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A Mad Hatter’s Tea Party… And Fab New Children’s Reads of the PanMacmillan – 2015 Kind.

February 18th, 2015 · 13 Comments

It isn’t often that I am invited to a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, in fact never ever before… Every year PanMacmillan, South Africa have a book day, when they showcase all the latest and greatest kids reads and the new launches for the year… It is an unmissable event. Anyway this past Friday was the day and not only did I accept the invitation, but I let my kids crash the party – because let’s be honest – these are book people, and when your kids love books and review bazillions of books it is just right that they get to rub shoulders. Actually I didn’t intend to crash… but as we reached the door, my gang was literally embraced by friendly PanMacmillan staff, and they didn’t have to be asked twice if they would like a cup cake for breakfast…

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Who could resist…
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And clearly the novelty factor of an early morning treat ranked high!!!
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The event was held at the aquarium, so plenty of things to keep the gang busy while I was surrounded by the most adorable goody bags…
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Filled with fabulous and exciting books and the contents will have to wait for another post… but here is a peak:

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So books, books, books. Critically acclaimed and activity books, educational… and award winning, picture book and teen reads. Hundreds of books flash before you and you have to sift your way through to find your best book friends, of course they were all there…

Who is Who Behind the Books

PanMacmillan Books South Africa

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Terry from PanMacmillan South Africa made sure that my entire team all had cupcakes and just as casually introduced the crowd to local author, Alan Glass… the author of just the launched Oliver’s Outline. It didn’t take him long to have everyone singing… I tell you anything can happen at Open Book Days…

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Macmillan Children’s Books in the UK

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Belinda from Macmillan Children’s Books in the UK was able to venture into the historical depths… I don’t know where we think books come from but publishers digging into archives and discovering letters, dating back to 1871, between C.S.Lewis and Lewis Carol, sounds like real live history to me, and not the stuff of school history classes at all. Anyhow, Alice… of the Wonderland fame, is 150 years old this year. And we can look forward to a lot of delightful Alice goodies on the shelves.

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Not to mention there will be heaps more from our best book friends like:

  • Julia Donaldson – of course and Axel Schaeffer… activity books of course and a Song Book Treasury, which sounds delightful.
  • More from Chris Riddell… and especially Goth Girl… happy dance, we love that gal!!!
  • More from Meg Cabot… we have a fan over here, who will be thrilled to hear that.
  • Peter Hamilton, and my oldest two have devoured his books this year, has written something for younger kids – all because he likes to read to his kids. Sounds like the perfect reason to write a book.
  • More Eva Ibbotson, we only recently discovered her books, but my kids loved her – certainly an author who wrote topical issues, way before they were issues.
  • More Frances Hardinge, huge yay, we love her writing.
  • More Emily Gravett: You know how we love and adore her, and their will be a tenth anniversary edition of Wolves, wait for it!!!
  • More Gemma Merino: Remember the Dragon who Didn’t like Fire, and The Crocodile who didn’t like Water, well, The Cow who climbed Trees is Next.
  • Not to mention the picture book: The Giant of Jum, who offers us sage advice: Eat cakes, not kids.

Cake of Critical Acclaim

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So much beautiful cake… delightful details and just pure fun.

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And Extremely Glamorous Award Winning Hats

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Hachette Children’s Books

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Meet Claire, who brought the news of more of everything in books…

  • More of our friend Hugless Douglas and there is everything to love about this affable bear.
  • There is going to be, believe to or not, a sequel to Rosies Walk.
  • Delighted to hear that there will be more of Claude… and the most delightful and funny dog on earth.
  • If you enjoyed the Queen’s Hat, then you will enjoy the Queen’s Handbag, a romp around the UK looking for the illusive bag.
  • More and new Enid Blyton’s that have never been published before…
  • And MR. Men, we’ve never been huge fans… but there is one called Grandfather Clock coming out and that is a deeply significant name in our house!!!
  • The Final in Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon, gasp… there will be tears to see that end.
  • And for the mermaid loving teens… More of the Jennifer Donnolly Waterfire Saga.
  • There will be more Charlie and Lola… sweet love.
  • Heaps more Rainbow Readers, Secret Kingdom and Beast/Sea Quests and such like, not even close to our favourites by far… but they are bringing out easy readers in these series and I am guessing my easy reader level readers would enjoy them.
  • Holly Webb’s Waterhorse looks like one we will enjoy, it’s set in Venice – what’s not to enjoy!!!

