Archive for the ‘Bookbabbler Updates’ Category
Well how time flies?! Bookbabblers has been babbling now for over 4 months, and the babble is just getting bigger and better! We now have nearly 20 children and teens on our review panel and a few parents and children reviewing for little ones, too. We’re in touch with lots of great publishing houses, and to mention but a few, a special thanks to Bloomsbury Children’s Books, Usborne Children’s Books, Templar Books, Puffin Books, Tick Tock books, Simon & Schuster and Andersen Press for sending us some fab books so far. Along with the fantastic publishers, we’re getting to know some brilliant authors. Last month the lovely Ellen Renner was ‘in residence’, this month we have the fabulous Tamsyn Murray and next month, the talented LA Weatherly will be joining us. Remember, you can pop to our forum and ask these authors anything you like when they’re with us, so go on, be nosy!
We have well over 1000 Bookbabblers now, with members on the website, Facebook and Twitter. We’ve reviewed over 50 books already and given away as many! We’ve heard from lots of different authors and have got plenty of chats going in our forum. It’s you guys that keep this group going, so please do keep on spreading the word. To support Bookbabblers, remember to buy your books in our shop. Even if our shop doesn’t have what you want listed (though surely you’d be buying and reading our recommendations?!) if you click through our shop and then buy absolutely ANYTHING from Amazon, you’ll be supporting us. Thanking you in advance…!
Now, we mentioned we have LA Weatherly with us next month. Can we remind you all that the amazing Angel is out in October – you can read our review of it here.We have, thanks to Usborne Children’s Books, 1 copy now to giveaway, and we can assure you, you’ll want to read this! To enter, comment on this post, retweet it or like it on Facebook. We’ll pick a winner on Wednesday at 8pm. Now, if you’re not the lucky one, go and pre-order it in our shop now!!
Finally, please do get in touch if you want to have your say with us. Whether you’re a publisher or author and would like to be featured, or you’re a Bookbabbler with some ideas or comments, don’t hesitate to contact us And, most importantly, read and babble with us each month!
We like to keep you up to date with what’s happening with our group from time to time, so here’s a little list of stuff that’s happening..
- Reviews – Our review panel has grown again. We have another parent for our picture book reviews, and several more reviewers for children’s and YA books. It means we can bring even more reviews to you, so hope you’re all enjoying them so far. If anyone’s interested in joining us, just email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, age and books/authors you like.
- Meetings – We’re now having online meetings – they’re fun! We ‘meet’ on Thursday’s 7.30-8PM and Sundays 11-11.30AM, and can be found at that time posting in the forum and adding to our Facebook ‘discussions’ topics. Please do join in with any babbling, and if you can’t make the meetings, just post in the forum or on Facebook anytime during the week.
- Shop – More of you are starting to pop to our ‘shop‘ now. All featured and reviewed books can be found there, and to find any books you’d like, just use the search button and choose ’all children’s books’ to see the whole range. Please do support Bookbabblers by buying your books from us!
- Author in Residence – coming soon!! The brilliant Ellen Renner will be with us next month, where she’ll be writing a guest post, giving us some answers to our interview, we’ll be reviewing her new book, City of Thieves, and she’ll join in general babbling over the month! We also have Tamsyn Murray in September and Lee Weatherly in October – can’t wait for it all to start!
- Non-fiction – we’ll soon be adding non-fiction books and information to Bookbabblers, too. We know this is something that plenty of you would like to see, so your wish is our command…! Look out for some great giveaways and deals coming soon.
- Advertising – you can now advertise on Bookbabblers. Email us at email@example.com for full details.
- August ‘Book of the Month’ choices – and finally, we’ve picked out 3 books that we’ll all be reading next month, so you can get your copy now, ready to join us. They are – Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, Holes by Louis Sachar and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. More details on all three at the start of August.
And of course, we’re busily beavering away to bring you more brilliant author Q&A’s, fantastic guest posts and a fair few giveaways, too..We know you love us…!
Do feel free to email us if you’ve any requests or suggestions for what you’d like to see on the site, and hope to see you all babbling at our next meeting!
