HELLO HELLO | A NOTE ON CONSERVATION

This Sunday 22nd of April is Earth Day 2018 and to raise awareness we wanted to share with you the Author’s Note from Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel. The campaign for this year’s Earth Day is to #EndPlasticPollution. Find out what you can do to help at earthday.org


Hello Hello is the gorgeous follow-up to the Caldecott Honor–winning They All Saw a Cat and explores another aspect of seeing the world for young children. Beginning with two cats, one black and one white, a chain of animals appears before the reader, linked together by at least one common trait. From simple colours and shapes to more complex and abstract associations, each unexpected encounter celebrates the magnificent diversity of our world—and ultimately paints a story of connection. Brendan Wenzel’s joyous, rhythmic text and exuberant art encourage readers to delight in nature’s infinite differences and to look for—and marvel at—its gorgeous similarities. It all starts with a simple “Hello.”

Brendan Wenzel is an author and illustrator based in upstate New York. His debut picture book, They All Saw a Cat, was a New York Times bestseller and the recipient of a 2017 Caldecott Honor. An ardent conservationist, he is a proud collaborator with many organisations working to ensure the future of wild places and threatened species.

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A Note from the Author

You have just said hello to some of my favourite animals. Their colours, shapes, sounds, patterns, habits and strange hairdos make the world a more vibrant and fascinating place. Each one is a vital part of the ecosystem it inhabits.

Sadly, many of these creatures are in trouble—considered to be Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. A species can become threatened for many reasons, like habitat loss, poaching or climate change.

Many people don’t know a lot of these animals even exist. You can help change that! Find out more about the. Head to the library, go on the internet, and share your interest and enthusiasm with everyone you know. You could even write a letter to one of the incredible conservationists working to protect them and keep the places they live safe. The more that people know about these creatures, the better the chance they will share this planet with us for many years to come.

 It starts with saying hello.


Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel is out now
Follow Brendan on Instagram and Twitter, or visit his website here

BOOKS FOR PROGRESS | IWD & WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

It’s not long now until International Women’s Day (8th March) AND March is Women’s History Month, so we’ve been getting in the mood (are we ever not?) and have rounded up some recent books to empower, inspire and educate: books for progress!

Watch our video above and then scroll down for some inspiration… 


1. DRESS LIKE A WOMAN 

What does it mean to dress like a woman? This book turns that question on its head by sharing a myriad of interpretations throughout history. It’s a comprehensive look at the role of gender and dress in the workplace and contains essays by renowned fashion writer Vanessa Friedman and feminist writer Roxane Gay.

Find out more

2. BYGONE BADASS BROADS

It’s Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls for grown-ups, based on Mackenzi Lee’s popular Twitter series of forgotten trail-blazing women. There are witty bios and in-depth stories of women who dared to step outside of traditional gender roles for their times. With stylish and bold illustrations by Petra Eriksson.

Find out more

3. 200 WOMEN

This landmark book was published in October last year to rave reviews and proceeds go to organisations nominated by the women featured. Alongside photographic portraits by acclaimed photograph Kieran Scott, each of the 200 Women answer the same five questions and provide a snapshot of female life around the globe. Interviewees include Margaret Atwood, Jane Goodall, Roxane Gay, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and many more from all walks of life.

Find out more

Visit the official 200 Women website

4. BAD GIRLS THROUGHOUT HISTORY & LEGENDARY LADIES

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Ann Shen’s brilliant Bad Girls Throughout History has been capturing hearts since 2016 but it never goes out of style and even has its own stationery range. Her next book comes out this April and looks set to do the same. Legendary Ladies is a lushly illustrated and empowering look at goddesses from around the world and an homage to the mighty women within us all.

Find out more 

5. YOUNGER READERS

There’s no shortage of inspiration on hand for younger readers – from toddlers to teen and beyond. This is just a small selection with some recent favourites.

