Monday, 10 August 2015

Bodleian Library Launches Children’s Imprint

The Bodleian Library is launching new imprint Bodleian Children’s Books.

One of the UK and Ireland’s six copyright libraries, Oxford University’s Bodleian Library is home to the Opie Collection of Children's Literature – along with over 12 million items, ranging from early manuscripts, rare books, maps and postcards to the latest printed publications.



Bodleian Children’s Books will focus on mining the collections to discover and republish timeless and beautifully illustrated children’s books; forgotten gems that can be reintroduced to a new audience. It will also include newly commissioned books, with a connection to libraries, reading and books. Titles will be handsomely produced as attractive gift hardback editions, to be treasured for future generations. Samuel Fanous, the Bodleian Library’s Publisher, said: ‘Many children’s books from the twentieth century have that magic combination of timeless stories perfectly illustrated with gorgeous art which can fire the imagination, as many of us remember well from our own childhood. We aim to bring these to new audiences and commission new titles with a similar profile for young readers.’



The inaugural titles in the new children’s imprint are Penguin’s Way and Whale’s Way, originally published in the 1960s, due for publication 18 September. Written by US author Johanna Johnston, and with stunning illustrations by Caldecott Prize winner Leonard Weisgard, these titles are a delightful introduction to the natural world of the emperor penguin and humpback whale, told in narrative form with vintage illustrations. Each title has a paper to board cover, cloth quarter binding and charming endpapers.


The Bodleian aims to publish at least two titles per season under the Bodleian Children’s Books imprint. The first for spring 2016 is Veronica by Roger Duvoisin, again from the sixties; an enchanting tale about a hippo named Veronica who travels to the city and has a series of run-ins with the law. Duvoisin was a renowned Swiss-born American author-illustrator who created the Happy Lion and Petunia series of picture books, along with more than 40 other titles for children. He was awarded the Caldecott medal in 1947. The second spring title will be the children’s classic The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff. The adventures of Babar the little elephant have delighted generations of children ever since his first appearance in 1931. The Bodleian’s gift edition of this unforgettable children’s story, the first in the Babar series, will be the perfect opportunity to rediscover this charming tale and its perennially popular characters. 

Bodleian Library Publishing has a diverse list of gift, general interest and scholarly books on a wide range of subjects drawn from or related to the Library's rich collections of manuscripts, rare books, maps, postcards and other printed ephemera. To find out more visit www.bodleianshop.co.uk

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I'm excited to know a new generation of children will grow up enjoying the delights of Babar the elephant and Veronica the hippo. I remember Babar from my childhood and enjoyed becoming reacquainted when my son was growing up.  Now it will be the turn of my grandchildren and how lovely it will be to have these beautiful books to share with them.

Just before I go I thought you might like to see these photographs taken on a recent trip to Oxford.


The Bodleian Library
The architecture of the 30-plus university colleges around the city’s medieval centre led poet Matthew Arnold to nickname it the 'City of Dreaming Spires'. 


Photograph taken in the Christ Church War Memorial Gardens


First stop the Alice Shop - wonderful for grandchild sized gifts!


Punting on the Isis
The Isis is the name given to the part of the River Thames above Iffley Lock which flows through the university city of Oxford, England.


I received no financial compensation for writing this post and have no material connection to the brand or products mentioned. 

31 comments:

  1. You can't beat those lovely old children's stories. So glad they will not be forgotten. Oxford had long been on my wishlist of places to visit ... can you believe I have never been there!

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    1. Hello Marina, Oxford is well worth a visit, but if you want to visit the Bodleian Library, you need to book. We’ve called on the off-chance several times but have never managed to get in; there is plenty to do in Oxford so it has not been too much of a hardship.

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  2. I really, really love your new title and new blog look dearest Barbara; you are still promoting and celebrating the art of vintage reading as well as sharing your BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY.....that river, the PUNTING....I see many youngsters on our Lake of the Isles, a river-like body of water leading out to two major lakes here in the city. The magic of it all dearest, the magic is what we LOVE. Oh how I adore you!

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    1. Thank you Anita, you are such a sweetheart! The Lake of the Isles sounds magical. xx

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  3. Ooh, I love that these are being reproduced. They're all such gorgeous books.

