The Other Award
Started in 1975, the Other Award commends books which make available to children ‘a wider and more accurate representation of human experience and situation.’ This year five books were commended by the judges, with the following comments:
Into the Past: 1-4 (At Home in 1900, In the Street in 1900, At School in 1900 by Sallie Purkis: In the Country in 1900 by Elizabeth Merson) Longman 65p each (pbk)
Four lively and well thought-out history project books that treat aspects of Edwardian working class life by portraying everyday activities and objects, reproducing contemporary documents and photographs and quoting the recollections of people over 70. An imaginative use of oral history for Junior classroom and project work.
Black Lives White Worlds by Keith Ajegbo: Cambridge Educational (pbk) £1.75
A sensitive and skilful selection of extracts from 20th century Black American writing. which all tackle the relationship of Black people to white society, while also providing a record of changing Black consciousness. A powerful introduction for teenagers to some of the important Black American writers.
Girls are Powerful ed. Susan Hemmings: Sheba (pbk) £3.75
A collection of challenging pieces by young women from 7 to 22 (originally published in ‘Spare Rib’ and ‘Shocking Pink) about being a girl today, taking in friends and lovers, looks, school, work and home. A book of great impact and immediacy. a positive feminist antidote to all those teenage magazines.
Welcome Home, Jellybean by Marlene Fanta Shyer: Granada (pbk) 85p
A toughly realistic, sensitively told story about the pressures and frustrations that Neil’s family faces when his active mentally handicapped older sister returns home for good. Love and understanding, but also misery and despair are recorded in this pioneering and unsentimental USA novel. For 10 year olds and upwards.
When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs Hamish Hamilton (hbk) £3.95
A bitterly ironic tale, in cartoon strip, of a retired couple Jim and Hilda who trustingly follow County Council leaflets (‘The Householder’s Guide to Survival’. etc) as they build their ‘Inner Core or Refuge… ‘as nuclear attack threatens. This searing anti-nuclear story makes devastating use of the cartoon strip format. For older readers. (Younger readers may find the powerful and frank treatment of the nuclear issue in this hook particularly frightening.)
Two Awards appearing for the first time are:
The Racial Harmony Awards
Instigated by the Asian News Weekly, Garavi Gujarat ‘for any book which best promotes racial harmony in Britain’s multiracial society.’
The Major Award of £1.000 went to a book published in the Bodley Head New Adult paperback series. Sumitra’s Story by Rukshana Smith (£3.50) which tells of a young Asian girl growing up in Britain.
The Children’s Award of £100 went to The Story of Prince Rama, a simplified retelling of the Ramayana by Brian Thompson, illustrated with original Indian Manuscript painting and additional pictures by Jeroo Roy. (Kestrel. £7.95).
Also commended were The Peacock Garden by Anita Desai (Heinemann £2.75) and Comeback by Marjorie Darke (Kestrel £5.50).
The Kurt Maschler Award
The award, £1.000 and a bronze Emil, is given in memory of Erich Kastner and Walter Trier (the author and illustrator of Emil and the Detectives).
The judges. Elaine Moss, Fiona Waters (Of Heffers Children’s Bookshop) and Toni Maschler (of Jonathan Cape) were looking for ‘a work of imagination in the children’s field in which text and illustration are of excellence and so presented that each enhances yet balances the other.’ Books considered were published this year.
The winner is:
Sleeping Beauty, chosen and translated by Angela Carter. illustrated by Michael Foreman (Gollancz, £6.95).
Runners up are:
The Church Mice in Action, Graham Oakley (Macmillan, £3.95)
Pelican, Brian Wildsmith (OUP. £4.95)
Rumbelow ‘s Dance, story by John Yeoman. pictures by Quentin Blake (Hamish Hamilton. £4.50).
Elaine Moss and Fiona Waters wanted to make special mention of The BFG, Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Cape) which was not submitted as Tom Maschler felt unable to put forward books for a prize donated by his father.
The Whitbread Awards
The details of the winners of the children’s section of this year’s Whitbread Awards were not available as we went to press. Taking a lead from the Booker McConnel prize. Whitbread are announcing the awards live on Channel 4 on November 9th.
The Search for New Writers
The Kathleen Fidler Award
Set up as a tribute to the late Kathleen Fidler, the award is for a first novel, by a Scottish or Scottish born writer, for eight to twelve year olds. It is made by Blackie Children’s Books (Kathleen Fidler’s publisher) and the Federation of Children’s Book Groups (Scotland). The first winner is Allan Baillie, a Scottish born writer who has lived in Australia since he was seven. His story, Adrift, is about ‘a boy who finds himself challenged, faced with responsibility and forced to survive not just in the face of physical hardship but also in the adult world.’ It will be published by Blackie in April next year.
The Hamish Hamilton/Beaver competition
Sadly this search for an adventure story for 8-12’s has come to naught. The judges. Ann Parker. Pat Triggs. Fiona Waters and Frank Delaney felt that none of the entries were of a sufficiently high standard to merit winning the competition. More encouragingly some promising writers and ideas have been identified and these will be taken up by the two publishers sponsoring the competition.
Obituary – Dorothy Edwards
It is with great sadness that we report the death of Dorothy Edwards, a much loved and much read writer for children.
Her best-known series is perhaps the `My Naughty Little Sister‘ books; but her books cover a wide range, from stories for the very young to books for older children like `A Strong and Willing Girl‘ which won The Other Award in 1982.
In addition to her writing, Dorothy Edwards visited almost every area of the UK to meet children, read to them and foster their enthusiasm for books. In particular, she campaigned against the “middle class” image and appeal of books: she believed in books for all children.
Sales of Piccolos dropped in 1981 and again this year. As a result they are reducing their output of new titles, particularly of originals. But, say Piccolo, `It is not our intention to stop publishing children’s books but we must restrict and then reconstruct the list in order that it should make a profitable contribution to Pan Books performance.’ David Kewley who is taking over the children’s list also adds, ‘Please do get in touch if you have ideas about the sort of books you would like to see Piccolo publishing in future.’
IBBY International Conference
The IBBY International Conference on Story in a Child’s Changing World, held in Cambridge in September was very successful in spite of the last minute withdrawal of Bruno Bettelheim, one of the major speakers. Papers given at the many seminars and plenary sessions were of wide ranging interest and deserve a circulation beyond the inevitably limited number of people able to attend.
The National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations’ seventh annual write-a-story competition is open to children in two age groups: up to 11, and 11+. The theme for this year is athletics. Closing date January 31st 1983.
Details from NCPTA, 43 Stonebridge Road, Northfleet, Gravesend, Kent.
Ardizzone to Wales
Edward Ardizzone’s original illustrations for Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales (Dent) have been purchased by the Welsh Centre for Children’s Literature. An illustrated bilingual publication with essays on the illustrations and the text is available from the centre (£l.00 plus postage). Write to Menna Lloyd Williams, Castell Brychan, Aberystwyth, Dyfed.
Learning to Read with Picture Books
A second revised and redesigned edition with many new titles of Jill Bennett’s invaluable list is now available. (Signal Bookguide, £1.85.) Write to The Thimble Press, Lockwood, Station Road, South Woodchester, Stroud, Glos GL5 5EQ.