Bookstore of the Month | The Children’s Bookshop Muswell Hill

Bookstore of the Month

Our Bookstore of the Month this May is The Children’s Bookshop in Muswell Hill!

Children's Bookshop

Describe The Children’s Bookshop in three words

Eccentric, jolly, and bibliophilic!

Where is your favourite spot in the store?

There is a corner by the picture books which is particularly cosy — you can see the whole shop, but no one can see you!

 Give us a brief history of The Children’s Bookshop.

We’ve been around since 1974, and it’s been passed down from family to family – and always to someone who was already working here! Some of our earliest customers are now bringing in their grandchildren, so we have a lovely sense of our history – and canny customers will find staff members who have been here for over thirty years.

Do you have a store pet?

No? What would be your ideal bookstore pet?

We don’t have a pet, but an octopus would come in handy – enough arms to get all the books at once! Or a niffler, just in case we’re sitting on a pile of buried treasure.

Do you have a favourite author? If yes, who is it?

The general consensus from our staff is Philip Reeve, Meg Rosoff, Andy Stanton, Michael Morpurgo, and Eva Ibbotson – storytellers who stand the test of time.

Children's Bookshop

What is your favourite opening line from a book?

We had a vote, and Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman wins for sheer poetic menace:

“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.”

What was the last book you read?

Who Let the Gods Out by Maz Evans (Sanchita)

What is your favourite A&CB book?

It’s got to be the two Adas – Ada Twist Scientist and Ada’s Ideas – fantastic heroines whose stories are bought to life with quirky illustrations.

And in winter, Stina is the sort of book you want to wrap yourself up in.

Children's Bookshop

What is your favourite book?

A collection of staff favourites:

Lost Happy Endings – Carol Ann Duffy & Jane Ray (Sanchita’s choice)

Wed Wabbit – Lissa Evans (Maj’s choice)

Tadpole’s Promise – Jeanne Willis (Jeff’s choice)

Jasmine Skies – Sita Bramachari (Meena’s choice)

Share a #Shelfie with us!

The Children's Bookshop

You can find The Children’s Bookshop at:

29 Fortis Green Rd, London, N10 3HP

Follow them on Twitter.

Five Children’s Books that promote gender equality

This collection of children’s books is a must have for your young reader’s shelf – proving to young girls and boys that girls can do anything they put their minds to.

1. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty illustrated by David Roberts

Rosie Revere, Engineer

‘Rosie should indeed be revered: why, she’s practically a poster girl for positivity and empowerment. And we’re all in favour of gals excelling in the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Way to go, Rosie!’ Catherine O’Dolan – My Little Style File

Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her Great, Great Aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal – to fly – Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her Aunt’s dream come true. Her invention complete, Rosie attempts a test flight–but after a moment, the machine crashes to the ground. Discouraged, Rosie deems the invention a failure, but Aunt Rose insists that on the contrary, it was a raging success.

With a message everyone should remember: the only true failure is quitting, Rosie Revere, Engineer is a book that will encourage young girls to believe in themselves and explore all the things they enjoy.

Find out more and order your copy here.

Rosie Revere

2. Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood illustrated by Meg Hunt

Interstellar Cinderella

“Deborah Underwood’s playful text provides god-robots, tools, sprockets, and a heroine who elects to explore, rather settle for marriage and Meg Hunts original, galactic illustrations remind young readers not to limit their dreams to the earthbound.” The Guardian: Picture books that draw the line against pink stereotypes of girls.

Once upon a planetoid, amid her tools and sprockets, a girl named Cinderella dreamed of fixing fancy rockets.

With a little help from her fairy god-robot, Cinderella is going to the ball. But when the prince’s ship has mechanical trouble, someone will have to zoom to the rescue! Readers will thank their lucky stars for this irrepressible fairy tale retelling, its independent heroine and its stellar happy ending – this bold retelling proves girls can be the heroine of their own stories.

Interstellar Cinderella

3. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty illustrated by David Roberts

Ada Twist, Scientist

“As brilliant and inspirational as the other titles in Andrea and David’s series, and a book destined to be talked about and adored far and wide. Brilliant!” Read It Daddy Blog: Book of the Week

Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. Not afraid of failure, she embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But, this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble!

