. He even spared a minute to talk to the Book People backstage and explained why he likes to grow parsnips, along with demonstrating his incredible pancake-flipping skills.

The Spirit Level at the Craft Pavilion saw Paul Collicutt run his robot-themed workshop in the morning and there was even a baby disco, with the little ones bobbing along in their papooses to songs like ‘Jump Around’. The brilliant Jackie Kay read her poems, inviting the audience to join in with her, while the fantastically funny Roger McGough also treated a thrilled audience to drawings of some of his best-loved poems. An incredible 90 minute musical theatre production of Dennis the Menace was also a huge hit. With Beanotown in crisis and the grown-ups declaring a war on fun, it was up to Dennis, Gnasher and co to unite and show that kids still want to enjoy themselves.

Fun crafts, activities and hobbies

The evenings are getting lighter and it won’t be long before the clocks go forward, meaning we’ll be right in the midst of spring. And what better way to get ready for the new season than by partaking in a new hobby? At the Book People, we have a number of craft and activity books that might appeal to you, whether you love the great outdoors, like a puzzle or have an interest in art.

Everyone loves getting cards, and it’s always extra special if they’re handmade. Making Pop-Ups and Novelty Cards describes itself as ‘A master class in the art of paper engineering’ and is a practical guide to creating clever paper pop-ups. The book contains step-by-step instructions for over 100 techniques and projects that are sure to surprise and entertain whoever receives them! Practice Makes Perfect – Sketching and Drawing would also be useful for anyone with an interest in art. Ideal for beginners and intermediate artists, it comes complete with a sketch book so the reader can immediately try out the new skills they’ve learnt while drawing beautiful pictures.

If you’re one of the millions who enjoy a challenging game on the go, the three books in the Pocket Puzzles Collection will be right up your street. With books solely dedicated to crosswords, Sudoku and word searches, it will help a commute go quicker or just give you a testing challenge. Pocket-sized and great fun, the trio of books will test your brain cells and keep you busy for a long time! Meanwhile, for those with green fingers, The Royal Horticultural Society: Vegetable & Fruit Gardening offers all the latest advice on how to grow delicious fruit and vegetables. Very comprehensive, the book provides hints and tips on everything from growing your own tomatoes and potatoes to herbs and figs. A must for anyone who enjoys gardening and is looking to eat healthier food!

52 Great British Weekends will provide you with plenty of inspiration to make the most of your precious time off. Listing fantastic activities and ideas of things to do for every weekend of the year, the book’s suggestions range from nature walks to ski slopes and historical sites. This is a beautiful book, written in an accessible format that provides a number of ideas to contribute towards a memorable weekend break.

Famous faces come to the page

Here at the Book People we have a huge variety of books featuring some of your favourite famous faces, all for sale at great prices. So whether you love midwives and Muppets or hearty and healthy food, we’re certain we have a title to suit you.

If you’ve been one of the millions glued to the box watching the wonderful adaptation on Sunday evenings, you’re sure to enjoy Call the Midwife. This is Jennifer Worth’s true story about midwives working in the East End of London during the 1950s and the award-nominated book brings the era to life in vivid detail, while also managing establish the sense of camaraderie between Jennifer and her colleagues.

Other popular television programmes at the moment seem to revolve around food and we have plenty of cookbooks for wannabe chefs. The popular new show The Fabulous Baker Brothers is a celebration of plentiful food and Henry and Tom’s first book has recipes for a wide range of delicious breads, cakes, pastries and pies. MasterChef is also back, and the accessible accompaniment to the new series contains 130 favourite recipes from the show, 20 of which have been re-imagined for home cooking!

Meanwhile, The Muppets have returned to the big screen in their hilarious new film, and we have the Lights! Camera! Action! Fact File on sale for just £2.99. Full of their madcap humour, it includes all the information you could ever need on their comeback, including Muppet star facts, character profiles, quips, jokes, activities and quizzes. This is a colourful book that is sure to delight any fan of Kermit and co!

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