The Earthworm Award
Billed as `the Prize for books that help children to enjoy and care for the Earth’, this is an award dear to BfK – how could it be otherwise in a year in which we published our own Green Guide to Children’s Books?
The winning title for 1992, selected from a shortlist of nine, was The Last Rabbit edited by Jennifer Curry (Methuen, 0 416 15792 0, £8.95; Mammoth, 0 7497 0252 4, £2.50 pbk). It was described by the judges as `a collection which will endure. The skill of the anthologist was to place modern poems, some by children, alongside the classics and to juxtapose celebration with warning.’ Jennifer Curry received a cheque for £2,000 plus a bronze Earthworm statuette.
The two runners-up, each of whom received a cheque for £500 together with a bronze Earthworm bookmark, were The Elephant Book by Ian Redmond (Walker, 0 7445 1855 5, £12.99; 0 7445 1773 7, £5.99 pbk) and Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Patrick Geistdoerfer (Moonlight, 1 85103 101 4, £3.50).
100 Best Books
First the bad news . . . no Children’s Books of the Year for 1991 – that invaluable list of more than 300 titles which, for the last three years, has been compiled and annotated by Julia Eccleshare and published by Andersen Press. Now the good news … the enterprise hasn’t disappeared altogether. Taken over by The Children’s Book Foundation, a slimmed-down version called 100 Best Books is issued with the CBF’s Autumn 1991 Newsletter. It’s still the work of Julia Eccleshare, is as sharp and lively as ever, and offers a range of titles from picture books for pre-school children to fiction for older readers by way of fairy tales, poetry and short-story collections.
Available from The Children’s Book Foundation, Book House, 45 East Hill, Wandsworth, London SW18 2QZ (tel: 081870 9055).
Start With a Story
As every infant and nursery teacher knows, stories can be an invaluable resource for helping young children explore their feelings, experiences and the issues that concern them. How are books best used, though, to stimulate their talk, to extend and clarify their ideas and to help them make sense of the world? Birmingham’s Development Education Centre has come up with a handbook of imaginative activities which do just that- exploring themes like gender, learning about other countries, disability, conflict and environmental awareness. Every suggestion has been developed by practising classroom teachers in the context of the National Curriculum – and is illustrated by children’s work, their comments during the activities, topic webs and photographs. All this, along with a grid which indicates how the skills the youngsters develop relate to subjects right across the National Curriculum … Highly recommended says BfK.
Available from: Development Education Centre, Gillett Centre, 998 Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 6LE, for £6.00 inc. p& p. Or contact Catherine McFarlane on 021 472 3255.