Posted in blog, events

Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival

Hello book lovers of the world.

July is here, which means that two exciting events are looming. The first being the end of the school year – I think I can almost hear cheers and sighs of relief from teachers and pupils alike!

The second, and the event to kick off the summer, is the return of the Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival. Following on from last year’s success, we are doing it all over again, from 22nd-30th July. We are super excited and proud of the line-up and also delighted that we are broadening our events space to include Knights Way Centre and Hutton Community Centre.

All of the details can be found here. Booking tickets is so easy, with all of the following options available:

I’ll finish with two quick reminders:

  1. The ages are for guidance only, you know what you/your child enjoys.
  2. If you are attending an event at the Brentwood Theatre, under 11s must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult.

 

Posted in blog, events, Uncategorized

Rooted

This afternoon we hosted a very different type of bookish event. It was all about food! Vegan food to be exact. This was so great for two reasons. Firstly, we got to eat the most delicious chocolate and pecan cookies in the world and secondly, because Sarah J. Jay, the author, was personable, honest and lovely.

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Sarah chatted candidly with the audience about her journey from omnivore to vegan, answering questions and sharing her experiences. We talked about bees, dogs, milk, chickens and puddings!

If you are considering making the transition to veganism, we can highly recommend Rooted. It’s bursting with easy-to-make, delicious recipes, just right for family life.

Here’s a little collage of pics from the afternoon:

Posted in blog, events

Are You Zombie Ready?

Well, are you Zombie ready? We know someone who most certainly is; Molly Looby. How do we know? Molly came in on Sunday night, to share her awesome new book, ZA, with us.

Not only did Molly talk about her book, she also told us a little about Molten Publishing, the hybrid publishing company that she has set up with her lovely dad. The thing that makes Molten so special, is that Molly always gives feedback on submissions. If you want to know more, or you’d like to submit your YA writing, follow the link.

Back to ZA. ZA has been in Molly’s head for 5 years now and over that time, has completely transformed from the original manuscript to the gritty YA novel that it is today. That’s a long time to work on one project, but Molly is passionate about zombies and writing! She’s also been busily writing other novels at the same time.

During the course of the Q&A session, Molly told the audience about a great initiative called National Novel Writing Month. The very short version is that individuals commit to writing a 50K word novel in November. There’s a lot of support available to the writers though, so for more information, check out this link.

We had a great time with Molly. If you missed her, we have signed copies of ZA available in-store. And, if you’re a local(ish) school who would like a visit from Molly, let us know.

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*A special mention is surely deserved for James, pumpkin carver master!

Posted in blog, events

Malkin Moonlight

It’s almost Halloween, which means that there’s definitely a hint of magic in the air. And what better way to celebrate than with a wonderful author visit.

Luckily for us, award-winning author, Emma Cox made the very long journey from Exeter to visit us today. The bus replacement service didn’t deter her, which we are most grateful for.

Emma’s book journey is far more interesting than her slightly disconnected experience travelling to us this afternoon. She entered Malkin Moonlight in the New Children’s Author Prize, organised by the National Literacy Trust and Bloomsbury and only went and won it! You could say ‘lucky Emma’, but you could also say ‘lucky Bloomsbury’ and most certainly ‘lucky readers’.

After a lot of hard work, editing and re-editing this beautifully poetic tale, Bloomsbury published Malkin Moonlight in the summer of this year. We only hope that there will be a sequel…

If you didn’t get the chance to drop in today, never fear, as Emma has kindly signed some copies for us. There are also beautifully illustrated bookmarks up for grabs, for those of you who purchase the book.

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Emma left great cat character sheets behind, which our creative writing club have put to good use. You’d be surprised at the array of different cats that can be created in such a short space of time!

Watch the bookshelves for Emma’s name, as we are certain that this is just the beginning of her long and exciting career as a magical author.

