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
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.