Category culture

A Review of ‘The Book With No Pictures’ by B.J. Novak

Puffin books £6.99 paperback The Penguin website says: ‘You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except . . . here’s how books work. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say . . . BLORK. Or BLUURF. And […]

A review of ‘The Lie Tree’ by Frances Hardinge

Cover design by James Fraser Pan MacMillan £6.99 Winner of the Costa Book Award 2015. See Frances Hardinge’s acceptance speech here! Synopsis from the Pan MacMillan website: The Lie Tree is a wonderfully evocative and atmospheric novel by Frances Hardinge, award-winning author of Cuckoo Song and Fly By Night. Faith’s father has been found dead under […]

At ‘The Big Honk’ with the Golden Egg Academy.

A big thankyou to KL Kettle for her fantastic panoramic photo of the room! My writer friends often ask me, “Is it worth joining Golden Egg Academy?”. Of course, it depends what you’re looking for. But I thought I’d share my experience of GEA, so that the next time someone asks me, I can tell them […]

Review of Steve Cole’s “Stop those Monsters” by Pippa Wilson

    Simon and Schuster £6.99 Text by Steve Cole. Illustrations by Jim Field. Good Reads Synopsis: The Wizard of Oz meets Monsters Inc in this MONSTROUSLY funny stand-alone story from bestselling author phenomenon, Steve Cole. I’m Bob, a human boy stuck in a land of MONSTERS. I’m trying to get out with the help […]

Review of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid “Old School” by Pippa Wilson

Puffin books £12.99 Hardback (Just seen it on Amazon for £4) Synopsis from http://www.wimpykid.com/books/book10/: Life was better in the old days. Or was it? That’s the question Greg Heffley is asking as his town voluntarily unplugs and goes electronics-free. But modern life has its conveniences, and Greg isn’t cut out for an old-fashioned world. With tension […]

The Boy Who Sailed The Ocean in an Armchair by Lara Williamson. Review by Pippa Wilson.

  Synopsis from the Usborne website: Becket Rumsey is all at sea. His dad has run away with him and his brother Billy in the middle of the night. And they’ve left everything behind, including their almost-mum Pearl. Becket has no idea what’s going on – it’s a mystery. So with the help of Billy […]

Learning to draw with Mark Crilley

When Chris Riddell took over as children’s laureate, I thought it would be the perfect time to have a go at drawing. As a kid I used to spend many an hour doodling and creating,so I thought how daft to give it all up for no good reason! So after a few searches on YouTube, […]

Review of Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by K.G. Campbell

Good Reads tells us: It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person […]

Review of Julian Clary’s book “The Bolds” by Pippa Wilson

Synopsis from the Andersen Press website http://www.andersenpress.co.uk/books/view/1783443057 Mr and Mrs Bold are just like you and me: they live in a nice house (in Teddington), they have jobs (like writing Christmas cracker jokes) and they love to have a bit of a giggle. One slight difference: they’re hyenas. Yes, that’s right – they’re covered in […]

The Art of Editing

Earlier on Twitter, I stumbled across this golden nugget of wisdom, so astutely observed by SF Said: “The truth about stories is that they’re made in the reader’s mind. The writer’s job is to get out of the way, and let that happen.” Although it seems an obvious enough tenet, I’m not sure I’ve ever […]