We thought a little update might be in order about now. We know you like to know what’s happening here, so here it is:
We’re now numbering 332 Twitter followers, 218 Facebook fans and 148 website members. A great start to our group, and hope you’re all enjoying it? We now want to break through the magic 1000 mark, so that’s the next milestone we’ve set ourselves. As such, we have lots more ‘spreading the word’ planned here, and we’d like to think some of you guys are telling people about us, too. If you want to pop a poster up about us somewhere, just email us and we can send you one to print off. Of course, as a thank you, we’re sure to be able to arrange a few prizes when we break through the 1000 mark!!
So, what are we working on now? We’ve quite a few plans to further develop and bring you even greater things over the next few months, such as:
Growing our review panel: We’re starting to get quite a few books through to us now to review, so not only does that mean that we’ll be sharing more reviews with you, it also means we’ll probably need more people on our Bookbabbler review panel soon. If you’d like to be considered when that time comes, just send in a review on something you’ve recently read, along with your age and what books you like, letting us know you would like to be part of the panel. We’ll get back in touch with people when we feel we need more reviewers, though it’s looking likely to be sooner rather than later.
Developing our For Little Ones page: We added this page in from the start, but haven’t really worked on it since launch. We’d now like to regularly feature books for younger children, both old and new titles. We’ll be looking for a parents review panel for this one, so if you’re interested, just drop us an email. Equally, any publishers can add us to their review list for younger readers, too, now.
Author in Residence: We plan to have an author in residence each month, and no, that doesn’t mean they have to come and live with us! Said author will be part of the babble that month however they like, getting involved by writing guest posts, Q&A’s, featuring reviews of their book(s), extracts from their books, commenting on blog posts, signed book giveaways, having a thread open in our forum for babblers to chat to them over the month and just generally getting to know them better. Hope you’re as excited as us about this idea, and authors, feel free to get in touch if you’d like to be ‘in residence’ with Bookbabblers!!
Bookbabblers Members Page: You’ve already heard a little from our review panel, so they’d be the first to be included on this page, but what about the rest of you? We want to know your favourite authors, books, hobbies, why you love to read and what you like about the Bookbabblers, so we’ll introduce members to you. We’re also thinking of running some sort of Bookbabbler awards, with those who read book of the month with us, contribute to the babble etc. having the chance to be rewarded – need to give more thought to this one, but ideas welcome!
Non-Fiction Pages: We plan to have non fiction pages, sponsored monthly by publishers, on any themes you want – cookery, gardening, football, space, dinosaurs, animals, The Vikings, dancing – anything!! The idea would be that a whole page is devoted to the theme, with the publisher/authors writing content they choose and featuring any good books related to that subject. Again, get in touch if you’ve themes you’d like to see, or if you’d like to sponsor a page. We’re looking forward to expanding into the non fiction world..!
Coming up in the next couple of weeks: So much!! This very day, we’ll be bringing you our review of Susie Day’s ‘Girl Meets Cake’, and Susie’s been kind enough to offer us a signed copy of the book for a giveaway, so look out for that later today. We also have posts from Jenna Burtenshaw, Tamsyn Murray’s Harriet Houdini, our review of The Littlest Detective books, a Q&A with Simon B Nicholson and our review of the first of The Oldmoor Orphans books, Simon Cheshire’s Saxby Smart shares his tips on how to be a detective, oh, and so many more great books being reviewed and fabulous authors dropping by. And of course, there’s bound to be a few prizes along the way!!
Quick heads up on July’s Book of the Month reads, too, so you can get your copies now. We’ll be reading ‘Gimme a Call’ by Sarah Mlynowski (thanks to Amber’s suggestion), ‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ by Derek Landy (as our reviewers Josef and Jonathan both like Derek Landy) and ‘Ballet Shoes’ by Noel Streatfeild (Amber says it’s an all time fave of hers and Bethan names Noel Streatfeild as a favourite author). We’ll bring you more details on these at the end of the month, and all are in our shop now so you can order them ready to join the July babble!
We thought we’d let you know a little about some of our review panel, thought it keeps growing all of the time! Along with these guys, Jocelyn (Big Bookbabbler!!) reviews books from picture books all the way through to YA lit, we have our Parents Panel over on our ‘For little Ones’ page and we’ll keep you updated with any new regular reviewers.
My Favourite Authors: Oh! Tricky one! I have millions of favourite authors, mainly because it changes every time I finish a really good book (which is most of the time!!). Some I’m really enjoying at the moment include: Mary Hooper, Jenny Han, Vanessa Curtis, Rosemary Clement-Moore and Heidi R Kling
Other Favourite Things: It must be quite obvious now..but I loveloveLOVE reading!! Writing has always been there for me..and talking..I could go on forever..PROCRASTINATION ROCKS MY WORLD! TheVampireDiaries & Twilight is also a HUGE part in my life. Mostly Edward Cullen.
