Catch up on all the latest news from Penguin Books Australia including award winning authors, illustrators, designers, publishers and other publishing industry and book related news.
Penguin Books (Australia) today announced the launch of Lyka’s Adventure, a next-generation reading experience that invites children to help Lyka, a lovable robot scientist from the outer space, learn about the natural environment on Earth.
Blasting off on 23 April 2014 with the release of the first in a series of chapter books for children aged 5 to 10, Lyka’s Adventure is a rich and multilayered story experience. Young readers can explore beyond the books and discover more of Lyka’s story via a free smartphone app, an interactive plush toy, additional online content, and educational workshops that will travel around Australia during May 2014.
Lyka is a robot scientist from the planet Ahmee, which is facing an environmental crisis. In a high-octane race against time, Lyka will visit all seven continents across the globe, learning from the children of Earth, to help save her home planet. Children across the world are set to fall in love with Lyka as they join her quest.
Hidden in each book are symbols that work with the free accompanying app to unlock extra story content, activities, and sneak peeks into Lyka’s world. Inserting a smartphone into the Lyka plush toy’s “heart pocket” brings the toy to life, so children can engage with the app and their friend Lyka at the same time, adding an exciting new dimension to their reading experience.
Travelling education labs will be held across the country, working with educators in schools to ignite the imagination of students through storytelling and science.
Lyka’s Adventure is a first for Australian publishing, and is set to be a global phenomenon. It is the result of a unique creative partnership between Penguin Books Australia and Connected Sparks, a media and connected-toy company regarded by Mashable.com as “one of the top five social good/educational startups to watch”.
Connected Sparks is led by storyteller and thought leader Lance Weiler, who is renowned for his innovative approach to digital storytelling and was named by BusinessWeek as “one of the 18 people who changed Hollywood”.
This is the start of something big – for young readers, and for our entire planet.
Kylie Robertson, Penguin’s Creative Director - Digital said: “The collaboration between Penguin and the Connected Sparks team has created a wonderful alchemy between storytelling, technology and education. The combined talents have produced a world class multiplatform property that is set to capture the hearts and imagination of children, parents and educators.
Lance Weiler's ground-breaking second screen reading experience is at the forefront of digital publishing and once again confirms his reputation as one of the world's most innovative storytellers.”
Laura Harris, Publishing Director, Young Readers Division said: "Entertaining children and sparking their imaginations about our planet and how we live is what Lyka is all about. As well as sharing a classic story, children can continue to discover more about her world - and theirs - as the adventure continues."
Lyka’s Adventure Book 1 - Lyka and the Secret Forest (in paperback and eBook) and Lyka's Plush Toy are available from 23 April 2014.
For more information visit www.penguin.com.au/lyka
For press and media enquiries please contact Chantelle.Sturt@au.penguingroup.com
For information about Lyka’s Adventure Labs and teachers’ resources please contact Tye.Cattanach@au.penguingroup.com
Last night in Sydney the independent booksellers of Australia announced their favourite Australian books from last year and the winner of The Indie Book of the Year Award 2014.
Congratulations to Alison Lester for the Best Children's Category Award win for Kissed by the Moon. Congratulations also to our colleagues at Random House Australia for Best Fiction and Indie Book of the Year Awards for Richard Flanagan's novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
Read more about the Awards and all the category winners here.
Penguin Books Australia is delighted to announce the upcoming publication of Peter Carey’s new novel. Amnesia will be published in Australia on 14 October 2014, ahead of its international release in the UK (Faber and Faber, November 2014), in Canada (Random House, February 2015) and in the US (Knopf, February 2015).
It was a spring evening in Washington DC; a chilly autumn morning in Melbourne; it was exactly 22.00 Greenwich Mean Time when a worm entered the computerised control systems of hundreds of Australian prisons and released the locks in many places of incarceration, some of which the hacker could not have known existed.
Because Australian prison security was, in the year 2010, mostly designed and sold by American corporations the worm immediately infected 117 US federal correctional facilities, 1,700 prisons, and over 3,000 county jails. Wherever it went, it travelled underground, in darkness, like a bushfire burning in the roots of trees. Reaching its destinations it announced itself: THE CORPORATION IS UNDER OUR CONTROL. THE ANGEL DECLARES YOU FREE.’
Has a young Australian woman declared cyber war on the United States? Or was her Angel Worm intended only to open the prison doors of those unfortunates detained by Australia’s harsh immigration policies? Did America suffer collateral damage? Is she innocent? Can she be saved?
Ben Ball, Publishing Director, Penguin Books Australia, reveals ‘Amnesia reminds us that one of our greatest and most successful writers is also one of our most engaged and radical.
