From the CHILDREN’S BOOK FOUNDATION
Bookfax and More
If you’re after information about children’s books, what’s the best way to spend £28.75 – apart, that is, from three-and-a-bit subscriptions to Books for Keeps? Well, membership of the Children’s Book Foundation looks like a good bet. For this subscription you’ll receive
- a pack of book publicity material
- the current edition of Children’s Books of the Year
- a membership card and window sticker and Bookfax …
This is the brainchild of Anne Sarrag. It contains more than 80 information sheets on every aspect of children’s books together with a list of current authors and illustrators willing to make school visits plus a copy of the new Bookweek Handbook. Everything a hard-pressed teacher or librarian may require, that is, already sorted out for action …
Anne Sarrag, formerly of Bodley Head and Cape, says `the idea behind Bookfax is simple: to collate information in a logical, user-friendly format relevant to all those working with children and books. It’ll give them all the details they need from telephone numbers of bookclubs to which book won Prize X in the year dot.’
As the centre-piece of Children’s Book Foundation membership, Bookfax looks like a welcome initiative – not least because it arrives in a smart ring binder. Just the thing to remind you that something nice can take that form as well as National Curriculum bumph. Contact The Children’s Book Foundation at Book House, 45 East Hill, London SW18 20Z (tel: 01 870 9055).
Who? The leprechaun in the crook of the Capital L is the giveaway. CLAI is the Children’s Literature Association of Ireland, now in its third year and thriving. In December CLAI launched the first issue of its magazine, Children’s Books in Ireland, price £1.25 but free to members. With contributions from Maeve Binchy and Paul Durcan among others, the journal already has a strong sense of its own identity judging by this lively debut. The best of luck, says BfK! For CLAI membership details, contact Valerie Coghlan at The Library, Church of Ireland College of Education, 96 Upper Rathmines Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6, Ireland.
Since we’re on the, subject, it’s perhaps worth mentioning that the Irish are by far the largest minority group in this country – yet are commonly overlooked when it comes to multi-cultural provision. Now, there’s no excuse where children’s books are concerned. From Camden Libraries comes a list of 140 titles, with annotations and reading levels, all offering positive Irish characters or sympathetic references to Ireland. And it costs only 50 pence. Send cheques or postal orders only (made payable to London Borough of Camden) ,! to Aidan Flood, Swiss Cottage Library, 88 Avenue Road, London NW3 3HA.
Apple Tree Award
No, not just another award for creative writing – this one is the first for children whose disability affects their means of communication. That’s why entries (due at the end of the Easter term) may be in braille, in sign language, on video, taped, on computer, hand-written or whatever. The award will be given in two sections (for children 5-11 and 12-16) with a prize of £100 and a hand-carved wooden apple in each section plus up to ten commendation certificates. Judges for 1990 will be Judy Corbalis, Ruth Craft, Beverley Mathias, Chris Powling and Christine Thomas.
Entry forms are available from the National Library for the Handicapped Child, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL.
The Borrowers and the Borrowed
What have these people in common?
Jean and Gareth Adamson
Rev. W Awdry
Well, according to Public Lending Right estimates, they were the twenty most borrowed children’s authors in Britain’s libraries during 1989 – a significant list since, presumably, the children were choosing without the usual constraints of pocket-money and parents. All twenty will have received a fat cheque last month – £6,000 at its heftiest scaling down to a modest fiver or so for the bulk of the 17,000 writers on the PLR register.
Full information – including the fifty most borrowed titles – from the Registrar of Public Lending Right, Bayheath House, Prince Regent Street, Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland TS18 1DF (tel: 0642 604699).
Beyond the Kitchen Table .. .
Finally, here’s the posh new-ish frontage, not to mention the equally posh new-ish behindage, of a certain children’s book magazine. After ten years of squatting chez Hill, it’s moved at last into premises of its own. The smug smiles just off-camera belong to Richard and Angie who, for the first time in a decade, have an empty flat surface adjacent to their cooker and an equally empty sitting-room adjacent to their front door. Of course, now they have to walk to work…