New titles by Michael Bond, Allan Ahlberg and Shirley Hughes were among some of the highlights presented at a Penguin Random House Children’s showcase yesterday (21st March).
The event is designed to give journalists and book industry experts a look at some of the titles coming from PRH Children’s this year, from picture books to up to teen and YA titles.
M.d. Francesca Dow said the theme of the day was giving children books that make them love reading. “Can you remember books that made you love reading?” she asked the audience. “At PRH Children’s we know our readers love the magic of reading – they are our biggest admirers but also our harshest critics. We put readers at the heart of everything we do.”
In picture books, upcoming highlights include a new book by Allan Ahlberg. Alison Hubble (May) is a story, told in rhyming verse, about a girl who doubles herself, then doubles herself again. Also out in May is The Bumblebear by Nadia Shireen, about a bear who disguises itself as a bee, whilst June will see a new picture book by Ed Vere, entitled Max and Bird, and the first picture book by Steven Butler, Odd Bods, illustrated by Jarvis.
Later in the year, PRH Children’s will publish picture books by Shirley Hughes and Michael Bond (pictured). Hughes’ Alfie and His Very Best Friend and The Tale of the Castle Mice by Paddington creator Bond will both hit the shelves in September.
Bond has also penned the young fiction title It Wasn’t Me, about a boy who keeps getting into scrapes, which will be published in July.
During the event several authors came in to read from their upcoming titles, including high-profile authors such as Clare Balding, Malorie Blackman and Simon Mayo.
Balding read from her upcoming middle-grade title The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop (September), about a nine-year-old girl who loves horses and is teased by her brothers for having “powerful thighs”.
Blackman introduced Chasing the Stars (April), her YA novel that was inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello, whilst Mayo talked about Blame (July), his first book for teenagers. Blame is about two kids who are put in prison for “heritage crimes” – crimes committed by their parents.
PRH also announced upcoming titles by Jacqueline Wilson (Rent a Bridesmaid, May) and Rick Riordan (Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor, August), as well as Doctor Who: Dot-Dot in July.
In YA, the publisher is reissuing a series of classic books for teens. The series, titled ‘The Originals’, will start with five books in August, including Buddy by Nigel Hinton, Z is for Zachariah by Robert C O’Brien and The Red Pony by John Steinback.
Other YA highlights are a new novel by Jennifer Niven, Holding Up the Universe, in October, and The Hypnotist by Laurence Anhold, also due for publication in October.