Archive for the ‘Shirley’ Category


Meet the Buyers: Children’s Books

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

One of the most fun sections we have in either store is the Children’s Books section (0 – 12 years). Two ladies make sure you and your children always have an abundance of choice:

Meet Lília from ABC The Hague and Shirley from ABC Amsterdam!

How long have you been the buyer for the Children’s Books section?

Lília: I think since 2001.

Shirley: Since late 2011.

What was your favorite book growing up?

Lília: As Reinações de Narizinho by Monteiro Lobato (English title: Adventures of Little Nose, but sadly not in print at the moment). It’s a quirky and fantastical story about a little girl. My favorite character is her doll, Emilia, who comes to life and starts talking – a lot! And there is a viscount made of an empty corn cob who also comes to life and falls in love with the doll and he’s very wise because he has read all the books in the library.

Shirley: I used to love to read to the other kids in my neighborhood. They would gather on my bed and I would read poems. I loved reading to them aloud because I could use strange voices and act really silly! So Annie M. G. Schmidt was a favorite. In Dutch there are a lot of children’s poetry books and anthologies. Somehow I cannot find those kind of ‘versjes’ in English…

Which authors or series do you try to keep in stock at all times?

Lília: Sandra Boynton, Julia Donaldson, Eric Carle, Baby Einstein’s Alphabooks, general bedtime stories and nursery rhymes (like those by Debi Gliori), Cressida Cowell, Jeff Kinney and Geronimo Stilton.

Shirley: Roald Dahl, the Spirit Animal series (written by different authors), Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Philip Ardagh’s Eddie Dickens books, the Dork Diaries, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and the Tom Gates series.

Which authors or series deserve a bigger audience?

Lília: Peter Lerangis’s Seven Wonders series and Michelle Paver’s Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. Those books are filled with wonderful, adventurous stories, and nicely written.

Shirley: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. It’s from 2001, but such a fun series and so beautifully published (I only buy the little hardcovers). Chris Riddell’s Ottoline books are also wonderfully funny and beautifully illustrated and designed. I love Tony Blundell’s picture books Beware of Girls and Beware of Boys, too. Little Red Riding Hood’s Big Bad Wolf is sent on increasingly crazy quests. And William Joyce’s Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, in which the bottom line that reading stories and books enriches everyone’s life is so true! The app that was developed by the book’s publisher, Moonbot Studios, is incredible, too. A great interactive experience, in which you can turn the pages of all the books Morris keeps and takes care of and if you click a specific title the book comes alive! The art work is amazing and it does not surprise me that they won many awards.

How important are children’s book illustrators, and do you have a favorite?

Lília: They are very important but everyone has their own style and charm. My personal favorites include Fiep Westendorp, Eric Carle, Sandra Boynton, Maurice Sendak and Mo Willems.

Shirley: Apart from the little ones, nine- to twelve-year-olds love to see more than just text, like illustrated diaries or poems. I personally love the picture books by Chris Haughton. He always makes such beautiful books! The illustrations are very simple and often drawn in one colour. Very interesting and catchy, I think.

What have been the best-sellers so far in 2014?

Lília: The Kumon Math and Reading workbooks, the small classics series, the Usborne Young Readers CD-books and Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.

Shirley: The Dutch books translated into English, like Jip and Janneke, Miffy and The Cow Who Fell In the Canal.

What new titles are you eagerly awaiting?

Lília: The Long Haul, the newest book of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series! It will be on sale November 5th.

Shirley: The Dutch bestseller Muizenhuis will be published in English as Mouse Mansion in November. Keith Richards also wrote a children’s book together with his daughter that just came in, called Gus & Me. And of course the new Wimpy Kid!

There are ebooks available for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (and other Roald Dahl titles), Wild Born (and other titles in the Spirit Animals series), and The Bad Beginning (and other titles in A Series of Unfortunate Events).

This post first appeared in our October 2014 News Mailing.

Store Bits: Staff Choices

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Some more newly-added Staff Choices (not necessarily of new books, though :-) ).

