Tea and conversation flowed freely on Saturday afternoon as we enjoyed Tea & Tattle ‘s pleasant surroundings, scrummy food and an opportunity to chat with authors and other lovers of children’s books.
Inclusivity was a major topic of the day, as ‘diversity superhero’ Anna McQuinn, Sufiya Ahmed (Secrets of the Henna Girl) and trainer Anne Harding got together to put the world of children’s book publishing to rights! Don’t miss Anna’s seminal blog on how recognition of this vital issue led her to found independent inclusive publisher Alanna Books and Anne’s recent post with links to copious book recommendations.
Highlights from the eleven years Paul Crooks spent researching his Afro-Caribbean roots were fascinating, particularly the mixture of dedication and sheer luck that led to his eventual success. A copy of Ancestors, his fictionalised version of the personal history he uncovered will be a great addition to the shelves. Extremely knowledgeable on Britain’s transatlantic slave trade he will also address KS3 students and 6th Form.
Tamsyn Murray shared highlights from her recently published Completely Cassidy: Star Reporter. A second episode in the hectic, Year 7 life of Cassidy Bond, subject of Tamsyn’s popular and very funny series for pre-teens.
Patricia Elliott talked to us about teaching children’s literature, her current plans and the breadth of her work to date. Promoting her brand new Connie Carew mystery The House of Eyes published just this month, The Devil in the Corner a Victorian, gothic, murder mystery from last year and not forgetting, of course, her popular, romantic Pimpernelles series set during the French Revolution.
Lindsey Barraclough treated us to a glimpse of the creative process behind her atmospheric tale of witchcraft from last year, Mark of Cain. Hugely popular with KS4, it is her second story set the village of Bryers Guerdon and begins a few years after Carnegie Award nominated Long Lankin.
Finally, it was also a pleasure to meet Amanda Lillywhite and learn more about the life of an illustrator, her styles, work in magazines, brochures, posters and educational books and particularly her online webcomics.
All in all, a very pleasant and informative afternoon, and a format that we hope to repeat very soon!