Inspired by real-life makers such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, Ada Twist, Scientist champions girl power and women scientists and brings welcome diversity to picture books about girls in science. Touching on themes of never giving up and problem solving, Ada comes to learn that her questions might not always lead to answers, but rather to more questions. She may never find the source of the stink, but with a supportive family and the space to figure it out, she’ll be able to feed her curiosity in the ways a young scientist should.

Flying the flag for both diverse reads and girls in STEM, Ada Twist, Scientist is a must-read for kids everywhere!

4. Ada’s Ideas by Fiona Robinson

Ada's Ideas Cover

“Fiona Robinson has created an originally illustrated, empathetically produced tale of a significant character in our history. Highlighting this incredible story of an eighteenth century young woman in complementary mixed media illustrations makes for a truly engaging read.” Picture Books Blogger

This non-fiction picture book about Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer, is a compelling portrait of a woman who saw the potential for numbers to make art and the power of imagination.

Give your young reader a they can look-up-to for her intelligence, perseverance and creativity.

Ada's Ideas

5. Hot Pink by Susan Goldman Rubin

Hot Pink

This non-fiction biography of Elsa Schiapaerelli will inspire and educate. Schiaparelli was one of the most innovative designers in the early 20th century, credited with many firsts: trompe l’oeil sweaters with collars and bows knitted in; wedge heels; shoulder bags; and even the concept of a runway show for presenting collections. Elsa Schiapaerelli defied expectations, tradition and shocked the world.

A bright and bold children’s books that proves that you can still be a BOSS in hot pink.

Hot Pink

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Share your favourite with #InternationalWomansDay, because there has never been a more important time to celebrate womankind and show young readers that girls can do anything.

Today I Feel…

Today I Feel…

Today I Feel

 

Open-up a discussion about feelings with your little reader with the help of Madalena Moniz’s gorgeous alphabet of emotions.

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Beautifully illustrated by Madalena Moniz’s subtle watercolours, Today I Feel… follows a child through a whole range of emotions, from adored to curious to strong. Not all of the emotions are positive and not all of them are simple, but they are all honest and worthy of discussion with a young child.

Today I Feel…: An Alphabet of Emotions is on sale next week – pre-order yours today.

Bookstore of the Month | The Alligator’s Mouth

Bookstore of the Month

Happy New Year friends! Here to launch our Bookstore of the Month feature for 2017 is a bookstore with a BITE, the incomparable children’s bookshop: The Alligator’s Mouth.

The Alligator's Mouth

  1. Describe The Alligator’s Mouth in three words.

Friendly, toothsome & biblioquirky.

  1. Where is your favourite spot in the store?

We generally discourage customers from obstructing the steps in the centre of the shop, between picture books and books for older readers, but it can be a nice place to sit with a cup of tea when the shop goes quiet.

  1. Give us a brief history of The Alligator’s Mouth

Margaret and Tony worked together at the Lion and Unicorn children’s bookshop, which had a great reputation in Richmond built up over more than 30 years. When it closed, they decided look for a new premises where they could carry on doing what they love doing. Mark joined the team as the third full time member of staff and the shop opened in March 2015. Our launch event featured Chris Riddell, Jacqueline Wilson, Axel Scheffler, Jim Smith and a host of other wonderful authors and illustrators who were there to get us off to a good start. We stock books from baby to young adult and host storytimes, a comics club, a 9-11 bookclub and frequent author events. In the nearly two years since opening we’ve had lots of lovely community support, getting involved with local schools, community centres and theatres. In November 2015 we were voted best Richmond shop in the Time Out Love London Awards. The name comes from a Lemony Snicket quote: ‘A book is like an alligator’s mouth — If you see one open you often end up disappearing inside.’