I Didn’t Do My Homework Because… – Benjamin Chaud & Davide Cali
Recommended by Shirley

“I would have been happy if I had this book when I was a kid… A very funny excuse is: ‘I had to help my uncle build a high-tech do-my-homework-for-me machine, but when finally finished, it didn’t work.’”

Annihilation – Jeff VanderMeer (ebook)
Recommended by JeroenW

“This book is really spooky. A Lovecraftian tale for the modern age, unsettling and surreal.
Already one of my favorite reads of 2014!”

Battle Cry of Freedom – James McPherson (ebook)
Recommended by Jeroen

“More than 25 years after its first publication, still by far the best overview of th American Civil War.
Excellent analysis of its causes and well-written.”

The Savage Altar – Asa Larsson (ebook)
Recommended by Nicki

“I re-started this after getting distracted years ago. It has been ’staring’ at me ever since and I’m so pleased that I pulled it out of my book case again.
Her descriptions of the Kiruna countryside, the Swedish winter and the people have me wanting to book my next vacation there!”

The Conqueror’s Shadow – Ari Marmell (ebook)
Recommended by Jouke

“Slick magic, dry humor, and brutal action is what this book is about.
It’s a welcome change of pace from the myriad of generic, dime-a-dozen fantasy titles.”

ABC’s Gift Ideas: Childcare, Children’s Books, Consciousness, Controversial Knowledge

Friday, November 1st, 2013

The gift-giving season is upon us – hooray!

The ABC Staff has rummaged through their sections and order lists, and come up with another year’s worth of wonderful gift ideas for you: from fiction to history to cookbooks to children’s books to travel to non-books and onwards.

In a series of blog posts and recommendation lists throughout the coming month, you will find what we think will make great gifts, whether you celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas or just like giving books to people. And since we’re a bookstore, these posts will be alphabetical by subject. :-)

Today you’ll find gift ideas for Childcare, Children’s Books, Consciousness and Controversial Knowledge as picked out by section buyers Sigrid, Shirley, Lília, Jilles, Nyjolene, Agnes and Maarten. Bear in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg – come to either one of our stores to browse many, many more titles in any of these subjects.

We are ready as ever to be your personal shoppers again this year, and hope you will find our selections useful and inspiring!

You can find our gift ideas from previous years here (scroll down a bit pas 2013), and be sure to have a look at our ABC Favorites, too.

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ABC’s Favorite Reads of 2012, part V

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Ready for a new entry in ABC’s Favorite Reads of 2012 series? There will be new titles, old titles, magazines, Dutch books, games, fiction, non fiction, anything and everything we read and liked in 2012. We are as diverse as our individual choices and that is what makes ABC unique!

Part V features Shirley, Simone and Aviva. Shirley is Amsterdam’s buyer for the Children’s Books section, and helps oversee the ABC Treehouse there.  Simone is one of ABC The Hague’s store managers, and buys the books for the Fiction, Cookbooks and stationery sections.  Aviva is Amsterdam’s buyer for the Travel, Erotica and Reference sections.

We would love to hear about your favorite reads of 2012, too. Please mail blog@abc.nl with your choices and a picture of yourself (optional). We will post your list at the beginning of the new year and send you an ABC Gift Certificate (so don’t forget to include your home address with your list!).

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Event report: Jet Kat’s Foreign Language Experience

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Jet Kat’s Foreign Language Exhibition is really an experience!

On Wednesday May 16th Jet Kat’s Foreign Language Exhibition opened with a theatrical act on the Spui in front of The American Book Center in Amsterdam.

Professor Russolo brought us, in black and white, the letters of the Alphabet. He guided us by word and by gesture with black and white sand to the ABC Treehouse where the exhibition itself  was held from the May 16-26 2012.

What I personally found most interesting about Jet Kat’s Foreign Language Exhibition was that it enabled the observer to not only look at art, but also ‘feel’ and experience it: this was achieved via the media of video, and the music composed by Kat to accompany each of the pieces in the exhibition.

The interaction of visitors and Jet’s art will eventually result in a book, made on the Espresso Book Machine.  You can still contribute to this interactive art experience.  Share your inspiration on Facebook, on Jet Kat’s website, or via Twitter: @jetkatart .