The Puffin Reading Chart is now in its second edition – updated and enlarged by Aidan Warlow. <!–break–>Books are grouped in twelve stages – up to independent reading at 12-plus. Copies 35p each from the Children’s Marketing Dept., Penguin Books, 536 King’s Road. London SW10 0UH.
Some super badges are available from Hertfordshire Library Service. Orders up to 1,000 – 11p each + carriage and VAT: orders of 1.000 and over – 8p each + carriage and VAT. Old designs (not shown) at £70 per 1000 or 10p each. Contact Alan White, Library Service, County Headquarters. Hertford SG13 8EJ (Tel: Hertford 54242, Ext. 5487).
Awards and Prizes
The Guardian Award for fiction has gone this year to The Sentinels by Peter Carter, OUP, 0 19 271438 4, £4.75.
The Mother Goose Award for a new picture book artist has been awarded to Juan Wijngaard for Green Finger House (story by Rosemary Harris), Eel Pie, 0 906 00806 9, £2.95. The runners-up were A. Vesey for Cousin Blodwyn’s Visit, Methuen (a Picture-Story Book), 0 416 89580 8, £2.95, and Eric Hill for Where’s Spot?, Heinemann, 0 434 94288 X, £2.95.
The Graphic prize at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair was awarded to Moonlight Publishing for its Yok-Yok series, illustrated by Etienne Delessert (see page 29).
The Critica in Erba prize at Bologna went to World’s Work for Jenny Partridge’s Mr Squint – one of a set of four small books published last September (0 437 66170 9, £1.50).
No books for our children …
Over one fifth of the books borrowed from public libraries are children’s books. Children’s access to new books is being blocked not only by cuts within the public library service but also by severe cutbacks in school library services. Of the 68 local authorities which operate a school library service (and many do not have one at all) only 11 permitted allowances for books to keep pace with inflation. One managed to increase provision in real terms by 82.3%. It is astonishing that, at the other end of the scale, cuts have been made amounting to over 30% or even over 40%. 14 authorities reduced expenditure in cash, and the overall drop in spending was 8%. Children in some parts of the country are luckier than others. In Powys, the School Library Service spends £4 per child. In Sefton, the expenditure amounts to 8p per child, less than the price of a daily newspaper.
Is this any way to plan for the future? The Secretary of State for Education, Mr Mark Carlisle, in a recent statement in The Library Association Record lamented the fact that so few children have books at home. They are now also being prevented from obtaining them in schools and libraries. Sales of children’s books fell in the first quarter of last year by 20%. If libraries do not buy books they will cease to be published.
What can you do? Get a copy of the National Book Committee Report on Public Library Spending from the National Book League and find out how your authority compares. Then if it’s bad news – start lobbying. Silence equals consent – so make sure your voice is heard.
Book Events Ahead
Cambridge Children’s Poetry Week
Ilkley Literature Festival
Canterbury Children’s Book Fair
22nd July-8th August:
Children’s Books of the Year at the NBL.
Chosen by Barbara Sherrard-Smith.
Details Barbara Buckley, 01-870 9055
Children’s Book Week
Start planning now. Stickers, balloons, posters available. Contact Michelle Oberman. 01-580 6321.