Thursday, 15 December 2016

Bonus ReaditTorial: Ten things that may happen in the bookworld in 2017...

I know, I know. I said last week's ReadItTorial would be the last one of 2016 but we're rubbing our crystal ball and casting our eyes forward for some fun faux predictions about children's books that may or may not happen in 2017.

Without further ado, and in no particular order, let's roll 'em on!

1) POTUS will write a children's picture book that will only sell 3 copies. 

Yes indeed, we're talking about the current President Elect, soon to be President, the most orange man on the planet (apart from "that bloke off The Only Way is Essex that we can never remember the name of") will pen an amusing children's tale called "Yosski the Russian Black Bear", a touching and somewhat bittersweet tale about a bear who becomes a successful businessman by eating everyone else in the forest and stealing all their things.

Publishers HarBarNarNar were pitched the title late in 2015 before Donald Trump's political success but the book was fast-tracked to cash in on Trump's popularity with younger voters and parents.

Trump's publishing tour comes to an abrupt end when a toddler unceremoniously punches POTUS in the presidential happy sacks after a disappointing storytelling session at a Washington State Ed school.

(Predictably, the book's illustrator doesn't get a credit on the cover or in any ad or PR material).

2) Someone writes a middle grade fiction title where a child actually doesn't move house, start a new school and make a new friend that's actually an enemy but ends up as a friend. 

Lucy Gorman-Hyde's "I'm just an ordinary kid" is a runaway success, something of a sales phenomenon as children immediately identify with the main character Sessie, a girl who lives in the house she grew up in, has been comfortably at the same school for the last umpteen years, has normal friends and shows no aspirations to becoming a child detective.

When interviewed in May alongside the book's release in paperback, Lucy attributes the book's success to children identifying with Sessie's completely normal and utterly mind crushingly boring life of attending school, doing shedloads of homework, never having enough time to play in the evenings (let alone become a junior detective) and spending weekends collapsing in an exhausted heap in front of countless 80s movies reruns on ITV2.

3) The world's first "lift the flap" sex education and health title for children is published in conjunction with the UK Government. 

Part of a Department of Health initiative to tackle "Abhorrent Sexual Health Teaching Practices", the illustrated non-fiction title "Hoo Hoo Dilly and Cha-Cha: Together at Last!" is published. The book uses a set of fictional characters to cover important matters such as what type of Gooseberry Bush babies can commonly be found under, the post-natal role of the stork, and how you'll basically burn in the eternal fires of damnation if you see a lady's ankle or a man's unshaven chin before marriage.

Government-sponsored agency-obtained sales statistics published in the summer claim the book is a runaway success and has genuinely made a huge difference in schools.

4) First christmas title for Christmas 2017 received by book bloggers on Jan 5th. 

In a shock move, book bloggers receive the final release proofs of "Santa Banter" by Daphne Stewpot, scheduled for release on December 6th, 2017... on 5th January 2017! The story is an entertaining and chaotic tale of a cockney Santa and his unlikely sidekick, a Nandos-loving Turkey, and their quest to deliver presents across the world in a clapped-out Jaguar MK V. The book receives rave reviews, mostly thanks to the four bottles of Baileys Irish Cream bundled with the PR package.

5) Netflix makes a shock move into Children's Book Publishing. 

Netflix, online waste-o'-time streaming telly service gives the phrase "Netflix and Chill" a whole new meaning with the service's first foray into children's book publishing.

The initial publication lineup features a dazzling array of children's book series culled from favourite authors and illustrators across the globe, wowing book fans and reviewers but ensures that they only ever publish the first book in each series before letting newly formed Sky Children's Publishing hoover up the rest of the titles in the series to be sold at a ridiculously overpriced rate.

6) "Horrible Histories" skips the 2016 edition of the popular history series after complaints from parents that the book is too upsetting for children and adults alike. 

The popular humorous history non-fiction series removes a special "2016" edition from publication after many consumer complaints about horrific scenes far worse than "the one about medieval people eating dung". Terry Deary and Martin Brown unavailable for comment.

7) Tom Baker returns to helm "The Book Tower" - a revival of the classic children's TV show about awesome books. 

(Yeah I know, this is never going to happen but hey, at least we live in hope!)

8) The BBC announces its Christmas Children's Animation for Xmas 2017.

"The Lord of the Flies" by William Golding is the next children's book to get the animated christmas classic treatment. The story is heavily abridged, featuring the knockabout adventures of Piggy, Jack and Ralph on a fun-packed island full of cute furry creatures - which Piggy, Jack and Ralph proceed to hunt and subsequently eat, in tune with a selection of upbeat orchestral and dance numbers. Martin Freeman, Julian Clary and James Corden provide the voices of Ralph, Jack and Piggy.

The animated special is shown directly after the Queen's Speech attracting 13.7 million viewers.

9) Exclusive hipster clothing company YakaWaka announces line of children's picture book based fashion for "folk who know where it's at"

YakaWaka, famed for inventing the three legged trouser suit, roll out their lineup of children's literature-based clothing at the 2017 Paris Fashion Show.

Taking their inspiration directly from famous children's books, the team of talented designers have come up with a striped sneed (a cross between a snood and a scarf) based on the Dr Seuss Books, a grubby pair of shorts that wouldn't look out of place on Just William, and a T Shirt featuring all of the characters from "The Emperor's New Clothes" but selling for the extortionate price of £14,195 each (shirt does not include sleeves, front or back).

10) Heston's first children's cookbook panned by kid reviewers and book critics (panned? See what we did there?)

Famed culinary scientist and chef Heston Blumenthal publishes his first children's cookbook, carrying forward his core belief in combining odd food combinations as part of his quest to improve our appreciation of flavour.

Heston's recipes are criticised for "not being weird enough" by most kids, who are used to eating bacon-flavoured custard, choc ice and chips or curried fish fingers as part of their everyday diet.

One recipe for a simple vegetable casserole containing potatoes, carrots, onions and peas draws the most criticism, described by one 8 year old reviewer as "SPEW! I wouldn't even feed that disgusting combination to my pet rabbit BB-8!"

BONUS NUMBER 11) Book folk continue to be the most awesome force on the planet, and the most fun to follow or talk to on Twitter in 2017.

Well, we had to include at least ONE thing that had an outside chance of being true, didn't we?