A New Head for the CBF
Wendy Cooling has been appointed as the new Director of the Children’s Book Foundation. Currently Deputy Head of Fulham Cross Comprehensive School in London, she took up her new appointment at Book House in January. Her previous involvement in book activities include advisory teaching on library skills and independent learning, compiling children’s packs and guides for the National Trust together with titles for Puffin in conjunction with Madame Tussauds… and research into the role. of the school library across the curriculum. All this, of course, in addition to the book-ish preoccupations expected from a teacher of English. She comments, `I’m very happy indeed to join the CBF and look forward to using my experience and enthusiasm to extend its role, especially with the National Curriculum in mind.’ BfK has already encountered Wendy’s enthusiasm at the Puffin Bookshop in Covent Garden – and very encouraging it was. Good luck to her!
Filming is now complete on the BBC’s latest Bernard Ashley serial –
dramatised by the author himself from his popular Julia MacRae/Puffin
novel for young teens. The cast includes Trevor Peacock and a Grange
Hill `star’ .. . transmission is in February and March 1991. Worth a
note in your diary, says BfK.
3rd May 1896-24th November 1990
Best known for plays like Autumn Crocus (1930) and Dear Octopus (1938), along with her novel I Capture the Castle (1949), Dodie Smith was also the author of an authentic children’s classic, The Hundred and One Dalmatians (1956), which was turned into a full-length animated cartoon by Walt Disney five years later. A sequel followed in 1967 called The Starlight Barking, though this was less successful than the earlier tale, inspiredly old-fashioned of Pongo Missus and their persecutor Cruella de Vil.
A former actress, Dodie Smith lived for many years in a multi-beamed seventeenth-century cottage in Finchingfield, Essex with her husband Alec Beesley who died in 1988. She was endlessly curious about changing times .. but always very much her own person. Her first invitation to appear on Desert Island Discs was cancelled by Roy Plumbley when she insisted on a long and loud Beatles record. In her eighties, she produced four very popular volumes of autobiography.
These, like her last children’s book, The Midnight Kittens (1978), offered a combination of innocence, moral certainty and immense charm which was her hallmark.
The Children’s Book Foundation offers this new Guide – the Authors and Illustrators willing to visit schools or participate in book events, giving full details of the sessions they offer – including preferred age-range, group-size, what they have to offer and how to contact them. It’s free to CBF members, £4.50 otherwise.
Details from Jean Egbunike, Children’s Book Foundation, Book House, 45 East Hill, London SW18 2QZ (tel. 081-870 9055).
Tell Me Another One!
Ace storytellers Grace Hallworth and Liz Weir offer a video showing how it’s done
. or, in the case of Liz Weir (acting her socks off), how it’s notdone. Aimed at librarians and teachers, this twenty-minute video will help anyone improve their storytelling technique by following a few practical steps. The basis of your next INSET day asks BfK? Compared with the cost of hiring a visiting speaker, worth every penny of £25 – with repeat performances to order. There’s no better way to demonstrate how stories can be shared through picture books. Highly recommended.
Available from: Remploy Limited, London Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.
Irish Guide to Children’s Books 1980-90
With a preface by Clodagh Corcoran introducing the Irish Children’s
Book Trust, this compilation by Lesley Reece and Gabriel Rosenstock
covers the full age-range from beginning readers to school-leavers,
discusses traditional Irish Legends, Folk and Fairy tales, includes
non-fiction, books in Irish, a section on illustration … and
contributions from a variety of Irish writers such as Tony Hickey,
Carolyn Swift and Martin Waddell/Catherine Sefton. What more could be
asked for? Not to be missed – and, at £2.00 a copy for more than 170
pages, excellent value.
Enquiries to Clodagh Corcoran, Chairwoman, Irish Children’s Book Trust, Bookhouse Ireland, 65 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1.
Since the November BfK went to press, news has come in on the following:
Overall winner, and 9-11 Category: Midnight Blue by Pauline Fisk, Lion Publishing, 0 7459 1848 4, £7.95
6-8 Category: Esio Trot by Roald Dahl, ill. Quentin Blake, Cape, 0 224 02786 7, £6.95
0-5 Category: Six Dinner Sid by Inga Moore, Simon & Schuster, 0 7500 0297 2, £6.99; 0 7500 0304 9, £2.99 pbk
Whitbread Children’s Novel
AK by Peter Dickinson, Gollancz, 0 575 04894 8, £10.95
Emil/Kurt Maschler Award
Winner: All Join In by Quentin Blake, Cape, 0 224 02770 0, £6.95
The Federation of Children’s Book Groups
Why not learn with your child about the magic of storytelling and the
love of books. Join us in The Federation of Children’s Book Groups
or join us at our annual conference .. .
23rd Annual Conference
5th to 7th April 1991
Nightingale Hall, University of Nottingham
31 The Green, Radcliffe-on-Trent
Nottingham NG12 2LA
Tel. (0602) 333003
33 Trent View Gardens
Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottingham NG12 lAY
Tel. (0602) 333165