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be? Bella Swan*ahem*SoICouldKissEdwardCullen*ahem* just joking. Okay, maybe I’m not. Or maybe I’d like to be Edward Cullen..hmmm..he sparkles, I *could* sparkle, what more could you want?
My Favourite Authors: Noel Streatfield, Kate Brian, Maureen Johnson and Gabrielle Zevin
Other Favourite Things: Watching my favourite films such as Amelie and Fame. I also enjoy playing the piano.
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be?: I’d be Scarlett Martin from Suite Scarlett and Scarlett Fever because she lives in a hotel in NYC..
My Favourite Authors: Gemma Malley, Sarah Dessen, Rachel Ward, Jandy Nelson, Jim Carrington, Delphine de Vigan
Other Favourite Things: I am obsessed with Japan and it’s culture! I am also a fan of cutting out pages and sticking them on my wall, drawing in my sketchbook, finding Classics to read, games (Zelda, Sims 2) and watching awesome comedy programmes (IT Crowd, Big Bang Theory, Mock The Week etc.)
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be? This is a hard one.. but I would really love to be Nonie from Sophia Bennett’s Threads. She gets to run a show at Fashion Week! What’s not to love? I’d also like to be Crow from Threads as well… Being able to create such amazing pieces of fashion I would die for!
My Favorite Authors: Cassandra Clare simply becuase she created the most fantastic series ever! as well as LJ smith and Simone Elkeles & Becca Fitzpatrick
Other Favourite Things: I really enjoy writing in my spare time even though I’m a reading junkie, I try to make that extra time simply for writing because I actually find it therapeutic. Oh, and I need music with me at all times. My favourite movie of all time would be Titanic becuase it was so amazing and romantic… sad, heartbreaking all mixed into one!
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be? I would really want to be Sayuri from Memoirs of a Geisha although I know she faces great hardship, I found her utterly amazing and loved her character.
My Favourite Authors: Noel Streatfeild, Enid Blyton (& Pamela Cox continuations) and Adele Geras
Other Favourite Things: My favourite films are Ella Enchanted and The Sound of Music. My favourite TV show is Horrid Henry and I enjoy cycling and dancing.
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be? I’d be Fatty from Enid Blyton’s Mystery stories because he’s so great at solving the mysteries and he knows so many detective tricks.
My Favourite Authors: Tanya Landman, Derek Landy, And Jeremy Strong.
Other Favourite Things: I enjoy the movie The Lion King, and I’m a BIG Doctor Who fan. Of course, I’m a big fan of reading, and I also enjoy writing little stories containing just up to 3 chapters.
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be? Hmmn. Hard one. I would like to be the character Graham, in The Poppy Field series by Tanya Landman.
My Favourite Authors: I have lots of favourite authors – I really love novels by Cathy Cassidy, Luisa Plaja, Keris Stainton, Holly Webb and also Tamsyn Murray. I have tons of favourite authors – too many to list here!
Other Favourite Things: My favourite movie is Wild Child, it’s really good. I have two favourite actresses; Emma Roberts and Miley Cyrus. They both care for the environment and they’re just so down to earth. They rock! My favourite TV programme is Eastenders. I don’t tend to watch TV during the day anymore, I only switch it on for Eastenders!
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be? Ooh hard question! Ummm….well I think it would be cool to be magical Rose from Rose by Holly Webb. It’d also be really cool to be Jo from Split By a Kiss by Luisa Plaja. I just can’t choose!
My Favourite Authors: I don’t have one favourite author, but I especially enjoy science fiction and fantasy books, like those written by Derek Landy, Terry Prachett and the joint authors Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell.
Other Favourite Things: I don’t have a TV, but I really enjoy following Doctor Who on the iPlayer.
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be? It would be Skulduggery Pleasant from the Derek Landy books. He’s a brilliant detective, he has amazing magical powers and he can never be killed because he is already dead!
Ooh – lots of talking points there! It is tricky to choose just a few favourite authors and characters. Have your say and let us know your favourites and who you’d be – we’d love to hear from you!
