Children’s Book Week 1984 6th – 13th October
All the signs are that CBW will be bigger than ever this year, thanks to the efforts of schools, librarians, book groups, booksellers and the like, who have organised all kinds of activities to get children and books together.
The promotional material has lively and witty illustrations by super David McKee and the national organisers, sensibly realising that not everybody chooses the first week of October for a book week, have arranged for the dates to be left off. If you want to know what’s on offer and what it costs, there is still time to send for details. There is for example a special bargain pack of assorted material for those on small budgets. There are two national competitions – for painting and poetry, and a story-writing competition in Woman magazine (finish the story Terry Jones has started). Theatres and Arts Centres have been major targets for organisers so keep your eyes open locally.
For further details, contact Dorothy Wood or Angela Toombs at the National Book League – 01-874 6361 or 01-870 9055.
EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHERS’ COUNCIL EXHIBITIONS
English and Library Books, 5-18
Regent Crest Hotel, Carburton Street, London W1 26th and 27th September, 12.00 – 7.00 p.m.
London Remedial ’84
Bloomsbury Crest Hotel, Coram Street, London WC1 16th and 17th October, 10.00 a.m. – 7.00 p.m.
Schools Computer Fair for Teachers
London: Bloomsbury Crest Hotel, Coram Street, London WC1 6th and 7th November, 9.00 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.
Manchester: Pembroke Halls, The Precinct, Worsley, Manchester 14th and 15th November, 9.00 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.
Bristol Festival for Children
As part of this first Arts Festival for Children in Bristol, George’s Bookshop is organising a Children’s Book Fair in the Victoria Rooms, 16th- 20th October, 10.00 a.m. – 7.00 p.m. Authors, live entertainment, workshops, exhibitions are all promised as well as, of course, hundreds of books. School groups, and individual children and their parents, will be welcome. Admission is free.
For information, contact Elizabeth Berry at George’s. Tel: Bristol (0272) 276602, Ext. 54.
Jessica Yates commemorates the well-known novelist and children’s author who died on 1st April this year.
Born in 1900, Elizabeth Goudge spent her childhood in Wells, Oxford, Ely and the Channel Islands – all to be used as settings for her fiction.
She won the 1947 Carnegie Medal for The Little White Horse, about the orphan Maria who goes to live in a Devon village and sorts out various romantic and political complications with the aid of the magical white horse and the `dog’ Wrolf (actually a unicorn and lion). Along with this book Knight paperbacks also have in print Linnets and Valerians, another family story where wrong is set to right; and the short Christmas story, I Saw Three Ships.
Several of her children’s books share characters with her adult fiction, for example Henrietta’s House, about a girl who finds her dream house. This, and The Valley of Song, about an early paradise governed by the signs of the Zodiac, are out of print. Lucky children may find them in libraries, and may also explore Goudge’s romantic and period fiction for adults.
Her fiction would now be classed as highly sentimental, yet within the books there are moments of tragedy and spiritual insight, and man-woman relationships are realistic as well as romantic.
Where is Spock?
Star Trek is having a re-run on our TV screens and the third film, Star Trek 111- The Search for Spock, is breaking new box office records in the United States.
It opened in London at the end of July and went on general release soon after. At the end of Star Trek 11 no one on the starship Enterprise could believe that Spock was really dead. They could certainly do with his help as they continue to battle for the future of the Galaxy. There’s a tie-in novel by Vonda N McIntyre based on the screenplay by Harve Bennett (Granada, £1.95).
Postman Pat goes International
Andre Deutsch, publisher of Postman Pat in hardback, say they have sold over 1’/4 million titles of the various books to date. Pat and Jess, the black and white cat, have regularly featured in the bestseller lists and now it seems Greendale’s very special postman is being exported too.
The BBC have sold transmission rights in the TV series across the world to Saudi Arabia, Iceland, Australia, Norway (to name but four countries). The books are following (56,000 for Norway, 3,000 in Welsh!) and of course so must the mugs, the clocks, the jigsaws, the pillowcases, etc. etc.
The Postman Pat costume owned by Deutsch and Scholastic (the paperback publishers) seen in Books for Keeps 26 has been touring non-stop since March and is well booked for the Autumn. In one shop the costume, inhabited by a patient sales rep, was kept autographing books for three hours.
Two new stories are out this Autumn from Deutsch: Postman Pat’s Thirsty Day (0 233 97675 2, £1.95) and Postman Pat Goes Sledging (0 233 97676 0, £1.95) – numbers nine and ten in this very successful series, written by John Cunliffe with pictures by Celia Berridge – based on the TV series created by Ivor Wood. There’s also a colouring book and an `activity’ book Postman Pat and his Village, containing a make-it-yourself model of Greendale village.
There’s lots on the Box this season including
- Six Stanley Bagshaw adventures, based on Bob Wilson’s delightfully funny rhyming cartoon books (Hamish Hamilton and Puffin), are scheduled to be networked from Yorkshire Television in the first week of November.
- The Irish Adventures of Worzel Gummidge – a new series starring the ever popular scarecrow in his Waterhouse and Hall incarnation. There is a TV tie-in book by the scriptwriters, from Sparrow. (See Reviews)
- Anna of the Five Towns -a five-part series based on Arnold Bennett’s classic novel starts on BBC in October.
Janet Whitaker, producer of this lively BBC Schools radio series, sends details of the Autumn term programmes:
`The main event of the Autumn term will be a new dramatisation of Homer’s The Odyssey by Leon Garfield in five episodes which we’ve called `The Wanderer’. Readers who know the vigour of The God Beneath the Sea which Leon wrote with Edward Blishen will realise that this should be a powerful and exciting new version of the Odyssey.
Later in the term we have a dramatisation of Rosemary Harris’s The Enchanted Horse. Although a very attractive picture book the story has been adapted for radio to enhance the magical quality of this humorous and exciting story with all the elements of the traditional Indian folk tale.
We end the term with the rollicking rhymes of Allan Ahlberg’s splendid A Pair of Sinners which, for those who don’t know it, is a tale of `baby skinners’ in Victorian London who accidentally try to strip a royal child and find themselves in no end of bother. Teacher’s Notes are available to accompany the series; the address to write to is: BBC Publications, School Orders Section, 144 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TH.