The Other Award
The Other Award is an alternative children’s book award for non-biased books of literary merit. It was inaugurated in 1975 by Rosemary Stones and Andrew Mann, co-editors of Children’s Book Bulletin, in an attempt to draw attention to important new writing and illustration for children, and to give due recognition to those writers and illustrators who are taking positive steps to widen the literary experience of young people today. The Other Award takes the form of annual commendations to a number of children’s books published in the preceding twelve months. The Award is not accompanied by a money or other prize.
The commended books for 1980, with the judges’ comments, are: Mrs Plug the Plumber by Allan Ahlberg, illustrated by Joe Wright (Kestrel, £1.95 and Puffin, 60p).
Mrs Plug the plumber is called out to cope with various plumbing emergencies in a punchy written and illustrated book packed with non-sexist detail and comic events.
The Machine Breakers by Angela Bull (Collins, ‘History’s People’ series, £3.95).
The Luddite movement is at last discussed as a response to the wider social and economic changes of which ordinary workers were the victims. A narrative full of individual accounts and histories.
Aborigines by Virginia Luling (Macdonald, ‘Surviving Peoples’ series, £2.95).
An outstanding account of one of the Third World peoples, ill-served till now in children’s information books.
The Green Bough of Liberty by David Rees (Dobson, £3.95)
Recreates the incidents and the people of the Irish rebellion of 1798 in which more than 30,000 died. Intensely and movingly written, this sensitive novel for teenagers also faces up to the moral dilemma that is still with us today: what place has violence in the struggle for freedom?
The panel which selected this year’s Other Award winners consisted of: Peter Griffiths – Education Officer, Thames Television. Bob Leeson – Literary and Children’s Editor of the Morning Star, and children’s book writer. John Vincent – Principal Librarian Adult and Specialist Services, London Borough of Lambeth. Andrew Mann and Rosemary Stones.
A poster of this year’s winners, and a list of previous winners, is available from Children’s Rights Workshop, 4 Aldebert Terrace, London SW8 1BH (Enclose a s.a.e. please.)
Library Association Awards
The Carnegie Medal has been awarded to Peter Dickinson for his novel Tulku (Gollancz). The Kate Greenaway Medal has gone to Jan Pienkowski for Haunted House (Heinemann).
New Names in Children’s Books
Scorning words like recession and the cuts being made all round, two publishers are bringing out new imprints.
Pepper Press (from E.J. Arnold) will be publishing (they say) quality children’s books at the best possible prices’. The list will be launched this month with eight titles. The range is wide. There’s a picture book for infants The Smallest Swallow (£2.50) which tells, with colour photographs, the life story of a swallow; historical fiction based on fact for the 5-9’s (first title Abilene 1870 by Felicia Law); poetry for 6-12’s, stories for 5-9’s and non-fiction for juniors. The A-Z of Ghosts and the Supernatural sounds like a useful addition to the class library. This dictionary is compiled by Jan Knight who says she has seen ghosts and a U.F.O.
The launch list also includes the first two books in A Project Series for Young People – Bridges and Skyscrapers by Anne and Scott MacGregor (£3.95). The idea is to teach architectural and engineering principles by inviting the reader to make the various structures from inexpensive materials’.
There’s a glamorous competition associated with Skyscrapers – first prize a trip to New York for winner and parent or guardian. There’s also a special schools entry. Details from Pepper Press, Butterley Street, Leeds LS10 lAX.
Pippins from Evans
Due out in October a new series of ‘read-by-yourself fiction for 5 to 8-year-olds. Evans say these are `exciting stories about subjects that will appeal to children, ranging from football to frogs, with lots of mystery and adventure’. There’s an illustration (black and white) on every page and they claim ‘each line is an easily readable phrase’. Authors in the first batch are Gladys Williams, Janet Lynch-Watson, Peter Richards and Joan Cass. Price £2.95 for 48 pages.
A Story Competition
The National Confederation of Parent-Teacher Associations (in conjunction with Hodder and Stoughton and the SBA) are running a story-writing competition for children called Century 2000. School children of all ages are invited to write a chapter from a story entitled Century 2000. They should then include a brief outline as to the rest of the story. There will be two age sections. Section ‘A’ for children below the age of 12 years on the 1st September 1980. Section `B’ for pupils over 12. Book and cash prizes will be presented to the first, second and third in each section – first £20, second £15, and £10 for third. The presentations will be made at the Silver Jubilee Conference of NCPTA at Avery Hill College, London in April 1981. All entries should be sent to 43 Stonebridge Road, Northfleet, Kent. They must include (attached to the actual entry)
(1) NAME, ADDRESS AND AGE of the entrant, also section entered (A or B).
(2) School attended.
(3) The signature of the parent or teacher of the entrant in verification.
ALL ENTRIES MUST BE IN BY 31 ST JANUARY 1981.
Children’s Book Fairs Dates and Contacts.
20th September, St Albans Helen James (0727 50441)
23rd-25th September. Wolverhampton, Wulfrith Hall Mr S.J. Findlay (Midland Educational Co., 0902 28782)
22nd-26th October, Cheltenham Festival of Literature – Children’s Book Fair and Festival. Michael Darling (Cheltenham Library, 0242 22476/512131)
27th-29th October, Colchester Margaret Turfrey (01580 6321)
29th October – 1st November, Exeter, Condie’s Bookshop James Condie (0392 54024)
1st November, Grays Thurrock, Essex Nancy Rhodes (Pied Piper Bookshop, 0277 219908)
3rd – 7th November Weymouth Mr R.J. Ronald (Weymouth Bookshop, 03057 74707)
13th – 15th November, Islington John McEachen (Central Library, 01 609 3051 Ext 30)
20th – 23rd November, Oxford Chris Hicks (Children’s Bookshop, 0865 46111)
The 50 Best Produced Books of 1979
This annual exhibition will be at the NBL in Wandsworth from 21st October to 7th November. It includes a number of children’s books including William Stobbs’ Chanticleer (The Bodley Head) which was included in the `Top Ten’. Two children’s paperbacks made the list: How does your Garden Grow?, Jean Ellenby (Dinosaur) and The Maggie B, Irene Haas (Picture Lions).
Covent Garden Book Fair 1980-New Dates
The dates for this event have been changed from those announced in the July Books for Keeps. The Fair is now scheduled for 21st-27th September. It will be opened by actor Sidney Poitier and Saturday the 27th will be Children’s Day.
This new company set up by Christine and Robin Baker (formerly of the Children’s Book Centre) launched its first two series at the end of August Picture Story Books (£l.95) aimed at 7-10’s feature snort stories by ‘classic’ writers (Joyce, Tolstoy, Voltaire. Twain, Andersen and Grimm) each illustrated by ‘a leading international children’s book illustrator’.
The My Nature Book Series consists of small-size books for four to eight-year-olds (£1.50). The first four titles are Water, Air, Earth and The Earthworm. All illustrated in colour by Etienne Delessert.