  1. Do you have a store pet?

No, we don’t have a pet. An argument has just broken out over whether our ideal bookstore pet would be a griffin or a moomin…

(The A&CB team voted; we think a griffin would be impressive, but a moomin would be less likely to damage the books and readers…)

Chris Ridell at The Alligator's Mouth

  1. Do you have a favourite author? If yes, who is it?

We all love Chris Riddell’s work. There are favourite books here for all ages that he has either written or illustrated or both (‘Ottoline’, ‘When I Met Dudley’ and ‘Alienography’ to name but a few). We were very lucky to have him draw our alligator logo, and it had to be Chris to cut the ribbon on the shop at our launch event.

  1. What is your favourite opening line from a book?

    Margaret has picked Where’s Papa going with that ax?[sic], the unexpectedly sinister opening from E. B. White’sCharlotte’s Web’.

    The Alligator's Mouth

  1. What was the last book you read?

Tony: ‘The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie’ by Alan Bradley
Margaret: ‘The Road to Ever After’ by Moira Young
Mark: ‘Podkin One Ear’ by Kieren Larwood

  1. What is your favourite A&CB books?

We all love ‘Ada Twist: Scientist’ by Andrea Beaty & David Roberts. We’d also like to mention ‘Flora and the Flamingo’ by Molly Idle and anything by Benjamin Chaud (‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School’, etc.) We find we can rely on A&CB for beautifully illustrated and designed books, often with thoughtful and original content.

  1. What is your favourite book?

One book that we all continue to enjoy as we recommend it to parents, teachers and cheeky children is ‘Battle Bunny’ by Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett & Matthew Myers. A little boy has received a twee book called Birthday Bunny, but with the power of a marker pen he has transformed it into the awesome, action-packed tale of Battle Bunny! We’ve had at least two teachers take it away and base lesson plans around it. For booksellers it’s satisfying to help others unlock the potential in an unusual book like this.

10.

Share a #Shelfie with us!

A&CB Titles at The Alligator's Mouth

Here’s a table filled with some of our favourite A&CB books, new and old.

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You can find The Alligator’s Mouth at 2a Church Court, Richmond, TW9 1JL. If you  find yourself in Richmond make sure you pop-in and say hello.

Follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Meet Tinyville Town’s Residents!

Welcome to Tinyville Town!

Tinyville Town
Text and illustrations copyright © 2016 Brian Biggs

Tinyville Town, a new series from the bestselling author and illustrator Brian Biggs, is launching with three books: Tinyville Town Get’s to Work, a world-establishing picture book that introduces the town and its many residents; I’m a Veterinarian, a day in the life of the town vet; and I’m a Firefighter, a day in the life of Charlie the town firefighter.

The series is set in a cozy community where mobile phones don’t exist, the bus is always on time and everyone buys their doughnuts at same bakery. The people are kind and everyone does their part to keep things running smoothly. Tinyville Town is a growing, thriving city full of interesting people. They can’t wait to show you around!

Welcome to Tinyville Town

Tinyville TownsfolkTinyville Townsfolk

Tinyville Townsfolk Tinyville Townsfolk

Available now: 

Tinyville Town: Gets to Work

Tinyville Town: I'm a Firefighter  Tinyville Town: I'm a Veterinarian

Coming Spring 2017: Tinyville Town: I’m a Librarian

 

#FiveYearsOfBooks | Top Five Books for Under 6’s

ACB_5yearlogo_long

Double celebrations; our 5th Birthday and Children’s Book Week!

Take a look at a few of our favourite books for Under 6’s.

Press Here
Press Here
Herve Tullet
Chronicle Books

PRESS HERE.

Go on.

Press it.

There is no doubt Press Here is incredible and the perfect start to our Top 5 books for kids Under 6!

Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey!

365 Penguins
365 Penguins
Jean-Luc Fromental, illustrated by Joelle Jolivet
ABRAMS Books

On the first day of the new year, the mailman brings a suprise…a penguin! One by one, day by day, the penguins fill the house…

This oversized book is a favourite in our office and deserves its place in our Top 5 books for Under 6’s (as do the 365 penguins inside, but we had to limit the list to 5…)

Iggy Peck, Architect
Iggy Peck, Architect
Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
ABRAMS Books

Young Iggy Peck is an Architect
and has been since he was two,
when he built a great tower – in only and hour – with nothing byt diapers and glue.