    Your photographs look lovely, as does Alice's Shop, I'd love a peek inside. ♥

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    1. Hello Yvonne, I’m sure you would like the Alice shop; it's tiny but packed with good things.xx

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  4. So glad to learn of this. A favourite with generations of readers, I'm so pleased that these 'old' stories are be rejuvenated in this way.

    Loving your photos. I'd love to visit Alice's Shop.

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    1. Hi Tracy, thanks for your comment. You should visit the Alice shop if you get the chance. Barbara x

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  5. This is great news! And great inaugural books for the Bodleian's imprint. I did a semester at New College and I loved every minute I was there so I'm always happy when there is good news out of Oxford.

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    1. How wonderful Alex, I can understand why you enjoyed it so much.

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  6. This is wonderful! And your photos are gorgeous.

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  7. Love this post! SO interesting that they'll be publishing vintage titles. I've seen Bodleian Library on a visit to Oxford when my son was studying there and even went to the Alice Shop. Such a truly beautiful area. Thanks for bringing back happy memories.

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    1. Hello Marcia, it was my pleasure. Thank you for your visit, Barbara

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    2. Ah, I do remember this great post. I mistakenly thought it would be from 2013. Wonderful photographs of an amazing place!

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    3. That is entirely my fault Marcia; I put the wrong date in the new post! I will change it after I leave this reply. Thank you for taking another look.

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  8. Oxford is a beautiful city. I spent a day there a number of years ago and I loved it. This is wonderful news about the Bodleian Library keeping these classic children´s books alive for future generations.

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    1. Hi Darlene, it truly is a beautiful city. We visit as often as we can which is not as often as I would like.

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  9. Barbara,
    Your first post under the new name and its a corker and an appropriate subject for March of Time Books. Clever stuff.

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    1. Why thank you John but I can’t take any of the credit. I was contacted by Bodleian Library Publishing at a very opportune moment. But never one to let an opportunity go past…

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  10. Even though I'm a Cambridge girl, I loved reading this post with so much packed in - as others have said, your photos are quite splendid. I also enjoyed browsing the Bodleian gift shop - the High Jinks series (using early 20th century school story illustrations) particularly appealed to me!

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    1. Hi Sue, I find it difficult to separate Oxford and Cambridge in my mind – I know that is a terrible thing to say, but I really do like them both equally.
      I’ve got my eye on a few things from the gift shop. Some from the High Jinks series, but I also like the stationery. I feel a few Christmas presents coming on!

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  11. What a wonderful post Barbara. It is lovely to know that the future generation will have a chance to enjoy books that you enjoyed.
    I came across this article recently while browsing the Indian newspaper. If I find time I will definitely try and visit this library. Have a look it might interest you here is the link http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/children-do-their-bit-to-save-a-legacy/article7517620.ece?css=print

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    1. Dear Shashi, thank you so much for the link. What a fascinating place I would love to take a look at what is on offer on the shelves. (Although I would be a little afraid at the top!) If each of the children at the school can encourage their parents to join they might be able to increase the membership number to 350 but then the parents would also need to support the library. I hope they do.

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  12. I've nominated you for the Blogger's Recognition Award. I hope you look at it as the compliment I mean it as and please don't feel obligated to participate if you don't want to.

    https://ramblingsfromthedarkness.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/blogger-recognition-award/

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    1. Thank you so much Joleene, a compliment indeed. Barbara x

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  13. This is wonderful news! Love to see stories being kept alive. :)

    Your photos are just stunning! I love Alice's Shop!

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    1. Hi Stephanie, I couldn’t agree more and I'm very pleased you enjoyed the photos. Barbara.

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  14. My dear friend, how lovely to see your blog comment this morning as I rush off to prepare for school....it was a great summer and it's time to get back to work! AH! But thank you for coming...you saw my little "CHIEN" that I bought in France? He is listening.....

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    1. Is the summer over already – where did it go? It only feels a few days since we were talking about the snow – or maybe that is because I’m getting old and time is speeding up. I did indeed see your little dog (thank goodness for Google translate!) and I fell in love. Barbara xx

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  15. This is wonderful news. Let's not let any book disappear.
    Ok, I love that Alice store. All the pics were great, but that Alice store is something else.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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