Brian Jacques goes to Puffin
Penguin Books UK and Penguin Putnam Inc. have signed a global deal with fantasy writer Brian Jacques for three new Redwall titles, the first of which will be published in 2002.
Inspiring Young Adult Readers
BOOX 6, the latest edition of the reading magazine for teenagers, is written by young people, and is based on outreach work in youth groups, schools and libraries. It contains a ‘books behaving badly’ quiz; a feature on reading with your friends; 60 ideas for new books to try; reading related web sites, and celebrity slots. Also available are posters, postcards, stickers and materials to create a lively reading environment to display books and other reading ideas.
GRAPHIX is a four page supplement to BOOX magazine, exploring the extraordinary range of graphic novels available. It features fans of the genre, who talk about its extraordinary ‘pulling power’, plus fun elements like a Problem Page in which Homer Simpson and Superman bare their souls.
Publisher Well Worth Reading is also offering training on teenage reading, graphic novels and youth work/library partnership working in support of reader development. The first course will take place on 24 January 2001 at Books for Students in Warwickshire and costs £85. For further information and booking, contact Becca Wyatt on 020 7603 1776 or email: email@example.com
Congratulations to Julia Eccleshare who is the recipient of the Children’s Book Circle’s prestigious Eleanor Farjeon Award 2000, for an outstanding contribution to children’s literature. The award recognises her role as ‘one of the foremost ambassadors for the children’s book world’. Julia is the children’s book editor of The Guardian and, amongst many other involvements in children’s literature, a frequent contributor to BfK.
Chris Kloet, previously Children’s Publisher at Gollancz before the acquisition of its list by Penguin, has been appointed Publisher responsible for literary fiction at Hodder Children’s Books.
Tricia Kings, formerly Head of Library Services for Schools and Young People in Derbyshire and a past chair of the Youth Libraries Group, is now living in Cornwall and working freelance on projects relating to children’s books, library services and literacy. She can be contacted on 01736 332228 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The judges for the Smarties Book Prize, now in its 16th year, are authors and illustrators Debi Gliori and Laurence Anholt, bookseller Kate Agnew and children’s book editor of the Daily Mail, Georgia Metcalfe. The chair of judges is Julia Eccleshare.
Contributors: BfK team, Anne Marley. Submissions welcome.
EILEEN WALLACE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP
The Eileen Wallace Research Fellowship in Children’s Literature invites proposals for research and scholarship using the resources of the University of New Brunswick’s Eileen Wallace Children’s Literature Collection. Applications are welcomed from anyone who can provide evidence of competence and scholarly background and outline a practical and worthwhile project using the resources of the collection. Application forms from: Office of the Dean of Education, University of New Brunswick, PO Box 4400, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5A3, Canada. Website www.lib.unb.ca
Deadline for applications is 1 March of any year, with fellowship to be awarded after 1 July of the same year.
The Illustration Cupboard Christmas Show
Specializing in contemporary picture book art, The Illustration Cupboard is holding a Christmas exhibition from 27 November – 2 December at the Air Gallery, 32 Dover Street, London W1X 3RA. Featured artists include Emma Chichester Clark, Chris Fisher, Shirley Hughes. Nicola Bayley and Christopher Wormell. Prices start at £100. Details from 020 7610 5481; email: email@example.com
Picture Book Art at the Millennium is the catalogue of an exhibition which took place at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. With profiles of 20 picture book artists and a foreword by Quentin Blake, the catalogue is a most useful resource. £5 from Anne Herriot, Homerton College, Cambridge CB2 2PH Tel: 01223 507111
Sainsbury’s Baby Book Award 2000
Sainsbury’s Baby Book Award has been won by Alex Ayliffe for Boo Barney (Little Orchard). Chaired by Wendy Cooling, the panel included a children’s librarian, a health visitor, a Bookstart parent and a journalist. The shortlisted books were Catherine Anholt’s First Words (Walker Books), Dawn Apperley’s Hello Little Ducklings (David and Charles), Stephen Cartwright’s Animal Noises (Usborne Publishing), Cathy Gale’s Puppy (Campbell Books) and John Prater’s Number One, Tickle Your Tum (Bodley Head).
The Sainsbury’s Baby Book Award complements the Bookstart programme which is sponsored by Sainsbury’s and co-ordinated by Book Trust. Bookstart has reached over 90% of families with babies in the UK, handing out over 1 million free books at the 8 month health check. While working on Bookstart, Book Trust identified the need to generate a greater awareness of the importance of first books both with the public and publishers and decided, with support from Sainsbury’s, to set up this new Award in 1999.
English 4-11 Picture Book Awards 2000
The winners of the sixth annual picture book awards of English 4-11 (the primary journal of The English Association) are: for Key Stage 1 (5-7 years) Mick Manning and Brita Granström’s Wash, Scrub, Brush! A book about keeping clean (Franklin Watts) and Becky Edwards and David Armitage’s My Brother Sammy (Bloomsbury). Winners for Key Stage 2 (7-11 years) are Brian Patten’s The Blue and Green Ark (Scholastic) and Margaret Bateson Hill and Anne Wilson’s Marsha and the Firebird (Zero to Ten).
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Brian Lux’s comments (BfK 124) about Aidan Chambers’ Carnegie-winning Postcards from No Man’s Land bring us back to the problem of teenage fiction and how it reaches its audiences. It’s a pity Brian Lux hasn’t actually read Postcards, one of the most challenging, moving, powerful and absorbing novels to have appeared in recent years, and one which I would certainly recommend to intelligent readers of fourteen and above, as well as to discerning adults. Surely the role of the Carnegie is to highlight the work of a profound, innovative, truly original writer like Chambers, rather than to give more coverage to lesser writers who are already quite prominent enough? I agree with Jean Ure that the award should be for excellence. After all, more popular authors get their rewards from royalties and Public Lending Right; the Carnegie doesn’t need to confirm the appeal of a crowd-pleaser. Why do Chambers’ publishers ‘continue to print stories that obviously have limited appeal’, Brian Lux asks? I suspect it’s because Aidan Chambers’ books are superb. For publishers to produce only books with guaranteed high sales would be to go down a very slippery slope to mediocrity.
I think the Carnegie judges should be congratulated for choosing Postcards from a very strong shortlist. I too found that it was not easily obtainable from local shops, and suspect that this is because it does not sit easily alongside what most booksellers shelve under teenage fiction, i.e. books with easy appeal to twelve or thirteen-year-olds. The demanding sixteen-year-old reader who would most appreciate Aidan Chambers’ books won’t easily come across them. The Carnegie win, and the reissuing of Chambers’ backlist in the new Random House ‘Definitions’ imprint, may remedy that: but meanwhile, what a pity we no longer have a national, high-profile award specifically for teenage fiction.