August Children's book of the month: Four Children and It - Jacqueline Wilson

(39 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 01-Aug-12 10:25:36

We're really excited to announce our August children's book of the month is Jacqueline Wilson's Four Children and It, published by Puffin on 16th August.

Her latest book is a modern day tribute to her favourite childhood book, Five Children and It by E Nesbit. Brought up to date with four very modern children, Jacqueline was interested to see what children would wish for if the sand fairy existed today.

Jacqueline Wilson, needs no introduction to mumsnetters. She joined us back in 2009 for a live webchat. She's former Children's Laureate, the creator of Tracy Beaker, Hetty Feather and The Illustrated Mum and has written 93 novels, which have sold more than 30 million copies in the UK alone.

We have 50 free copies of Four Children and It to giveaway to Mumsnetters ahead of publication date. Apply for the free book any time until 10.30am Friday 3 August and we'll pick 50 winners and let you know if you're going to be receiving the book. If you do receive a copy please do post on this thread and let us know what you think.

We're delighted that Jacqueline will be answering your questions in a Q&A later this month. Send your questions to JW before the end of Friday 17 August and we'll be selecting 10 questions and sending them over to Jacqueline Wilson to answer. Her answers will be published and linked to from the discussion thread before the end of the month. If your question is answered you will receive a signed copy of Four Children and It.

FalseStartered Wed 01-Aug-12 10:30:06

Hi Jacqueline

what's your opinion on the televised drama series of your Tracy Beaker stories?

ICantFindAFreeNickName Wed 01-Aug-12 14:03:16

Hi Jacqueline

Like you my daughter has a December birthday and she wants to know how you felt as a child having a birthday so close to Christmas?

Hopezibah Thu 02-Aug-12 20:57:44

Hi Jacqueline,

My son would like to ask you "what is the best thing about being Jacqueline Wilson?"

Hopezibah Thu 02-Aug-12 20:59:02

Hi Jacqueline,

My other son wants to know "what is the best advice you can give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?"

Hopezibah Thu 02-Aug-12 21:02:28

sorry - me again - I have a question from me this time (not to be outdone by my two sons you see!)

I would love to know "who has been the biggest inspiration in your life in the past and currently too and why?"

thank you! x

aaaaagh Thu 02-Aug-12 22:06:35

Hello Jaqueline, I have 10 year old twin daughters, Grace and Bella. Grace particularly is devouring your books at the moment faster than I can supply them. Last year she went through a period when she became terrified of her friends and family dying - her cousins baby had just died. She picked up and read Cat Mummy, then read it again and again. (7 times). She no longer has panic attacks now. I just wanted to thank you for writing that particular book - it really comforted her at a dark time. Now for our question! Which of your characters would you say was most like yourself? (Aside from the autobiographical ones!) Have you done any of the naughty things yourself that any of them have got up to?
Thank you. x

aaaaagh Thu 02-Aug-12 22:09:18

Could you write a story about me, please? You are the best writer in the history of the world. I love all your stories. Love from Grace (age 10).

tabulahrasa Fri 03-Aug-12 00:38:38


My DD wants to know, which of your books do you like best?

grannyperv Fri 03-Aug-12 11:17:19

Hi Jaqueline
Where did you get the idea for 'The Bed and Breakfast Girl'.
And also why do you always seem to make the stepdads in your books be horrible to the children.
Thank you from Emma (age 11) x

DumSpiroSpero Fri 03-Aug-12 15:34:25

My (almost) 8 year old daughter and I have just finished 'Little Darlings' and loved it (especially 'Tigermaaaan!'), but want to know what happened next! Do have any plans to write a sequel?

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Sat 04-Aug-12 17:17:57

Hello Jaqueline,
Firstly I would like to thank you very much for the post card you sent to my DD when she was I'll with leukaemia. She carried around in her notes and was very proud. We were coming to see you at a book signing in wood green but sadly she was too sick. She loved your books and I have kept them all since we lost her in 2006.

