New face at the NBL
The new Children’s Books Officer at the NBL’s Centre for Children’s Books, Chris Lee, is busy ‘finding her feet and putting names to faces’. Chris, who came to the NBL from the Buckinghamshire Library Service where she was Aylesbury Children’s Librarian, has had varied library experience. ‘I think they gave me the job because although I’m an idealist and an optimist I’ve got a strong practical streak. If you work with children and organise events for instance, you learn how important it is to attend to the nitty gritty things like checking where the lavatories are!’
That kind of attention to detail should prove invaluable to the organising committee of this year’s Children’s Book Week which Chris has joined. The Children’s Book Week Train project is on and, barring accidents, the train should pull out of Euston Station on 12 October on an eight-day, whistle-stop tour of England, Scotland and Wales. The train carries a bookshop, exhibitions, spaces to meet authors and illustrators. At each station children will be able to visit the train, events will be organised on the platforms and children’s book celebrities will leave the train for events organised in the town or city.
But that’s not Chris’s only concern. Closest to her heart is spreading the word about books for babies and toddlers and she has already commissioned an NBL booklist of Books for the Under-fives. Getting through to the parents she believes is vitally important and she cherishes a dream of a bookmobile, equipped with an exhibition based on the list, which she could drive into the centre of shopping precincts all over the country. All she needs is some sponsorship… Any offers?
For news of Children’s Book Week, contact Dorothy Wood at the NBL, 45 East Hill, Wandsworth, London SW18 2QZ, tel: 01-870 9055.
Meet Miss Massie
Sheila Massie, a children’s librarian in West Sussex, is the central figure in the latest of Young Library’s People Who Help Us series – Miss Massie is a Librarian. Here she is at the launch of the book surrounded by the children who also feature in it.
The book is designed to help children understand libraries and encourage them to use and enjoy them to the full. It shows Sheila Massie in a variety of librarian’s tasks, including activities with children – showing how the library works, reading aloud and sharing books at storytime, visiting schools – as well as illustrating the range and variety of services offered by a modern library.
Miss Massie is a Librarian, Christine Day, photographs by Jane Bowler, Young Library, 0 946003 36 X, £3.95.
National Tell a Story Week: Starts 4 May
The 1985 theme for this annual celebration of books and stories promoted by the Federation of Children’s Books Groups is All Creatures Great and Small.
The national launch this year is moving out of London – brave move FCBG – to Nottingham. On Saturday, 4 May, 12.00-4.30 at Wollaton Park in Nottingham, there will be marquees filled with storytelling, face painting, animal mask making, books to browse through and buy. Children can search for words and hunt for treasure. Also on hand will be David Neville with a clown/mime show, a pet shop owner with exotic pets, the Nottinghamshire Library bus and a display by the Robin Hood Society.
Admission is FREE. Details from Dinah Wilcox, 33 Trent View Gardens, Radcliffe on Trent, Notts NG12 lAY.
All over the country other events are being arranged. Schools, libraries and other organisations who would like to join in would be very welcome. Stickers, balloons, and posters are available at minimal cost. Especially useful is the Activity and Ideas leaflet (6p) and the All Creatures Great and Small Booklist (11p). For details of what’s being planned or how to order material for your own event, send a stamped addressed envelope to Sandra Mack, Cherry Tree Cottage, High Roding, Nr Great Dunmow, Essex. National Tell a Story Week is sponsored by Lloyds Bank.
Going Soft? The future of hardback books for children
Thursday, 16 May 1985 at The Triangle Cinema, Aston University, Holt Street, Birmingham. 10.00-4.30.
Another one-day seminar organised by the British section of IBBY. Speakers include Brian Alderson and Robert Leeson.
Representatives from libraries, hardback publishing, paperback publishing, bookselling and the authors will join in. Cost: £14 including coffee, lunch and tea.
To book your place, contact Sheila Ray, Tan-y-Capel, Bout Dolgadfan, Llanbrynmair, Powys SY19 7BB (before 9 May).
News from Signal Second Edition
Picture Books for Young People 9-13 has been revised and updated by its compiler, Elaine Moss.
In her introduction to the second edition, Elaine Moss reflects with a typically guarded optimism of the growing acceptance by publishers, reviewers, teachers and librarians that picture books of high quality and challenging content have a great deal to offer to older readers. She writes, ‘Three years ago I could find 84 titles to recommend in this area; in 1984 there is no problem in replacing the out-of-print titles and increasing the recommendations to a round 100. Many superficially attractive books with poor texts … were unreluctantly cast aside.’ Heartening too is the number of picture books for older readers being picked up for paperback editions.
Picture Books for Young People 9-13, The Thimble Press, 0 903355 15 9, £2.20 post free. From: Lockwood, Station Road, South Woodchester, Stroud, Glos. GL15 SEQ.