20 March 2008

Back again

Apologies for the silence this week. It's not because of a lack of UBG-related activity, but quite the contrary - so much running around doing stuff, that there's not been a lot of time left to write about it. (Still less to sit around in a leisurely manner doing luxurious things like reading...)

We've all been going through the second submission version of our new UBG, preparing a title list for additions to the new edition of the UTBG (the teen guide - any suggestions?); Leonie and I are talking in Oxford tomorrow and St Alban's next week, and we're all doing events in Exeter next week too, and the week after there's the launch of the National Year of Reading book and the children's books supplement in the Guardian and I'm doing Oxford again, etc.

And we do all have quite a few day jobs too, of course...

So, excuses over. Now, one bit of reading highly recommended for anyone with very little time but fancying a quick dose of something lovely and interesting, is Hilary McKay's The Story of Bear, which somehow I must have missed last year and just found new in paperback yesterday. It's an early reader, so for those of you who are grown-ups it's a 10-minute read, but like everything by Hilary McKay it's warm and quirky and more than worthwhile for any age. (Her Casson family books are among my favourites of recent years.) This is a peculiar story full of odd side-steps that even adults will have to look at twice before you're quite sure what's going on, but she's such a delightful writer she can get away with practically anything, truth be told; she's one of those everything-she-touches-turns-to-gold writers, and you can tell just how good she is even in this funny little piece. Should mention I quite like the pictures too, by an illustator I'd not come across before called Serena Riglietti - will look out for her again.


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