10 Years of Readathon
In 1984, when Books for Students first launched their annual reading event Readathon – to promote both books and a range of children’s charities – over £100,000 was raised. Last year the amount reached a Magic Million for the first time, with more than 702,000 children taking part nationwide. The Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for Children and the Roald Dahl Foundation were the receiving charities.
So how will this year go? Readathon, headed by former Children’s Book Foundation Director Brough Girling, is a central part of the Daily Telegraph‘s Children’s Book Week which runs this year from 8-15 October, but can be organised at any time in the autumn term for as long or short a period as suits a particular school.
Interested? All participating schools are sent a free pack with everything that’s needed including sponsor forms, display and classroom project materials and a gift for every child taking part.
Further details concerning the Readathon campaign are available from Christine Kenny on 0926 314366.
Smaller scale than Readathon, but just as much fun, this charity aims to bring children, parents, storytellers, authors and illustrators together for a week of book and story-related activities. The day begins at 10.00 am, continues ’til 5.00 pm and includes drawing, face-painting, badge-making, storytelling, singing and dancing… but, BfK is assured, no walking of the plank.
John Ryan called it ‘a remarkable and highly entertaining enterprise’ and, as the creator of Captain Pugwash, he should know. Jan Mark wrote ‘It does wonders for morale because, even at the height of an English summer, under monsoon skies and sub-arctic temperatures, people turn up.’
Details of this summer’s voyages are:
Mon 15 August – HERTFORD – Hartham Common off Hill Road – Mick Gowar
Tue 16 August – WARE – Sacred Heart School – Colin West and Jan Mark
Wed 17 August – STANSTEAD ABBOTS – near the Marina off Station Road – John Ryan and Rob Lewis
Thu 18 August – BROXBOURNE – near the Fish and Eels Public House, Dobbs Weir -Julia Marriage and Sonia Holleyman
Fri 19 August – BROXBOURNE – near the Lido – June Counsel and Julia Jarman
This year’s ‘author on board’ is Robert Leeson, no Jonah he. For more information contact M A Spalding at 46 Hampton Close, Stevenage, Herts SG2 8SP; tel. 0438 815091 (home) or 0462 682908 (school).
Eileen Colwell wins the 1994 Eleanor Farjeon Award
Administered by the Children’s Book Circle and sponsored by Books For Children, the Eleanor Farjeon Award for Services to Children’s Books is one of the most prestigious in the industry. Previous winners include Anne Wood, Robert Leeson, Jill Bennett, Margaret Meek… but 1994’s winner surely ranks alongside the best of them. Regular readers of BfK will need no introduction to Eileen Colwell whose career was celebrated by Helen Cresswell’s article ‘Librarian for Life’ in our July ’93 issue.
Eileen Colwell’s achievements go well beyond even innovative, energetic librarianship, however. Primarily, and all over the world, she’s known as a storyteller. The presentation ceremony in London on 19th May showed why. After her acceptance speech, which centred on her friendship with Eleanor Farjeon herself, Eileen told one of her favourite Farjeon stories to a spellbound audience of publishers, writers and assorted children’s book people. The applause at the end threatened to raise the roof of the Artworker’s Guild. `That’s why we bother with all this,’ one CBC member was heard to murmur afterwards.
So salutations to Eilen Colwell says BfK. And our sympathy to whoever has to make next year’s acceptance speech.
The Children’s Book Award
The following Category Winners were presented with silver bowls and a trophy went to the Overall Winner:
Category 1 – Picture Book
Amazing Anthony Ant by Lorna and Graham Philpot (Orion, 185881 005 1, £8.99)
Category 2 – Shorter Novels
The Finders by Nigel Hinton (Viking, 0670 84641 4, £8.99; in September from Puffin, 0 14 036239 8, £3.50 pbk)
Category 3 – Longer Novels and Overall Winner
The Boy in the Bubble by Ian Strachan (Methuen, 0 416 18739 0, £9.99; Mammoth, 0 7497 1685 1, £2.99 pbk)
Tir Na-N-og Awards
For the best English book with an authentic Welsh background, the 1994 Award goes to Denny and the Magic Pool by Pamela Purnell (Pont Books, 0 86383 990 8, £2.75).
The Macmillan Prize
This year’s winner is Ross Collins who receives a £1,000 cheque and publication of his book, The Sea Horse. Michael Wace, director of Pan Macmillan, comments `Ross Collins’ entry was outstanding. It’s rare to find a student who is not only an able illustrator, in full control of an interesting palette, but also has a strong design sense and the ability to write an entertaining story.’
The CLAI Summer School Award for Outstanding Service to Children’s Literature
On Friday, 13th May, Ireland’s Minister for Education announced that the 1994 Award had been made to Eilis Dillon in recognition of her support for all facets of children’s literature in Ireland – by encouraging emerging writers and by working to bring books of quality, in particular those written by Irish authors or published in Ireland, to a wide audience of young people.
The Cape Clear International Storytelling Workshop, 29 October – 5 November 1994, conducted by Eddie Lenihan and Liz Weir. Cost £50 for course, accommodation extra. For full details, contact Chuck and Nell Kruger, Cape Clear Island, Co Cork, Ireland (tel/fax 028 39157).
Reading University – 10th Anniversary Conference, Saturday, 8 October 1994- to celebrate a decade of the MA in Children’s Literature. Speakers include Fred Inglis and Peter Dickinson with academic papers by Michael Rosen and others… along with the opening of a new archive collection of BBC Radio 4’s Treasure Islands radio programme. Cost £20 (£10 students). Applications to Catriona Nicholson, The Meadow, Chalkshire Road, Butler’s Cross, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP17 0TJ (cheques payable to the University of Reading).
BOOKS IN BRIEF
Meet the Authors and Illustrators by Stephanie Nettell, Scholastic, 0 590 55578 2, £9.99
Mini-BfK-style authorgraphs of 60 children’s books celebrities by an accomplished interviewer and critic. Shrewd warm-hearted, well informed… not to be missed.
Red Pages: A Guide to Children’s Books Relevent to Special Needs by Frances Ball (available from 16 Poplar Farm Close, Milton-under-Wychwood, Chipping Norton, Oxon OX7 6LA), £4.00 post free
Comprehensive, user-friendly and excellent value.
Commended Books for Under-Twelves, Alasdair Campbell, (available from LISE Publications, Education Libray, University Collage, Hendrefoilan, Gower Road, Swansea SA” 7NB), £4.00 post free
Sharp-eyed compliation by the Outstanding Children’s Book Project Team based on commendations for the Carnegie Medal and other British book awards.
Making Books Work and Rhymes, Jingles… and All That Stuff (available from Janet Evans, St Katharine’s Collage, Stand Park Road, Childwell, Liverpool L16 8ND), £5.50 each post free
A variety of book activities, expertly put together, but with a fetching personal flavour.
DARE WE SAY HILAIRIOUS?
Another crisp fiver to Quentin Blake for passing on the following invitation – to us, not HB:
Young Book Trust invite:
to celebrate the launch of Children’s Book of the Year 1994
on Thursday 9 June from 6.30pm at Book House
Sandra Vince, Young Book Trust Book House, 45 East Hill, London SW 18 2QZ Telephone: 081 870 9055 Fax: 081 874 4790
Omnibus Edition with all the original pictures by B.T.B.
Introduction and new pictures by Quentin Blake
Innocence or optimism at Book House?’ Quentin asks. Maybe immortality breaking new ground, says BfK.
Keep the Howlers coming…