Saturday, 19 April 2014

Balu's Basket is out now!



My third picture book, Balu’s Basket came out in India on 19th September 2013 and Tulika Publishers had arranged a launch at Just Books, in Chennai. The launch was kicked off by amazing Vikram Sridhar at Just Books.     
                                              Anna Nagar with his super-duper storytelling.



Balu’s Basket is a story about ingenuity  and initiative. It is a story about Indian markets, fruits and people. It is a story about a little boy who goes home to Grandma with a big basket full of fruits. Colours, fruits, numbers – the learning possibilities are endless too.

I wrote a blog post about my experience, working on this book and you can read all about it here

Uttara Sivadas's bold illustrations are fantastic and bring the Indian market to life. By chance, I got to meet Uttara when I went to visit my editor - and there she was working on my book.


Balu got a second welcome here in London too. We had a party with friends and family and lots of young people. I poured drinks, passed around nibbles and signed books.

Balu’s Basket is available in 5 bi-lingual editions – and I have brought 4 of those here to London to sell – especially the Bengali and Gujrati editions for expat Indians who still want their kids to be able to read their native language.

I’ve read the story to kids  twice so far and the spread with Balu chasing chickens and rocking a baby are absolute fun for kids.




Chitra has published over 20 books in Singapore, UK, USA and India. She loves writing picture books, folktales and is also working on fiction for 7+ with a lead character brightly named Aurora. Chitra is a member of the Words & Pictures' editorial team, managing The Slush Pile Challenge.


Friday, 18 April 2014

Children's Books and Medieval IIlumination

As an illustrator and medieval historian (or so my university degree claims) I love all things pictorial and historic. So what better way to make my debut as an SCBWI illustration feature writer than to talk bout the brilliance of medieval illuminated manuscripts. From new contributor Heather Chapman


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Events: What’s not to love?

A big Words & Pictures welcome to our new ARA, Stephanie McGregor! Steph has a special responsibility to oversee our events all over the British Isles - no mean feat. Here she is to introduce a new monthly feature posting on Thursdays which will highlight events coming up across the country in the following month.
Over to Steph…

Keith Gray's sell-out Edinburgh workshop tackles Strong Beginnings

by @suzebain


Where are you on the writer’s pyramid? Are you a ‘wannabe’? Full of ideas? Prepared to rewrite?

Keith Gray, author and passionate advocate of young people’s books, issued that challenge at 'Strong Beginnings & the War of Attention," a sell-out workshop organised by SCWBI SE Scotland’s network.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Virtual Authors

Jonathan Emmet

Virtually visiting a school in Atlanta
Much has been written recently about the benefits of authors and illustrators visiting schools and how such visits are seen as an effective way of promoting reading for pleasure to children. A Society of Authors report published in 2013 noted that schools recognise the benefits of author visits and that most schools would like to hold more, but that lack of funding prevented them.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Ten-Minute Blog Break - 15th April

Your erstwhile Blog-Breaker, Nick Cross, has decided to skive off for the week, and I’m here in his stead. It’s only a small change really, we’re just adding a “Y”– Nick for Nicky… I was a little concerned that it might be a quiet week on the blogs, with little to give you in your ten minute blog break, but I’m delighted to see that our stalwart SCBWI bloggers are blogging diligently.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Ask a Publisher: Liz Cross, ‎Head of Publishing, Children's, OUP

@LizJCross talks to @CathJacobNews.


This interview was recorded in Oxford, 
at Oxford University Press, on 12th March 2014.



Catherine Jacob is an award-winning journalist who has worked for ITV, Five and Sky News. She is also an Honorary Mention for Undiscovered Voices 2014 with her MG novel The Perigree Moonlings. Her first novel was shortlisted for the Northern Writers' Crime Competition 2012 and her short story, Child's Play was shortlisted for the Asham Award 2011. She juggles working with being a mum to two little girls.