Dickens For Children At The Polka Theatre
Instead of a pantomime this Christmas, the Polka Theatre is producing A Tale of Christmas Past. It’s a play based on the boyhood of Charles Dickens for all ages from 6 years to adult. The run is from 15th November to 2nd February, tickets cost £6 each and further details can be obtained from the Box Office, Polka Theatre for Children, 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon_ London SWI9 1SB (tel. 081-5434888).
Children’s Books for the Year 1990
Now available is Julia Eccleshare’s selection of 1990’s best children’s books … her sixth compilation, though you’d never guess it. As ever, it’s sharp, pithy and personal – a generous, but clear-eyed view of the state of the art with an excellent summarising introduction. Would-be critics, never mind would-be writers, should start here. Published by Andersen Press in association with Book Trust (0 86264 300 7, £4.99) and available from 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SA, or through your usual bookseller.
The Earthworm Award
The winner of the 1990 Earthworm Award, the UK’s only green literary prize for children, is The Young Green Consumer Guide by John Elkington and Julia Hailes, Gollancz, 0 575 04722 4, £4.99. From felt tips to rubbish tips, from fizzy drinks to kitchen sinks, The Young Green Consumer Guide helps children discover how they can help save the earth.
The three runners-up are:
Oi! Get Off Our Train by John Burningham, Cape, 0 224 02698 4, £7.95
Changes in Latitudes by Will Hobbs, Pan, 0 330 30894 7, £2.50 pbk
Energy and Power by Richard Spurgeon and Mike Flood, Usborne, 0 7460 0423 0, £5.95; 0 7460 0422 2, £3.95 pbk
APPLETREE AWARD 1990
This, the first ever creative writing award for children whose disability affects their means of communication (hence entries were invited in braille, sign language, on video, taped, on computer or whatever) brought a splendid set of submissions. The judges were Judy Corbalis, Ruth Craft, Beverley Mathias, Chris Powling and Christine Thomas … and the winners were as follows:-
Section One: 5-11 years
Richard Mulholland, `The Swans’
Elizabeth Elvidge, `The Genie and the Tin Can’
Victoria Edwards, `The Magic Mirror’
Alan Tarsey, `Earthquake’ Richard Wadwell, `Railway Station’
Section Two: 12-16 years
Laura Short, `My Operation’
Raymond Babey, `Mowing the Lawn’
Sarah Boreham, `My Daddy’ Andrew Melia, `Yogi’s Adventure’
Each section carried a prize of £100 and a hand-carved wooden apple. Runners-up received a commendation certificate.
It’s with enormous sadness that we announce the death of Lisa Taylor, an extremely talented young writer of children’s books, who
died in her sleep of a heart irregularity at the age of 31. Her book, Pesters of the West (A & C Black and Lions), was one of the funniest and most original in the highly-acclaimed `Jets’ series, telling the wild story of the hunt for Burnt Bottom Burt. All on a Winter’s Day (Hippo) was a lyrical and haunting novel for teen readers and two picture book stories, A Pig Called Shrimp and Beryl’s Box, are to be published by Collins. She’ll be sadly missed by all who worked with her and it’s a loss to children’s books that the career of such a talented writer should be denied its full fruition.