With uncanny timeliness, Peter Carey has written a brilliantly insightful, provocative and funny novel about the relationship between Australia and America, from the Battle of Brisbane in 1943 to computer hackers in 2010, via the Dismissal, Pine Gap and the great Australian forgetfulness. It’s thrilling, coruscating, sweeping and fresh, a tonic for our torpor.’
Peter Carey has published 18 books and his work has been translated into 24 languages. Since his first collection of short-stories, The Fat Man in History was published, Carey has won numerous awards including the Miles Franklin Award three times (Bliss, Oscar and Lucinda, Jack Maggs); the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Jack Maggs and True History of the Kelly Gang); and he is the only Australian to have twice won the Booker Prize (Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang) – for which he was also shortlisted a third time (Illywhacker).
Each year the Australian Romance Readers Association presents awards for the best romance books as voted by their members, and we’re thrilled that two of our bestselling romance writers have been recognised for their fabulous new books:
- Favourite Romantic Suspense: Half Moon Bay by Helene Young (published by Michael Joseph)
- Favourite Historical Romance: Untamed by Anna Cowan (published by Michael Joseph and Destiny Romance)
- Favourite Cover: Half Moon Bay by Helene Young (published by Michael Joseph)
- Favourite New Romance Author: Anna Cowan
Congratulations to the other Penguin authors who were shortlisted for the 2013 Australian Romance Readers Awards including Christina Brooke, Allison Butler, Sasha Cottman, Anne Gracie, Cathryn Hein and Jennifer St George.
For more details: http://www.australianromancereaders.com.au/awards.html
Destiny Romance, the digital-first imprint of Penguin Books Australia, is proud to publish fine romantic fiction by Australian writers across all romance categories including contemporary, historical, suspense, paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi and erotica. Destiny Romance eBooks can be purchased directly from www.destinyromance.com, as well as from various other online stores, including Amazon.com, Apple iBookstore, Google Play, Kobo, Booki.sh and ReadCloud. No matter where you buy your Destiny Romance eBooks, you will receive exactly the same content – fabulous romantic stories from exciting Australian writers.
Penguin Random House Asia Pacific has been shortlisted for three categories of the International Book Industry Excellence Awards 2014 which celebrate global excellence within the book publishing industry;
The Crossmedia Award for Best Use of IP (Penguin Australia), The International Educational Learning Resources Award (Penguin Australia) and The Market Focus Achievement Award (Jo Lusby, Penguin China).
“We’re thrilled to be a finalist in two categories at the inaugural International Book Industry Excellence Awards. It’s terrific recognition for our in-house team and a great endorsement of our commitment to finding new and interesting ways within our digital and marketing initiatives to connect stories and ideas with readers.” – Sally Bateman, Marketing & Digital Director
Congratulations also to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, which has been shortlisted for the The International Education Initiatives Award.
The International Book Industry Excellence Awards 2014 are held in association with the UK Publishers Association, and the winners will be announced at London Book Fair on 8 April 2014.
For more information please visit:
This year is the 45th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which was published in 1969. It is a perennial favourite with children and adults alike. Eric Carle's imaginative illustration and clever cut-out detail charts the progress of a very hungry caterpillar as he eats his way through the week.
March 20, 2014 is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day” a day of global celebrations to mark this special occasion. Forty five years after it was first published, The Very Hungry Caterpillar remains a bestseller and frequently tops Best Books for Children lists.
Happy birthday, Very Hungry Caterpillar!
Frost signed to create a classic:
Designer Vince Frost inks book deal with Penguin
Vince Frost, founder and Executive Creative Director of Sydney-based agency Frost*, has signed a book deal with Penguin.
Slated to launch in the second half of 2014, the book will be a lifestyle title drawing on Frost’s expertise and global reputation as one of the most recognised designers in the world today.
This will be the second published book from Frost, who designed a 500 page tome called Frost* (sorry trees), to accompany a retrospective exhibition of his graphic design work at the Sydney Opera House in 2006.
The new publishing deal with Penguin will see Frost author a book aimed at a broader consumer market.
“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity,” said Frost. “I have always believed that design is a critical aspect of every part of our lives and has the power to be positively transformative. It will be a wonderful challenge to see where these ideas will take me with this book”.
Frost* has had a long term, ongoing relationship with Penguin, through projects such as the design of a number of award-winning cookbooks and the development of the brand and website for the Penguin Lantern lifestyle imprint.
Publisher Julie Gibbs is expecting great things from the deal with Frost*.
“I’ve worked with Vince for many years and he is a unique and inspirational talent. There is a great deal of interest in Australia and abroad in both his work and his perspective and Vince is passionate, insightful and illuminating. I know he’ll produce a book that is really dynamic”.
