Judith Elkin wins the Eleanor Farjeon Award
For her tireless efforts to promote the importance of children’s books over the past twenty years, Judith Elkin has won the prestigious Eleanor Farjeon Award, presented annually by the Children’s Book Circle for an outstanding contribution to children’s books.
Announcing the award, the CBC said of the winner:
`Judith Elkin is probably best known for her pioneering work in the field of multi-cultural children’s books. As Publications Officer for the Youth Libraries Group (1967-71) she compiled four editions of Multi-Racial Books for the Classroom, and she is also the selector for the Books for Keeps Guides to Children’s Books for a Multi-Cultural Society. The first of these, for the 8-12 age-group, sold 9000 copies when it was published last year and the guide for the 0-7 year-olds has just been published. Judith Elkin’s impact on the provision of multi-cultural children’s books has been so great because not only was she one of the first to recognise their importance, but also she has always directed her attention at a practical level, working alongside classroom teachers and librarians.
In addition, Judith Elkin is the adviser to Books for Students for their selection of multi-cultural and pre-school books, and she was the British representative for the UNESCO and IFLA International Conference held in Spain last year – The Library: a centre for the promotion of international understanding. In 1971 Judith Elkin was appointed as Head of the Central Children’s Library in Birmingham, where she was responsible for setting up a new children’s library. From 1975 to 1978 she was Head of Services for Children and Young People with Birmingham Libraries. Since 1983 Judith has been the Senior Lecturer in the Department of Librarianship and Information Studies at Birmingham Polytechnic. She lectures in Children’s and Schools Librarianship, and Children’s Literature.
Judith Elkin has been a member of the Executive Committee of The International Board on Books for Young People for eight years. For the last seven years she has organized the annual IBBY seminar, which has been instrumental in getting different sectors of the children’s book world together to discuss aspects of children’s literature.
As a reviewer of children’s books Judith Elkin is greatly respected. She has been the Literary Editor of Junior Education since 1983 and also contributes to The Times Literary Supplement, British Book News and the Birmingham Post.
It is Judith Elkin’s total dedication to children through books and the gentle, persuasive way in which she has influenced teachers, librarians and publishers, which make her such a deserving recipient of the highly prestigious Eleanor Farjeon Award.’
The Eleanor Farjeon Award is sponsored by Books for Children.
More Award Winners
Kate Greenaway Medal
The winner of this year’s Library Association award for illustration is Juan Wijngaard for Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady by Selina Hastings (Walker Books, 0 7445 0295 0, £4.95).
The award is an encouraging vindication for the Mother Goose jury which gave him that award in 1981 for his first book Greenfinger House by Rosemary Harris. Juan Wijngaard was born in South America of Dutch parents. He came to London in 1970 and studied graphic design and illustration.
The panel said of the winning book: `This artist has captured the feel of medieval illuminated manuscripts in the rich glowing illustrations to this tale of knightly chivalry. Page design and layout is varied and the illustrations complement and extend the text to produce a beautiful book.’
Commended equally were two artists:
Michael Foreman for Seasons of Splendour
(Madhur Jaffrey, Pavilion Books, 0 9075 16 548 0, £7.95) and Gillian McClure for Tog the Ribber
(P. Coltman, (Andre Deutsch, 0 233 97711 2, £5.95). Also shortlisted:
A Child’s Garden of Verses, Stevenson’s poems illustrated by Michael Foreman (Gollancz, 0 575 03727 X, £6.95)
It’s Your Turn, Roger!, Susanna Gretz (Bodley Head, 0 370 30621 X, £5.95)
The Magic Horse, Sally Scott (Julia McRae, 0 86203 214 8, £5.25).
The Signal Poetry Award
Song of the City by Gareth Owen, a Fontana Young Lions Original (0 00 672410 8, £1.25) has been given the Signal Poetry Award for 1985. Two anthologies, Messages compiled by Naomi Lewis (Faber, 0 571 13647 8, £2.95) and Golden Apples chosen by Fiona Waters (Heinemann, 0 434 97163 4, £7.95) were `jointly highly commended’..
Writing of the winning book in Signal 50, Brian Morse, one of the two judges (the other was Anthea Bell), says: `The poems are unselfconsciously contemporary in theme without taking on an attention-seeking cartoon quality, solidly constructed and traditional in value. They assume our attention and merit it.’
Hans Andersen Awards
The IBBY international award had gone to two people from the same country – Australia. Patricia Wrightson has won the award for the most distinguished author and Robert Ingpen for the artist. Both are published in this country.
Youth Library Review
A new publication was launched in May. Youth Library Review is the official journal of the Youth Libraries Group and its primary purpose is to report on current trends in children’s librarianship. The Review will be published twice a year, in Spring and Autumn, and will be available on subscription (£5 pa) to interested people outside the YLG membership. The first issue focuses on the Carnegie and Greenaway Awards and includes the acceptance speeches of last year’s winners, Errol le Cain and Margaret Mahy. Material from events organised by YLG Branches (like the recent One Day School: Under Fives like Libraries – Do Libraries like Under Fives?, held in London) will appear in future issues.
Subscription: Philip Marshall, Schools and Children’s Library Service, Langley High School Annexe, Popes Lane, Oldbury, Warley, West Midlands, tel: 021 552 1966.
Children Parents and Reading
Saturday 13th September 9.30-4.00
Newland Park Campus, Bucks
The fifth annual conference organised by the Hillingdon branch of the National Association for Primary Education (NAPE) is raising a lot of questions about reading. How can parents be most effectively involved? DO reading schemes still matter? What kind of books best teach children to read?
Speakers include Bernard Ashley, Liz Waterland and Sheila McCullagh. Conference fee £3. Lunch (sit down meal and wine) £7.
Bookings – with SAE please – to Roger Pinkerton, Yeading Junior School, Carlyon Road, Hayes, UB4 0NR. Early application is advised!
CBY Takes Off
The Children’s Books of the Year Exhibition at the NBL in Wandsworth from July 25th to August 2nd has a flying theme. Aeroplanes, rockets, saucers, kites, balloons and flying mice will all feature in events linked to the exhibition of books selected by Julia Eccleshare for CBY 1986.
Glenys Kinnock will officially open the exhibition on July 24th and from July 25th it will open to the public six days a week from 10.00 to 6.00 (4.00 on Saturdays).
The CBY annotated book list of the 274 books selected this year is published on July 24th at £3.50 post free from the NBL.
After August 2nd the Exhibition is available for hire at £32 per fortnight plus VAT. For details contact Annie Garthwaite at the NBL (01-870 9055).