Little Feminist Board Book Set – the Little Feminist range from Galison Mudpuppy includes a Board Book Set, a 500 Piece Family Puzzle and Playing Cards! All feature illustrations by Lydia Ortiz, and text by Emily Kleinman. These are bright, colourful and inspiring baby books featuring incredible women from history and from the modern day. Find out more

Ada Twist, Scientist and Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty (illus. David Roberts) – these two characters have earned their places among the most beloved children’s characters and have inspired countless kids and adults to follow their dreams. They are great for the classroom and downloadable teacher’s guides and activities are available. 2018 is also the UK Year of Engineering, which Rosie Revere is very excited about. These rhyming picture books are perfect for ages 4-8, and each also has a linked Project Book for Science and Engineering related activities. Find out more

Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! by Mariko Tamaki (illus. Brooklyn Allen) – the hit graphic novel series from BOOM! Studios now has whole new adventures in middle-grade novel format. Welcome to Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types! The series stars all types of girls: gay and straight, trans- and cisgendered and celebrates friendship, adventure and general hilarity! Book 2 is coming in May. Find out more


COMPETITION

Colour in a Bygone Badass Broads colouring sheet (download here) and email or tag us on Twitter or Instagram to be in with a chance of winning a book bundle of Bygone Badass Broads, 200 Women, Dress Like a Woman and Bad Girls Throughout History! (UK & Ireland Only) 

There’s also a downloadable Bygone Badass Broads protest sign here!  


Find all these books and many, many more on our website!

WORLD BOOK DAY 2018 | ADA, IGGY & ROSIE DRESS-UP TIPS

With World Book Day fast approaching, we wanted to put together our own little tips on how to dress up as the beloved characters created by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts, from their bestselling books together:

Who better for dress-up inspiration than this trio of creative, curious and determined kids with big dreams?

1. Ada Twist

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First, determined Ada Twist, with her boundless curiosity for science and love of asking the question ‘Why?’

What you’ll need:

  • Red and white dotted dress (example here)
  • Yellow gloves (find them in any supermarket or hardware store)
  • Plastic lab glasses or goggles (borrow some from school or find online)

Those are the core elements but you can complete the look with long white socks, black T-Bar shoes and a yellow hair bobble. Keep the outfit ready for British Science Week too from 9th-17th March!

2. Rosie Revere

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Lots of wonderful creative people have done their own Rosie Revere DIY outfits. In fact, Bambino Goodies posted a great one today:

‘This was Kitty’s choice last year and reasonably simple. I added striped fabric to the bottom of a plain white dress (using Wonderweb, of course), which she wore with white knee socks and red ballet pumps, bought some red and white spotty fabric for a headscarf and covered a Hogwarts lunchbox we had with blackboard sticker sheets so we could write ROSIE on it. Getting her curls vaguely straight was probably the trickiest bit!’

via ‘ World Book Day Costume Ideas’ on bambinogoodies.co.uk

Another useful guide was put together by Momma, PHD, which also uses hemming tape as the no-sew option for embellishing the bottom of the white t-shirt dress. If you prefer, you can get hold of fabric pens and use masking tape to create a template for the black and red stripes at the bottom of the dress before filling them in together.

What you’ll need: 

  • A white t-shirt (or regular) dress or oversized white t-shirt.
  • Fabric pens + masking tape or hemming tape
  • A red and white dotted strip of fabric for the headscarf
  • Long white socks or tights
  • Red shoes or sandals (optional)

2018 is the Year of Engineering so a great time to inspire the next generation of young engineers!

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3. Iggy Peck

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Iggy loves building things, and he’ll use anything that comes to hand for his creations! He also likes his patterned knitwear. This outfit is harder to DIY but can be put together with some wardrobe essentials.

What you’ll need:

  • A grey or black and white jumper (patterned, fairisle, jacquard or similar)
  • Alternatively you can go with Iggy’s white t-shirt look from later in the book, and tie any jumper around your waist
  • Grey, dark grey or black jeans
  • Green shoes or converse
  • A pencil behind your ear
  • An excellent quiff


We hope you have a wonderful World Book Day!

