The Year That Was 2020 – A BookBound Look Back (Part One)

This year will be more memorable then most for obvious reasons, with the impact it has on us all being more then previous years we have reflected more fondly on during new years eve (and the days that follow). 2020 started off on a high for myself as I set off on my travels attending blogging events and taking on more and more content to share right here on my blog, and I have tried to grow as a blogger, lover of children’s literature, member of various book groups, and as a librarian dedicated to getting the right books into the hands of those children that would consequently grow a love of reading. Whilst this year has placed limitations on some aspects of blogging, book publication dates, and providing consistent content, I have enjoyed sharing the blogs that have gone out this year, joining the journeys of those books that did successfully face this year full on and consequently live on the bookshelves of our homes and school libraries – and in the hearts of the readers that enjoyed them – and as I sit here this new years eve I thought it the perfect opportunity to look back at BookBound content of 2020 and reflect upon the experiences these past twelve months have offered.

To each and every author, illustrator, and publisher that has provided content for my blog this year I want to pass on my gratitude and appreciation.

Event Highlights

new frontier

I look back and smile at memories of having attended the bloggers event for New Frontier Publishing early in the year, and particularly enjoyed their presentation of upcoming publications. It was fantastic to meet other bloggers that I am familiar with through the fantastic world of Twitter, and I loved being able to attend the event with my daughter and friend, fellow bloggers and lovers of children’s literature. My write up of the event can be found here.

Scholastic

I am incredibly pleased to have been able to attend the Scholastic Showcase in London, which included an incredible line up of authors discussing their upcoming publications. From picture books through to YA titles, there was something to interest and excite anyone working within the world of children’s literature. I loved being able to sit in the audience whilst Damaris Young, Lisa Thompson, Vashti Hardy, and so many other amazing authors and illustrators detailed the journey they had been on to publishing their latest book, the inspiration behind the story, the choice of characters, and so much more besides. It was an unbelievable opportunity to get such insight, and I feel lucky to be included amongst the incredible bloggers that attended too. If you missed my piece on the event you can find it here.

Blog Tours (January to June)

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A Clifftoppers Conversation with Fleur Hitchcock has been a real highlight of my year, and I will cherish the opportunity to interview the talent behind the Clifftoppers series just as much as I will the book series. It is always an absolute pleasure to interview an author for my blog, especially as those are the ones I truly respect and admire. It is a real pinch myself moment to choose the questions to put to these role models for generations to come, and interviewing Fleur has been a real high for me.

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Another brilliant blog tour opportunity has been that of my Milton the Mighty author interview with Emma Read in which she detailed the importance of promoting spiders in a positive light to young readers, and told me her favourite species of spider – and so many more details behind the story that I have come to love and enjoy promoting to children, especially as it helps make them less fearful of our eight legged friends.

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In May of 2020 I took part in The Strangeworlds Travel Agency blog tour in which I got to publish a feature written by author L.D.Lapinski that talks of how the idea behind this incredible 2020 publication came into existence, and to read of how this story first formed as an idea when she was washing her hair gives hope to young readers that the ideas that they have now are all worthy successes for future published stories, and often children think that only the really lucky and fortunate become authors, and never put value to ideas that form whilst being busy doing other things.

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Later that same month I shared a piece by author James Sellick in relation to his picture book There’s a Rang-Tan in my Bedroom. The book was created in collaboration with Greenpeace and portrays a young girl and her friendship with an Orangutan that she finds in her bedroom, and looks to educate the younger generation on the devastation being caused to the animal kingdom by natural habitats being destroyed. The message is more valid and important than ever, and it will take action from all of us to reverse the damage being done. James talks about how the book allows younger audiences to draw their own conclusions from the book, and how the book came about following a film from Greenpeace going viral. This blog feature will be relevant for years to come, and hosting this content gives me great pleasure as it allows me to help spread this vital message.

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Amazing Islands 100+ Places That Will Boggle Your Mind is an incredibly detailed and interesting non fiction title that I enjoyed being able to read, share, and feature on my blog as part of the titles blog tour, and features islands that are both uninhabited as well as those we live on, and call home. The book details a variety of locations across the world that children will be familiar with, and offers them interesting facts and stunning illustrations on places they will be less aware of too. Throughout the book there is so much for readers to learn, enjoy, and excitedly share with others too. The book is written by Sabrina Weiss and illustrated by Kerry Hyndman, and one which I highly recommend for school libraries.

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In June I shared content as part of the Flyntlock Bones blog tour, which was written by author Derek Keilty and detailed how this incredibly fun series for 5-8 year old’s came to exist, and even contained a video of Derek reading from the book! This feature gave readers an insight into the finer details of the book – including the names for the characters. The books are incredibly popular with children starting their journey among early chapter book titles, and the book is full of adventure and fun.

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In My Dreams by Stef Gemmill and Tanya Stephani is a beautifully illustrated picture book that I featured in June during the books tour, and was written by Stef. The Q&A was an incredible opportunity for me to put questions to Stef that I felt gave more of an understanding and insight into how this stunning picture book was created, and the answers are worth a read – particularly if you want to find out how the ideas behind a picture book that promotes achieving the impossible come about, and more about the eye catching, heart warming, and delightful illustrative content was decided.

Check out my blog for the next installment of my 2020 round up soon, which will continue with blog tour content over the July-December period and more from an incredibly busy year.

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