30 May 2011

More awardy goodness

Since March and the announcement of one very pretty shortlist, we in the House have been on tenterhooks.* But for a short time we were off tenterhooks, and free to gambol for joy, once the winners of the 2010 Aurealis Awards were announced:

Best kids' fiction (primarily through words)
The Keepers: Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner

Best YA short story
'A Thousand Flowers' by Margo Lanagan, Zombies and Unicorns

Best YA novel
Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

HOWEVER, we had no sooner settled down to catch our breath and tidy our hair than there came another pretty shortlist, for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards! We are all on tenterhooks once more!

YA fiction
Good Oil by Laura Buzo

About a Girl by Joanne Horniman

Kid's fiction
Shake a Leg by Boori Monty Pryor and Jan Ormerod

Congratulations, Lian, Margo and Karen; Laura, Joanne, Boori and Jan!

*and also quite worn out with setting our caps at the shortlist.

20 May 2011

Book Design Awards!

We are delighted to report that it seems it was House of Onion night at the 59th Annual Book Design Awards last night. Huzzah!

We are extraordinarily pleased for the clever designers we work with and especially for our very own Tall Designer.

Best Designed Children's Series
The Moorehawke Trilogy by Celine Kiernan
Design by Bruno Herfst and Elise Hurst

The Poison Throne The Crowded Shadows The Rebel Prince

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Best Designed Children's Fiction Book
The Museum of Thieves: The Keepers 1 by Lian Tanner
Design by Josh Durham, Design By Committee
Cover illustration by Sebastian Ciaffalgione

COMMENDED: The Best Designed Children's Picture Book
The Vegetable Ark by Kim Kane and Sue deGennaro
Design by Bruno Herfst, Illustrations by Sue deGennaro

COMMENDED: The Best Designed Young Adult Book
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Cover design and illustration by Lisa White

Lisa White also WON Best Designed Fiction Book
for Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey.

And Emily O'Neil took out the coveted
Young Designer of the Year!

Many cheers indeed.

Slip on over to Fancy Goods to see the wonderful display they have of all the winning covers.
And in other awards news - the Aurealis Awards are announced tomorrow night in Sydney.
Good luck to all our short-listed authors. May the winning winds be beneath your wings.

16 May 2011

Monday Stuff and Items

1) According to the British Library, this is the earliest known picture of a time machine! The Out of This World exhibition at the BL looks fabulous. What a happy coincidence it is that at least two Onions will be in London in the next month or so. We'll send you a postcard.

2) Way back when it was much warmer than it is now, Margo Lanagan found her brilliant book Tender Morsels at the centre of an unexpected storm.

But as so often happens, the clouds dispersed and the skies cleared. Herewith very interesting discussions about Tender Morsels over at the Bitch Media YA Book Club.

3) Jonathan Walker offers a fascinating insight into his illuminated novel, Five Wounds, over at The Spectator.

4) Meanwhile at Readings Holly Harper is waxing fairytale about The Wilful Eye, while Hugless Douglas is cosying up to A Pocketful of Eyes.

5) And in awards news - HOORAY for Zombies vs Unicorns and for our Oscar-owning Astrid Lindgren Award winner Shaun Tan - both finalists in the 2011 Locus Awards.

A library is many things. It's a place to go, to get in out of the rain. It's a place to go if you want to sit and think. But particularly it is a place where books live, and where you can get in touch with other people, and other thoughts, through books... Books hold most of the secrets of the world, most of the thoughts that men and women have had. And when you are reading a book, you and the author are alone together---just the two of you.
This is an excerpt from EB White's letter to the children of Troy, on the opening of their new library in 1971. He was responding to a request from the new (and clearly completely genius) librarian for a letter to enthuse the children. Read the full story, and some of the other fabulous replies (including from Isaac Asimov and Dr Seuss) at the Letters of Note blog.

11 May 2011

This is the reason we make books.

This is Marlo, the first grandchild to be born to the House of Onion.
We are excessively proud of him.

There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world.
Love of books is the best of all.

- Jacqueline KennedyAlign Center

06 May 2011

London Calling

It seems to be the season for very special visitors.

Earlier in the week we were delighted by a visit from the very charming Onion-about-London. She wrangles all manner of operations in our UK office* , from the highbrow to the silly mid off.

As befitted the occasion, there was cake.

And not just any old gluten-filled cake. This was an extremely tasty Flourless Orange Cake. Our thanks to the Acting Cake-maker. Excellent work!

Which brings us to a matter that regular readers may have noticed. It's been all quiet on the cake-making front lately*. Do not despair - the Cake-maker Virtuoso has not abandoned us. She has simply been flitting around the world. And my, she is an intrepid and determined traveller. When everyone else was cancelling their flights to Japan, she stood firm, held her nerve and bravely boarded this almost empty plane bound for Tokyo - and beyond.

Her reward? Cherry blossoms, of course.

While she swanned about in the Land of the Rising Sun, and then discovered the delights of New York and San Francisco - we were left virtually** cake-less. Cake-less, we tell you! A very sad state of affairs indeed. The good news is that she had a marvellous time and has returned safely. Hallelujah!

*Well, not counting this cake, and not counting the Oscar cake, which were aberrations. Tasty tasty aberrations.
** It must be confessed that while technically cake-less, we did indulge in a chocolate mint slice that the C-M V had made in advance and LEFT IN THE FREEZER FOR US. She's just that kind of woman. And no, no you may not have her. She is ours.

04 May 2011

A very special visitor

We had a very special visitor
to the House of Onion today.

He was small.

And gold.

And extraordinarily heavy.

And he came wrapped in an Ikea* pillowcase inside Shaun Tan's backpack.

So, of course, there was cake.

Oscar was very pretty.

And seemed to have a healthy appetite.**

But Shaun had all the good stories - about the lead-up to the big moment and the actual big moment and the moments after the big moment, and the Vanity Fair after-party,*** and Billy Crystal, and what it felt like to receive this rather exciting phone call.

An assortment of Pippi Longstockings were also in attendance,
to honour the Astrid Lindgren Award.

All in all it was a very pleasing morning.
Yes. A very pleasing morning indeed.

* Yes. Oscar was cloaked in a pillowcase of Swedish origin. As is fitting for the Oscar of an Astrid Lindgren Award winner.
** That's our story and we're sticking to it.
*** Apparently just like CBCA events... no really, actually just the same.