In the early 1990’s Frost became the youngest ever Associate Director at London’s famous Pentagram studio, before setting up his own London business, Frost* Design. In 2004, lured by the lifestyle, Frost made the move to Sydney where today he runs an agency of 40 people.
An Executive Committee member of D&AD (Design and Art Directors, London), a member of the AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale, Switzerland), and an Honorary Fellow of the ISTD (International Society of Typographic Designers, London), Vince Frost plays an active role in the global design community. Many awards have come his way, including D&AD silvers, golds from the New York Society of Publication Designers, gongs from the New York and Tokyo Art Directors’ Clubs and awards from the Society of Environmental Graphic Design.
The shortlist for this year’s Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) Nielsen BookData Booksellers Choice Award has been announced. The award recognises Australian new-release titles that booksellers most enjoyed reading, marketing and handselling during the past year.
Congratulations both our shortlisted authors, Tim Winton for Eyrie and Alison Lester for Kissed by the Moon. Congratulations also to Richard Flanagan shortlisted for The Narrow Road to the Deep North published by our colleagues at Random House Books Australia.
ABA members will now have the opportunity to vote for their favourite shortlisted title. The winner will be announced during the ABA conference on 18 May in Melbourne.
Tweethearts is set inside the magazine world, which sounds like a pretty crazy place…
Publishing houses are like no other workplace I’ve experienced. I’ve seen plenty of drama, big characters, and absurd situations. My time in magazines was overwhelmingly positive. These days I write the odd feature from afar, but I miss the chaos and the energy.
You send up magazines riotously in Tweethearts.
Absolutely! I have been guilty of taking magazine life way too seriously so it was great to mess around and fictionalise that world to the point where it’s a bit ridiculous.
Our heroine, Jemima, is unhappy working at Placenta Monthly – have you ever had a job you’ve loathed?
It’s often been a case of taking the good with the bad. I might’ve had the odd difficult colleague, worked long days or had bosses I didn’t see eye to eye with, but there was usually a silver lining: celebrity interviews, beautiful fashion shoots and invitations to some great events.
The magazine’s relentless drive for circulation sees it treat a celebrity ruthlessly – did you ever see this happen?
I’ve never seen a celebrity treated the way one is in Tweethearts, but that’s not to say it doesn’t happen. People gobble up celebrity gossip. I’ve also monitored some big social media accounts and watched what online communities say about celebrities – I imagine it would be hard to brush off the nasty tweets and Facebook messages.
Tweethearts gives us a glimpse of the glamorous side of magazine life – could you describe your favourite ‘glam’ moment?
One of my favourites was the time I somehow ended up in a five-star Queensland hotel with a python slithering around my neck while I sipped a glass of champagne. I’ve also been to some fancy cocktail parties. But there have been plenty of times I’ve pumped out a story from the couch in my slippers, too!
Twitter plays an important role in Jemima’s life – yours too?
Twitter is an amazing tool – it’s a constant stream of breaking news and witty thoughts. It’s also helped me to build a strong online community of writers that I can talk to and learn from. But, like Jemima, I’ve been addicted at times. When I first started using it I tweeted whatever sprang to mind and I had a few online arguments, too. I’ve finally learnt to think before I tweet and take breaks from it to silence the chatter.
What if I said, “Not one more tweet – ever!” How would you feel?
I’ve been tweeting consistently for five years now so I’d really miss it if I had to stop. I might be able to quit posting my own tweets, but I can’t imagine life without people who tweet great thoughts, stories and ideas.
The TV talent show in Tweethearts manipulates the contestants’ lives outrageously. You’ve worked in reality TV, was it really that bad?
While, like Jemima, I did work in a small van attached to the back of the studio, the rest of my experience was nothing like it is in Tweethearts. It was great fun. The contestants were well looked after and were always in good spirits. But I went out to the contestant house a few times and wondered how these people of varying ages from a mix of backgrounds managed living together 24/7 and working in a sometimes stressful situation.
At first Jemima resists her feelings for her gorgeous housemate, Samson. Have you ever been tempted to turn a friendship into a romance?
I’ve never had the precise experience Jemima has with Samson. Most of my great romances have flourished fast. But I do know exactly what it feels like to tell a guy I’m keen on him and run the risk of a squashed heart – I’m always an ineloquent mess.
Where was Tweethearts written?
It was written in both of the places it’s set: Sydney and Melbourne. I started writing it on the balcony of my wild and wonderful four-bedroom Potts Point sharehouse and finished it in my writing chair in Melbourne. Parts of it were also written in bed, on planes and in cafes.
Describe yourself in three words?
Impatient. Excited. Dreamer.