A new Award for Children’s Books
Next month the Kurt Maschler Award will be made for the first time. It is for `a work of imagination in the children’s field in which text and illustrations are of excellence and so presented that each enhances yet balances the other’. The award is £1,000 and the winner or winners will also receive an `Emil’ – a bronze replica of Erich Kastner’s famous character as visualized by Walter Trier (Kurt Maschler’s publishing house, Atrium Press, was the publisher of Emil and the Detectives).
The Award is for a book published in the calendar year, January to December, by British authors and/or artists. Judges for 1982 will be Elaine Moss, Fiona Waters and Tom Maschler.
Children’s Books of the Year
Barbara Sherrard-Smith’s selection of 1981 books is now on tour. This month look out for it in Cambridge (Homerton Teachers’ Centre) and at the NBL Scotland in Glasgow.
In October it will be in Kent (Erith), London (Fulham, and Shoreditch Library) and Carmarthen (Dyfed College of Art). November and December will find it in Southport (at the In-service Training Centre) and Wick (at Wick High School).
For information about hiring the exhibition and/or copies of the annotated catalogue, published by Julia MacRae Books (£4.25, NBL members £3.95), contact the National Book League, Book House, 45 East Hill, London SW18 2QZ.
Rising to the Challenge
Hertfordshire Libraries are not the only enterprising ones around it seems. Martin Molloy of the Hampshire Library Service (who used to work in Hertfordshire!) is trying hard to outdo his former colleagues. He’s got Puffin to co-operate in staging a week-long book fair in Petersfield (1st-6th November).
A whole string of authors will be there including Mike Rosen, Michelle Magorian, Jill Murphy, Nicholas Fisk, Jan Mark and Sara Corrin. There are plans for a special day for pre-school playgroups and Bernard Ashley is talking to adults in the evening. On the Saturday Radio Solent are doing their kids’ programme Albert’s Gang live from Petersfield Library. Martin has raised lots of sponsorship locally for the event. Well done that man.
Are there any other librarians picking up the gauntlet? Tell us what you’re doing.
What do you think of it so far?
The National Book League has been around now for more than fifty years. It was established ‘to promote, encourage, foster or strengthen by all and every suitable or convenient means the habit of reading and the wider and more general distribution of books by and among all people’. It’s been decided that now is the time for the NBL to take stock of itself, consider its aims and how it tries to achieve them. Michael Marland is chairing a small working party and invites comments from all members of the reading public who would like to contribute. Now’s your chance. Write to Michael Marland at the NBL, Book House, 45 East Hill, London SW18 2QZ.
Children’s Book Week in Huddersfield
The Huddersfield Children’s Bookshop which supplies many local school bookshops is getting CBW off to a poetic start. On Monday, 4th October Mike Rosen, Kit Wright and Anne Thwaite will be meeting hundreds of children and also appearing before an audience of teachers, parents and older children at the Teachers’ Centre (This is open to all).
Sonia Benster who organises an event every year says it’s usually a great success and well over 500 children meet an author. She’s hoping though that there won’t be a repetition of last year when a whole bus load of children arrived in tears, having been set off by one little girl who thought an author might be frightening!
Book Fair in Peterborough
The Book Fair announced in our May issue has been postponed to 9th October. It will be held at the Education Development Centre, Cottesmore Close, Peterborough, 12.00 noon to 6.00 p.m. Authors appearing include Jill Murphy, Ruth Craft, Tim Furniss and John Agard. Details from John Byrne, School Library Service (0733) 268581.
Obituary – Malcolm Saville
It was with great sadness that we heard of the death of Malcolm Saville on 30th June. From the publication of his first Lone Pine story Mystery at Witchend in 1943, Malcolm Saville held a firm place in the hearts of millions of readers, an affection which was passed from parents to children.
He always made a special effort to keep in touch with his readers, answering personally up to 3,000 letters a year and making visits to schools and book fairs whenever he could. His enthusiasm and commitment were infectious and only last year he helped and inspired a whole class of children to research and write their first novel.
It was typical of his generosity that when we visited him in 1980 (he was one of our first Authorgraphs) he was as interested in the School Bookshop Association and Books for Keeps as we were in him. He was an unashamed upholder of the traditional ideals of friendship, loyalty and responsibility, and rightly proud to feel that from the evidence of thousands of letters he had quite clearly been responsible for turning more than one generation of children into readers. He will continue to be read and will be much missed.
Extra, Extra, Read all about It
In November Books for Keeps will carry a special Extra supplement, specially for children. You will get one copy as part of the November issue and there’s lots in it for you to use in the classroom, library or at home.
But we are printing Extra copies of Extra so you can order a few (or a lot!) more to pass on (or sell on) to the children it is Extra specially designed for (7-13s).
If you want to know what’s in it you’ll find all the details (and how to order it) inside the front cover. You’d be Extraordinarily silly to miss it.