Exit Brough Girling …
Eighteen months after taking over as head of the Children’s Book Foundation, Brough Girling has left to join Two Can Publishing. `They made him an offer he couldn’t refuse,’ says Book Trust’s Keith McWilliams. `Brough has really put CBF on the map – enhancing its profile nationwide with projects like the School Membership Scheme, including Book Fax and Authorbank. Already, with over 1,000 schools joining, it’s exceeded our expectations for the first year. Brough leaves a tremendous achievement behind him.’
Advertisements for Brough Girling’s successor will be posted in mid-September but Keith McWilliams says, `I’ve been much encouraged by the interest that’s being taken in the job – already a number of people prominent in the children’s book world have made enquiries.’ The post carries a salary that’s negotiable, but comparable to the head of a fair-sized primary school, and would suit someone `with a background in education and children’s books … also someone who’s willing to build on what Brough has started.’
With Brough’s predecessor in post for an even shorter length of time than he was, BfK hopes the successful candidate has long-service ambitions, too. Till an appointment is made, the day-to-day running of CBF is in the hands of Anne Sarrag.
Read With … Who?
As everyone knows, there’s no copyright in titles. So Ladybird Books, of `Key Words’ and `Puddle Lane’ reading scheme fame, are free to launch a new scheme which according to editorial director, Mike Gabb, `retains all that is good – the controlled vocabulary and the repetition… but the stories introduce a fantasy element and have a broader language base’, and still call it `Read With Me’. This, as BfK readers may recall, is also the title of Liz Waterland’s well-known publication for Thimble Press (1985). It firmly rejects the need for, amongst other strategies, a controlled vocabulary and repetition – indeed it’s become a standard text for the apprentice approach which uses `real’ books for initial reading. `Appalled dismay’ is how Liz Waterland describes her response to the new scheme. `Pure coincidence,’ says Lynne Bradbury of Ladybird. `We weren’t aware of Liz Waterland’s book… our title grew from a speech-bubble in the mouth of Sam the Dog.’
Schools urged to spend two percent of their LMS budget on books – it’s the minimum needed to cover the National Curriculum properly
At the Annual General Meeting of the Educational Publishers Council in the House of Commons on 21st June, Mr John Davies, Director of the Council, urged all schools and local authorities to spend at least two percent of their LMS budget on books and teaching materials. Only in this way, said Mr Davies, could the demands placed on schools by the National Curriculum be met. Mr Davies also called on the Government to make additional monies available to schools via central specific grants for books and teaching materials as it had done for the introduction of the GCSE examination.
Figures released by an independent organisation, the Book Trust, for 1990-91 indicated that amounts which should be spent to equip pupils properly with books for the National Curriculum were as follows:
Text books……………….£13.49 per head……………£21.24 per head
Library books…………….£6.29 per head……………£9.93 per head
TOTAL……………………£19.78 per head…………£31.17 per head Further details from: The Publishers Association, 19 Bedford Square, London WCIB 3HJ (Tel: 071 580 6321).
PENGUIN LAUNCH A GREEN BOOKLIST
This new list has been compiled independently by David Day who has taken a broad look at what children’s books in the Penguin Group (Puffin, Viking Kestrel and Hamish Hamilton) have to offer.
Penguin Green Booklist, available, free of charge, from Puffin Books, Marketing Dept, 27 Wrights Lane, London W8 5TZ.
David Day has just published the most wonderful `green’ information book himself, Noah’s Choice, sub-titled `True stories of extinction and survival’ (Viking Kestrel, 0 670 80661 2, £7.95). This will of course be featured in The BfK Green Guide to Children’s Books (containing between 300 and 400 titles) due for publication early in 1991. Watch these pages…
Worldwise – a bookshop worth a second glance…
A `not-for-profit’ shop, run by a collective in Oxford since 1985, specializing in children’s books concerned with a multicultural society, world development and human rights plus materials for teachers and teaching on similar issues including aid, trade, race, and minorities. What’s interesting, and what caused us the second glance, is that they supply to schools on a nationwide basis. Some materials in this area, including dual-language texts (Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese and European languages) can be notoriously difficult to get hold of, so it may be worth writing or phoning for their listings. Worldwise tell us they, can turn round orders within two to four weeks depending on stock.