Minnie Festival reviews: That is actually MY blanket, Baby!

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That is actually MY blanket, Baby! by Angie Morgan and Kate Alizadeh

Published by Little Tiger (July 2017)

Remember that lovely comforting snuggly blanket you had when you were little? I know I do. I took mine everywhere until it wore out and fell apart. But what would you do if your new baby brother took a fancy to your precious comfort blanket? That’s what happens to Bella in this heart-warming story from Angie Morgan.

Bella loves her new baby brother. When he cries she does her best to cheer him up with jokes, dances and tickles. But the only thing that will do the job is Bella’s tatty old blanket. The baby isn’t interested in his smart new blanket at all. Only Bella’s will do. So resourceful Bella sets about the job of making Baby’s blanket as mucky and glittery and sticky, and as indispensable as her own.

Dealing with a familiar topic, Angie’s tale is a triumph of love over sibling rivalry. This book will be a useful and friendly addition to any household where a new baby is on the way. Complemented by Kate’s warm and characterful illustrations it’s as cosy as a comfort blanket!

Review by Minnie Festival

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Woof woof! Gill Lewis joins the Festival Fun.

 

The wonderful award-winning writer and all round brilliant Gill Lewis is coming to Bradford on Avon with an amazing Puppy Academy event.

Join Gill for some canine capers. Hear all about the puppies in Puppy Academy who are learning skills to become working dogs. But watch out! There’s a thief about! Help Gill to find the missing sausages.

Don’t miss Gill’s event on 15th July. It’s at 10.30am in the library and suitable for 4+

There will also be an opportunity to meet Gill, buy a book and have it signed and personalised just for you !

Check out the details for this and all our other events on our Programme of Events page and contact the library to reserve your FREE place.

Tel. 01225 863280 or  email: bradfordlibrary@wiltshire.gov.uk

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FREE Fun and games for family and friends!

 

At this year’s festival, award winning children’s author, Sharon Tregenza, offers mazes and muses and dot-to-dots and whatnots – lots of fun things for you and all the family.

Sharon says, “Everyone welcome – just pop in and dip in.”

There will be prizes too. What a treat!

BOAMBF is on Saturday 15th July in Bradford on Avon Library. Check our Programme of Events for all times and booking details

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And if you’re looking to dive into an adventure, why not try Sharon’s brilliant book The Shiver Stone – reviewed here by Rachel Ward

Carys has a lot on her plate: a mystery to solve, a new friend to help, a dog to look after and her father’s girlfriend to ignore. Risking the dangers of the sea and cliffs around her home town of Carreg, and watched over by the Shiver Stone, Carys and her friend Jago must face their greatest fears in this novel for middle-grade readers (9 to 12). This is an action-packed story that manages to balance a vivid sense of place (the Pembrokeshire coast), with a delicate portrayal of family relationships and a tense, thrilling plot. Sharon’s writing is engaging right from the start, carrying the reader through to an exciting and satisfying ending.

All about Sharon

Sharon Tregenza was born and brought up in Penzance, Cornwall but has lived in many places including, Cyprus, and the Middle East. Her debut children’s novel, ‘TARANTULA TIDE’ won the Kelpie’s prize, the Heart of Hawick award and was long-listed for the Branford Boase.

Her second book ‘THE SHIVER STONE’ was Highly Commended for the Welsh Children’s Book award and short-listed for the Teachers Prize in association with the FCBG.

Her latest – ‘THE JEWELLED JAGUAR’ will be published in September.

She has Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of Wales and  a second Masters in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University.

Sharon now lives in a converted chapel in the village of Box.

 sharontregenza@gmail.com

http://www.sharontregenza.com

 

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“Space Gerbil is brilliant!” David Solomons set to launch Supervillains in sleepy Bradford-on-Avon

Repro_MyEvilTwin_cvr.inddWith only three weeks to go until the big day, it’s time to remind you of the fantastic events we have in store for you. Events are free but places do need to be booked and you might need to hurry because we’re sure this event in particular is going to be very popular.

We are very proud to announce that David Solomons is launching his brand new book at the Festival. My Evil Twin is a Super Villain is the third in his award-winning series. David scooped the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2016 with My Brother is a Superhero. As The Guardian says, this series is ‘ideal for comic readers and superhero experts’

We asked children’s author, Fleur Hitchcock and local young book aficionados, Laurie and Mae to give us their thoughts on the latest installment.

My Evil Twin is a Supervillain by David Solomons 7+

The third in this very likeable series, about Luke and his Super-powered brother Zack. In this episode, Luke comes up against his own double from another dimension, the scarily able Stellar. But what does Stellar want with Luke and Zack and why is he so unbelievably irritating? A really well written story that combines thrills with laughs, and races through space and time and IKEA – this is a must for lovers of Tom Gates and Wimpy Kid. Solomons weaves in family, sibling rivalry, an extensive knowledge of comic book heroes and a brief explanation of Schrodinger’s cat. I’d recommend that you start with the first in the series, and romp through to this one.

Fleur Hitchcock

After crash-landing Zorbon the Decider’s spacecraft in IKEA, Luke is confronted with Stellar, his evil twin from another dimension. From his superhero hair to his rocket-powered shoes, Stellar is up to no good, and Luke must BRING HIM DOWN!

This is the third book in the series and we both really, really, enjoyed it, just as much as the first (‘My Brother is a Superhero’). We thought the plot was amazingly fast-paced and thrilling and the characters made us laugh loads (especially the villains!). It’s like a comic-book in a novel.

