Thursday, 22 August 2013

Cheltenham Literature Festival Book It! Children's Programme Launch!

It's that time of year again!
Plans and preparations are in full flow for the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
To celebrate the unveiling of this year's children's programme Waterstones Cheltenham are hosting a special event. 
Come and join us in the Children's Department for a whole host of treats!

The Cheltenham Literature Festival Book It! 
Children's Programme Launch  

at Waterstones Cheltenham

Saturday 31st August
11.00am - 3.00pm

Come and help picturebook author Tom Percival make a special festival banner!

Jack's Amazing Shadow

Watch out for appearances by Maisy at 12.00 and 2.00pm

Where is Maisy?

If you're lucky you might get to taste some festival cake, or receive an exclusive Walker Books goody bag!


This is also your chance to meet Book It! Director, Jane Churchill and ask her all about this year's events.


While you're with us you can pick up your very own copy of the festival programme!

So, make sure you join us on Saturday 31st August at Waterstones Cheltenham for lots of festival fun!

Waterstones Cheltenham, 
33-41 The Promenade, Cheltenham GL50 1LE

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Award Winners!

The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are two of the most prestigious awards in children's literature, and today this year's winners were announced!
The Kate Greenaway medal is awarded to those who provide 'distinguished illustration in a book for children', and has been awarded to illustrators such as Shirley Hughes, Emily Gravett, and Chris Riddell. This year, the medal was awarded to author and illustrator Levi Pinfold, for his picture book The Black Dog. Not only is The Black Dog beautifully illustrated, it's a picture book with an important message for children; stand up to your fears, and they will get smaller and smaller until they're not so scary anymore. Levi Pinfold's illustrations are quirky and incredibly detailed, and will be enjoyed by fans of Oliver Jeffers and Emily Gravett.
Previous winners of the Carnegie Medal have included children's authors such as Penelope Lively, Melvin Burgess, Siobhan Dowd, and Patrick Ness. This year, Sally Gardner has scooped the medal for her novel Maggot Moon, a dystopian, Orwell-esque story about a dyslexic boy named Standish. While the novel is set in an alternate world, Sally Gardner creates characters that are original, believable, warm and engaging. It's not just the characters in her books that provide a source of inspiration; Gardner herself is dyslexic, and uses her own experiences to shape those of her characters. This book is perfect for fans of Annabel Pitcher, and Wonder by RJ Palacio, and is one to be enjoyed by adults and teens alike.
Listen to Levi Pinfold's acceptance speech here:
To read more about the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, 
or to view the shortlists in full, visit the website here: 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Our Cake-tastic Day with Tracey Corderoy!

In May we were joined by author Tracey Corderoy who was introducing her brand new characters - Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam!
Shifty and Sam are naughty robber dogs, until they discover... well you'll have to read the book to find out, but it involves CAKE!

Tracey's events are legendary - we always have so much fun! This time we were decorating chef's hats, dog-shaped bisccuits and cakes!

Before the decorating began:

 Where did you get that hat?!

 Chef's hat in progress...

Now let's move on to the cake!

Some lovely cake decorating going on here:

We think we'd better taste those - make sure they're ok!

Oh! Looks like they got there first!

Maybe we should try a biscuit instead...

Oh. You ate it. Hope you got Tracey to sign your book!

Nice dog biscuit!

Maybe we'll just listen to the story instead :)

We would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Tracey Corderoy who has been so incredibly supportive of our store. She is a superstar author!

Thank you to everyone who came on the day - these are just a few of the lovely children who came to visit.

If you would like to hear about future events, storytime and competitions, just drop us a line and we'll send you our monthly Picturebook Club newsletter email! Mail us at:

We'll leave you with the winning picture in our Shifty and Sam competition - well done young illustrator Kaya!

Our AMAZING day with Tom Percival!

It began with a window display...

...based on a fantastic picturebook...

 ...about a little boy and his magical shadow.

We chose heads, bodies, arms, hands... create our creatures...

...then we stuck sticks on their backs and they became... AMAZING shadow puppet show!

Thank you Tom!

Just a few pictures from what turned out to be a busy day spent reading Jack's AMAZING Shadow and creating shadow puppets (in fact we ran out of body bits twice!).

If you would like to join our Picturebook Club so you can be kept informed of future events, just drop us a line:

Friday, 14 June 2013

The Best of Georgette Heyer

This month, Arrow Books are publishing six of the most loved Georgette Heyer books with beautiful new jackets. With a writing career spanning more than 50 years, and with over 50 novels still in print today, Georgette Heyer is arguably one of the most successful Regency romance novelists. I have often heard her books referred to as guilty pleasures, but for me, they are like a comforting friend; full of vivid characters, warmth, comic moments, damsels in distress and Prince Charming-esque men. You'll finish each one feeling like you've just had a hug. Reminiscent of Jane Austen, with all the dizzying romance of fairytales; if you've never read a Georgette Heyer before, I urge you to do so right away - they are the best kind of escapism you could ask for, and once you've read one, you'll want to read them all. Luckily, there are lots to get through!

To celebrate these gorgeous new Georgette jackets, we're having a read-along of The Grand Sophy on Twitter, using the hashtag #bestofheyer. We'd love for you to join in, and share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments here. Look out for the new editions in a bookshop near you from the 20th June!

Photos used with kind permission of the lovely Cathy - you can follow her on Twitter at @CathyReadsBooks

Monday, 10 June 2013

Books For Little People

For most of us, our first experience of reading is turning the pages of a board book.

They are easier for little hands to hold and they are built to survive the dropping, pulling and chewing that often ensues!

Recently there has a been a real embracing of board books as a genre and the choice available is rapidly growing. These chunky treasures are a lovely art form in their own right and have also evolved into 'touchy feely', 'lift the flap' and 'noisy' books - and sometimes a mixture of all three!

We thought you might like to see some of our favourites, although of course the best way to enjoy them is to come in to the store and have a look!

Of course we need to start with the classics...
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is now available in so many formats, even a finger puppet book, but nothing quite matches the fun of a little person being able to pop their small fingers through the substantial munchy holes that the caterpillar has left in a cardboard page!

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy is as popular as ever - the rollicking rhymes and ever growing pace create a story that is as much fun to read as to listen to.

Peepo is a great favourite. There are holes in this book too, but this time they are peep-holes, offering a tantalising glimpse at what may be happening on the next page. We also love Each Peach Pear Plum by the Ahlbergs - another adorable board book.

Little ones love lifting the flaps in Dear Zoo, but the zoo keeps sending the wrong animal! Which one is behind the door?

We're Going On A Bear Hunt and The Tiger Who Came To Tea are two classic picturebooks which are now classic board books too!

Here are just some of our favourites from recent times...

From the creators of The Gruffalo, The Acorn Wood series is massively popular at the moment. Axel Scheffler's fantastic illustrations and Julia Donaldson's fun rhymes combine with liftable flaps to produce a winning combination.

Tim Hopgood is a big bookseller favourite. Lovely stories combine with gloriously vibrant pictures. These books are great fun and there are also plenty of learning opportunities contained within them.

Another author/illustrator who delights in sumptuous colours, Petr Horacek has quite a portfolio of board books. Here are just two...

It's great to see the return of Jane Hissey's bear books and these little board books are a lovely addition.

We were curious to know about YOUR favourites, so we asked the question on twitter. Here are just some of the books you suggested (apart from the ones we've already featured!).

This is just a small selection of what's available. Do keep telling us your favourites!