Friday, 30 April 2010

More on the Carnegie shortlist

The excellent Bookbag has full reviews of all the books shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and here's an equally excellent Prezi as prepared by my friend Anne Robinson, Librarian at Dixie School. It's got summaries and useful links - just ignore the bits at the end specifically for the Dixie pupils. Let me know what you think of the books!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Picture Kelpies: Scottish story books

Floris Books saw a gap in the market for picture books with characters, storylines and landscapes which Scottish children could relate to and this led to its new series Picture Kelpies. Launched on 22 April, the first three titles are: The Big Bottom Hunt by Lari Don, illustrated by Gabby Grant; My Cat Mac by Margaret Forrester and Sandra Klaassen, and You Can't Play Here! written and illustrated by Angus Corby. Further titles will be released twice a year to build an extensive library of Scottish picture books. For details, see the Picture Kelpies' new website which has information about the books plus games, puzzles and details of related events. The three titles are on order for this library.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Carnegie & Greenaway Awards

Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell have been shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie and Greenaway medals respectively - for the same book! Neil wrote and Chris illustrated The Graveyard Book - a double nomination that hasn't happened since 1980 when Peter Dickinson and Michael Foreman were both nominated for City of gold (Peter Dickinson went on to win the Carnegie).

The Carnegie shortlist (for writing) also boast two previous winners, Philip Reeve and Terry Pratchett, and all eight titles feature survival in the face of challenging issues such as natural disaster, racism or terrorism - and not a vampire in sight.

The Greenaway shortlist (for illustration) features seven first timers, as well as Chris Riddell who has won twice before, and has a varied cast of dogs, cats, forest fauna, rabbits in top hats, graveyard ghosts, imaginary headgear, a bizarre crowning glory and a band of kids determined to get their own back on a horrible teacher.

Scottish Book Trust has recently toured with David Roberts and Chris Riddell and the links lead to video highlights of the tours (and they have many other useful videos too). Their audio page also features material on Chris Riddell and Neil Gaiman. For more recent stuff on Neil, see this trailer for Instructions, a new picture book, via CMIS Primary Focus, and follow his positive views on libraries (great guy!) via the Book Case blog and a podcast from Minnesota Public Radio

The Carnegie shortlist on Amazon:

The Greenaway shortlist on Amazon:

And of course we either have, or will have very soon, all these titles to borrow from the library. The winners will be announced on 24th June.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Footballers challenge boys' reading apathy

A National Literacy Trust study has revealed that a third of boys agree with the statement "I can’t find anything to read that interests me". Maybe this will help: the NLT has launched the 2010 Premier League Reading Stars and the Scottish Premier League Reading Stars seasons. The latter features 12 players from different clubs, including both halves of the Old Firm, talking about what they love reading. There are also interactive games and downloads. See also our own Football section on our Books for Boys webpages.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Balated birthday post: Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary was 94 last week - she's the award winning wirter of the Ramona books amongst other things. Read an interview with her in the School Library Journal and borrow some of her books from us.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Maw Broon's Cooking with Bairns

Do you like apple pie? If so, you won't be able to resist this one. It's not my usual subject matter, but it is children's literature of a very scrummy kind! From Books from Scotland: "This latest in the hugely popular series of cookbooks inspired by The Broons is aimed at helping children master basic cookery techniques while learning to make simple, healthy meals. Over 40 recipes prepared by leading chef, food writer, lecturer and critic Catherine Brown are brightly illustrated with step-by-step instructions. And of course there are notes in the margin from Horace Broon, jokes from the twins, and cuttings from The Broons comic strips." From the link above you can download a double-page spread for apple pie and read an interview with the authors. And in Maw Broon's own words "We think the maist important thing is no' tae gie up. Makin' a mistake may no' taste sae guid but it's ane o' the best ways tae learn. A' the best cooks mak' mistakes. Just hae another go!"

PS for those not familiar with The Sunday Post newspaper, The Broons has been a popular comic strip since 1936.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Children's book news

It's the Easter Vacation here and our system is down for 2 days for maintenance. That's a chance to spend time rounding up the latest articles and children's book sites to hit my inbox, so here they are.
  • Did you know The Very Busy Spider turned 25 last month? Read more on Eric Carle's blog.
  • A new website has been set up to celebrate the work of children's author Rosemary Sutcliff who died in 1992.
  • William Mayne died recently, aged 82, and the Guardian published his obituary. His award-winning children's books were somewhat overshadowed by his indecency conviction in 2004 so have not been popular in recent years.
  • A good general site for finding websites for children's authors is Pickabook - it's actualy an online bookshop, but has this and other useful information such as a list of award winners.
  • Lit2Go is a free online collection of stories and poems in Mp3 format. It's also compatible with iTunes.
  • Is reading an unpopular pastime? New National Literacy Trust findings from a major study of 17,089 pupils from 112 schools reveal that only half (50.6%) of young people enjoy reading very much or quite a lot. Read a summary here (includes link to full report).

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Young Writers Awards

Scottish Book Trust is currently on the lookout for three enthusiastic writers (between the ages of 14 and 17) to participate in their Young Writers Awards. Winners could have the chance to work with award winning novelist Catherine Forde. For details of how to enter see SBT's webpage. (Closes 31st May).