Archive for February, 2014

The Owl and the Pussycat

Who knew that Edward Lear’s much-loved nonsense poem ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ would once correlate with real life so perfectly? At the Book People, we’re delighted to bring our customers two heart-warming new books that focus on the unbreakable bond between human beings and animals. Both available in hardback form for just £4.99 each, anyone who loves pets will find themselves smiling – and crying – right the way through When Fraser Met Billy and The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar.

Cat lovers and parents everywhere will find Louise Booth’s When Fraser Met Billy a touching read. In the book, which will appeal hugely to fans of James Bowen’s A Street Cat Named Bob, Louise tells how Billy the cat transformed her young autistic son Fraser’s life for the better. Finding Billy at a cat protection shelter, the feline’s friendship helped Fraser evolve from being anxious, emotional and prone to tantrums into an altogether more stable child with a brighter future.

The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar is another deeply personal memoir, this time from author and historian Martin Windrow. When Martin first met the owlet Mumble, there was an instant connection and the two embarked on an incredible journey together. Raising her from a fledgling through to a fully grown owl, first in secret in a south London tower block and then in a Sussex village, the book covers their shared life and how they came to rely on each other. Beautifully quirky and charming, it’s adorned with personal photographs of mumble. The book’s a hoot for all those who love birds and tales of companionship.

When Fraser Met Billy


Grab a bargain in the Book People’s £2 Bonanza

If you’re on the lookout for some cut-price books, then look no further than the Book People‘s latest £2 Bonanza – because we’ve got a wide range of great titles for both younger and older readers. Whether you’re looking for something that’ll entertain you or inform – or both – you’re sure to find something that’s just right among our selection of bargain books.

Among the books currently on offer in our £2 Bonanza, there’s Monsters University, a colourful accompaniment to the smash-hit Disney/Pixar film. Young readers will also enjoy Gillian Shields’ The Littlest Bear – which tells the heartwarming story of an unusual friendship between a polar bear and a wolf cub.

Monsters IncGillian Shields

If you’re looking for something hard-hitting then we’ve also got The Great Tax Robbery by Richard Brooks, which offers a penetrating insight into the techniques multinational corporations use to avoid tax and the complicity of successive British governments in allowing them to do so.

Great Tax Robbery

Alternatively, if you’re a fan of the Great British pub (and who isn’t?) then you’ll also find two of Alistair Aird’s regional Good Pub Guides available in our £2 bonanza – one for the north of England and one for London and the south-east. These up-to-date guides include a whole host of useful information on pubs in their respective regions, including the range of food and drinks on offer, facilities and even opening hours.

There’s all that and much more besides in the Book People’s latest £2 Bonanza – so take a look for yourself to find out just what’s currently on offer.


The Book Thief

The adaptation of Markus Zusak’s bestselling young adult novel The Book Thief finally arrives at cinemas this weekend and here at the Book People we cannot wait to see how this incredibly powerful tale transfers over to the big screen. First published in 2005, The Book Thief won numerous awards and was also featured as a New York Times bestseller. The film stars Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson and 13-year-old Sophie Nélisse as the book’s heroine Liesel Meminger. It also features a soundtrack from the legendary composer John Williams.

A moving, breathtaking novel that is narrated by Death himself, the book is set in Germany during the Second World War and finds young Liesel’s life being changed forever when, at her brother’s funeral, she picks up a copy of the Gravedigger’s Handbook and keeps it for herself – committing her first act of book thievery and starting a lifelong love of literature. Finding solace and happiness between the pages of a book during a very tumultuous and dangerous time in history, Liesel also forms a friendship and bond with the Jewish boy her foster family are hiding from the Nazis in their basement. Both are in love with books and find their difficult lives enhanced by the power of words and the ability of a story to feed the soul with emotions and passion.

Markus Zusak

We’ve been huge fans of The Book Thief ever since it was published and hope this new feature film will bring this stunning novel into the hands of a whole new generation. Although aimed at those aged 11 and over, the poignant book will appeal just as much to adults. You can buy The Book Thief from Red House at the Book People for just £3.99.


Celebrate The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s 45th birthday by signing up to the Giant Wiggle!

One of the classic children’s stories that has entertained and inspired generations, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar celebrates its 45th birthday this year and to mark this momentous event, children (aged around 5) across the country are being encouraged to join in the fun of The Giant Wiggle on 20 March!

Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Giant Wiggle is a fun sponsored walk that nurseries, playgroups, children’s centres, families and friends can all take part in. All the money raised will go to Action for Children, an established and highly respected charity that supports vulnerable and neglected children. Launched by CBeebies presenter Angellica Bell at St Pancras station with a trial Wiggle, the best thing about the Wiggle is it is flexible so you can tailor it to the facilities, weather and even the age of the children taking part.

