Philip Pullman has reason for double celebration this year – his book Northern Lights has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.
Congratulations, too, to P J Lynch for being the recipient of The Kate Greenaway Medal with his illustrations for The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.
The Carnegie and Greenaway Medal winners are selected by the Youth Libraries Group and the Awards are sponsored by Peters Library Service. Details of the books and further comment can be found in an article by Julia Eccleshare on page 15.
The Signal Poetry Award 1996
Jan Mark and John Mole have chosen Buns for the Elephants by Mike Harding, with illustrations by Anna Leplar (Viking, 0 670 85987 7, £8.99) to receive this Award which has been given annually since 1979.
The Big Book Cover Award
… not to be confused with the sort of BIG books Jill Bennett writes about on page 26. The aim of this new award, which is organised by Yorkshire Library and sponsored by Morley Books, is to identify the year’s best jacket on a children’s book
For 1995 the winners were:
The Terrible Trins by Dick King-Smith, Viking, 0 670 85461 1, £9.99. Jacket design by Diz Wallis.
10+ category and overall winner:
The Fear Man by Ann Halam, Orion, 1 85881 158 9, £9.99; Dolphin, 1 85881 294 1, £3.99 pbk. Jacket design by Ian Butterworth. A review of this book appears on page 13
Nottinghamshire Children’s Book Awards
(sponsored by Dillons Booksellers)
The 1996 winner of The Acorn Award (aimed at 0-7 year-olds) was Jill Murphy for The Last Noo-noo, published by Walker, 0 7445 3228 0, £8.99.
In the 8-12 year-old category, the Oak Tree Award went to Michael Rosen and John Rogan for their ‘Colour Jet’ Evens Stevens FC, A & C Black, 0 7136 4187 8, £5.99; Lions, 0 00 675084 2, £3.99 pbk.
W H Smith Mind-Boggling Books Award 1996
This year’s prize and a cheque for £5,000 has been won by Sharon Creech for Walk Two Moons, from Pan Macmillan, 0 330 33000 4, £3.99.
A gremlin was at work when the July issue of BfK was going through the press. Somehow, in Annemarie Young’s article on Cambridge Reading, half of June Crebbin’s remarks were attributed to Sue Hellard instead. BfK’s apologies to both parties.
AUTUMN ACTIVITIES FOR SCHOOLS …
Schools looking for a new reading/writing initiative for Children’s Book Week (5-12 October) and beyond may like to consider the following:
TO READ OR NOT TO READ?
The Listen Library (Talking Books for the Disabled and Hospital Patients) have launched a new campaign to encourage the reading habit in schools throughout the UK. Schools (both Junior and Secondary) are being asked to take part in a Read-On (a sponsored read) which it’s hoped will provide a real incentive to keen as well as reluctant readers whilst at the same time raising funds for other children who cannot read.
The Library aims to raise £18,000 this year towards providing their service for children and will give full advice and support to schools who wish to participate. Contact Dawn Roberts, the Listening Library, 12 Lant Street, London SE1 1QH ( tel 0181 977 5478 or fax 0181 977 3137).
PUBLISHING BOOKS BY CHILDREN FOR CHILDREN
A new competition invites school children across the country to write a picture book for 5-7 year-olds with a view to being published and sold by Heinemann Library in 1997. The winning authors from two age categories will see their books in print, their ideas brought to life by top-class illustrators, and they’ll even receive a royalty on their sales!
The judging panel comprises four eminent professionals committed to children’s literature – children’s authors, Nigel Hinton and Pippa Goodhart; reading consultant, Cliff Moon; and children’s librarian, Professor Judith Elkin of the University of Central England.
The winning schools will each receive £500 of books for their library and will be invited to Heinemann to be shown the processes involved in publishing a book. The top 100 entries will all receive a £5 book token to further their research into literature.
Closing date for the competition is 1 December 1996. Further details from Julia Philip on 01865 314157.
Stories of Night and Day – Folk tales and myths, legends and fairy stories
Saturday, 2 November at the Institute of Education, University of London.
Speakers include Allan Ahlberg, Margaret Meek, Chris Powling and Nicholas Tucker. Workshops will be led by Louise Brierley, Adèle Geras, Keven Graal, Naomi Lewis and James Riordan.
Fees are £55 including lunch, and further details can be obtained from Cathy Bird, Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL (tel. 0171 580 1122 or fax 0171 612 6230).
No Batteries Needed
Kent Arts and Libraries’ fifth annual conference on children’s literature.
Friday, 8 November to Sunday, 10 November at the Jarvis Marina Hotel, Ramsgate.
Speakers include Anne Fine, Michelle Magorian, Michael Morpurgo and Philip Pullman, with workshops run by Julia Eccleshare, Robert Hull and Michael Morpurgo. Fees for the whole weekend are £119 (local authority delegates) or £140 (non-local authority delegates).
Contact Lindsay Prestage at Herne Bay Library, 124 High Street, Herne Bay, CT6 5JY (tel. 01227 742443 or fax 01227 741582) for more information.
The Signal Companion
This guide to 25 years of Signal, the children’s book journal, offers annotations to every article that’s appeared during the last quarter of a century, classified under a range of subject headings. An invaluable resource to an indispensable publication, says BfK. Available at £16.50 from Thimble Press, Lockwood, Station Road, Woodchester, Stroud, Glos GL5 5EQ (tel. 01453 873716, fax 01453 878599).
Keith Barker of Westhill College, Birmingham writes:
It looks as if the Carnegie selection panel can’t win. When I was chair of the selection panel a couple of years ago, a Times journalist (female) accused me of being browbeaten by the forceful female panel. Now Nick Tucker is suggesting that an all-female panel is too deferential and, suggested but not stated, genteel. I think Nick is being deliberately naive here. He has been in the children’s book world long enough to know it is peopled mainly by women. After all, the books he so dearly wanted to get on the shortlist were almost certainly edited by women and promoted by women. Male children’s librarians are rare and to expect a strong proportion on the selection panel is the same as expecting a strong proportion of women on a Rotary Club committee.
He could be on surer ground with criticism of the way librarians examine the books on the list. Selection of an award is very different from weekly book selection. However, criticism of plot details is something young people themselves indulge in and the Carnegie selections were often criticised in the past (not least from BfK) for selecting books far removed from the type of material children themselves read. So surely the selection panel were just responding to these criticisms?
Mike Rouse, Director of the Resource Centre at Soham Village College, Cambs, writes:
Reading Nicholas Tucker’s piece ‘Carping about Carnegie’ made me realise that I am not the only one concerned about a possible link between boys and their failing reading habits and what is actually being published for them.
I polled 104 boys in Year 7 here at Soham Village College about the types of story they enjoyed reading. Adventure stories were the clear favourites with 78% of the replies, this was followed by Funny stories 73%, Ghosts 68%, Horror and Suspense 64%, and Sports 62.5%. The Classics, School and Family stories all failed to poll double figures.
Children understand the clear simple rules of behaviour that once epitomised boys’ adventure stories. Has political correctness killed the hero?
As a society we need qualities of courage, honesty and truthfulness. They don’t seem to be around much in real life at times, so it’s even more sad that they appear to be in danger of disappearing from children’s literature.
Editor’s Note: Clearly a topic to be continued … responses to the comments of Keith Barker and Mike Rouse (themselves responding to Nicholas Tucker’s article in BfK No.99, July 1996) will be very welcome for publication in our next issue.