THE OTHER AWARD 1986
The Other Award was inaugurated in 1975 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. It is an ‘alternative award’ given for ‘progressive books of literary merit’.
This year four books have been declared equal winners by the Other Award panel of judges.
Say it Again, Granny, John Agard, ill. Susanna Gretz, Bodley Head, 0 370 30676 7, £5.50.
This witty collection of poems by Guyanese poet John Agard is based on Caribbean proverbs. These proverb poems make for good reading aloud and are a marvellous introduction to the oral tradition of Caribbean literature for children who don’t know it, as well as bringing something well-loved and familiar to those who do. Lively drawings by Susanna Gretz.
The Bus Driver, Anne Stewart, photos by Chris Fairclough, Hamish Hamilton, 0 241 11739 9, £3.95
The Bus Driver is a most welcome addition to the few books on working lives for younger readers which do feature women. Oxford bus driver Pip Walker operates her bus, collects fares, pays in takings and meets up with colleagues in the station canteen. With its clear, simple text and friendly, informative photographs The Bus Driver also conveys the responsibility and care shown by bus drivers in the provision of this vital public service.
Starry Night, Catherine Sefton, Hamish Hamilton, 0 241 11795 X, £5.95
15-year-old Kathleen, who lives on a farm near the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, moves from innocence to painful awareness as she tries to unearth a family secret. Kathleen forms and discards theories while arguing with a friend from Belfast about sex, politics, Ireland. This sensitively written novel in which family relations, rural life and romantic Republicanism are intimately probed raises many important issues with teenage readers.
The People Could Fly, Virginia Hamilton, ill. Leo and Diane Dillon, Walker Books, 0 7445 0524 0, £9.95
These splendidly shaped Black American folk tales make up a collection to delight both ear and eye which will appeal both to the very young and to young adults. Animal stories, tales of enchantment and romance, tall tales, riddling stories and slaves’ stories are all included and told in a colloquial idiom which reflects the shared linguistic patterns of speech and dialect between West Indians and Black Americans. Powerful black and white illustrations complement and enhance the work.
The panel named three runners-up.
More Valuable Than Gold by Striking Miners’ Children, ed Martin Hoyles and Susan Hemmings, Martin Hoyles Publishing, 0 9510697 0 5, £1.50. Trade distribution: Turnaround. Copies by post from MVTG, 10 West Bank, London N16 5DG.
Poems and short essays by young people from seven to sixteen; a unique response and a historical record as well as being both moving and exhilarating to read. Proceeds of the book go to Women Against Pit Closures.
Jyoti’s Journey, Helen Ganly, Deutsch, 0 233 97899 2, £5.95
Indian girl Jyoti goes to a village wedding and then leaves for England with her mother to join her father and start a new life. Feelings and moods are strongly conveyed by the textures and colours in the stunning collage pictures.
A Little Love, Virginia Hamilton, Gollancz, 0 575 03651 6, £6.95
Sheema sets off with her boyfriend, Forrest, to trace the father she has never met in the hope that finding him will make her feel complete. She comes to realise that it is within herself to make life what she wants it to be. A fine novel that conveys perceptively the experience of a young Black American and her family.
A poster featuring the four winners is available FREE from The Other Award, 4 Aldebert Terrace, London SW8 1BL. (Please enclose a large stamped addressed envelope).
BOOKS EVENTS AHEAD
Huddersfield Book Binge
A fish finger and chip tea followed by lots of entertaining authors is the menu for an exciting book event organised by the Children’s Bookshop in Huddersfield and sponsored by the local paper – The Huddersfield Examiner.
Special guests: Tommy Boyd (of TVAM Wide Awake Club), Paul Jackson (paper folder extraordinaire), Ann Jungman (creator of Vlad the vegetarian vampire), Gene Kemp (who needs no introduction) and Little Dracula (from Martin Waddell’s cartoon books; he is coming with his ‘Mum’ who passes on his messages as he is very shy).
Fancy dress will be worn.
Monday, 20 October – 4.00-6.00. Ladbroke Mercury Hotel. Tickets £2.50.
SEARCH FOR A NEW PICTURE BOOK TALENT
The Macmillan Prize
Last year Macmillan Children’s Books announced a prize for a child’s picture book from an unpublished student artist. Well over 100 entries were received from art colleges all over the country and the standard was high.
First prize (£500) went to John Watson of the Royal College of Art for The Secret Club.
John Watson’s book combines visual and verbal humour to create a zany world of secret helpers tackling bizarre problems with ingenuity. The underlying theme of The Secret Club provides a consistent background to a series of original and very funny jokes portrayed in wonderfully vigorous drawings.’
Second prize (£300) went to Mark Southgate of Manchester Polytechnic for The White Cat.
‘The story is a retelling of a traditional tale. Mark Southgate’s delicate line and water colour illustrations show a fairy tale world where wooden horses can fly and a tiny dog is found in an acorn.’
Third prize (£100) went to Andrew Midgley of Salford College of Technology for Imagine.
‘What does the world look like to a fly, a dog, a bird, a sloth? Andrew Midgley shows us entertaining and unusual views to make a book which lives up to its title.’
The jury for the prize consisted of Allan Ahlberg, Quentin Blake, Raymond Briggs, Jill Murphy and Michael Wace, Publishing Director of Macmillan Children’s Books.
Watch out for the winning books to be published. Macmillan are repeating the competition in 1986/87.
NORTHERN CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL
Seven local authorities join with schools, libraries, bookshops, publishers and other groups in a great burst of events and activities. Thirty authors, illustrators and storytellers will meet children in schools and libraries across the north-east region.
Saturday, 8 November is Gala Day at Eldon Square Recreation Centre, Newcastle. Everyone welcome. It’s FREE.
Contact: Elizabeth Hammill, The Bookhouse, Ridley Place, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Tel. 091 2616128.
SOUND & VISION EXTRA
- Don’t forget to watch out for The Worst Witch, a one-hour film based on Jill Murphy’s stories – promised on ITV around Hallowe’en.
- The Antelope Company returns. A new series featuring the intrepid Lilliputians from Return of the Antelope will be shown soon. Bodley Head have Willis Hall’s story version of his screenplay: The Antelope Company Ashore.
- The film of S E Hinton’s That was Then, This is Now is due for release this autumn.
- Guardian award-winning Henry’s Leg by Ann Pilling has been adapted for TV in six parts. To be screened twice-weekly on ITV (Mondays and Thursdays) starting on 27 October.
Sorry but we’ve had to increase the price of the UK BfK annual subscription by 4.5% from £6.60 to £6.90 as from 1 September 1986.