5 Books for the National #TimeToRead Challenge!

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This week (18-22 September) the wonderful Booktrust are launching their #TimeToRead campaign, which encourages parents to find ten minutes a day to read with their child. The campaign particularly urges parents or carers not to abandon story time once the child has learned to read. Just ten minutes of shared reading time can have amazing benefits for both parent or carer and child. You can find out all about the campaign and research here and can follow along with the hashtag on social media.

We’re supporting this fantastic campaign and have put together five(-ish) recommendations of current books to read with your child for ten minutes (or more!) each day:

  1. Say Zoop! by Hervé Tullet

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Tullet’s books encourage participation from their readers as they explore and interact with the physical book in all its dimensions. Liberate your imaginations as a family, make sounds together and experience the book’s magical response. Say Zoop! is perfect for sharing some reading time in those early years and for early learning. If you enjoy this interactive board book, check out Tullet’s Press Here.

  1. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty & David Roberts

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Pack your ten minutes with the empowering, inspiring STEM picture book series from best-selling Andrea Beaty & David Roberts. Join Ada Twist, Scientist with her love of science, her curiosity and propensity for always asking ‘Why?’. Follow Rosie Revere, Engineer as she pursues her engineering dreams, inventing gizmos and gadgets and read about the creativity of Iggy Peck, Architect as he tries to inspire his new teacher and classmates with his inventive architecture and designs. Feeling inspired? Pair them with the companion Big Project Books for Iggy and Rosie, with Ada’s to follow next year!

3. Wordless Picture Books: Professional Crocodile & Lines

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Wordless picture books are great for shared and repeat readings, with new details to be found in each re-visit. Both adult and child can work together to interpret and interact with the art. Try the clever and witty Professional Crocodile by Giovanna Zoboli (illus. Mariachiara Di Giorgio) or the poignant Lines by Suzy Lee. The latter starts from a simple pencil line, morphing into different scenes, following the trail and story of a young skater. You’ll find yourself coming back to this format again and again over the years.

4. The Frank Einstein series by Jon Scieszka (illus. Brian Biggs)

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With the final book due next year, now is the perfect time to catch up on the Frank Einstein series! Frank loves to tinker, build and take things apart. He loves to observe, hypothesise, experiment and invent. He’s a kid genius, who also occasionally has to thwart evil doomsday plans when things go wrong. These adventures are packed full of humour and a good dose of zany science-fuelled shenanigans. (Ages 8-12)

  1. Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! by Mariko Tamaki and BOOM! (illus. Brooke Allen)

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This technically isn’t out yet… but have it on your radar because this hilarious, rollicking adventure brings the already beloved Lumberjanes characters into novel format. You won’t want to leave Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, with its ensemble of diverse lovable characters and quick-witted problem-solving. It’s full of heart, epic friendships and the occasional unicorn. Look out for it from 10th October – it’s unlike anything else out there and bursting with fun for all ages. (Ages 9+)

 

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The story behind Ada’s Ideas by Fiona Robinson.

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My latest picture book is called Ada’s Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer.

I first came across Ada Lovelace in a somewhat circuitous manner. I had seen the play Arcadia by Tom Stoppard, and was enthralled by the lead character Thomasina. Thomasina is a Regency era child genius – a girl brilliant at maths, physics and engineering. I fell in love with her and the idea of a girl like her existing in that era.

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About a year later I read that Stoppard may have based his character on one Ada Lovelace, little known in the mainstream world, but deeply respected in the world of computer science. Thomasina existed!

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The more I read about Ada the more I became obsessed with her. Ada, the daughter of the ‘mad, bad, and dangerous to know’ poet Lord Byron and Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke. A girl separated from her father soon after birth by her mother who feared the influence of Byron’s reckless lifestyle. A girl who suffered a long term childhood illness and an over bearing mother who tried to steer her on a safe course (poetry free!) towards becoming a respectable aristocratic lady!

