Posted in blog, events

Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival News

As you may know, the Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival is launching this summer.

BCLF LogoWith 18 separate events on offer, there’s plenty of choice, suiting ages from pre-school to teen. The latest (and final) addition to the schedule is Canadian author, Caighlan Smith.

Caighlan was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador on June 1st, 1994. She grew up in the scenic coastal community of St. Philip’s, overlooking the dramatic north-west Atlantic. As a kid, she loved to play in the woods around her house, loved to tell stories and believed in magic.

Unlike many YA fantasy writers, she does not have oodles of cats or dogs or miscellaneous furry friends, as they all make her sneeze and wheeze and tear-up. Inspired by her love of fantasy and the supernatural, Caighlan’s work combines the fun and action of video games with the urgency of post apocalyptic survival.

Join author Caighlan for the exclusive UK launch of her new YA novel Children of Icarus.

Come and hear 21 year old Caighlan talk about her new novel, find out how she started writing as a teenager, how she got her first book deal and her tips on becoming an author. Bring along your work to show Caighlan, ask her about any problems you have in your writing, or quiz her on life as an author.

This event is for age 13+, taking place here at Chicken and Frog Bookshop, on Saturday 30th July, from 6:00pm. Details can be found here.

Posted in blog

The Perks of Being a Bookseller: Part 2

This will be quick and I have already shared the photographs on social media, but as I am still smiling about the event this morning, I thought I’d share just once more. So, last night I pootled off to Walker Books to listen to a presentation about their amazing new list. It is, quite simply, stunning. Readers are in for a treat and a half!

However, my main reason for going into London after a long day was the chance to meet the one and only Helen Oxenbury. And I did! Not only did I meet her, but Helen very kindly signed my copy of Alice in Wonderland, which she illustrated. That would have been enough for me, but then, Helen noticed my arms and began quite a thorough inspection of my Alice in Wonderland inspired ink.

I grinned (like the Cheshire Cat), all the way home.

helenoxenburysignhelen

Posted in blog, events

The Perks of Being a Bookseller

There are many perks – proof copies of books, meeting new readers every day, calling your obsession with reading ‘research’…the list is quite extensive.

However, one of my favourites is meeting authors and having the privilege of seeing them interact with their audience. In the last couple of weeks we have taken not one, but two authors into schools.

The first was Sara Grant, who we have been lucky enough to work with before. Sara was booked in for a talk and signing at Brentwood County High School, with an audience of Year 7s and Year 6s from Holly Trees Primary School. Little did they realise what was in store for them, as Sara not only shared excerpts from her latest book, Chasing Danger, but also lead the pupils through a story planning session. It was a joy to watch – with well over 300 pupils to keep engaged, Sara had set herself quite a task, but it was incredible. I think that the audience (including the teachers) were surprised by the fantastic ideas that Sara teased from them in just one hour.

IMG_4361
Reading from Chasing Danger

 

Sara signing books
Sara signing books

Sara also helped to launch a writing competition which is exclusively for the Year 7 pupils at BCHS. We can’t wait to read their stories.

And this week, yesterday in fact, we took Nikki Sheehan into two schools. We started at Ingatestone and Fryerning Junior School and finished at Brentwood County High School, which is rapidly become our second home!

Nikki’s books are beautifully written tales of magical realism, full of believable characters who have extraordinary experiences. The audience at Ingatestone and Fryerning explored the idea of how an animal’s characteristics can be likened to our own. There was a lot of discussion amongst the pupils, as well as a chance to hear Nikki read excerpts from Swan Boy.

The Q and A session was great, with some really searching questions, such as ‘Do you write for yourself or for your audience?’ Nikki says that initially she writes for herself, and then thinks about the audience once she begins the editing process.

IMG_4473

Busily signing books
Busily signing books

We then whisked Nikki off to Brentwood County High School, for two back to back writing workshops with Year 8 pupils. I will never get tired of watching, in awe, as authors inspire and cajole original ideas from pupils. The creativity was wonderful.

Our thanks go to Sara and Nikki, the willing pupils and the schools for their enthusiasm and promoting of reading.

Sara and Nikki are both part of the Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival this summer.

Posted in blog, events

#IBW2016

I know, I know, another hashtag. Kids these days…but this hashtag is a very important one. It’s for Independent Bookshop Week, which is coming up in June. We love #IBW because it highlights the wonderful independent bookshops across the UK (including us of course) and the authors and illustrators who share their genius with us.

This year we are just a little bit excited to announce that we have not one, but two author events taking place here at Chicken and Frog.

Just yesterday afternoon we received confirmation that Daniel Whelan, of The Box of Demons fame will be kicking off the week with us, on Saturday 18th June! That’s all we know so far, but to say we’re thrilled is an understatement. As soon as we know more, we’ll pass it on.

box_od_demons_signed_book

And the end of the week will be celebrated with a local author, Josi Dom. Details of Josi’s event can be found here. We’re also taking Josi into a local primary school, so it’s all go!

Lum

Posted in blog, events

A Spring in Our Step

Good morning dear reader. The sun is here and with it, a spring like feel has crept into the air. There is no doubt that sunshine can do wonders for your mood and whilst nothing much else has changed, the turn in weather has been enough to re-energise us for the coming months.

So, what do we have planned? Well, quite a lot actually! Within the next few weeks, we are welcoming two local authors to Chicken and Frog, for reading and book signing sessions. First up is Karen Chilvers, who is a well known local Councillor, but did you know that she is also a children’s author? Karen’s gorgeous dog, Bailey is the star of the show, in this sweet tale of friendship.

Meet local authorKaren Chilvers

Following on from Karen, in May, is Emma McNally. The Cloudosaurus Rex is for children aged 3 to 6 years and perfect for those who love to join in with actions and rhyming verse – you can even bring along your pet dinosaurs, as long as they are house-trained.

MEET LOCAL AUTHOR (1)

As well as these planned author bookshop events, we have our regular Creative Writing, Book and Handwriting & Fine Motor Skills Clubs on offer.

And we have been busily working away, organising author events in schools, with Nikki Sheehan, James Nicol, Gary Nott and Sara Grant.

Not enough? Ok, well, we’ve also been putting the finishing touches to the Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival, which kicks off with an exclusive visit for students of Shenfield High School and Brentwood County High School, with the one and only Laura Dockrill.

Phew! Now I need to find a lovely sunny spot, curl up with a cuppa and a good book, or two.

Posted in blog, events, schools

Farewell 2015, Hello 2016.

As page 365 of 2015 reaches its final paragraph, we would like to take this opportunity to wish one and all a very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

The year ahead promises to be a bookish affair, with the 150th anniversary of The Jungle Book, Harry Potter Book Night, World Book Day, the centenary of Roald Dahl and the launch of a certain Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival. As well as all of that, we will be welcoming authors into the shop and schools, plus helping schools with their book orders, running our tuition centre, Book Club, Creative Writing Club and of course, ringing in the New Year to the sound of Lego.

So, until next year dear readers…may your book collection grow ever more interesting.

ideal-bookshelf

Posted in blog

Book, book, book

English: Stack of books in Gould's Book Arcade...

It’s so busy I barely have time to breath, let alone write a quick post, but here goes!

We now have shelving in and today, the majority of the wonderful, personally selected books will be arriving at Chicken and Frog.

That is all!

N.B. I told you, I don’t have time…