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Posted in blog, events

The #BookshopDay of the Dinosaur

Yesterday was #BookshopDay, a national campaign from the Booksellers Association, celebrating the world of bookshops. We, as booksellers, are greatly supported by the BA and lots of superb publishing houses, who champion the bricks and mortar bookshop. As a result of this energetic campaign, we have wonderful Winnie the Pooh bags to give away to our customers*, from Egmont, as we celebrate 90 years of that silly old bear.

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We were approached by Book Machine, to contribute to their amazing website this week, with our top tips for bookselling, from the shop floor. I am not sure that we are experts, but we gave it our best shot. The article can be found here. If you haven’t visited the site before, it’s certainly worth a read, although I warn you now, you may well lose hours in there. We’re most grateful for the opportunity to share our love of bookselling with others and also to Book Machine for linking their social media this week to the #BookshopDay campaign.

bookmachine-logo-navAnd on to the day itself. In the afternoon, we were joined by Nicky Dee, author of a fantastic series of dinosaur books. Each book focuses on one particular dinosaur; packed full of fascinating facts, with accurately drawn illustrations. Not only did Nicky share dino facts with the children, she also brought with her, the teeth from a T-Rex! The children got to handle the artefacts, as well as plenty of opportunities to ask Nicky questions. It really was a brilliant afternoon – I know that I learnt a lot!

collageIf you didn’t get a chance to meet Nicky yesterday, we are delighted to be able to tell you that she has agreed to take part in next year’s Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival.

* Whilst stocks last

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Ninjas and Mammoths

We have had such a lovely afternoon, with author of Ninja Nan and The Famishing Vanishing Mahoosive Mammoth, Hollie Hughes.

If you haven’t come across them yet, you must read Hollie’s beautifully illustrated picture books. Although very different in style (with Natalie Smillie and Leigh Hodgkinson illustrating respectively), Hollie’s great sense of fun and knack for weaving an enticing story, come through, page after page.

Hollie read her stories to a very keen audience, before guiding them through some super crafts, including circus tents, plates of mammoth food and flying pigs. We may be finding glitter for a fair few weeks!

hollieThanks to Hollie, Hollie’s family and of course, our great customers who popped in to get covered in glitter. We are hoping to take Hollie into a school or two, so watch this space.

Our next event in-store is with Nicky Dee, on Saturday 8th October. Dinosaurs will feature heavily.

Posted in blog, events

Authors, authors, everywhere!

If you know us well, then you will know that we are committed to get children (and their grown ups) partnered up with the perfect book. Part of the process is, of course, having a conversation with someone about what they like, and then pointing them in the right direction. However, another way (the best way) to inspire the act of reading, is to share a book and who better to do that, than the author or illustrator that created it? It’s exciting to meet a person who loves books so much, that they have been creative and brave enough to share theirs with the world.

That’s why we love to bring authors and illustrators to Chicken and Frog, as often as possible. In the coming months, we have quite a few visiting us here in sunny Brentwood.

So, here’s the run down of author visits (so far), between now and the end of the year:

Meet Hollie HughesHollies’ books are, quite frankly, laugh out loud funny! (Age 3+)

Meet authorNicky DeeNicky will be bringing along dinosaur artefacts, as well as her beautiful books. (Age 4+)

monday-10th-october8_00pmworld-mental-health-day-1This event is slightly different, as it is to raise awareness and funds for the Young People’s Counselling Services, here in Brentwood. Louis and Kathryn will be joining us from Spain, via Skype!

meet award winning author emma coxPerfect timing, just before Halloween. Magic and charm are the order of the day. (Age 7+)

meet-molly-loobyLocal author, Molly Looby, will be giving a talk, before mingling amongst the audience to sign books and answer your questions. (Age 13+)

meet-paula-harrisonPaula’s book is our Book Club pick for October, so we’re delighted that you’ll have the chance to meet her in December.

We will also be joined by Chitra Soundar in October, but need to finalise the details before we share them with you.

So there you have it, a run down of the author events taking place over the coming months. All events (apart from Molly’s) are free, so just turn up!