News about book programmes this autumn on radio and television.
At Thames Television, Middle English is replacing Writer’s Workshop and About Books, though the producer, Peter Tabern, promises that the strong points of those programmes will be kept. (Some of them in fact are being included in the new series as repeats.) Commitment to encouraging reading is a major part of Middle English – it hopes to persuade children to take risks with their reading, try titles they might have ignored. Extracts from books will be dramatised and even animated. Elaine Moss is still the programme’s adviser on books.
The first of the new book programmes, Middle Pages, goes out on 13 October at 9.53 a.m. and again on 15 October at 11.39 a.m., fully networked. The programme will be presented by Willie Rushton and features the following titles:
Tig’s Crime, T R Burch (Heinemann/Fontana Lions)
The Midnight Fox, Betsy Byars (Puffin)
Ramona and her Father, Beverly Cleary (Hamish Hamilton/Puffin)
Break in the Sun, Bernard Ashley (Oxford/Puffin)
The programme in the About Books series on British Folktales and Legends is being repeated. This goes out on 1 December at 9.53 a.m. and on 3 December at 11.59 a.m., and features:
Robin Hood: His Life and Legend, Bernard Miles (Hamlyn)
Welsh Legends and Folk Tales, ed. Gwyn Jones (Puffin)
Abbey Lubbers, Banshees and Boggarts, Katharine Briggs (Kestrel)
Teachers’ notes and pupils worksheet are available for the autumn term. Comments and suggestions are welcome. Contact Peter Tabern, Middle Pages, Thames Television Ltd, 149 Tottenham Court Road, London WI P 9 LL.
Inside Pages, the series about books for 10 to 12 year-olds on BBC Schools Radio (Radio 4 VHF. Thursdays at 9.30 a.m.), has some changes this year. First of all it is expanding to two terms. Autumn and Spring. The programmes will still be broadcast fortnightly (to allow adequate reading time) so there will be ten programmes in all. The second change is that the final programme at the end of each term will be a New Books programme which will look at the very latest books hot from the publishers. The third change is that due to economies the accompanying Teacher’s Notes for the series has had to shrink in size but still contains as extensive annotated booklists as before and it should be easier this year to pin the booklists on the wall or photocopy them.
The programmes are:
1. School Days
2. Spine Chilling
3. Down Under (Australia)
5. New Books
2. Changing Place
3. At Sea
4. Animals at Risk
5. New Books
Books that have extracts in the programme include Gene Kemp’s hilarious The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tyler, an excellent new ghost story by Vivian Alcock The Haunting of Cassie Palmer, Paul Theroux’s beautifully descriptive London Snow, Jenny Overton’s witty The Thirteen Days of Christmas and an exciting and historical thriller Come Danger, Come Darkness set on Australia’s penal colony Norfolk Island.
The booklist is available from BBC Publications, 144 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TH, or Janet Whitaker, BBC Schools Radio, Broadcasting House, London WIA IAA.