Hello Ian! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your debut book ‘Nen and the Lonely Fisherman.
Could you give us a little overview of what the book is about?
At its heart, Nen and the Lonely Fisherman is about hope and finding that someone special in your life. Nen spends his days exploring his underwater kingdom, but is lonely and wants more from his life. He ventures to the surface and meets a lonely, quiet fisherman who spends his days looking after the beaches. But Nen’s father, Pelagios, is furious that his son is spending so much time with a human – humans are destroying his precious oceans. So, he creates a terrifying sea storm and Ernest is thrown into the waves. Can Nen save him and can they convince Pelagios that two people from two very different worlds can be together?
Hello Kate! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your new book ‘Edmund The Elephant Who Forgot’. Could you give us a quick overview of what the book is about?
Edmund is a little different from other elephants in that he’s quite forgetful. And so, when his mother sends him to the shop to collect things for his brother’s birthday party, his ears wiggle with worry. Equipped with a little memory song to sing, he makes his way around town with hilariously disastrous results. There is a hidden message that good can come from even the trickiest of situations!
What inspired you to write this story?
I’m a big collector of notebooks! And whenever an idea, be it a title, funny word, or character’s name pops into my head, I have to scribble it down there and then. One day I think I was joking about elephants never forgetting and Edmund’s little memory song just popped in my head; the story just unfolded from there.
Ivy and I were extremely fortunate to get the opportunity to do a Q&A with author Kate Dalgleish (which you can read here) and the wonderful Isobel Lundie has created us our very own step-by-step guide to drawing lovely Edmund.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your kids and your colouring pencils and dive in!
Hello Hannah! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your new book ‘Anita and the Dragons’. Could you give us a quick overview of what the book is about?
Hi Shelley and Ivy, wonderful to chat with you! Anita and the Dragons is about a young girl named Anita who lives in the Dominican Republic. She watches the planes come and go from her island, which she refers to as dragons. One day the time comes for her to face the dragons and leave the island she loves. It’s a story of bravery and finding the power within.
What inspired you to write this story?
It was inspired by my mom’s immigration story from the Dominican Republic to America when she was a child. I admire her courage to make that transition so young. She’s always led by example in showing us how to face our fears and take big steps in life.
In part 2 of our ‘Meet the Publisher’ series, diverse and inclusive ‘Lantana Publishing’ tells us how they got started, what they aim to achieve and which books you need to watch out for in 2021.
“Lantana Publishing was founded in 2014 by Alice Curry when she realised her mixed-race nephew would not be able to see himself in books. ‘Where are all the books about children of colour?’ she asked as she scanned bookshop and library shelves. From this question sprung the mission at the heart of Lantana: books should reflect the lives of all children, not just a few. Because ALL children deserve to see themselves in the books they read.
We are very proud to be an award-winning independent children’s publisher and social enterprise publishing inclusive books celebrating every kind of child and family.Today, Lantana is an all-female team committed to opening up a space for new and exciting voices from around the world and bringing their words to life with beautiful artwork from brilliant illustrators.
Hello Rebecca! Thank you so much for chatting to me about your new book ‘Beatrix and her Bunnies’.
Hello Ivy and Shelley! Thank you both for inviting me.
Could you give us a quick overview of what the book is about?
Beatrix Potter loved the countryside, but grew up in a big, lonely house in London which she filled with animal friends. This narrative non-fiction biography follows her relationship with two of her pet rabbits, Benjamin and Peter, and how they provided inspiration for her artwork and for her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. It also follows her development as a writer and artist, as well as her pioneering role as a conservationist.
Ever wondered what it’s like to be a children’s author? Judy Carey Nevin, author of ‘All Kinds of Kindness‘ and ‘All Kids are Good Kids‘ talks us through what a typical day looks like for her (in the middle of a pandemic!).
“I wish I could say I have a regimented part of my day set aside for writing, that I write 20 minutes a day no matter what, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
My days start and end with our daughter. She wakes up around the same time I do—sometimes earlier, to my husband’s chagrin. He’s an early bird and enjoys his time alone. I enjoy staying in bed to eavesdrop on them chattering away while they have their breakfast.
Once we’re all up and dressed and the grown-ups have had our tea (strong black tea with sugar, please), we go our separate ways, so to speak: me to my computer in our sitting room, our daughter to school, and my husband to his basement office. I sometimes work a full day out of the house. Then I’m a harried mess, always running late, looking for my keys, my glasses, my phone—you name it, I have misplaced it. And I always seem to be almost out of gas on those mornings as well.
In this new series we will be shining a light on some of the fantastic independent bookshops from around the UK. Here, Natasha tells us all about her bookstore – Chicken and Frog in Brentwood, Essex.
“A little bit of background about the people behind Chicken and Frog. Natasha and Jim met at Epping Forest College in 1989, when the world was cool and double denim was still okay. They fell in love, got married, had kids and went about life as a primary school teacher and a tech nerd. But, in the back of their minds, the whisper to open a bookshop kept on tickling their ears…
We are officially launching an Ivy’s Library newsletter to celebrate our love of children’s literature. All subscribers will receive a free 15 page PDF featuring some of our top picks. Squee!
Why are we launching an Ivy’s Library newsletter?
We share daily children’s book reviews and features on our blog www.ivyslibrary.com and also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – but because of the nature of social media you probably aren’t seeing all our posts. Subscribing to our newsletter means you won’t ever miss out on the good stuff!
What does it entail?
Once a month we will hit up your inbox with a curated selection of children’s book reviews, interviews, opinion pieces, special offers and other treats. Some of it will be content we’ve shared on our social media channels but there will also be extras which are exclusive to newsletter subscribers. The first newsletter will be sent in February and of course you can unsubscribe at any time.
Ivy and I love discovering new book subscriptions so we were very excited when this one landed on our doorstep on Christmas Eve.
Cureadosity is a brand new subscription service for 2-6 year olds and I have to say I am impressed. Our sample box contained lots of bookish fun – and Ivy dived straight in!
If you are as obsessed with picture books as we are then subscription boxes can sometimes be an issue. We buy a lot of books so i’m naturally wary of receiving duplicates. Cureadosity seem to be right on top of this though. They only include books which have been released within the last three months, thus drastically reducing the chance you might already have them in your collection – and sometimes they even include books before their official publication date so you get a sneaky advance look!