Roald Dahl Celebrates a Century

Penguin Young Readers Group is celebrating Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday in style at BEA this week, at booths 2433 and 2441. It’s part of a yearlong global celebration of Dahl’s birth in Wales, on September 13, 1916. Jen Loja, Penguin Young Readers president, promises that in honor of Dahl, there will be “gloriumptuous treats and squiffling surprises for everyone” all year.

“Many of us grew up dreaming of golden tickets, flying peaches, and Big Friendly Giants,” Loja says. “Penguin Young Readers is thrilled to honor the world’s #1 storyteller with a year of readings, activities, screenings, trivia shows—and Dahlicious delights!”

The fun actually began in February, when Penguin released some of Dahl’s most popular titles with new covers, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, The BFG, Matilda, The Witches, and James and the Giant Peach, just to name a few. Also, that same month, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was named patron of “Roald Dahl 100” in the U.K., the official name of the yearlong campaign, and has been active in the initial celebrations that have already kicked off in that country. The duchess has some street cred when it comes to literacy; she is already patron of several other British literacy organizations, such as our favorite, the Wicked Young Writer Awards.

The celebration continues later this month, when Penguin will publish some new titles in anticipation of the July 1 global release of the film adaptation of The BFG, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Oscar winner Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, and Bill Hader. The new titles include The BFG movie tie-in edition, The BFG Mad-Libs, The BFG Gloriumptuous Journal, and The Big Friendly Doodle Book.

There’s also going to be a nationwide Roald Dahl trivia tour this summer, screenings of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory nationwide, and Roald Dahl 100 activities at well-known eateries, zoos, and botanical gardens across the U.S.

The fun doesn’t end when school starts in the fall. In September, the publisher will release collectible hardcover editions of Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and James and the Giant Peach. The culmination of the Roald Dahl 100 year will take place on September 13, when schools, libraries, bookshops, and other public places all over the world are invited to help throw the biggest birthday party of all time. Any booksellers wanting to join in the fun can download party pack activities at

Happy Silver Anniversary, Capstone

Capstone Publishing Group, headquartered in Mankato, Minn., and with offices in suburban Minneapolis and Chicago, is also celebrating a big anniversary this year, its 25th, at booth 2325. When Capstone Press was first launched by the Coughlan family, in 1991, with 48 titles, it served the educational market. In 2012, with the launch of Capstone Young Readers, the press expanded to serve the trade as well. Capstone Young Readers now has five imprints that publish fiction and nonfiction for young readers through teens.

Capstone celebrates its silver anniversary this week with lots of giveaways and even a pajama party. Today and tomorrow, Capstone pays homage to its Adventures of Hound Hotel series of four books by Shelley Swanson Sateren with this year’s BEA gift bag, imprinted with the slogan, “Sit. Stay. Read. Celebrating 25 Years of Doggone Good Books.” The gift bags, which will be filled with book swag, will be given away at 1 p.m. today, and tomorrow morning at 9.

Throughout the conference, Capstone has a full slate of authors to sign and give away lots of books and galleys from two of its trade imprints, beginning with Gwenda Bond signing finished copies of Lois Lane: Double Down (Switch, May) at 1 p.m., today, followed by Monika Schroder signing ARCs of Be Light Like a Bird (Capstone Young Readers, Sept.), at 2 p.m. At 3:30 p.m, Caighlan Smith will sign ARCs of Children of Icarus (Switch, Oct.), and Chris Struyk-Bonn will sign ARCs of Nice Girls Endure (Switch, Aug.), followed by Carl Bowen signing ARCs of Firestormers (Capstone Young Readers, July) at 4:30 p.m. Tomorrow, at 10 a.m., Christianne Jones signs ARCs of her picture book, Fuschia Fierce (Capstone Young Readers, Sept.), followed by Sok Song signing ARCs of Origami Chic: A Guide to Foldable Fashion (Capstone Young Readers, Sept.), at 11:30 a.m.; Diane Zahler signing finished copies of Baker’s Magic (Capstone Young Readers), at 1 p.m.; and Rachel Ruiz signing ARCs of her picture book, When Penny Met POTUS (Capstone Young Readers, July).

Tomorrow, 4–5:30 p.m. Capstone is hosting an in-booth pajama party: the highlight will be Michael Dahl (wearing Batman PJs) handing out ARCs of his picture book, Bedtime for Batman (Capstone Young Readers, Aug.). And on Friday, Fran Manushkin will sign ARCs of Pedro, First Grade Hero (Capstone Young Readers, Sept.), at 9 a.m., and Stephen Krensky will sign finished copies of his picture book, We Just Had a Baby (Capstone Young Readers, Mar.), at 11 a.m. Stella Fields will wind up Capstone’s author signings at 1 p.m. by signing ARCs of Lazy Crafternoon (Capstone Young Readers, Aug.).

This article appeared in the May 11, 2016 edition of PW BEA Show Daily.