Eric Carle

Children will have so much fun forming their own caterpillar as a giant conga line as they all walk behind each other in a line and hold on to the waist or shoulders of their friend in front. Parents and carers are also more than welcome to get involved and you can have some real fun decorating the start and finish lines or even having a sing-song while you embark on the walk. Other ideas Action for Children suggest to make the Wiggle more fun are bringing in a fancy dress element, wearing masks or even a nature walk through a park so the kids can discover just where a real Very Hungry Caterpillar would live. You could also have a break for a picnic and story time as well as providing all the Wigglers with their very own certificate for taking part (which can be downloaded from Action for Children’s website).

Giant Wiggle Eric Carle

We’re all huge fans of Eric Carle and The Very Hungry Caterpillar at the Book People and are thrilled to see the 45th birthday being celebrated in style and for such a good cause. Register for your very own Giant Wiggle fundraising pack here and good luck on 20 March!


A Q and A with Laura Dockrill

Laura Dockrill is the very talented author of the Darcy Burdock books and we were lucky enough to speak to her about these popular stories. You will be able to buy the new Darcy Burdock book, Hi So Much, from Red House at the Book People for just £2.99.

Darcy Burdock

What can your fans expect from Hi So Much?

I got a warm response from the stories in Darcy Burdock but such great feedback about Darcy’s family life. So more family, more madness and a fight between two wretched tinned fish eating twin sisters over a postman.

Where did the name Darcy Burdock come from?

It was important for me to create a character that wasn’t too girly, I wanted to find an authentic name that would work for a boy or girl as Darcy is written with everybody in mind. Something light and catchy. Darcy is also my little brothers middle name- his full name is Hector (like Darcy’s little brother) Darcy Darling Dockrill. My parents were inventive! And Burdock steals the Dock of Dockrill. Darcy is essentially based on myself as a ten year old so she had to have the fibres of myself in her name.

How much of Darcy Burdock is based on your own personal experience?

Errr. A bit too much. I have so many fantastic memories of growing up with my brother, Hector and sister, Daisy. We didn’t have much money when I was young, we were all squished into a jam packed flat in Brixton but everyday was full of love and fun and adventure. I wanted to create a character that showcased that. A normal life. To inspire others and celebrate that weird wonky limbo time of what it’s like being 10/11 years old.

What is your greatest memory of starting secondary school?

Probably forgetting my home work on my second day. I was so SO organised that first day. I forgot my science home work. The first actual bit of homework I ever got! Iremember having to personally find and apologise to the teacher. His name was Mr Shirley and he wore thick black framed glasses- he looked like a mad scientist. I was so upset and scared and nervous. Looking back I was actually SO excited to get homework because I thought it made you really grown up and I went and forgot it. I was so embarrassed. I remember saying sorry with big gluey tears in my eyes and he said, I’ll never forget, ‘these things happen.’ And it made me feel even worse. Worse than if he had properly told me off.

Did you have a favourite teacher?

At primary it was Miss Bamford. My rockstar teacher of year 3&4. She had dyed red hair and a pierced nose. She let us be ourselves. She let me choose the Lino colour of our classroom and she taught us sign language because her mother was deaf. When we were well behaved she would take us to the music room and play an old record. She liked it that we were wild and vibrant. She let us be ourselves. But she was firm and frank.
At secondary, there were too many weird and odd characters that I adored. I always loved the teachers that let their true personalities shine through, that didn’t hide behind their teacher professional persona. I have always responded well to people that are genuine. At the Brit School I loved all my teachers- Imogen Brodie that had such a divine obsession to chocolate that she had to squirt honey into her mouth to stop her gobbling it up all the time- Imogen was an amazingly warm and gentle and funny teacher that made us feel like we could do anything. And our headmaster, Nick Williams is still one of the most influential and incredibly inspiring people I have ever met. We still keep in touch. He taught me so much.

How different is it writing children’s books compared to poetry?

Not too different. I try to write everything with the same intention. I never begin and think ‘oooo this is a poem’ I just begin and let the words lead the way.

You and Michael Rosen seem to have formed quite a strong friendship. How did this come about and which is your favourite of his books?

We read together for the launch of Darcy Burdock book one. He is like the real BFG. I met him once at the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and it went from there. We bonded over our respect and admiration of Dahl and our interest in weird and wonderful things. Sad Book is my favourite of his work. Absolutely beautiful and sobering and the artwork is incredible.

Who are your favourite authors?

The queen J. Wilson, Roald Dahl, Maurice Sendak… The list could go on and on. At the moment I’m reading the original Little Mermaid. It’s beautiful.

Laura Dockrill


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