Children And Literature in London
CALL is a new London-wide Children’s Literature information point which provides information about Children’s Literature festivals and author events in arts centres, libraries and schools across the capital. It also publicises and promotes events via a monthly calendar to children’s literature professionals; this will be accessible online and also made available to schools, libraries and other interested parties. If you are planning a children’s literature event in the coming months, or would like more details of what CALL can offer, write or e-mail Catherine Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org
2nd Annual National Storytelling Week
The 2nd Annual National Storytelling Week will be held from 2-9 February 2002. As a result of the highly successful first National Festival, there has been a growing interest from members of the public, museums, schools and local radio stations in the events and workshops held by groups associated with The Society for Storytelling. For further information please call 0118 935 1381 or 020 8866 4232 (after 6pm), or Del Reid on 020 7492 8796 (day), or view the website on sfs.org.uk/national_storytelling_week
Congratulations to Amelia Edwards, this year’s recipient of the Eleanor Farjeon Award for distinguished services to children’s books. As a founder, and recently retired Art Director, of Walker Books, Amelia has worked with some of the greatest talents in illustration, many of whom she has nurtured since the beginning of their careers.
Jerry Hurst, formerly Head of the Young People’s Library Service in Southwark, is now a freelance consultant, and working with Launchpad on reader development projects, specifically the ‘Their Reading Futures’ project with Tricia Kings.
Contributors: BfK team, Anne Marley. Contributions welcome.
100 Best Books 2001
Published by Booktrust, 100 Best Books 2001 (0 85353 489 6) is a selection of fiction titles published in paperback in the previous 12 months for all age groups. Each of the 100 entries includes a brief review, interest level indicator and reading-age code plus a colour image of the cover. There is a subject index which gives a guide to titles in categories such as Emotionally Moving, Reluctant Readers and Something a Bit Different. You can also select via Topics for Discussion. This gives a blueprint of each book’s theme – for example, Little Brother and the Cough (jealousy, new baby, sibling rivalry) or Lizzie Zipmouth (stepfamilies). Available from Booktrust, Book House, 45 East Hill, London SW18 2QZ at £4.00.
The Water Hole Illustration Competition
Teachers are invited to ask their pupils between 5 and 9 years old to draw or paint a water hole picturing the trees and wild animals that drink there. The competition will be judged by Graeme Base, author and illustrator of the counting picture book, The Water Hole (Abrams). First prize is a school class trip to Longleat Safari Park and the chance to adopt a pair of hippos for a year. Second prize is books from Abrams to the value of £70. All entries must be posted by 4 January 2002. Further details re. terms and conditions from Rhian Gallagher, Harry N Abrams Inc, 181A High Holborn, London WC1V 7QX.
Eileen Wallace Research Fellowship in Children’s Literature
The Eileen Wallace Research Fellowship in Children’s Literature, valued up to $5,000 (CDN) per annum, invites proposals for research and scholarship using the resources of the University of New Brunswick’s Eileen Wallace Children’s Literature Collection. Proposals 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 are available from: Office of the Dean of Education, University of New Brunswick, PO Box 4400, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5A3, Canada (telephone (506) 453-4862) or on the website http://www.lib.unb.ca/Collections/CLC/. Deadline for application is 1 March of any year, with fellowship to be awarded after 1 July of the same year.
The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize
Kevin Crossley-Holland’s The Seeing Stone (Orion), the first part of his Arthurian trilogy, is the winner of this year’s Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. Chair of judges, Julia Eccleshare, described it as ‘an exuberantly literary novel which has captured the sought-after “crossover” ground, appealing to both adults and children’. The other books on the shortlist were Allan Ahlberg’s My Brother’s Ghost (Walker), Karen Wallace’s Raspberries on the Yangtze (Simon & Schuster), Celia Rees’s Witch Child (Bloomsbury) and Eva Ibbotson’s Journey to the River Sea (Macmillan). The judges were Anne Fine, Philip Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson.
