Friday 20 December 2013

Christmas Compass Points

Happy Christmas everyone!

Just a really quick Compass Points this week, to keep you up to date with all the seasonal review coverage and other festive nonsense!

There have been some lovely reviews for the Hesperus Minor children’s classics - the Evening Standard featured The Story of the Treasure Seekers, The Princess and the Goblin and The Red Fairy Book in their Christmas children’s books round-up and you can read the full article here . And also The Scotsman covered The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit in its books pages saying that the classic novel ‘has lost none of its appeal’.

This reminds me to tell you that the winner of this autumn’s Hesperus Uncover a Children’s Classic competition was The Runaways by Elizabeth Goudge, which was suggested by Adrienne Byrne who lives in Muswell Hill, London. Elizabeth Goudge is best-known for her children’s book The Little White Horse which JK Rowling cites as her favourite children’s book and a major inspiration for Harry Potter.  The Runaways (also previously published under the title Linnets and Valerians) was originally published in 1964 and has been out of print since 2001. All  judges (author Annie Dalton, children’s book critic for The Times Amanda Craig, Foyles children’s book buyer Jennifer Bell and Waterstones children’s book buyer Melissa Cox) were in agreement this classic, magical book deserved a new lease of life and it will fit perfectly into the Hesperus Minor list.

The Runaways will be published February 2104 along with The Children of the New Forest and Pollyanna. I loved these titles as a child, so I am personally very excited to see them back in print. The foreword for The Children of the New Forest will be written by Michael Rosen and the foreword for Pollyanna will be written by Anne Fine – and of course the introduction to The Runaways will be written by the competition winner, Adrienne Byrne.

This Monday – 23rd December – is the start of the ten-part BBC Radio 4 programme Books at Bedtime where actor Martin Jarvis will be reading The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. The episodes will be on at 22.45 every day until January 3rd. This is sure to lead to even more sales of this colossal bestseller!

Well, that’s it for publishing news this week; but if the amount of books in your shop yet to be sold is really getting you down, then you could always take them home and make them all into a Christmas wreath – as suggested here on YouTube.

And in amongst all the festive fun and games – please spare time to think about this important Christmas message…

Onto Christmas music – what is the all time best Christmas song I wonder? I’ve always had a weakness for Wham and Mariah Carey myself, although George  – even you can’t carry off  that furry hat – and Mariah – what on earth are you doing to that poor reindeer.  

I do love more retro tune though, and this group - the Overtones singing a well known ditty on Radio Two this week made me smile. And I really like this new song from Kim Wilde - Hey Mr Snowman .

If, however, your tastes are for something a little bit more raucous, then you’ll probably enjoy Jimi Hendrix dressed as Santa - from 1967.

And let’s face it; you really can’t go wrong with good old Fairytale of New York - great video too!

 That’s all for now folks, more in 2014!

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