Children’s Books of the Year 1985
After a year’s absence CBY returns to the National Book League in Wandsworth in August. An exhibition of over 250 books, chosen by Julia Eccleshare from children’s books published between April 1984 and March 1985, opens on August 2nd and continues until the 10th (including Saturday and Sunday). The setting for the exhibition will have a seaside theme complete with beach, Punch and Judy Show, deckchairs, fishing nets, crabs and lobsters. Special visitors to the exhibition include Janni Howker and Rod Campbell. There will be storytelling and David Neville will be performing his Book Safari.
The catalogue of the exhibition, published by the NBL with the support of the Eva Reckitt Trust, will be available from August 1st. It contains annotated entries for all books in the exhibition and has a bright cover designed by Jan Pienkowski using illustrations from his Nursery Series in Puffin.
Bookings are already being made for hire of the exhibition after it closes.
For further information contact Sue Bennett (Head of Exhibitions) or Chris Lee (Children’s Books Officer) at Book House, 45 East Hill, Wandsworth, London SW18 2QZ.
Children’s Books of the Year, selected by Julia Eccleshare, NBL, 0 85353 395 4, (A5 size, 96pp) £3.50 (NBL members £3.25).
Watch Out for the Booksquad
A full colour, 12 page, A3 size comic is being distributed FREE to children via bookshops in the Blackwell’s group. Schools, school bookshops and other children’s groups who have links with their local Blackwell’s bookshop, or customers dropping in can expect to be urged to take copies of Booksquad. With articles by Roald Dahl and John Christopher, an extract from Adrian Mole, jokes, puzzles, a Postman Pat Game, they shouldn’t need much persuading. This feature material and a 50 title book list (from books submitted and sponsored by publishers) is wrapped up in a comic strip adventure in which the Booksquad – a resourceful gang of avid readers – set out to defeat the monstrous baddy, Dunno (boredom personified) who cannot be allowed to spoil the summer holidays for all those children who don’t know about books.
The comic is aimed at 5-12 year olds, with an eight page section for 8-12s and a four page insert for 5-7s. At present this is a one-off exercise but if the Booksquad captures children’s imaginations (and sells books) there may be more to come.
All aboard the Book Train!
Children’s Book Week
The big event of this year’s Children’s Book Week (12-19 October) is the Book Train’s eight-day journey around the United Kingdom. In all, the train will visit 18 cities stopping for two or three hours at each station to enable children to visit the exhibitions and the W H Smith Bookshop on board and meet the authors and illustrators who will be joining and travelling with the train as it moves around the country. Platform events and other station-based activities are also promised. At each city authors and illustrators will leave the train for visits to local schools, libraries and bookshops. Mike Read, CBW ‘personality’, will also be appearing with the train. There will be a national competition for children with rides on the train as prizes.
Before the train pulls out of Euston on 12 October its outside will have been painted by a team of children under the direction of Jan Pienkowski, and B A Robertson and Tim Rice have written a Book Week song. The record will be released at the start of the train tour.
Other book events are being planned around the country. Publicity has been designed this year by Anthony Browne around the theme of the train.
CBW is sponsored by Lloyds Bank and the £70,000 for the Book Train had been raised by sponsorship from W H Smith and various children’s book publishers.
For details of how to catch the train or other information about CBW, contact CBW Administration, Book House, 45 East Hill, London SW18 2QZ.
Best Books for Babies
The Book Marketing Council and Parents magazine are launching a special promotion for books for the under-4s this summer (15-27 July). Fifteen titles have been selected as Best Books for Babies by a special panel – Floella Benjamin, Tony Bradman, Nancy Rhodes and Martyn Goff.
They are: Sally Kilroy’s Baby Board Books (Viking Kestrel); Helen Oxenbury’s Baby Board Books (Walker Books); Colin and Jacqui Hawkins’ Baby Boo! (Bell & Hyman); Althea and Susanna Gretz’s Colours of Things (Fontana Dinosaur); Carol Watson and Colin King’s The House (Usborne); Louis Baum and Niki Daly’s I Want to See the Moon (Bodley Head); John Burningham’s Little Books (Cape); Shirley Hughes’ Lucy and Tom’s a.b.c. (Gollancz); Robert Crowther’s The Most Amazing Hide-and-Seek Opposites Book (Kestrel); John Burningham’s Mr Gumpy’s Outing (Cape/Puffin); The Ahlberg’s Peepo! (Kestrel/Puffin); Sarah Williams and Ian Beck’s Round and Round the Garden (OUP and OUP paperback); Ron and Atie van der Meer’s Surprise Concertina Books (Blackie); Eric Carle’s The Very Busy Spider (Hamish Hamilton); Eric Hill’s Where’s Spot? (Heinemann/Puffin).
One of these titles will be given the Parents magazine award for Best Book for Babies – an all-time accolade in 1985, but plans are being made to make it an annual award from the year’s publishing.
Text versus Technology
This up-to-date topic is the theme of a weekend school organised by the Youth Libraries Group. It will be held at Lancaster University from 6-8 September. The aim of the conference is to consider the impact of new technology on children’s and school libraries, and to explore ways in which librarians can respond positively to the challenge of new technology. The programme promises a wide variety of speakers and an extensive trade exhibition including hardware and software.
Further details from Kathleen Leech, District Central Library, Market Square, Preston, Lancs PRI 2PP. Tel. 0772 53191.
Puffin Bookshop in Covent Garden
Penguin have acquired a second bookshop in Covent Garden buying the premises currently owned by Hammicks. They plan to open a Puffin Bookshop which will hold the full range of Puffin, Kestrel and Hamish Hamilton titles as well as other children’s books, have a Mums and Dads section with gardening, cookery, travel, sport books, a permanent Beatrix Potter display and changing exhibitions featuring other book characters. Special book events are promised in the shop, and outside on the terrace and in the open area around the shop.
Edinburgh Children’s Book Fair
The Children’s Book Fair will be a major feature of the second Edinburgh Book Festival. It will have its own marquee filled with books and during the festival it will be visited by over 45 children’s writers and artists including Gene Kemp, Joan Lingard, Mollie Hunter and Michael Foreman. There will be daily workshop sessions linked to books in which children can take part and two special weekend events: Animal Day (organised by Edinburgh Zoo and the Federation of Children’s Book Groups) and Dr Who Day, with Terrance Dicks, John Nathan Turner and a Dalek. Part of the Puffin Club exhibition is being transported north so visitors to the Book Fair will be able to try out the Spooky Book Walk, visit Spot’s House and make a personal book choice at the computer desk.
Special exhibitions include a display chosen by Margaret Marshall of books for children with special needs, and the BMC/Parents magazine Books for Babies selection.
The Fair will be opened at 12 o’clock on Saturday 10 August by Terry Jones. Later on the same day there will be performances from Erik the Viking and Terry Jones and Tim Rice will give a recital featuring Ronald Searle’s immortal schoolboy, Molesworth.
Entrance to the Festival, £1 adults, 50p children. Season tickets will be available. The Children’s Book Fair is sponsored by W H Smith. For further information contact Valerie Bierman, The Book Festival, 25A South West Thistle St., Lane, Edinburgh EH2 1 EW, Tel. 031 225 1915.