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Children's Book Special

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 25 November 2012

Open Book is devoted to the joys of children's literature

Four Weddings and a Funeral screenwriter Richard Curtis explains why he has written his first children's book The Empty Stocking, and Jeff Kinney explains the key to the success of runaway bestseller Diary of a Wimpy Kid; a book he originally thought he had written for adults.

In the studio Mariella is joined by two giants of the children's literary scene, Lauren Child and Charlie Higson, who between them have brought us Ruby Redfort, the young James Bond, Charlie and Lola and zombies, and by the esteemed children's book critic Amanda Craig. They'll be discussing how literature remains vivid in this new digital world, the difficulties of buying books for different age groups, how The Hobbit, seventy five this year, remains a favourite for all the family and why children loved to be scared by literature.

Producer: Andrea Kidd.

  • Read the Opening Chapters of Ruby Redfort by Lauren Child


    Lauren Child

    Clarice Bean series

    Charlie and Lola series including I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato published by Orchard Books

    Ruby Redfort Series: Take Your Last Breath (Ruby Redfort, Book 2) is out now published by Harper Collins

    Her picture book Maude: The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton is published in February by Puffin


    Charlie Higson

    Young James Bond Series. Latest in his zombie series: The Sacrifice published by Puffin


    Jeff Kinney

    Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel published by Puffin


    Richard Curtis

    The Empty Stocking, with illustrations by Rebecca Cobb published by Puffin


    The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkein published by Harper Collins




    Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner published by Hot Key Books

    The False Prince by Jennifer A Nielsen published by Scholastic Children’s Books

    Katya’s World by Jonathan L Howard published by Strange Chemistry 

    Cracks by Caroline Green published by Piccadilly Press

    Gone by Michael Grant published by Katherine Tegen Books

    Flesh and Blood by Michael Cunningham published by Touchstone Books

    War Horse by Michael Morpurgo published by Kaye & Ward

    Goblins by Philip Reeve Marion published by Lloyd books

    Operation Bunny by Sally Gardner published by Orion

    Doglands by Tim Willocks published by Andersen Press

    Superworm by Julia Donaldson published by Scholastic Children’s Books

    The Disappeared by  C.J Harper published by Simon and Schuster

    The Bridges of RollRock Island by Margo Lanagan published by David Fickling Books

    Ronald Dahl books


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