Monday, 29 June 2009

Catherine Rayner article

The Herald's abc magazine carried an interview with Catherine Rayner on Saturday. Catherine, who has just won the Greenaway Medal for her picture book Harris finds his feet, is based in Edinburgh - in fact her frst book, Augustus and his smile, was commissioned by Little Tiger Press as a result of her degree show from Edinburgh College of Art. In the interview, she tells Rosemary Goring how her childhood love of animals has fed into her books - we have a copy of the article in the Library (Cuttings File no 1207) or you can access it online through our Nexis UK account. We also have both books mentioned, Augustus being part of a storysack.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Summer Reading Challenge

Children all over the UK are about to embark on a fantastical adventure and become Quest Seekers in the Reading Agency's 11th Summer Reading Challenge. The theme, the power of the imagination, will take young readers into a mysterious and wondrous land where they can discover the joy of reading and nurture a life-long love affair with books. As Scottish schools broke up yesterday, the challenge opens here on Monday in almost all Scottish public libraries.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Carnegie / Greenaway

CILIP's Carnegie and Greenaway Awards for 2009 have been announced. Siobhan Dowd has won the Carnegie Award for Bog child (David Fickling, 2008) and Catherine Rayner has won the Greenaway Award for Harris finds his feet (Little Tiger, 2008). Follow the link to the site for information about the authors and their books and video of the ceremony.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Lauren Child

See Sunday's Observer Magazine for an interview with Lauren Child, author of the popular Charlie and Lola books.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Children's writing

A couple of articles on creative writing in the latest edition of the National Association for the Teaching of English's Classroom journal, which is now in stock:

Gibbons, A. (2009). Back to the future – or putting the creative back in writing. NATE Classroom, Summer pp. 29-31.

Wrigley, S. (2009). Using storyboxes to develop language and thought. NATE Classroom, Summer pp. 14-17.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Deathwatch dash!

A new record has been set by author Nicola Morgan for the greatest number of separate school talks by one author in one day. To celebrate the publication of teen thriller Deathwatch, the Edinburgh based author visited six schools on Monday 15 June and spoke to over 700 pupils over the course of the day. The 'Deathwatch Dash' had audiences of pupils crammed into all available spaces, almost literally hanging from the rafters in the case of one school where the students were peering through the bars of a gallery. Deathwatch, a contemporary thriller featuring a stalker, insects, social networking sites and mental illness, is the culmination of a two-year project with pupils of Mary Erskine School in Edinburgh, who helped to write the book. Nicola is continuing her run of events this week and will be signing copies of Deathwatch at the Children's Bookshop, Edinburgh on Saturday 20 June, 11-1pm.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Picture books symposium

Glasgow University is hosting the 2nd International Symposium on Picturebooks, entitled Beyond borders: art, narrative and culture in picturebooks. It's a three day event, but there's one day, Saturday 19th September, specifically for practicioners in the field - e.g. teachers and librarians.

The focus on the Saturday morning will be on Scottish picturebooks, highlighted with a talk from Mairi Hedderwick, author of the famous Katie Morag picturebooks, who will also be exhibiting some of her artwork during the Symposium. Dr Maureen Farrell will introduce this topic with a talk on Scottish picturebooks: “Jings! Crivens! Help ma Boab! - It’s a Scottish Picturebook!”

The rest of the day will include papers by expert international speakers on different aspects of picturebooks, ranging from literary and artistic features to children’s responses to picturebooks in the classroom. The topics will be of particular relevance to those working with the new definitions of text and literacy within the Curriculum for Excellence. There will also be opportunities to participate in discussions after each panel.

The event costs £30 - for more information and to book, see its website.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Scottish Book News

The Scottish Book Trust Children and Young People's Newsletter for June is out. Its book of the month is Nicola Morgan's novel Deathwatch, an exciting and gripping read about young Cat McPherson, a girl who finds herself being watched - but by whom? We haven't got this one yet (it's on order) but have plenty of other titles by Morgan. There are also interviews with the shortlisted authors for the Royal Mail Awards in three categories - Early Years, Younger Readers and Older Readers - in the Listen Up podcast section. Sign up for the email newsletter on the SBT site.

New Children's Laureate - Anthony Browne

The 6th Children's Laureate was announced yesterday - he's Anthony Browne. He takes over from Michael Rosen and will serve until 2011. Browne is a prize-winning author and illustrator (famous titles include Gorilla and Willy the Wimp - for more see our catalogue) and intends to use his term as Laureate to promote picture books. In his acceptance speech, he said: "'Picture books are special – they're not like anything else. Sometimes I hear parents encouraging their children to read what they call proper books (books without pictures), at an earlier and earlier age. This makes me sad, as picture books are perfect for sharing, and not just with the youngest children. As a father, I understand the importance of the bond that develops through reading picture books with your child. We have in Britain some of the best picture book makers in the world, and I want to see their books appreciated for what they are – works of art." The BBC has also published an interview and video to mark the occasion.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Shiver and Chill

Books from Scotland's children's choice this month is a hotly-anticipated read - Shiver (Floris, 2009) is the sequel to Alex Nye's award-winning Chill (Floris, 2006). A year on from laying the ghost of Catherine Morton to rest, the Morton children thought that they had uncovered all their family secrets. But when Dunadd House looks set to be sold, the unexpected starts happening again and the children discover that history has one more surprise up its sleeve...Chill won the 2007 Royal Mail Award for 8-11 year olds and many of the book's young fans suspected that there was still some unfinished business at Dunadd House. Will the author resolve the mystery once and for all or keep them guessing? There's only one way to find out! You can borrow Chill from the library already; Shiver is on order.

To mark the launch of the book, Alex will be visiting schools, libraries and bookshops across Scotland to inspire, educate and motivate young readers. Contact Laura Armstrong at Floris Books for details, or to arrange an event.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Horn Book

The May/June issue of The Horn Book Magazine has just arrived. It has a running theme of "Food for thought" with various food-related snippets, and a longer article by Linda Sue Park: Still hot: great food moments in children's literature. Food is deeply ingrained in our different cultures - apparently, it is only the fourth thing that immigrants lose through the generations after dress, language and religion. Park approaches the subject both as a writer (using food can identify characters and settings, and putting people together to develop relationships is easily done over a meal) and as a reader (she goes through each meal of the day picking out favourite passages from books). I was delighted that for dinner she picked a section from one of my favourite books - Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt. Not read it? Then you're missing a wonderful heroine, Dicey Tillerman, who leads her younger siblings on a walk hundreds of miles long to reach their estranged grandmother when their mother disappears. It's the start of a series, so lots more in store after that.

Other articles include an interview with Sarah Dessen. I hadn't heard of her, but we do have one of her books, Truth about forever (Puffin, 2008), a teenage novel in which the death of the heroine's father takes place before the book actually begins, but sets in motion all the things that happen to her. Lizza Aiken writes about her mother, the respected children's author Joan Aiken, and Debby Dahl Edwardson writes about the implications of worldview in children's books, those that reflect the child's own worldview and those that allow them insight into another culture. She uses the experience of her own children growing up in Alaska to illustrate this. Finally, Janet Hamilton asks What makes a good science book?

Check out the Horn Book in the library, or see its website.