Sainsbury’s Baby Book Award
The winner of this year’s Sainsbury’s Baby Book Award is Sandra Lousada’s Baby Faces (Baby Campbell). The other books on the shortlist were Debi Gliori’s Where, Oh Where, is Baby Bear? (Little Orchard), Annie Kubler’s If You’re Happy and You Know It… (Child’s Play), Jo Lodge’s Baby’s Very First Book – Farm (Baby Campbell), Mandy Ross and Kate Merritt’s Peekaboo Baby! (Ladybird Books) and Nicola Smee’s Sleepyhead (Baby Campbell).
The Blue Peter Book Awards 2001
Chosen by a judging panel consisting of Blue Peter’s editor, Steve Hocking, previous Blue Peter Book Award-winner Alan Gibbons, actress Imogen Stubbs and singer Mel B and chaired by journalist Ian Hislop, the following titles have been shortlisted (according to category) for this year’s award:
The Best Book to Keep Forever category:
Allan Ahlberg’s My Brother’s Ghost (Puffin); Richard Platt and Chris Riddell’s Castle Diary (Walker); Philip Pullman and Peter Bailey’s I Was a Rat (Corgi); Geraldine McCaughrean’s The Kite Rider (OUP); Odo Hirsch’s Bartlett and the Ice Voyage (Bloomsbury).
The Book I Couldn’t Put Down category:
Jamila Gavin’s Coram Boy (Egmont); William Nicholson’s The Windsinger (Egmont); Jacqueline Wilson’s The Dare Game (Doubleday); Eva Ibbotson’s Monster Mission (Macmillan); Neil Arksey’s Playing on the Edge (Puffin).
The Best Book to Read Aloud category:
Laurence Anholt and Arthur Robins’s Eco-Wolf and the 3 Pigs (Orchard); Allan Ahlberg and Paul Howard’s The Bravest Ever Bear (Walker); Jean Ure and Doffy Weir’s Monster in the Mirror (Collins); Ian Whybrow and Russell Ayto’s Whiff (Corgi); Colin McNaughton’s Wish You Were Here… (Walker).
The Blue Peter Young Judges (chosen by a competition) will now meet to decide on the category winners, and the overall winner of the Blue Peter Book of the Year. These will be announced on a Blue Peter Book Awards Special to be broadcast on BBC1 in the late autumn.
Tir na n-Og Best English-language Book Award
The winner of this year’s Tir na n-Og Best English-language Book presented annually by the Welsh Books Council is The Seeing Stone by Kevin Crossley-Holland (Orion Children’s Books). ‘We are extremely pleased to present the award for the Best English-language Book to such an acclaimed author,’ said Menna Lloyd Williams, Head of Children’s Books Department at the Welsh Books Council.
Simon Elvin Young Poets of the Year
Now in its third year, the Simon Elvin Award received almost 7,000 entries from young people aged 11-18, from all over the country, and also from overseas. From these entries 15 winners and 80 runners-up were chosen.
The winners are: Dylan Chaundy from Cardiff, Emma Gaen from Cardiff, Rebecca Hawkes from Bracknell in Berkshire, Vicky Hozaifeh from Oakwood in Lancashire, Judith Huang from Singapore, Caleb Klaces from Moseley in Birmingham, Pieter Koehorst from Bickerstaffe, Lancashire, Felicity Marks from Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire, Helen Mort from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, Qian Xi Teng from Singapore, Jen Wainwright from Axbridge, Somerset, Charlotte Wetton from Gribthorpe, near Goole, Luke Yates from Skelmersdale in Lancashire, Ruth Yates from Skelmersdale in Lancashire, Caleb Yong from Singapore. All the winners and runners-up receive book prizes donated by Faber & Faber and Anvil Press as well as Youth Membership of the Poetry Society for one year. In addition, the 15 overall winners are invited to attend a residential poetry course at the Arvon Centre, Lumb Bank, West Yorkshire, taught by judges Stephen Knight and Amanda Dalton.
Wirral Paperback of the Year
The seventh annual Wirral Paperback of the Year has been won jointly by Louis Sachar for his book Holes (Bloomsbury), and Sherryl Jordan for her book The Raging Quiet (Simon and Schuster). The winners were chosen by Year 8 and 9 pupils from 17 schools in Wirral. The other shortlisted title was Jacqueline Wilson’s The Illustrated Mum.
