Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Scottish Book Trust

The Scottish Book Trust website has recently had a make over and there is now a monthly e-mail newsletter which you can sign up to. I'm belatedly catching up with their August one which contains a couple of interesting children's literature items - the first is an exclusive online story for young people, The other side, by Marcus Sedgwick; the other is news of the Young Scottish Book Trust Blog, described as "thoughts, updates and other randomness from Scottish Book Trust's Children & Young People's team..." It's only got a few postings so far, including a guest entry from the aforementioned Marcus Sedgwick, but is worth keeping an eye on.

National Year of Reading - September

The National Year of Reading's September theme is "You are what you read" - use reading to celebrate and explore cultural, local and personal identities. Reading can help us find out more about who we are, and help us shape who we become - you could discover more about the places we come from and how others lived before us by reading about family or local history. However, many children just want to know “All about me”, so I've gone for the personal and called Jordanhill's September booklist exactly that. There are picture books and poetry books to encourage children to explore their sense of self, and a section of books on the human body, including a couple of fabulous pop-ups. All are in stock - shelfmarks can be found through the catalogue.

NYR itself has recently launched a new improved Reading Ideas section with fantastic and practical ideas for teens and families, adults and children as well as schools, businesses and publishers, on how to include reading in day-to-day activities.

Jacqueline Wilson and the swear word row

You might have heard last week about the row over one of Jacqueline Wilson's books (My sister Jodie) being removed from Asda because a customer complained about the use of a swear word in it. The publisher has now agreed to change one letter of the offending word when the book is reprinted so that it will read "twit". You can read the report in the Telegraph and make up your own mind - is this censorship, or is the use of such language merely a reflection of the way children talk in the playground anyway? We have a copy in our collection and I felt, given the public fuss, I should maybe note on the date label that some language might offend - although our books are more likely to be read by students than "real live children", if they are taking them out on placement, that might not be the case. On the other hand, I'm sure we have plenty other books with words which will offend somebody somewhere, but which have not been annotated. I've done it anyway, then students can decide for themselves.

Thursday, 21 August 2008


JacketFlap is a comprehensive children's book resource and social networking web site for people in the children's book industry. Over 2,700 published authors and illustrators are members, as well as many librarians, teachers and publishers. Facilities include 700+ children's book-related blogs, a database of 900,000+ books and reviews of titles on members' bookshelves.

Child Education PLUS

The September 2008 edition of this journal has arrived in the library. It has all sorts of useful ideas for use in the classroom with 4-7s, e.g. this month there are articles on teaching about festivals and rainforests, both popular topics judging by the number of books we lend on them. There are always some articles and reviews relevant to children's literature too. Here, there are reviews of picture books on a food theme, Karen Miller writes about her favourite children's book for this age group, Ronda and David Armitage's Lighthouse Keeper's Picnic, and Jayne Gould suggests using Jackie French's Diary of a wombat as a basis for a cross-curricular topic on animals and Australia. We don't have this in stock, but it looked so good I've ordered it.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Enid Blyton is Britain's favourite author.

Enid Blyton has been voted Britain's best-loved author in a survey which proves that the stories we read as children retain a special place in our affections. Roald Dahl was second and J K Rowling was third in a poll of adult readers. The first adult author was Jane Austen at number four - for more details, see the article in yesterday's Telegraph.

Children's Literature Update

Holidays etc have got in the way of work on the Children's Collection recently. However, the summer edition of Children's Literature Update - our current awareness index to articles held at Jordanhill - is now available for students to collect from the Library. Scarily, the post-graduate teaching courses start next week - where did the summer go?

I've already started collecting articles for the autumn edition and here are a few snippets:


Patee, A. (2008). A second look: Sweet Valley High. Horn Book Magazine. 84(4), pp. 413-417


Hunt, J. (2008). Worth a thousand words. Horn Book Magazine. 84(4), pp. 421-426.


Calvert, R. (2008). Children’s historical fiction. Use of English, 59(2), pp. 145-159.

Calvert, R. (2008). Children’s historical fiction: part two. Use of English, 59(3), pp. 215-230.


Rosen, M. (2008). All about picture books. Nursery World, 4133, pp. 19-22.


Selznick, B. (2008). Caldecott Medal Acceptance. Horn Book Magazine. 84(4), pp. 393-406

Mack, T. (2008). The amazing Brian Selznick: a profile in three acts. Horn Book Magazine. 84(4), pp. 408-411.