We’ve been in love with Andrea Beaty’s irresistible rhyming text and David Roberts’ unique and stylish illustration since Iggy landed on our desks in 2007. A veteran of our Children’s list Iggy is an important addition our Top 5 books for Under 6’s.

Pssst, Iggy has a brand new stationery line in collaboration with Rosie Revere, coming out later this year!

Rosie Revere, Engineer
Rosie Revere, Engineer
Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
ABRAMS Books

This is the story of Rosie Revere,
who dreamed of becoming a great engineer…

Our Top 5 Books for 4-6 Year olds wouldn’t be complete without Rosie Revere, Engineer!

Flora & The Flamingo
Flora and the Flamingo
illustrated by Molly Idle
Chronicle Books

Our Top 5 books for Under 6’s would not be complete with out Molly Idle’s Calcott award winning picture book. Flora captured our hearts the moment we opened it’s pretty pink pages.

In this wordless book with lift-the-flaps, a flamingo and a girl explore the trials and joys of friendship through an elaborate synchronized dance.

 

Five Questions Monday – Jory John

The Terrible Two wonder-prankster extraordinaire Jory John takes on our 5 Question Monday!

 jory (2)

How do you like your eggs in the morning?

I went through a phase where I tried to convince myself that I enjoyed hard-boiled eggs, but it didn’t stick. I’m a scrambled eggs guy, through and through.

What’s your favourite joke?

I like jokes without punchlines. In fact, some people wouldn’t even call them jokes. Some people would call them statements with attitude. This is all a way of saying that I can’t really remember jokes.

What film character are you most like?

I’ll slightly amend this question and say that I’d like to be like the fellow George Clooney plays in Up in the Air. At least the part of him that’s good at travelling. Not the part that’s good at firing people from their jobs.

What’s the first book you ever read?

I want to say Where the Red Fern Grows, but that can’t possibly be right.

Would you rather be invisible or be able to read minds?

Probably invisible. I already feel on edge, just from my own internal monologue.

The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John is the tale of Miles Murphy who is not happy to be moving to Yawnee Valley, a sleepy town that’s famous for one thing and one thing only: cows. In his old school, everyone knew him as the town’s best prankster, but Miles quickly discovers that Yawnee Valley already has a prankster, and a great one. If Miles is going to take the title from this mystery kid, he is going to have to raise his game. It’s prankster against prankster in an epic war of trickery, until the two finally decide to join forces and pull off the biggest prank ever seen: a prank so huge that it would make the members of the International Order of Disorder proud.

Published by Abrams Books tomorrow, the 3rd of March 2015! Available here!

9781419716676

Secret Sidekicks

 

SofieMagdeleneDahl

The Who, The What and, The When -A love letter to the unsung heroes of history. Including some literary geniuses…

Ever wondered who inspired Roald Dahl’s stories?

SOFIE MAGDALENE (HESSELBERG) DAHL 1885 – 1967

ROALD DAHL’S MOTHER

An old, wrinkled grandmother fills out every inch of an armchair, chewing with relish on a foul-smelling black cigar, in the Witches, one of the many popular children’s stories written by Roald Dahl. Smoke encircles her large body as she tells the young main character the “gospel truth” about how to identify witches. “She was a wonderful story-teller and I was enthralled by everything she told me,” the character narrates.

The description purposefully echoes how Roald thought of his own mother, Sofie. He based the grandmother’s character on her in a tribute to “undoubtedly the absolute primary influence on my own life,” Roald says in More About Boy, an expanded version of his memoir of his earlier years.

The Norwegian Sofie married Roald’s father, Harald, in 1911, and she moved to Wales to be with him and his two children from a previous marriage. She had three children of her own, two girls and Roald, before her seven-year-old daughter, Astri, died from appendicitis in 1920. Only three weeks later, Harald also passed away from pneumonia, leaving a pregnant Sofie alone to raise her soon-to-be five children.

Rather than return to Norway to live with her parents, she respected her late husband’s wishes that she stay in Wales and have her children educated in British schools. And despite her children’s mischievous activities while growing up, she was “a rock, a real rock, always on your side whatever you’d done,” Roald noted. “It gave me the most tremendous feeling of security.” Roald was her favourite child, and although the family called him “Boy,” she also called him “Apple.”