We loved the way the author describes what it’s like to travel to different universes, you really feel like you’re going there yourself. Space Gerbil is brilliant! We can’t wait for book four – tell us there’s a book four!

Laurie and Mae Campbell, (aged 12 & 9)

Don’t miss David’s event on 15th July. It’s at 11.45am

Check out the details on our Programme of Events page and contact the library to reserve your FREE place.

Tel. 01225 863280 or  email: bradfordlibrary@wiltshire.gov.uk

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Crime Writing: Like Writing Only More So by Rachel Ward

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We’re very lucky to have bestselling author Rachel Ward joining us in Bradford on Avon this July. She’ll be running a crime-writing workshop for anyone over the age of 12. Further details below. Rachel’s eagerly awaited new book THE COST OF LIVING will be published by Sandstone Press in September. Over to you, Rachel!

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I’ve taken to crime writing and am enjoying it more than is decent.

As I’m embarking on my second book in the series of Ant and Bea mysteries (the first one, The Cost of Living, is published in September), I’ve been thinking about crime writing compared to other sorts of novel writing and I’m starting to think that writing crime is like writing only more so. Let me explain:

  1. A book needs a central thread. With other sorts of writing sometimes it’s difficult to identify your thread or threads until the end of the first draft or even beyond that. With a crime book, the crime is the thing and every scene/chapter must contribute to the progression of that thread.
  2. Resolution at the end. I can’t stand books which are left completely open, where it feels like the writer just put down their pen one day and walked away. In crime stories, some sort of resolution is crucial. It may be whodunnit, or if we’ve known that for a while, why? The denouement can be twisted or inverted – for example, if the guilty person gets away with it –  but at least the reader *knows* whodunnit and there is some satisfaction when the final full stop is reached.
  3. Believability. This is key to any sort of writing. If there is a plot twist that seems too improbable, it can ruin the whole thing. Having been to two Crimefests in Bristol, I’m starting to understand that crime readers are very discerning. Your plot has to be plausible or you lose the reader. You can’t allow the plot to get too convoluted or contain too many coincidences.
  4. Show not tell. With any book, it’s more satisfying as a reader to join the dots than be shown the whole picture straight away. With a crime novel, the trick is to show enough to the reader to put them ahead of your protagonist, or at least to make them think that they are. The right sort of clues planted in the right place can make a difference between an okay read and a really satisfying one.

Hmm, not sure if my argument stacks up or not, but I do know that there is much joy to be found in writing within the conventions and traditions of the crime genre. If you would like to explore this, do book into the crime writing workshop I’m running at the Bradford-on-Avon Mini Book Festival on 15th July.

Rachel’s event at Bradford on Avon Library 15/7/17:

2.00pm – 3.00pm CRIME WRITING WORKSHOP 12+ to adult

Got an idea for a thriller? Dip into the world of crime-writing in this inspiring workshop.

Contact the library to reserve your FREE place.

Tel. 01225 863280 or  email: bradfordlibrary@wiltshire.gov.uk

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Poster!

We thought you’d like to see our spiffy splashy new poster. Look out for these around town soon. Meanwhile check out our Programme of Events page for all the brilliant bookable and TOTALLY FREE activities we’ve got lined up for you in Bradford on Avon Library on July 15th.

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Amazing Opportunity for Unpublished Writers!

We’re thrilled that best-selling author Rachel Ward is joining the team behind the Bradford on Avon Mini Book Festival on Saturday 15th July. Rachel writes for teenagers and young adults (and, coming later this year, adults too). And, thanks to her publisher, Chicken House Books, we are offering something very special to would-be writers this year. We’ll let Rachel tell you the rest!

2016-12-04 20.22.18-2Ten years ago I met the then Fiction Editor of Chicken House books, Imogen Cooper, in a little room above the library in Frome. I had sent her three chapters and a synopsis for a book called Numbers and as I drove down the A36, I knew that I was going to a meeting that could change my life. Gentle reader, it did. Imogen liked my chapters and asked to see the full manuscript. She showed it to Barry Cunningham, MD of The Chicken House, and he liked it too …

chicken houseThe editorial surgery was part of the Frome Festival, and I will be forever grateful to the Festival and its organisers for creating that opportunity. Now, as part of the Bradford-on-Avon Mini Book Festival on Saturday 15th July, there’s a chance for this to happen to another lucky writer because Chicken House editor, Kesia Lupo, is very generously offering a limited number of free editorial surgeries for unpublished authors who have written a book for children. Kesia has worked for Chicken House since 2015, was longlisted for this year’s Branford Boase Award (the rather wonderful award for debut writers and their editors) and shortlisted in the Trailblazer Awards for rising stars in the publishing industry.

If you would like to book a 20-minute surgery, you need to contact Bradford-on-Avon Library and be ready to email the first three chapters and a one-page synopsis of your book at least two weeks before the Festival. Tel: 01225 863280 or email: bradfordlibrary@wiltshire.gov.uk

(NB This is open to submissions from people writing for children aged 7 and over)

Whatever the outcome, this is a golden opportunity to get feedback on your work from one of the best in the children’s book biz. If you are lucky enough to book a slot, good luck!

Many thanks to Rachel who is also running a crime-writing workshop at this year’s Festival. Find out more about that on our events page, and find out all about Rachel and her brilliant books for young people and adults here

Meanwhile we hope to see you and your children at our FREE, all day festival on 15th July!

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