Books for Keeps new website (www.booksforkeeps.co.uk) is now live! Thank you Arts Council England who gave us the grant in 2008 that has enabled the mammoth task of updating the previous website and of making our 30 year archive available on line to go ahead. And thank you Richard Hill, Books for Keeps’ co-founder and Managing Director, whose vision this was and who has worked tirelessly for almost two years to bring it to fruition.
Since Books for Keeps was launched in March 1980, it has been host to over 12,500 reviews, hundreds of author, poet and illustrator interviews and a plethora of articles about children’s books that have taken in every aspect of the field – from controversy about prescriptive criteria for Literacy to historical perspectives, from books for our multi-cultural society to psychoanalytic approaches in literature for children, from the role of the Children’s Laureate to how children’s dictionaries are devised. The magazine has been passionate in its commitment to children’s book illustration with articles dedicated to particular illustrators alongside pieces on visual literacy issues.
I have no shame in blowing the Books for Keeps trumpet. Inspired and enabled by Richard Hill, the magazine’s editors – Pat Triggs, Chris Powling and myself – have had the honour to preside over and add to one of the most unique, interesting and diverse collection of children’s book writings anywhere in the children’s book world. The best scholars, reviewers, authors and critics have written for Books for Keeps for 30 years. The magazine has held a mirror up to the children’s book world and reflected back its output, issues and preoccupations with intelligence, scholarship and commitment. All of this richness is now freely available.
On the new website, still very much in development (hence the Beta symbol), you will now find the entire Books for Keeps archive, from BfK No.1 (March 1980) to this our current issue.
Many new features have been built into the website. We especially want to draw your attention to the Forums. We have created a few for you to try out and comment in (you’ll need to be logged in to be able to do so) but feel free to post your own contributions and/or send us your suggestions for other Forum topics. And let us know what you think of the website: there’s a feedback Forum in which to post your comments.
A special Author and Illustrator section has been added which gathers together an author’s reviews, articles by or about them and any relevant news items which have been published in the magazine. We shall be inviting authors and/or their publishers to send us their biography and website details to further enhance each individual Author page.
The site has been designed to be as user friendly as possible with a clear design and easy navigation. The search capabilities have been very much enhanced with global functionality but with specific and advanced features too. Finding articles, authors, books and news items will now be much easier. And, as part of our wish to help the students and researchers of children’s books, articles, reviews and news can now be printed out.
Last but not least a very special thanks goes to the remarkable Steve Purkiss, website developer extraordinaire, who rescued the project at a critical moment, solved every technical problem put before him, and was a joy and privilege to work with. If ever you want a website, try Steve first at email@example.com.