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Wed, 17 Oct 2012 11:46
Today, we welcome beauty journalist Alice Hart-Davis onto the blog to talk about her new book, 100 Ways For Every Girl to Look and Feel Fantastic, co-written with her daughter Beth Hindhaugh. Alice tells us what it's like to write a book with your teenage daughter(s).
When I started work on 100 Ways For Every Girl to Look and Feel Fantastic two years ago, I thought it would be plain sailing. Admittedly, writing my previous book with my eldest daughter Molly had been a bit of a struggle - it had taken us ages (and much re-drafting) to find our voices. (That sounds like a pompous, writerly thing to say until you're grappling with conveying what you want to say without sounding prissy or patronizing.) But with the benefit of that experience, surely my next project would be simpler?
For 100 Ways, I had Molly's younger sister, Beth, as my co-author. Beth, who's now nearly 16, is a quieter character than Molly and I had imagined she'd be more diffident about putting her ideas forward on paper - but far from it.
At first, when there were topics that she didn't feel merited inclusion, she'd say politely that she 'wasn't sure' that we should cover it. If I persisted with them, or with points that would be awkward for her to see in print in future, she'd lay out her reasons so clearly and forcefully that I'd have no option but to back off, though I insisted on putting in a section on self-esteem at the risk of boring some readers. That bit contains all the stuff I wish someone had told me when I was her age. Beth says they get taught a good deal of all this in PSHE (personal, social & health education) classes, but I think it does no harm to reinforce this.
Beth's observations on the text were razor-sharp. She weeded out anything that sounded 'dorky', and when she spotted where I'd tweaked her copy, she'd say, 'That sounds like you trying to sound like me.' Even worse were occasional accusations that I was trying to sound too 'down with the kids'. Eek. And fair enough. She's the one whose picture appears throughout the book, and I remember how excruciating it is when you're a teenager and parents have no idea just how embarrassing they're being.
Occasionally, I'd find her and Molly in giggles over something I'd written. 'Seriously Mum, who says "veg out"?' they'd ask. What does it even mean?'
I'd harrumph, but we got there in the end and now, of course, we're delighted with the results. Would I do it again? Perhaps. Except my next co-author-in-waiting is my 13-year-old son whose interest in, and patience with, the topic of looks is limited, to say the least. I fear that How to be Buff is destined to remain on the drawing board...
Wed, 17 Oct 2012 10:32
"A fish and a teardrop. Five black spots, four blossoms blue, and a T that is white. A heart and an arabesque. A smile, a black Q, and a reflection of you." These are just some of the hundreds of objects readers are invited to find in David Carter's latest art pop-up book, Hide and Seek.
His previous art pop-up titles, One Red Dot, 600 Black Spots, and other bestsellers, have sold hundreds of thousands of copies around the world, asking readers to find a single image hidden within ten pop-up kinetic sculptures.
With Hide and Seek, David has expanded the concept and now includes hundreds of images or words hidden within the pop-up landscapes, inviting readers to explore and discover something new with each visit.
Tue, 16 Oct 2012 11:35
Oliver is different. He enjoys his solitude. He likes playing with his friends, who are puppets, stuffed animals, and other toys. With his rich imagination, Oliver's day is never dull. But maybe toys don't always give a boy everything he needs. Maybe he needs another kind of companion. Will Oliver discover a way to be, well, different?
Oliver is a stunning picture book debut that celebrates the power of the imagination and the strength of friendship.
In this behind-the-scenes video Birgitta discusses her beautiful picture book.
Thu, 11 Oct 2012 10:09
In this hilarious book of tongue-in-cheek poetry, Francesco Marciuliano, the author of the internationally syndicated comic strip "Sally Forth" helps cats unlock their creative potential and explain their odd behavior to ignorant humans.
Cat lovers can rejoice in the quirkiness of their feline friends with these insightful and curious poems from the singular mind of house cats. In this fully illustrated book of tongue-in-cheek poetry, the author of the internationally syndicated comic strip Sally Forth helps cats unlock their creative potential and explain their odd behavior to ignorant humans, With titles like 'Who Is That on Your Lap?, This is My Chair, Kneel Before Me, Nudge, and Some of My Best Friends Are Dogs, the poems collected in I Could Pee on This perfectly capture the inner workings of the cat psyche. With photos of the cat authors throughout, I Could Pee on This shows cats at their wackiest and most lovable.
Wed, 10 Oct 2012 09:48
'At Iyot Lock, a large decaying house, two young cousins, Leonora and Edward are parked for the summer with their aunt and her cruel housekeeper. When spoilt Leonora is not given the birthday present that she wants, affairs take a much darker turn.'
If the book trailer is anything to go by, we are in for a very creepy literary ride...
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