Michael Morpurgo to Publish Retelling of the Wizard of Oz

Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz on Pre-order Now

HarperCollins has confirmed that it will be publishing a retelling of Frank Baum’s classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz written by children’s author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo. The news was announced at the London Book Fair this week, and is already sending waves of excitement through the industry.

Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz tells the original tale through the eyes of Toto, Dorothy’s trusted companion and is authored by the War Horse author with illustrations from Emma Chichester Clark.

Toto’s role is a passive one both in the books, and the movie. The little dog is basically just carried around a lot and we don’t really ever know how he feels about things. Morpurgo is well known for bringing animals characters to life with books such as War Horse and Shadow, and he seems the perfect author to tell the story from Toto’s perspective.

Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz will publish on 7th September in full colour hardback in both the US and UK, and e-book and audiobook versions will also be available. Some illustrations have been released in advance, and these are included in this piece. We also have more news concerning Morpurgo.

If you’re a fan of the author then you may be interested to know he’s the feature of a free exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum of Childhood, celebrating his life and writing and the exhibition is timed to coincide with the release of this new book.

New Short Stories Collections Coming from P. G Wodehouse

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P. G Wodehouse is timelessly classic, funny, and incredibly entertaining so it’s hardly surprising that desire for his work has continued long after his death. This week with the news that Hutchinson/Arrow has renewed the publishing license for Wodehouse’s work for a further ten years is more news about some new short stories coming this year!

Fans were already treated to the publications of Highballs for Breakfast (USUK) late last year, a collection of passages dedicated to drinking taken from the best of Wodehouse. It was an instant bestseller last Christmas and did very well in the literary gift market. Read More

Die Hard is being adapted into a Christmas book

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Die Hard is one of the most beloved Christmas films of all time, right up there with A Muppet Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. Despite being an R-rated action film about a tough cop saving the day from a group of terrorists, there’s still something about Die Hard that brings out the Christmas cheer in us.

Whilst it’s a treat for more mature audiences, Die Hard certainly isn’t suitable for kids, until now! This Christmas, you can tuck your little ones into bed and send them off to the land of nod with this children book that teaches young one the story of the no nonsense cop John McClane.

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Bram Stoker’s Great-Grandnephew to Write Official Prequel to Dracula

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Bram Stoker’s Dracula has become a modern classic since it was first published over 100 years ago in 1897. The book has since inspired countless stage, film, and television adaptations and Dracula has become one of the most iconic monsters of all time. Fans of the original novel will be pleased to learn that Bram Stoker’s great-grand nephew, Dacre Stoker, is working on an official sequel to the book called Dracul. Read More

7 Collections of Short Stories Selected For You

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Short stories are generally considered to be short enough to be read in one sitting. They are longer than 1,000 words, or else they are considered ‘flash fiction’, but shorter than 10,000 words. They encompass all that is involved in your regular novel- from exposition to resolution- carried through in one swift story and far less complex than a full fiction novel.

The short story dates back to the traditional form of oral storytelling which, for obvious reasons, could not take hours to resolve. Long tales (such as Homer’s Odyssey) would be recited in sections- often with rhyme and rhythm to aid remembering each verse. Often separate short tales would be told but would be linked in some way (such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales).

2017 has seen this traditional form flourish still, and remain ever more popular. Perhaps modern life calls for shorter, snappier tales to fit in with our busy lives?

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John Green Reads the First Chapter of Turtles All the Way Down

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In June we brought you the news that John Green is releasing a new novel and Turtles all the Way down releases on October 10th. Fans of the author, whose past releases include The Stars in Our Eyes and Looking for Alaska, have responded enthusiastically about the release. If you can hardly wait until October then this week John Green has read the first chapter on his You Tube channel.

John Green is an enthusiastic You Tuber, and a big reading advocate. His channel is a varied explosion of creativity, books, literature and life and fans of the author should probably subscribe. Read More

Pope Francis to Release a Book on Happiness

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Happiness in this Life out December

Pope Francis is no stranger to publishing, releasing his first book ‘The Name of God is Mercy’ in 2016. Now we hear from Pan Macmillan’s imprint Bluebird that they have acquired the rights to a new book by the pontiff full of his thoughts on Happiness.

The new release will be published in hardback on 5th December 2017 and will be called Happiness in this Life: A Passionate Meditation on Material Existence and is earmarked as an uplifting read and likely to be a Christmas bestseller. Read More



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