J.K. Rowling has been keeping us guessing about her big announcement, and today she finally revealed all. The Harry Potter author has created something which is described as: “a free website that builds an exciting online experience around the reading of the Harry Potter books.” It will open to all in October, but fans can return on 31 July to find out how to enter Pottermore.com early. The series of seven will be available to buy as e-books from the site, and digital audio books will also be downloadable. Rowling says fans will help shape the site and she’ll also be joining in. She said: “I will be sharing additional information I have been hoarding for years about the world of Harry Potter.” Watch the announcement above. Are you excited about this new venture?
The release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is less than a month away, and we’ve been treated to a second trailer for the final film of the franchise.
I have to admit, it gave me chills. The special effects look amazing, and Helena Bonham Carter is as sinister as ever. I’m planning on re-reading the book and re-watching Part 1 before I take my seat in the cinema for the final installment.
Watch the trailer when you read more.
Harry Potter fans could be in for a treat as a new website has been unveiled. Pottermore.com currently consists of just a holding page with J.K. Rowling’s signature and the tantilising message ‘Coming soon…’. There is a Twitter account too.
The site was revealed in a Secret Street View challenge, where Rowling gave ten Potter websites co-ordinates relating to a different letter in Pottermore. The name is said to be the last patent recorded by Rowling back in July 2009. An HPANA.com editor claims to have seen a sneak preview and calls it “breathtaking in scope, detail and sheer beauty.”
Naturally, there’s now speculation there will be more Potter novels, but a spokeswoman at Rowling’s PR company said: “It is not another Harry Potter book but we cannot reveal any more at this stage, fans will have to keep an eye on the website. It will be launching soon.”
The Bookseller adds that the spokeswoman refused to confirm if there was a link between the new website and the release of e-books. What do you think it is?
With Father’s Day coming up on 19 June, I’ve been thinking about books related to dads. It’s difficult to offer recommendations for books to give as presents, as the best gifts are those which are personal to the person receiving them. What I’ve done instead is selected a couple of books that beautifully explore the intricacies of fatherhood: Danny the Champion of the World and Ulysses. What are your favourite books about fathers?
Gruffalo creator Julia Donaldson is the new children’s laureate. She is the seventh to hold the post, following in the pen-strokes of Quentin Blake, Anne Fine, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Rosen and Anthony Browne. It’s Browne, her predecessor, who urged Donaldson to champion libraries. In an open letter he wrote: “Do everything you can to support libraries – God knows, they need every bit of help they can get nowadays.”
To find out how Donaldson plans to support libraries, keep reading.
Fans of a certain naughty boy rejoice: Horrid Henry: The Movie in 3D is coming to a cinema near you. The impressive cast includes Anjelica Huston, Parminder Nagra, Richard E. Grant, Noel Fielding, Jo Brand and Prunella Scales.
It’s the first British children’s film shot in 3D, and is released in the UK on 29 July. Do you plan to watch it?
Check out the trailer after the jump to get a taste of what to expect.
Richard and Judy this week announced the 18 titles that are part of their Children’s Book Club this summer. The list comprises three categories: Read Together; Read Yourself; and Fluent Reader. There are old favourites alongside new titles, and I’m pleased to see books with illustrations by Tony Ross and Quentin Blake. Earlier this month the couple revealed their choices for adults. Do you plan to read any of their recommendations?
Whenever I read Wind in the Willows I get the urge to eat toast. It’s Toad’s fault. When he’s in the dungeon, he eats some to raise his spirits, and boy does it do that.
“The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one’s ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender; of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries.”
Get comfy with a copy of the book and follow the example of the gaoler’s daughter who brings Toad the snack: make a cup of tea to go with “very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in it in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb”.
A feast for the nose and the taste buds. Delicious.
One of my highlights from the Royal Wedding was bridesmaid Grace van Cutsem and her brilliant show of independence on Buckingham Palace’s balcony. She did not like that fly past and she was not going to put on a performance!
That classic picture of Grace’s cross face, hands over ears, put me in mind of some of my favourite characters in children’s literature: the rebellious ones. I’ve selected two books, one from my own childhood and one more recent, that feature strong-willed children: The Wild Baby and Horrid Henry.
Who’s your favourite independently-minded character?
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