Walker Books

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Fiona is no stranger to Cape Town and I could sit and listen to her talk about books forever and ever… not to mention she read us a story… we needed one at this stage…

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And the news that all my kids wanted to hear: There will be more Timmy Failure. Yes even Timmy was there and we love him. A galactic failure of the detective kind, who will have you in stitches whatever age you are… and if you need to know how to draw Timmy, just click on the link.

Priddy Books

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Meet the team from Priddy Books, Roger and Sally. These books are surely icons of our age. Every home must have a “First 100 Words” by now. These two sure new how to present their books, they might even love their books almost as much as we do. Heaps of new and fantastic books coming out from Priddy Books:

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  • A ten thousand sticker Stickerpedia, have you ever!!!
  • Super Duper Activity books galore, with their trade mark wipeable pens!!!
  • Colouring books with their own stackable crayons – Oh the joy!!!
  • More alphaprints… and
  • More Let’s Pretend… and Pirate heaven for our youngest pirate, totally interactive books, things to do and make and touch and engage, engage, engage…
  • But it was the soon to be launched: “Playtown Airport” with dozens of Lift the Flaps, with Roger and Sally hidden somewhere on every spread, that clearly won the day.

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I have to say, Roger Priddy may just have become a book hero in our home as he chatted with our kids about all things books… the making, the launching and his enthusiasm for his subject is just fablous. He may also have made a life long fan… by saying that a our youngest lad could keep the book, that he clearly loves, it is under his pillow as he sleeps!!!

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Blast from the Past

We would really like to thank PanMacmillan South Africa for this fantastic event, for the invitation and of course the extra special treatment. This post is not sponsored in any way and the opinions expressed are as usual our own.

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Tags: Brilliant Books · Reviews

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 cat@jugglingact // Feb 18, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Oh wow, what an event! I would adore to be at something like this
    cat@jugglingact´s last blog post ..Currently…

  • 2 ChrisH // Feb 18, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Oh wow looks like it was great fun!
    ChrisH´s last blog post ..2015

  • 3 se7en // Feb 18, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Oh Cat, Just a little bit heavenly… we will have lots of new and exciting books reviewed and up for you soonest. We are reading away, because it is too hot to do anything else!!! Have a good week!!!

  • 4 se7en // Feb 18, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Oh Chris, fun indeed… the kind of event that you wait for all year, and then it passes so fast!!! There are tons of good reads coming out for kids, it is going to be a fab year for reading!!! Actually every year is a good year for reading, but this is a particularly good year for new reads!!!

  • 5 Cheryl // Feb 18, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Looks like a great event. All those publishers. Just wanted to add that your gang are looking quite grown-up. No surprise they were welcomed in.
    Cheryl´s last blog post ..AlphabetPhoto: F is for

  • 6 Marcia (123 blog) // Feb 18, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    LOVE YOUR POST. Looks like a great event. Beautiful cakes, gorgeous books and really? Alice is 150? One of my favourites – there are quotable quotes on almost every page 🙂
    Marcia (123 blog)´s last blog post ..Our last photowalk of the year #summer

  • 7 se7en // Feb 19, 2015 at 3:55 am

    Hay Cheryl, they do grow up… alarmingly fast!!! And yes, book heaven… Hope you have all had a great week!!!

  • 8 se7en // Feb 19, 2015 at 3:57 am

    Hay Marcia, you would enjoy this event totally… so right, brand match made in heaven. And Alice is 150, it is going to be a great year for all things Alice!!! Hope youh ave had a good week and that the weekend comes dashing along… lots of love!!!

  • 9 Zayaan Schroeder // Feb 19, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Firstly, it was great seeing you! The Munchkin’s favourite book out of the bag is Hugless Douglas and I get SO many hugs when we read that. It’s great. I laughed out loud at Please Mr. Panda. That Panda is so sassy! And I think I am as excited as your kids are about the all the new Timmy Failure coming op.
    Zayaan Schroeder´s last blog post ..Second Sundays in Wynberg Park

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