My question is this :would you please, please consider writing a book about young teens with cancer? You have tackled so any tricky subjects and I think you would be perfect for this. I can just imagine you writing it and te way it would inform and comfort children living with or alongside childhood cancer.
I even have the name of the lead character if you should need it smile

gazzalw Mon 06-Aug-12 08:30:25

Hi Jacqueline

A question in two parts from adults and children in this household:

Know you are a SW London dweller and my son would like to know if you have used any of your SWL knowledge in any of your novels (afraid as a boy he hasn't read any of them but loves Tracy Beaker)? If not, do you have any plans to do so in the future?

Our daugher, six, is just starting to enjoy your books aimed at younger girls. Know that she will 'sorted' reading, contemporary fiction-wise, for years to come with your wide-ranging novels. Have you ever considered writing a novel aimed specifically at boys?

aristocat Tue 07-Aug-12 09:29:19

Hello Jacqueline, my DD (8yo) is another who loves your books. She has said that it is too difficult to choose a favourite because there are so many good ones especially Double Act and Lizzy Zipmouth smile

My DDs question is - What was your favourite lesson at school?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 07-Aug-12 09:36:10

I adored the JW books which were around when I was a teenager: Waiting for the Sky to Fall, Amber, Coral, The Other side.... Full of bookish, awkward heroines I could relate to, with complex and ambiguous endings.

Why the change? Grace in Love Letters, for example, seems like a distillation of Katherine in WFTSTF and May in (can't remember the title: girl in love with teacher with malign best friend), but without the complexity of either: prettied-up and with a deus ex machina conclusion. I miss the challenging nature of your earlier work.

Hi Jacqueline - I'd like to know where/how you came to work with Nick Sharratt as the illustrator for all your books. Was it your decision or was it down to the publisher? (Have you actually met each other even? and how far in advance does he get to read the book before publication?) How much input do you get into the design and illustration of your work when it's published?

DeWe Thu 09-Aug-12 19:32:45

Hi Jacqueline,
My dd2, age 8yo, was born missing her left hand. She would love you to be able to put a character in your books that is missing her hand. If you wanted to talk to her about how it feels, what she can/can't do, then she would be happy to answer your questions.
She would like to tell you that she loves your books and her favourite book is Little Darlings because she likes the way that Destiny and Sunset are pen friends.

LIZS Fri 10-Aug-12 10:59:23

Received our copy this morning, thank you - dd (10) is delighted to add it to her collection and will get reading !

Just received a copy here too grin

Timeformeplease Fri 10-Aug-12 17:42:03

We got a copy too! DD is over the moon to get it early and she is trying to read it before we see you at the Edinburgh Book Festival tomorrow!

lovelyrara Sat 11-Aug-12 10:47:07

Received the book yesterday while my DGD was visiting. She is very, very pleased. Thank you.

tabulahrasa Tue 14-Aug-12 14:02:50

DD finished it yesterday...

She really liked it (to be fair she's a massive fan anyway) she kept stopping to tell me bits of it, lol, she really liked the crossover with five children and it and the idea of a book you'd read 'coming to life'.

She's a bit worried that her friend who she'd usually lend it to won't 'get' a lot of it because she hasn't read five children and it and was considering telling her to read that first, but did concede that it might still be good in its own right when pushed on it. She also wasn't very happy about the Siamese kitten having a mushroom brown face as 'surely that would be a chocolate point?' I think that's a fairly minor issue though, rofl,

So in short...

She loved the premise, really enjoyed it and is keen to share it.

quostar Wed 15-Aug-12 13:52:55

To Jaqueline,
If you could be a character from any of the books you have written, which one would you choose to be?

ShadeMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 18-Aug-12 14:03:04

Thank you for posting your questions. We've picked 10 and sent them over for Jacqueline Wilson to answer. We'll link to the answers before the end of the month.

julker Sun 19-Aug-12 21:40:33

Hi Jacqueline,

I love reading because it takes me away from my pain, my question is: Do you still manage to enjoy reading or does it feel sort of like work? If you do, which genre of books do you enjoy?

