For children’s books, there are few awards more prestigious than America’s Caldecott Award and Newbery Medal. The 2016 winner of the Caldecott Medal is Sophie Blackall for Finding Winnie, a picture book about the real-life inspiration for Winnie the Pooh. The Newbery Medal was awarded to Matt de la Pena, the first Latino author to win the prize, for Last Stop on Market Street.
In other book news:
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Alvin Schwartz’s terrifying horror anthology book (actually a children’s book, crazily enough), will soon be made into a film by modern gothic maestro Guillermo del Toro. The 1981 novel is apparently one of del Toro’s favourite books from his teens.
A Series of Unfortunate Events is getting another crack at adaptation, but this time for Netflix instead of the cinema. Recent casting news has revealed that Neil Patrick Harris will play he dastardly villain Count Olaf.As long as there have been authors, there has been criticism over their earnings – it is well-known that writers, like many artists, earn very very little. Unless, of course, they’re lucky enough to publish best-sellers or gather a loyal fanbase. The problem has become increasingly obvious in recent years, as the wage gap between the highest and lowest earning in the profession has widened considerably. A recent survey has shown that the top 1% of authors in the UK are responsible for a third of UK book sales. This staggering figure is just one factor among many as to why authors are speaking out about the disparity in the industry. Recently, the high-profile author Philip Pullman resigned from his role as patron of the Oxford literary festival – which pays none of its authors for speaking events or appearances – due to the conflict of interest with his presidency of the Society of Authors (which is currently campaigning for proper pay for writers, not only for general events but for e-books sales and more).
And finally, here’s some bookish news to delight musical theatre fans. The massively successful Broadway phenomenon Hamilton, currently the most popular show in New York, is soon to have an accompanying book. Hamilton: The Revolution has been written by the show’s creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter; it includes detailed information on and interviews with the shows performers and its creation as well as the history of the revolution that the show depicts. You can take an advance look at the book’s pages at Vulture.