Monday, 18 June 2012

A Random Mad Hatters Tea Party

Random House Childrens Publishers Summer Blogger Brunch – London, 16 June 2012

Last Saturday, I attended an event at Random House in London. Random introduced us to their forthcoming Children’s and Young Adult titles, took us through their cover design process, brought in sisters from Vintage, had us in stitches, fed us cake, and sent us away with a goody bag of books.

Here are some of my highlights from their Mad Hatters Tea Party menu!

RHCP Mad Hatters Tea Party menu

Dodger’s Carrot Cake
The word is that Terry Pratchett’s next treasure, Dodger, will be published on 13th September 2012.

The Queen of Hearts’ Jam Tarts
Yes, Alice in Wonderland herself – at least in book form. Vintage is launching a Children’s Classics range in August that will have 20 -30 titles.  Included are some all-time favourites like Alice but some more contemporary inclusions are Swallows and Amazons, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (12+) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (12+). These editions will have new maps in them and a Backstory section (that might be similar to the Harper Collins’ Essential Modern Classics series). If Vintage’s adult Classics are anything to go by, these editions are likely to appeal to cover fundies too. The World of Stories, a new children’s book website will be launched simultaneously –– aimed at 8-12 year old bookworms.

Vintage Children's Classics: World of Stories

Speaking of Alice, there was also…..

Posh Pink Lemonade
Laura Dockrill - pretty (funny...and) in pink
Plenty of this not least of which came in the form of Laura Dockrill, whose children’s tween book debut, Darcy Burdock, publishes in 2013. 

Laura read from her manuscript…..yawn. NOT!!
If ever there was a born entertainer, Laura is one.  She had us all chortling away.  Darcy Burdock certainly sounds like it’s going to be a really, really, really funny read. And if there’s an audiobook (which they say there will be), snap that up because listening to Laura is fantastic.

Laura is also involved with the Ministry of Stories, a fabulous organisation that offers creative writing courses and mentoring to young people in east London .  She knows a couple of your favourite popstars and she and Katy Perry share a shoemaker.  Killer red heels, neon pink tights, polka dotty dress, lipstick, eyelashes and a crowning glory.  Really, she is Alice in Wonderland who uses a looking glass and I think she could very possibly turn out to be next year’s Queen of Teen.  We’ll just have to wait and read…

And last but not least, Hotcake Picks – for Me!:
Of all the new books that were presented, these are the ones that I'll be looking out for:
  • Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick (about children and the Khymer Rouge’s Killing Fields in 1970s Cambodia; coming August 2012)
  • The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket (about a normal boy who floats; from author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas; coming August 2012)
  • Muddle and Win: The Battle of Sally Jones by John Dickinson (lighthearted comedy about a battle raging in Sally’s head that’ll affect her lifetime deeds score for getting into either heaven or hell; coming August 2012)
  • Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone (pitched as The Time Traveler’s Wife for teens, I’ll say no more; coming October 2012).

Thank you to the editors, publicists and designers from Random House and Vintage for inviting me.  It was a thoroughly entertaining day.

Not to mention all those bloggers I eventually met too: Raimy, Hannah, Carly, Jesse, Sarah (yes, we had a strong Candor contingent there!), Sophie, Viv, Lucy, Clover and more! What a lovely bunch they are.


  1. It was so fun at the brunch and brilliant to meet you in person. Lovely write-up. I'm personally also really excited about The Time Between Us and Never Fall Down, as well as Crusher and Red Rain!
    Also how amazing were the cupcakes?!

    1. Thanks and great to meet you too, Lucy. I've already finished Never Fall Down! - oh boy....

  2. Fab write up and it was lovely to meet you.

    Really, really looking forward to the classics (I'm so going to be buying The Secret Garden) and I'm really hoping for the audiobook from Laura :)

    1. Great to meet you too Jesse! I loved The Secret Garden when I was a young girl. And I agree, Lauara's audiobook would be fab.


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