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As a young woman Ada entered the world of the elite. She became friends with the likes of Charles Dickens, Michael Faraday and Charles Babbage. Her friendship with Charles Babbage and her mathematical brilliance led her to write what would become know as the worlds first computer program. And her vision of what a computer might be capable of astounded the pioneers of computing in the 20th century!

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I learned that Ada found her own sort of poetic experience, through mathematics. And I found this intriguing, uplifting, and a story I had to tell. Like many girls of my time I struggled with maths. I was the kid who got brought back into the classroom at lunchtime to wrangle long division. Maths made me cry.

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I wondered how many other little girls have a negative experience with maths. And as I read more about Ada and her achievement in becoming the world’s first computer programmer, I realised that Ada struggled too. She struggled to write the algorithm for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, but kept on going. She struggled to be taken seriously in a male dominated society, but never gave up.

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I hope Ada might become a heroine for primary school girls, not just in terms of her accomplishments, but because she used her imagination to fuel her work. And imagination is something all kids have in abundance!

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When I was first thinking about the art for Ada’s Ideas I wanted to try something new – 3 dimensional images, which I hoped would capture the drama and theatricality of Ada’s life. This involved sketching out the images, then colouring them with my favourite paints – Japanese watercolours.

Watercolours

I then cut out the images very carefully with an X-Acto blade which is pretty similar to a scalpel. I used over 500 blades to produce all the cut images for the book!

 X-Acto blade cut outs

Once cut, I layered all the images for each spread to different heights using Lego bricks and glued them in place. Then each spread was photographed.

Cutouts with lego bricks Cutouts with lego bricks

I really enjoyed creating the art, and hope too that it will be enjoyed by many young readers!

Ada’s Ideas by Fiona Robinson is available now.

#SummerReads | Author Suggestions Part 2

TBR-pile
We are back with more suggestions for your TBR pile.
Josephine

Patricia Hruby Powell, author of the inspiring picture book Josephine is here to share her #SummerReads selection:

  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
  • And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman

“whew, that wasn’t easy. (I only got as far as books beginning with A – kidding, actually, but, hmmm).”

Have you read any of these? Share your thoughts & #SummerReads with us @ACBYA using #ACBbooks. 

Merry Christmas from Abrams and Chronicle Books

We hope your day is filled with festive fun and charm.

We wanted to share our own festive cheer with a glance at the 1914 Christmas Truce, that started on Christmas Eve 100 years ago, through John Hendrix’s book Shooting At The Stars.

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Shooting at the Stars is the moving story of a young British soldier on the front lines during World War I in 1914, writing a letter home to his mother describing his unforgettable Christmas Eve.

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Despite fierce fighting from both sides, both German and Allied soldiers ceased firing and came together on the battle field to celebrate the holiday. They sang Christmas carols, exchanged gifts and played football. But as the sun began to rise, they returned to their separate trenches and waited for the battle to begin again.

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Interweaving beautiful illustrations with hand-lettered text, author and illustrator John Hendrix tells a story that celebrates the humanity and kindness that can persist even during the darkest periods of our history.

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Very Merry Christmas one and all.

Merry Christmas from Abrams and Chronicle Books

We hope your day is filled with festive fun and charm.

We wanted to share our own festive cheer with a glance at the 1914 Christmas Truce, that started on Christmas Eve 100 years ago, through John Hendrix’s book Shooting At The Stars.

9781419711756

Shooting at the Stars is the moving story of a young British soldier on the front lines during World War I in 1914, writing a letter home to his mother describing his unforgettable Christmas Eve.

Pages-from-ShootingattheStars_INT

Despite fierce fighting from both sides, both German and Allied soldiers ceased firing and came together on the battle field to celebrate the holiday. They sang Christmas carols, exchanged gifts and played football. But as the sun began to rise, they returned to their separate trenches and waited for the battle to begin again.

Pages-from-ShootingattheStars_INT-2

Interweaving beautiful illustrations with hand-lettered text, author and illustrator John Hendrix tells a story that celebrates the humanity and kindness that can persist even during the darkest periods of our history.

Pages-from-ShootingattheStars_INT-3

Very Merry Christmas one and all.