To entertain the children, Sofie told tales, pulling creative inspiration from folklore from her home country. “When we were young, she told us stories about Norwegian trolls and all the other mythical Norwegian creatures that lived in the dark pine forests, for she was a great teller of tales,” Roald wrote in More About Boy. “Her memory was prodigious and nothing that ever happened to her in her life was forgotten.”

Roald reciprocated this creative storytelling when Sofie enrolled him into boarding school when he was nine years old. He started writing letters to Sofie, telling stories about his life that meant to entertain and amuse.

In one letter in 1929, after Sofie gave him a pair of roller skates for his birthday, Roald tells his mother about skating in his school’s yard. “At one time I had eight chaps pulling me with a long rope, at a terrific lick, and I sat down in the middle of it,” Roald wrote. “My bottom is all blue now!”

From those very first letters until Sofie died thirty-two years later in 1967, he wrote her at least once a week whenever he was not home, including his time in school, when he worked with the Shell Oil company in Africa, and when he flew with the Royal Air Force in the Mediterranean during World War II.

Sofie secretly collected every single letter, amounting to more than six hundred from 1925 until 1945, into neat bundles with green tape, according to Roald. Only one term’s worth of letters are missing: the fall of 1928, which were damaged in a bombing in 1940. At the bottom of each letter, he signed his love with his given name—all except his first semester at boarding school, when he simply wrote “love from Boy.”

written by JACKI E LEAVITT

www.jackie-leavitt.com

illustrated by J ENSINE ECKWALL

www.jensineeckwall.com

The Who, The What and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History, reveals 65 people you’ve probably never heard of, but who helped shape the word as we know it. Muses and neighbours, friends and relatives, accomplices and benefactors, such as Michael and Joy Brown, who gifted Harper Lee a year’s worth of wages to help her write To Kill a Mockingbird. Or John Ordway, the colleague who walked with Lewis and Clark every step of the way. Each eye-opening story of these unsung heroes is written by a notable historian and illustrated by a top indie artist, making The Who, the What, and the When a treasure trove of word and image for history buffs, art lovers and anyone who rejoices in unexpected discovery.

Want to find out more? Follow the #SecretSidekicks hashtag!

Five Questions Monday

Image ©Bogie Uram

Star of today’s Five Question Monday is Andrea Beaty, the wonderful author behind Rosie Revere, Engineer; Iggy Peck architect and the brand new Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau!

1.  How do you like your eggs in the morning?

At a diner booth watching the drizzly world go by as I sip hot coffee and riddle over a storyline.

2. What’s your favourite joke?  

The Reverse Knock Knock Joke. You start …

3. What film character are you most like?

The Cowardly Lion. If I only had the noive.

4. What is the first book you ever read?

Dick and Jane. I am old.

5. Would you rather have to greet everyone with a high five or a fist bump for the rest of your life? (imagine fist bumping in an interview!?)  

I would prefer to greet everyone with interpretive dance.

Thank you Andrea, we would LOVE to great everyone with interpretive dance!

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers…

It is that time again…

It’s time for Bookstore of the Week! 

This week we are celebrating a little North London gem; Picked Pepper Books.

A specialist children’s bookshop,cafe and events space in the the village like Crouch End, they host daily pre-school events and after school groups; like their Young Illustrators and creative writing groups.They also have a a fantastic book group!

This little store is the place to be for little readers this half-term they even have a Halloween special Once Upon a Story Time! *Spooky*

We think that Pickled Pepper Books deserves a huge round of applause for the work they do to encourage and create young-readers. They go above and beyond the scope of such a little space. So for being small but mighty Picked Pepper we are giving you a massive HIGH FIVE!

SO grab your grown-up and take a stroll to discover storytelling, make and do, film screenings, author/illustrator events (psst…Mum & Dad they also do great recommendations…)

But if you can’t make it there be sure to sign-up to their newsletter and follow them on twitter! They can also be found on Facebook.

Find them at 10 Middle Lane, Crouch End, London, N8 8PL

http://pickledpepperbooks.co.uk/