Richard Mewton 1949–2001
BfK publisher, Richard Hill, writes…
Richard Mewton, the BfK photographer, died tragically at his home in August 2001.
Richard was with the BfK team right from the beginning. His first assignment for us was to photograph Quentin Blake (Authorgraph 1); his last was in Sainsbury’s for a series of pictures for an article about supermarkets and children’s books in 1997.
Richard was always an integral part of the team and he was Books for Keeps – meaning he did the work more for love than money. A gifted portrait photographer and consummate photographic printer, his great asset was his ability, regardless of conditions or environment, to come up with a picture we wanted to publish. His enthusiasm, energy, his funniness, his sense of the quirky or the daft, his generosity, kindness, idiosyncratic use of the English language, his love of Louie his cat, his endless cups of tea, his DIY (‘I think I’ll probably come back as a piece of sandpaper, Rich’) – made him the very best of mates, one of mine at any rate. A man I loved, a sweet and very special guy.
In Clive Barnes’ article, ‘Children’s Book Reviewing on the Web’ (BfK No. 130), the Cool Reads website address was given incorrectly. It should have read www.cool-reads.co.uk
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
SUCCESS IN FRANCE
As an assiduous reader, user and enthusiastic promoter (worldwide) of BfK I should like to rectify one of your rare errors. I am delighted that you should report on the Tam-Tam Prize (BfK No. 127), indeed one of the very few French children’s book awards, and extremely prestigious and influential. Nevertheless Geoffrey Malone is not the first British author to win this award, given by expert book critics and organised by the excellent children’s magazines, J’Aime Lire and Je Bouquine, and a jury of 2 x 500 school children. Malone is the fifth British author to be thus rewarded: a previous winner (1999) was indeed J K Rowling with Harry and the Philosopher’s Stone, a step which, in a similar way to the Smarties, helped propel her to dizzy heights in France also.
By a happy coincidence, just as I am writing this to you, I get a phone call from our Sales Director informing me that the 2001 Prix Sorcières has just been awarded to Kensuke’s Kingdom (Le Royaume de Kensuké) by Michael Morpurgo (published by us). This is the prize awarded by the highly respected and feared Association of Specialist Children’s Booksellers – as it happens the other of the two most important French children’s literature prizes (with Prix Tam-Tam) and, I think it would be fair to say, the one that carries the most weight. This is another indication of great success in France for so many British authors – J K Rowling, Philip Pullman, Jacqueline Wilson and indeed Michael Morpurgo himself who is practically adopted as French in France, the ultimate accolade!
Editor-in-Chief, Gallimard Jeunesse, Editions Gallimard, 5 Rue Sébastien-Bottin, 75328 Paris Cedex 07, France
DURMSTRANG STEREOTYPE cont.
With reference to Theresa Heine’s letter (BfK No. 128), when I ran a private children’s library in the ’50s-’70s, I had a large selection of World War II novels: a number from and about Poland, Holland, etc. but there were some good books from and about Germany.
The best author in my opinion was Margot Benary whose books were never published in paperback, and are almost certainly now out-of-print. They were much loved, and the only criticism I had of her first book, The Ark (1954), was that children might wonder why we fought such a lovely family. But she later published stories, especially Dangerous Spring (1961) and A Time to Love (Macmillan, 1963) which were semi-autobiographical, and clearly show the difficulties and dangers which anti-Nazi families faced in bringing up their children, and that they were genuinely unaware of the worst horrors of the holocaust until the end of the war. (These all translated from the German.)
More recent books with a German background include No Shelter, E Lutzeier (Blackie, 1984) and Edge of War, D Horgan (OUP, 1989), and of course there is When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Judith Kerr, and its sequels.
These books all show that not all Germans were Nazis, but also the difficulties faced by ordinary decent parents in bringing up their children who were influenced by their teachers and youth leaders. A charming little book for younger readers is The Little Riders, M Shemin (Reindeer Books, 1964) which shows that not all German soldiers were Nazi monsters!
Miss R M Jerram
3 Robartes Court, Redannick, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2XX