Thanks to all of you who sent in reviews to us. We have now formed our Bookbabbler panel, so are ready and eager to receive some books to review!! Our panel consists of Amber, Josef, Bethan and Jonathan. You’ll have seen Amber and Josef’s reviews already here, so let us now bring you reviews from Bethan and Jonathan.
The Mystery of the Pantomime Cat – Enid Blyton
This story is the seventh book in the Mystery Books collection, which is about five children who try to solve mysteries before the village policeman Mr Goon, who is their enemy. This mystery is about a robbery and it seems like only Boysie Summers and his best friend Zoe Markem (who play the pantomime cat and Dick Whittington in a skit on Dick Whittington) could have done it! But the children don’t believe Mr Goon is right to think that he has caught the culprits, because there is still one more alibi to check up on. Can the Five Find-outers solve this mystery before Mr Goon?
I enjoyed this book because it’s really interesting and exciting. Enid Blyton tells some chapters from the point of view of different characters and this helps to make the excitement greater, because the reader then knows things about the robbery that some of the characters don’t know. It helps to keep you guessing about who the culprit might be although you don’t find out for sure until the mystery is solved at the end of the book!
My favourite characters are Fredrick Trotterville (one of the five) because he is so good at solving mysteries, Boysie and Zoe because they are kind to the children.
Thanks, Bethan! And now, from Jonathan..
The Last of the Sky Pirates – Chris Riddell & Paul Stewart
The Last of the Sky Pirates is a book about Rook Barkwater, a young foundling who is taken in by the Librarians. This book is from a series set on the Edge, a mystical place with wonderful creatures and terrible dangers.
In The Last of the Sky Pirates, Rook gets chosen to be a Librarian Knight and has to endure the perils of the Deepwoods to get to the Freeglades. Once he has completed his training, he goes off to write his treatise, and meets the last sky pirate. Because of this, he is sucked into a terrifying adventure, even going to fight the dreaded Guardians of Night. Will he succeed in his mission? Who is this mysterious Sky Pirate?
I like this book and recommend it because it has many exciting parts like when Rook helps in the attack on the Tower of Night. It also has many beautiful and amazing pictures. I recommend it to anyone who, like me, loves sci-fi or fantasy books of around 400 or over pages, and I would also recommend the rest of the Edge Chronicles Series to those who like this book. I’d rate it 4/5.
If these reviews have tempted you, both books have been added to our shop now.
So, you’ve heard from each of our reviewers now, and hopefully you’re all looking forward to hearing more of their views. Don’t forget that we are happy to find out what you think about books you’re reading, so do feel free to send in your reviews and we may well feature them here soon.
Thought it would be a good idea to update everyone on what’s happening with our group, just over halfway through launch month, so to borrow Mcfly’s words – it’s all about you! If this is your first visit to the site, join in and you could be getting your hands on some free books – check out our posts on 01.05.10 and 07.05.10 now. Draw for prizes will be at the end of May, and it’s UK only.
We started the month with 8 members, 3 Facebook fans and a handful of Twitter followers. To date, we have 85 members, 180 Facebook fans and 217 people following us on Twitter – not bad!! Thank you for joining in with us nice and early, and of course we have lots of freebies available to reward you!
A few of you have had your say in our polls, and it looks like each of our May Book of the Month titles are being read out there, with Fallen being the most popular. We’ve read them all now and enjoyed each of them. When you’ve finished yours, do go to the forum and share your opinions. We’ll be letting you know what June’s picks will be soon, so look out for them to make sure you can get hold of a copy ready to join in.
Speaking of the forum, there’s some interesting threads starting up. Moggs wants to know if anyone can top the wonderful Roald Dahl, Greeny’s looking for a Sarah Dessen recommendation, bookgirl wants to know which books can get people hooked on reading and Cosette has started a fab idea of ‘story writer’ where you each add to a story together. She’s started it about a girl named Lola-Rose, in an orphanage with a mysterious silver locket…so go add your bit.
We’re now planning to start up our very own review panel, and have had several entries sent in for this so far. We plan to pick a few people at the start of June, so if you want in, don’t delay in contacting us! Find out more about it by going to our reviews page now, where we’ve included Josef’s and Amber’s reviews already. We’ve been in touch with several publishers and have been added to lots of review panels, so more reviews should be coming your way soon. In the meantime, if you’ve just read a book, why not send us your review of it and share your thoughts with us all?