julker Sun 19-Aug-12 21:41:24

sad Just seen the last message, because of the problem signing up and having to contact the site, I have missed the deadline sad gutted

goingtoexplodesoon Sun 26-Aug-12 00:31:08

To Jacqueline,

Could you write a book about a child who's brother or sister has just died? My lovely daughter Emily died two years ago, and I was in touch with other people, and many of their children have been affected- some are angry, scared, hurt or withdrawn. It would be nice if people could get an idea of what they are feeling because, if it's anything like what happened with what adults did to me, it can be a very awkward subject and people often say the wrong things. A diary in the life of a twin or sibling would be great and I know it would help people. In my case, the death was too sudden, a car crash, but it could be anything. My second daughter, now five, gets very angry when she hears her name, because she misses her and no one can really understand, but also because people have a tendency to overlook the siblings and the affect on them. It would have been great if I could have sat down and talked her through what she might be feeling in an interesting story, or when she was older, if she could read it, and try and understand better. It would mean a lot. I don't just mean in the few weeks after but a good year after, and not involving the actual death scene at all.

Also- How should you encourage writing in kids? If you know they enjoy it, or at least enjoy reading, and want them to get better at it or find more fun in it, are there any ideas, groups or websites which could help?

DeWe Sun 26-Aug-12 10:09:14

Going-not quite the same but dd2 loved "Vicky Angel" which is about a best friend dying and the girl coming to terms with it.

ShadeMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 30-Aug-12 16:33:19

The Jacqueline Wilson Q&A is now live. You can read Jacqueline's answers here.

Thank you for your question goingtoexplodesoon, I will private message you.

Our book arrived today grin Thank you. DD is thrilled.

aristocat Sat 01-Sep-12 22:54:34

Thanks from us too, the book arrived today and DD has already read 2 chapters and is also very proud that her question was answered by Jacqueline smile

I am now intrigued because the children are Rosalind and Robert Hartlepool grin and we live in Hartlepool. We need another Q&A so I can ask JW why she chose the name and invite her for tea and a tour of the town

gazzalw Mon 03-Sep-12 14:46:38

Thanks ours arrived today! We have just finished reading one of the excellent Green Knowe books as DD's bedtime story so Four Children and It has arrived at just the right time!

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 04-Sep-12 09:43:01

Thanks to everyone who joined in the discussion this month and congrats to those who had their questions answered by Jacqueline. If you received one of the fifty free copies of Four Children and It, please do post your feedback and your children's thoughts on the book on this thread and we'll pass all the comments on to Penguin who will pass them on to Jacqueline.

From September we'll be running two children's books of the month - Picture book of the month and Chapter book of the month. We'll be announcing September's choices later today with 100 books to giveaway so watch this space.

gazzalw Tue 04-Sep-12 09:47:30

We started reading Four Children and It as DD's bedtime story last night - four chapters later hmm she fell asleep..... Will post some proper feedback when we've finished reading it!

DD read it first, and was very excited to be the "very first person in the world ever to read this book" (not the actual story but our copy iyswim) as I usually read them all first, but just this once I let her do the honours. We were both excited at the children being named Hartlepool, like I said before grin and I have promised faitfully to find my old copy of Five Children and It and The Story of the Amulet so we can read those too. And DD and her younger brothers want to dig up the garden, in spite of the lack of sand) to see if we have a psammead grin

gazzalw Sat 15-Sep-12 15:08:43

DW and I read it do DD (6) as her bedtime story. It only took us a week to read (DD takes a full hour to nod off with bedtime stories). She enjoyed the basic Five Children and It part of the story but think the more grown-up relationship element that epitomises Jacqueline Wilson's more grown-up children's books passed her worries though as she has plenty of time to reread it herself when she's a bit older! She did say that she wants to read Five Children and It which might take us on a E. Nesbit-fest which would be no bad thing! In that sense we loved this novel as it's opened up a new avenue of Victorian/Edwardian novels to us to read.

Think we were all quite keen on the belligerent Smash and of course little Maudie but less so Rosalind and Robbie. Liked all the current cultural references too!

aristocat Mon 17-Sep-12 22:43:09

my DD has devoured this book, she is currently reading it for the third time grin

it has now been called 'the red book' by DH because she has removed the sleeve and all we see is the hardback cover and DD engrossed.

thank you MN and Jacqueline for a lovely book. we have also ordered the original E. Nesbit book for her to read.

ICantFindAFreeNickName Sat 22-Sep-12 23:23:10

My daughter absolutley loved this book. We are now going to buy Five Children
and It. She too is very proud that her hero, has answered her question!!

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