Children’s Book Week ’81
This year the dates will be 3-10 October. Michelle Oberman has taken over the organisation from Margaret Turfrey. She told us, ‘This year’s colour is blue and we are aiming sky high for the biggest, brightest event yet.’
Free copies of Hints for Organisers and sample packs of promotion material will be mailed early in March. If you asked for a booklet last year you will automatically get one. If you are not yet on the mailing list and wish to participate, simply put your name and address on a postcard and send it to: Michelle Oberman, Book Marketing Council, 19 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HJ (before 28 February).
Moving the Books
The full report of the Westminster City Libraries Bookmaster holiday reading scheme is now available. Lorna Roberts (who wrote about the scheme in Books for Keeps No.4) has produced a valuable and stimulating report which among other things records the response of some of the 257 readers who enrolled in the scheme to 51 books. The readers were aged 10-16, the largest group being between 11 and 13. The books were a mixture of adult and children’s fiction.
The report doesn’t tell us much about the 14+ reader but it is full of material which gives us insights into what keeps the early teenager reading which could help us to lay better foundations. It also provides a useful model for anyone wanting to do some ‘research’ of their own. The report is available from Lorna Roberts, Marylebone Library, Marylebone Road, London NW1 5PS (£2 to cover cost of printing and postage).
A meeting to discuss the report, Moving the Books: Teenage Reading and the Westminster Bookmaster Scheme, is being held on Tuesday, 3 March at The National Book League, Book House, 45 East Hill, London SW18 2QZ. 5.00 Wine, 5.45-8.30 the meeting, admission free.
For tickets and further information, contact Beverley Mathias at the NBL (01-870 9055).
Picture Book Competition
There was no first prize awarded in the first Times/ Kestrel competition for a ‘new talent in the making of picture books’. The judges, Virginia Berkeley, Quentin Blake, Brian Alderson, Patrick Hardy and two Penguin editors, did award two prizes of £200 – to David Beers for Looking Back and Geraldine Martin for Paper Men – and six books were commended. Picture books, The Times suggested, ‘are more subtle than they seem to be’. The 317 entries ‘lacked the clinching ability to unite graphic work with a sharp lively text.’
Individuals who can manage both are indeed rare – a glance at a lot of picture books that actually get published proves that only too well.
Quartet start a children’s list
Quartet publishers are expanding into children’s books. They plan to publish four or five titles a year, mainly hardback picture books for 5-8’s. Their first titles are Liza’s Yellow Boat by Bel Mooney and The Adventures of Chatrat by Venetia Spicer (each £4.95). Both illustrated by their authors.
Books are Fun
Teachers and librarians from all over Cornwall have been co-operating to organise the biggest children’s book event the county has seen. ‘Books are Fun’ is the theme and it’s all happening from 26-28 February at the Richard Lander School in Truro.
Bernard Ashley and Malcolm Saville will be appearing and there are plans for films, story sessions, fancy dress, model railways, craft exhibitions, book binding and a visit from Culdrose Air-Sea Rescue Group. The fair is being officially opened on Friday, 27 February by the Blue Peter team.
Details from Ann Jenkin, Camborne School, Cranberry Road, Camborne TR14 7PJ (Camborne 712280) or Mrs R. King, Richard Lander School, Tresawls Road, Truro TR1 3LF (Truro 3750).
The Whitbread Award for Children’s Fiction has gone to Leon Garfield for John Diamond (Kestrel, 0 7226 5619 X, £4.50).
The Dorothy Tutin Award for services to poetry has gone to Howard Sergeant, editor of The Swinging Rainbow and Happy Landings, tried and tested anthologies for children. (Both are published by Evans.)