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.