Tag Archives: Children’s Books

POPE FRANCIS AND MICHELANGELO’S MOUSE

It was Dad who was always so fond of the story of St Francis, this extraordinary Pope’s namesake and one of the great medieval reformers, just like this real man of God, Francis, a Pope for our times. I guess that soldier turned inspirer went so deep here because he is so associated with animals. GK Chesterton, a Catholic and author of the Father Brown detective books wrote a biography of him wonderfully called Brother Sun and Sister Moon. Whether you are a believer or not it is that human engagement with all life, with the sun, moon, stars and animals that sings of large spirits. St Francis is at the heart of a little fable called Michelangelo’s Mouse, set in renaissance Italy, teaching a mouse called Jotto how to follow his dreams, his artistic inspiration and become famouse!

Michelangelo’s Mouse is available at Amazon at $2.99

DCD

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Filed under Childrens Books, Culture, Education

PHOENIX ARK PRESS AND PUBLISHING AT THE PUSH OF A BUTTON!

In a few days time Phoenix Ark are proud to publish The Terror Time Spies by David Clement-Davies. Based loosely on the exploits of The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy, during the French Revolution, it sends a daring band of youngsters to Paris, to confront Terror everywhere. Though intended as the first in a much lighter, entertaining series, it was the book that Sarah Van More had had for nearly two years at Abrams, and would have taken an absurd four years to publish, since signing a contract, if that battle had not happened. There we are.

In the ‘good ol’ days, its publication would have meant lovely things like proper editorial support and dialogue, proof copies, interviews and author’s copies, arriving in brown cardboard boxes, to grace a private bookshelf. The stuff of real life books, that are things and characters in themselves too, not to mention becoming a record of others’ reading joys and histories. All part of those enormously special and intimate things to any author though, made far more intimate by a two year relationship with an Abrams editor, Tara Break, and by a ten year editorial relationship with her colleague. Which was once a source of joy and pride, made all the more tragic in the weird atmosphere of an American firm, of not even being ‘allowed’ to mention it, as if some crime had been committed. But so Phoenix Ark Press was born, and now, because at present they are only to eBook, publishing means, beyond the work of course – creative, editorial and the wonderful cover too, designed by Seb and Julia – the literal press of a button.

The Internet has revolutionised publishing in a way perhaps only comparable to Shakespeare’s day, over four hundred years ago, viz-viz other work here, the creation of The Stationer’s Register in London, that closed only so recently, developing copyright law itself, and, in a sense, the creation of the very idea of ‘the author’. There are many bad things in it, on the Internet too, but many good, like people who did not read hugely, suddenly saying their Kindles or readers had opened entire worlds, and at least it has kept Phoenix Ark alive as a creative voice. It’s massive downside is Amazon’s proud trumpeting of the fact that Borders has declared bankruptcy and the pumping out of work that perhaps should not see the light of day. Perhaps publishing was always rather ruthless, battles of books deeply personal too, and nothing ensures a work’s surival. Perhaps the only thing that really matters is not how we read, but the quality of the stories we are reading, although physical books will never die and we must be very wary indeed of breaking vital human connections. The Terror Time Spies coming soon.

PA PRESS

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Filed under Childrens Books, Fantasy, The Phoenix Story