Tag Archives: Bath Kids LitFest

Bookwitch bites #64

The winners take it all. And the longlistees who haven’t won yet, might win later. One of them.

Andy Mulligan

I would say this, but I kept feeling that my feeling that I wanted to lay my hands on Andy Mulligan’s Return to Ribblestrop, just might mean he’d do well in the Guardian children’s fiction prize. And he did, but just so you know, I haven’t yet succeeded, so that will be why. And maybe the fact that it’s a tremendous book. I’m sure of that, even in my pre-reading state. It seems that Andy managed to be present at the prize event on Thursday evening, despite this photo showing him in some un-Londonesque high rise.

The Roald Dahl Funny Prize winners Liz Pichon, Peter Bently and Jim Field

It’s been quite a humourous week, if you don’t count my miserable week with a literary cold. The Guardian winning book didn’t have to be funny, except this time it was, but the Roald Dahl Funny Prize winners have to be. This year they are Liz Pichon, Peter Bently and Jim Field, and to be extremely fair, I haven’t read any of their books. But the people below have. I wouldn’t normally go for photos of judges, but then I thought they looked so nice, so why not?

The Roald Dahl Funny Prize judges Felicity Dahl, Francesca Simon, Michael Rosen, Danny Wallace, Grace Dent and Tony Ross.

The Carnegie longlist was announced last week, and as usual it’s a long list, full of excellent books. I have read 19 of them, which actually leaves rather a few still un-read. I won’t issue any predictions at this stage. The shortlist is easier to manage, so my tea leaves and I will get back to you then.

Someone who is both popular and funny, is Jeff Kinney who writes the Diary of a Wimpy Kid (and I’m afraid I can only manage to think of burgers). This successful man is about to appear at the Bath Festival of Children’s Literature on December 3rd. Yes I know, it does seem as if he’s a wee bit late. The festival was on in September, but apparently if you’re very big, they will make an exception. So if you’re into funny and angsty American cartoons, this event might be for you. The organisers wanted me to come to Bath for it, but you know me and my recent travel ban. I’ll stay put while they have all the fun.

Jeff Kinney at Bath Festival poster

I understand a couple of the actors from the film will be there as well. All glamour, in other words.


Bookwitch bites #61

So the Resident IT Consultant was right. I suppose he is allowed to be, very occasionally. It’s to do with Meg Rosoff and There Is No Dog. And it’s her event in Bath that I so much wanted to go to, but couldn’t because it was in Bath.

It was cancelled due to the ‘blasphemous’ nature of Dog. Or maybe it was postponed and moved. It seems to have happened elsewhere. So if I’d gone to Bath, I’d either have been all right, or I wouldn’t have. Considering Meg was appearing with Melvin Burgess, being the cause of the trouble is not bad going.

I feel that schools who are so full of ethos (Christian or otherwise) that they offend easily, should never agree to anything without first checking what they’ve agreed to.

And then you can be a bit too careful. I was half keen on going to an event at a local Waterstone’s this week. Big name, although not someone whose books I’ve read. But it might have been interesting. Cheapskate that I am I asked for a free ticket, but it was sold out.

What really struck me when looking it up, however, were their terms and conditions. I clicked on them; sure it was an overzealous mistake. It wasn’t. There was a lot of small print on what you could and couldn’t do. I know popular authors cause long queues and some order is necessary. But often the biggest names just get on with it. This semi-big name clearly didn’t want to.

To end on a non-grumpy note, this made me cry. I don’t know Tony DiTerlizzi. I mean, I’ve heard of him. Never read his books, though I believe they are good. Tony has just been to Britain, and to Bath, even. He also came close to Bookwitch Towers, and drinks were suggested, but I was unable to go as it was really bad timing for me. And after I cried, I wished I had gone anyway…

Tony was here to read to children who are ill, because it might make them better. That’s such a simple and sensible idea, that I wonder why it’s not more widespread. It’s so obvious. Here is more information on Starlight Storytellers, the charity behind Tony, and which has lots to offer children in need.


Bookwitch bites #59

Happy 95th Birthday to Mary Stewart! It’s so fantastic to know that someone I began admiring over forty years ago is still alive, although retired from writing those wonderful novels with the perfect heroines and their dashing love interests.

If I hadn’t been so forgetful earlier, I wouldn’t have needed to ask Shaun Tan about who handed over the Astrid Lindgren award earlier this year. I had carefully saved this photo of Shaun with Crown Princess Victoria. He looks fairly pleased, and she is wearing a nice blue dress.

Shaun Tan and Crown Princess Victoria

And while not exactly an award, who’d have thought that Severus Snape would turn out to be so popular? Snape won the Bloomsbury vote for favourite Harry Potter character, followed by Hermione and Sirius. I suppose it was all that moody and half romantic swoosh of the cape that did it.

I’m not in the slightest surprised that Michelle Magorian’s wonderful book Just Henry has been picked by ITV to be filmed. Actually, it has already been filmed, as far as I understand, and it will turn up on television this Christmas. That’s definitely something to look forward to.

A little sooner than that there is the Bath Kids LitFest later this month. Surprise, surprise, but I’m not going to be there. Again. I’m still recuperating from excessive LitFesting. One year I really will make it down to that very beautiful city. Decades after my first visit I still remember all the tearooms I found. Anyway, enough about food I’m not going to eat. They have a relay blog story thing going during the period leading up to the start of the festival and on until the ‘bitter end.’ Lots of big author names are taking part, and even the odd blogger.

Bath Big Story

Click here for the first instalment. Then you need to follow the trail for each chapter.

I’m now getting ready to dance on the table, so have no more time for this blogging business. See you tomorrow!