We’ve expanded our shop range, too. Every book that’s included on the site is available there, along with the entire children’s and YA book range at Amazon, and we’ve also added other things we like – bags, journals, stickers, book ends, key rings and other bits and bobs. Take a peek – there may be something you fancy!
Oh, and we’ve also been enjoying your doodles! There tends to be a new one every few days, and we like to see your creativity, so if you’ve not had a go yet, try it – it’s fun!
What’s next? We have a couple of author Q&A’s on their way, a guest blog spot from Dino FC’s Terry Triceratops, authors of The Moonstone Legacy are swinging by mid June, book reviews and our picks of new titles. Along with bringing you all of this, we plan to continue spreading the word about us, contacting publishers, authors, schools and libraries, so if you can do your bit and tell a few friends, suggest our page on Facebook or retweet us that’d be great. Do also contact us with anything you’d like to see on the site, books you want us reading or to let us know that you’d like to put some of your questions to an author. Always good to hear from you.
So, thanks, and happy reading!
We’ve now been live for nearly a month, and our virtual appearance has changed 3 times, our widgets have been all over the place and we’ve learnt a thing or two about blogging.
It hasn’t all been about web design, though. Oh no, we have not been idle in sharing the babble. Twitter has been a fantastic revelation to us – why has it taken us so long to find it?! Our twitter wings have slowly been spreading and with a few tweets under our belt, we find we already have far flung followers numbering over 20 already, and none of them are our mates! Yes, we know people have hundreds and thousands following them, but give us a chance – it’s becoming our mission to work to double the number on a monthly basis, so 40+ for May and we’ll be delighted. It’s through twitter that we have made contact with several publishers and authors – one of whom has been kind enough to help us out with a members competition next month – more on that soon..
Whilst it’s been exciting to be designing, developing and basically messing about with things, we are now ready to get on with our main function – our book group. The website’s sorted (hope you like it, BTW) and we’re tweeting away happily so we can now get down to the good stuff – books. We confess with everything else we’ve been doing this month, there’s been little time for reading, which is madness for a book group and frustrating as it’s what we most love to do. From here on in, we’ll be busy enjoying books – hope you are, too…
Well, that’s a good question. Why would you poke around the site and then join us? There are plenty of reasons, so here are a few. We’d like anyone that enjoys reading to join us to show everyone that there are plenty of you out there!! It’s a bit of an experiment really to see how many members we can get, how many Twitter followers, how many becoming fans of our Facebook page, how the word can spread. If the idea of being a part of a new and growing group isn’t doing it for you, how about our main purpose – to get us all reading and chatting through our books. By being a part of our virtual group, you will know that others are reading the same book as you and you can then happily chat away about it in the forum and share your thoughts. In this case, it’s probably a good idea, as well as joining us by clicking to ‘register’ on the right of the homepage, that you click to subscribe to our emails as you will then get updates of what we’re doing and we’ll announce the books we’ll be reading the next month a week in advance so you can order copies in our shop or get them from the library ready. To follow us on Twitter, click on the ‘t’ at the top right of the page and to ‘like’ us on FaceBook just pop to our page by clicking on our FaceBook status on the right. A key part of being part of our group is that it’s very much your group, too. As such, we will regularly randomly choose members to decide on and contribute to what we are doing. For example, you may be asked to choose a ‘book of the month’ so you can tell us all what to be reading, you may be asked to submit questions for an author interview we have lined up, you may be asked what you want us including in our blog for the month or you may be asked to start a new ‘babble’ topic. Hopefully you’ll enjoy being a part of our group like this, but don’t worry if that’s not your thing – we’ll ask you but you can say no!! As our group is just starting out, register now as the chances of you being chosen to help us is good as there’s not many of you …yet!
Mentioning the forum there, we notice a few topics are starting up. Greeny isn’t too sure about New Moon, Pengy thinks The BFG’s Sophie is a good candidate for our babble lead female character and we’ve a few opinions about our favourite Roald Dahl book – go on, join now and chuck your views into the mix.
When we’re not blogging, reading or babbling, you’ll find us shopping for books! We have our link here on site directly to the Book Shop which includes Amazon’s children’s books range, and to make your lives nice and easy, we add our book of the months and any other books featured on this site to the first couple of pages. While we were browsing and picking a few new titles out, we spotted that Amazon currently have a load of children’s books on offer – just click here to go see - up to 40% off children’s books