CAROLINE SMAILES

Why Littlest squealed and rushed to show the kittens what she received in the post

Earlier this year, I blogged about Sue Mongredien’s new Kitten Club series and how it is a MUST read for ALL 6-8 year old little girls. Littlest went on to read ‘Ginger’s New Home (Kitten Club)’ and was eagerly awaiting ‘Ziggy’s Big Adventure (Kitten Club)’. You can imagine her ABSOLUTE delight and shock (I mean squeal-inducing shock!) when she opened the book and read that the dedication was TO HER and her our ridiculoulsy naughty kittens.

I can’t thank the fabulous Sue Mongredien enough and, clearly, everyone in the whole wide world should buy a copy of ‘Ziggy’s Big Adventure (Kitten Club)’.

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15 Comments

  • Posted September 7, 2010 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    Wow! Lucky girl. Did you squeal a little to?!

    Elliott x

  • Posted September 7, 2010 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    How absolutely delightful! Squealing is definitely in order!

  • Stray
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Now, Cas, you know that I love you dearly. Truly I do.

    But there are also 6-8 year old girls who would not have enjoyed this book at all (I was one of them). And there are 6-8 year old boys who would have loved it too.

    I know gender stereotyping is an effective shorthand, and I am often guilty of it too, and that parents of tomboys (and softer boys) can fill in the blanks… but then they might (as my mother did) feel that there is something wrong with their child because they don’t fit the stereotype.

    Which is far beyond your responsibility, but… I still think it would be good to bear it in mind. Ahem. Er. Yes.

    • Posted September 7, 2010 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      I honestly think that the ‘vast majority’ (is that better?) of 6 year old girls would. This is to do with marketing but also to do with content. We’re not talking fairies here (which many little girls do not like), we’re talking about finding homes for little kittens and the kittens having adventures. I honestly think that the ‘vast majority’ of 6 year old girls would enjoy reading about these kittens. They’re well written and the characters are intelligent girls. I also think that reading tastes start to vary for the vast majority of girls from the age of 8 and that this series is a refreshing change from some other ‘girl’ aimed series out there and encouraged by schools.

      I also think that it is very unlikely that a parent of a 6 year old boy would buy a book with a pink sparkly cover and main charcters who are all girls and all members of a kitten club… this must have been a marketing decision (rightly or wrongly).

      I understand about gender stereotyping and in my original post I actually say – “There is nothing forced or false about the writing, instead this is honest storytelling that is aimed perfectly at the 6-8 year old little girl market. (I’m sure little boys could like it too, but I can’t help thinking that the purple cover and all female characters will appeal more to girls)”.

      I did say that ‘ALL’ girls (out of context and without the support of the rest of the original blog post) would enjoy these books on this post in my excited rush to share Littlest’s delight. I will be more precise next time, I promise.

      AND, I love you dearly too :) xx

      • Stray
        Posted September 7, 2010 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Thank you for understanding :) ‘Vast majority’ … or even just ‘Most’ is fine. And our boy wanted the pink barbie car and his mum’s high heels at that age. Bless him.

        I think I responded because I heard a radio 4 programme with some children’s authors last week, and they were talking a lot about the ‘pink sparkly’ marketing of their books, and whether it was a necessary evil or could be fought against. One author said that marketing had even put white children on the cover of her book even though the characters were not white. Eek.

        It’s a shame when authors go to lengths to write stories with depth that can appeal to all, and then the supermarkets dictate that it must be presented as being for A Girl (read Pink, with curly fonts, and ideally a star/lipstick/handbag on the front) in order to be stocked.

        At the time that I was listening I thought about your covers and how, on the whole, they are so congruent with the writing and the stories. And that is A Good Thing. (I am not sure that Black Boxes should have had pink anywhere near it, but I kind of relish the surprise).

        One day, when we good people are in charge, all of this will be different.

        • Posted September 7, 2010 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          The publishing industry never fails to upset me!

          Some believe that it is all about sales. I have a little girl who loves pink, but she also goes wall-climbing and plays with Transformers and Micro Cars. She also likes Holly Web’s books, which tend not to be pink. But pink and sparkle ‘sells’ these days, it is as simple as that. At the age of 6, children like to read books that they can identify with – be it because they have a kitten or they know someone by the name of the main character. The covers for the Kitten Club make them stand out on the shelves and parents who collect sparkly things will love them, BUT the reason why I feel so strongly about this collection is because they’re so different and the characterisation is so good. Parents who like good books for their children will keep buying this series, it’s all about the actual writing.

          I listened to a radio show at the weekend where someone said that not selling lots of copies means that the writer has failed and is destined to be a mid-list author. This bothered me, as clearly success is judged on sales figures and not the actual massive ‘win’ of getting a book into print. It is a sorry reflection of the industry :(

          And my covers – I love the Adam one so much and the Bees one too. But I do wonder about BBs. I think that it is being aimed at a female audience and that the woman is too pretty. I know that male readers have been put off by it because of the cover and yes this takes us back to your initial argument! I am sure that there are some men who would really enjoy BBs…

          What makes the Bees cover so unique is that Becky read the book first and then designed the fragments making the cover her take on the book’s content. It is art. Fingers crossed for a rebranding, but I guess it all comes down to sales…. ooooh, a full circle x

  • Posted September 7, 2010 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I can hear those squeals from here! What a lovely sentiment for a little girl.

    CJ xx

  • Posted September 7, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful!

  • Posted September 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I’m not surprised she squealed! What a lovely surprise for her.

  • Posted September 8, 2010 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Oh wow :) What a lovely surprise that must have been!

  • Posted September 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Am v. jealous – what a fab surprise.

  • Posted September 9, 2010 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    What a lovely thing to do. I can feel her excitement from here!

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