Saturday, 27 March 2010

Children's book miscellany

Stuff about specific authors:

David Almond has won the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Award. Every other year IBBY presents this to a living author and illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children's literature.

Theresa Breslin's web page is currently advertising a drama competition based on her latest novel, Prisoner of the Inquisition, in which secondary schools can win £1000 worth of books in a competiton.

Morris Gleitzman tells the Perth Writers Festival (i.e. the Australian one) about his latest book, and how he became a writer, in an hour long podcast.

Meg Harper writes about school visits in Being Nice - if you are planning on organising an author visit, read this first and learn how not to do it!

Eric Hill celebrates Spot's 30th birthday in the Guardian with an audio slideshow showing how he draws 'my little puppy' and explaining how fell into writing the books almost by accident.

More general stuff:

Author Hotline is a school resource of exclusive author, illustrator and poet profiles giving a unique insight into the creative process and enabling young readers to connect with published professionals.

Barrington Stoke publishes fantastic books for dyslexic and struggling readers. We have a selection of their books in our catalogue and link to them from our Reluctant Readers page. For an opinion piece on them, see Bookwitch's blog.

Mrs P is an award-winning free interactive digital storybook destination - classic children’s stories brought to life by Kathy Kinney as Mrs. P.

Storytubes is a US site where kids enter a competiton to make short videos about their favourite books. Award winning entries are on the site - many of the titles will be known to Scottish children too and would make great introductions to the books, or they might give you ideas for your own videos.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Heroes / sheroes update

Vote on Lucy Coats' 7 heroes / sheroes of children's literature on her Scribble City blog by 24th March - if you don't know what I'm talking about, see the post two below this one!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Books for Keeps

The latest Books for Keeps has just arrived in the library. As well as the usual news and reviews you will find:

Rosemary Stones on the children's books of the decade.
A retrospective on Brian Wildsmith.
Martin Salisbury's top 10 art titles.
An Authorgraph article on Elizabeth Laird.
A Classics in Short feature on Rosemary Sutcliff's Eagle of the Ninth.

Well worth checking out.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Heroes / sheroes

Lucy Coats has responded to the Guardian's illustrated list of 10 of the best children's book heroes with a poll of her own. She doesn't agree with all the Guardian's choices - read why on her blog, Scribble City Central, where she's asking you to come up with your own top 5 heroes and sheroes. You have to do this by Friday 19th when she will collate the entries and come up with two top 5s. There are prizes to win too! I haven't got my own top 5s together yet but I've backed up the person who voted for Cynthia Voigt's Dicey Tillerman. Homecoming is one of my favourite books, about a young girl whose mother has abandoned her family. Dicey leads her younger brothers and sister on a long journey to find their estranged grandmother. She's a great character - see our catalogue for this and Cynthia's other titles and please borrow them and read them!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Coming soon 2: more films of children's books

With the news that Disney is rebranding its film of Rapunzel as Tangled, Jim Crace in yesterday's Guardian imagines what other children's stories and fairy tales could be made more appealing to boys - Malice in Wonderland for example? I've already mentioned the Percy Jackson film and the forthcoming BBC production of Saci Lloyd's Carbon Diaries (click on the films tag below to see all relevant posts) but don't think I've covered Cressida Cowell's How to train your dragon which is due to come out in a few months time - we have it and other books in the series in the Library.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Cathy Forde's first play

Author of teenage novels, Catherine Forde, has written her first play, Empty. It's part of a season of three new plays written for young people and produced by the National Theatre of Scotland. Forde describes it as black comedy, and it centres round many parents' nightmare, the party that gets out of hand when they are on holiday. Read more in today's Herald and check out Cathy Forde's books from the library.

What boys like

Here's a list from new publisher Nosy Crow who conducted a small survey to discover what boys from 6-9 years old liked to read about. These are the top 5:
  1. The future
  2. Big zappers (i.e. weapons)
  3. Outer space
  4. Centre of the earth
  5. Sharks
 Follow the link to see the full list. How does it compare to your experiences? Let Nosy Crow know!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Children's book miscellany

This post is an update for several links I haven't had time to blog about individually in the last couple of weeks. I'll start with ones about specific authors. Katherine Paterson is currently serving as the US's equivalent of our Children's Laureate, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Read for your life in Public School Insights is an interview in both podcast and transcript while Fiction Focus's Tuesday Spotlight collects together a number of links, articles and interviews as well as the trailer for the film of Bridge to Terabithia. The latest Horn Book (yet to arrive in the Library) is also largely devoted to Paterson.

Who else? In alphabetical order - much loved picture book authors Janet and Allan Ahlberg feature in Trevor Cairney's blog, Literacy, families and learning; Michael Foreman is interviewed in Write Away and Mo Willems, loved for Don't let the pigeon drive the bus, talks to

Films and classics next. Lucy Coats wonders if the Percy Jackson film The Lightning Thief, from Rick Riordan's book, in which the hero discovers that not only is he the son of Poseidon but Zeus is after him for a crime he hasn't committed, will reignite interest in Greek myths. Again, there's a movie trailer to enjoy. Tim Burton's film of Alice in Wonderland is also out, and in the Guardian, AS Byatt "takes another trip down the rabbit hole to celebrate classics she first enjoyed as a child".

Some more about reading itself: boys read as much as girls but prefer the simpler books (Independent); why kids re-read books (Literacy, families and learning); how to make reading cool (Guardian); and sharing picture books, a series of Book Trust videos.

Finally, Curious pages is a blog I've been dipping into for a while. It's billed as Inappropriate Books for Kids, which really seems to mean old-fashioned. The link I've included is to a 1971 Snoopy book. Recent posts include one on Shel Silverstein, complete with video, and another on Florence Parry Heide who wrote the Treehorn books. I love it, but then I'm of that sort of vintage.

Friday, 5 March 2010

World Book Day - the Scottish story

Children all over the country celebrated World Book Day yesterday, as reported in today's Herald. A highlight was the live event at the BBC featuring Michael Rosen, which was also watched online by children in over 900 schools. This is the first in a series of Meet Our Author events to be organised by the Scottish Book Trust - this link includes a report and a video.  The Herald article also refers to a survey of parents, organised by Munch Bunch, to mark World Book Day by finding the top 20 bedtime stories - the favourite was Eric Carle's Very hungry caterpillar. The full list is in the Herald link above.

Ali Sparkes and the Blue Peter Prize

Ali Sparkes won the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award his week for her novel Frozen in Time - the adventures of two children cryonically frozen for half-a-century and then returned to life in 2009. Read more about it and the other winning books (see graphic below) on the Booktrust site, and check out the interview with Ali Sparkes in Wednesday's Guardian.

I was caught out by these prizes - the books aren't in this library yet, but will be very soon.