Saturday, May 21, 2016

NEW EDITION | The Borrowed House

Coming soon: A new edition of The 
Borrowed House by the Purple House
Press, using the original HvS cover
art, © by the HvS Estate.  
The Estate of Hilda van Stockum has just signed a contract with Purple House Press of Cynthiana, Ky. to publish a new edition of The Borrowed House.

Third Publisher in English

Purple House Press will be the third publisher of the book, in addition to the Dutch translation, under the title Het Gestolen Huis ("The Stolen House"). The first two publishers were:
Farrar Straus (1975), which kept the book in print until the 1990s. Publication rights then reverted to the author.  
Bethlehem Books (2000), which reprinted the book with a new cover. In 2006 the author died and all publication rights passed to the author's estate. In 2016 the English-language rights reverted to the Estate.
The Borrowed House is an urban equivalent, based in Amsterdam, to The Winged Watchman (Farrar, 1962) which is based in a rural Dutch community and is kept in print by Bethlehem Books. The reprint edition published by Bethlehem Books has sold more than 50,000 copies and has been optioned for television rights.

Purple House Press was founded by Jill Morgan. The publisher focuses on classic books and has produced hundreds of titles over several years.

The Press has scanned the original painting by the author of the book, Hilda van Stockum (my late mother), and plans to use it for the cover of their edition of The Borrowed House.

Where in Amsterdam Does the Cover Show?

The original HvS cover art shows an Amsterdam scene with German Army (Wehrmacht) soldiers marching along a canal.

I am trying to find out what canal houses are shown. Is it the Herengracht or Keizersgracht, or the Prinsengracht?
Painting of canal houses by Hilda van Stockum. Which canal is it on? Herengracht? Keizersgracht?
The steeple looks like that of the Oude Kerk, but that is distant from the canals. Painting © by the
Estate of Hilda van Stockum, reproduced here by permission of the Estate.

One clue is that the scene is located near a cross-canal point, as indicated by the back cover. The double-width building at the end is also a good clue because it appears to be a bank. It has a star at the top.

In the background is a grey church steeple, rising above the red-brick buildings that hide the main part of the church.

The steeple looks like that of the Oude Kerk, the oldest church in Amsterdam, but that is quite a way from the canal houses... Still puzzling.

Other Boissevain Books News:
Boissevain Books represented at book fair in East Hampton, N.Y.

BOOK FAIR | Selling Books, East Hampton, N.Y.

John Tepper Marlin (seated, L) of Boissevain Books tells the premise
of Princess Josephine and the Rainbow Dragon, its first new 2016
 book. Bill Henderson (seated, R) of Pushcart Press readies his pitch.
May 21, 2016–Boissevain Books partnered with Pushcart Press to staff a table at a Springs Community Presbyterian Church fair.

The books were arrayed based on the age groups to which they are targeted, from youngest to oldest:
  • At far left, books for youngest children (e.g., Pamela Walks the Dog, Little Old Bear, Patsy and the Pup).
  • Next, books for somewhat older children (Princess Josephine and the Rainbow Dragon, Andries, King Oberon's Forest).
  • Then young adult books  (e.g., Penengro, The Borrowed House).
  • Finally, books for adults (e.g., Time Bomber, The Box House, A Meaning for Danny).
The books-for-sale table was the only one at the fair, which was primarily made up of sellers of second-hand items.

The advantage of being a unique part of such a fair is that there was no other competition from book sellers. The disadvantage is that buyers were self-selected to be looking for second-hand items, and were not always in the frame of mind to buy a book.

It was a useful experiment. Both of us sold a decent number of books, but I think Bill and I are disposed to looking next time to join a fair that is explicitly identified as a book fair.

Other Boissevain Books news:
The Borrowed House will be coming out soon in a new edition.

Friday, January 8, 2016

NEW BOOK! | Princess Josephine and the Rainbow Dragon!

Princess Josephine and the Rainbow Dragon is written by Kate
Bodsworth and is illustrated by Brigid Marlin. Just published
by Boissevain Books.
I am so proud that Boissevain Books has published Princess Josephine and the Rainbow Dragon.

It was written by Kate Bodsworth and was illustrated by Brigid Marlin, my sister.

 The dragon, you can see, is as evil as my sister's kind heart could make him.

The version of the dragon on the back cover is even more evil.

BUT... in the other corner, Ladies and Gentlemen... is Princess Josephine. If you think she is no match for the Rainbow Dragon, you should think again.

Princess Josephine is annoyed – even angry, although she is slow to get worked up about anything – because the Rainbow Dragon is sucking all the colors out of her Kingdom. Compared with the Rainbow Dragon, she is tiny, even though she is tall and strong for her age.

She doesn't have the teeth, claws, tail, heft and fire that are included in the Dragon Package.

But she has other things:
  • She doesn't panic easily, which is good because if she started to run away, a dragon couldn't help but chase her. 
  • She has a wizard who tells her who was responsible for the loss of colors in the kingdom. 
  • She has soldiers and police officers, but they cannot help her at first because their uniforms coats are drained of color and that makes them powerless. 
  • She has a magical horse who takes her to the place where the dragon lives. Princess Josephine is brave as can be. 
  • She can talk to the dragon in her Princessy Voice, which is the first thing they teach you in Princess School. She tells the Rainbow Dragon: "I am Princess Josephine. Give my colors back!" "Shan't," says the Rainbow Dragon. "If I don't eat colors, I turn an ugly, awful gray." 
I'm not going to give away the whole story. Where I leave you is at the point where Princess Josephine has to think what to do. That's the second thing they teach you at Princesss School – to think about things. I will say that the ending is a happy one, even for the dragon. And you will have to get the book to find out the third and most important thing they teach you at Princess School.

Not only is this book fun and instructive, it is a handsome book with hard-cover binding that will stand up to being carried around for a while by a princess who wants to show it to her friends.
  • To order "Princess Josephine": Click here (you will go to the new Boissevain Books store).
  • The only way to get a 15% ($3) discount on the price is to order online and then copy this code into the discount box: JCKRN2S38AFK.