Thursday, February 24, 2011

Something to read (soon)

 I am not at liberty to tell you anything about what I'm reading right now (because it's all a secret), but I can tell what's going straight into my post-Bisto pile and here's the latest addition:The Dangerous Journey, by Tove Jansson. Yes, she of Moomin undying fame! I've just been reading Frank Cottrell Boyce's review in the Guardian and I'm all excited about it because...:
"This is a rollicking and vivid new translation of a lavish, beautiful picture book by Tove Jansson. Depending on how you feel about Jansson, that sentence will read either like a straightforward item of publishing news, or like the announcement of the discovery of a previously unknown Shakespeare sonnet. Or Beatles album. Or species of dolphin. Among the ridiculously excited might be Philip Pullman, Ali Smith, Esther Freud, a Japanese man who had Snufkin tattooed on his arm "as a symbol of freedom" and half a million Scandinavian girls who were christened "My" after another of Jansson's characters."
You can guess which category I belong to...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Coming up | The ISSCL conference

The Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature will be holding its annual conference Saturday 26 February in Trinity College on the theme of Children’s Literature, Classics and the City. Professor Peter Hunt (if you’ve ever studied kidlit in an academic context, you’ll know who he is) will be giving the keynote address, titled 'Re-Editing the Children's Classics: Engaging Modern Children and Modern Adults'. As I have a vested interest in the matter of rewriting classics for children, I’ll be all ears.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

On the wing…

Remember that Tandem Fair I was talking about some months ago? Well, I’ve been working hard on not one, but two projects, and I’m happy to announce that my bit is done for both (for the moment). I’ve written two texts, for two very different picture books and one of them involves the motley crew of the Flying Taxi, which will look something like this, or so the illustrator Captain Jelly tells me…

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Those old classics


And so, after a lot of time telling people that I was writing Treasure Island and them telling me that it had already been written, here it is! My first publications in English (as opposed to translated stuff) and in the school market: three rewritings of all-time classics (Treasure Island, Huckleberry Finn and The Hound of the Baskervilles) for French 10-year-olds learning English. Let me tell you complying with the layout imperatives (they’re each 1000-word long) and the curriculum guidelines (on syntax, vocab and the lot) was NOT easy. But we made it! (I worked with a teacher who was in charge of the teacher’s book, with all the exercises and lessons and things) (I got to do the fun bit: the actual stories!).