Friday, 28 January 2011

Richard and Judy's Children's Bookclub

Richard and Judy have launched their children's book club. The club is made up of three categories - Reading together, Reading by yourself and Fluent reader - with six book titles in each.

Choices include Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo, Horrid Henry and the Football Fiend by Francesca Simon and The Wombles by Elisabeth Beresford.

Read more via the BBC or the Booktrust - the latter link contains a full list of featured titles. Many of the titles are in stock here.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Appy Talk

I've been contemplating a post about children's book apps for a while, and then up popped Kate Wilson's article in the latest Books for Keeps. Kate is Managing Director of Nosy Crow, a new children's publishing company which will include apps for children aged 2 to 7 in its output, as well as books for ages 0 to 14. Her article explains why they have decided to do this and the approach they are taking to apps - Kate doesn't believe they should be squashing existing books into a new format but creating original reading experiences for touch screen devices using their capacity for sound, animation and interactivity to tell stories in a new and engaging way. Kate makes the case much better than I can, so please read the article.

Someone else who has written about apps recently is Trevor Cairney in his blog Literacy, families and learning. He's covered them in three recent posts:
"Alice", the iPad and new ways to read picture books
Literacy and the iPad: a review of some popular apps
Literacy and the iPad: a second review of children's literature apps

Finally, apps are not just for fiction - they can help with all areas of the curriculum. Even the Scottish Government has noticed - see Help with school: there's an app for that from the Engage for Education site.

Friday, 7 January 2011

What's new? Crime blog for teens, Richard & Judy and other delights

Here's a round up of items that have caught my eye in the last few days:

Crime Central is a new blog for teens, set up by authors Keren David, Anne Cassidy, Gillian Philip and Linda Strachan. It's stated aims are "to celebrate crime fiction for teen readers. Find out about new books, leave your comments and reviews, read interviews with authors." There's not much there at the moment, it's one to watch, but there is a competition to win a signed copy of one of Anne Cassidy's books.

The Bookseller tells us that Richard and Judy will launch a new children's book club with W H Smith on the 27th January. The Children's Book Club will involve real families, with the books selected by a ­variety of children, and will have three categories: Reading Together (from pre-school to year 1), Developing Reader (7–9 years) and Fluent (any age from 8 years on).

Jill R Bennett has started a new review site, Red Reading Hub. Jill is an Early Years specialist and says "In these pages, I hope to be able to highlight books, both those recently published as well as ones that have been well and truly tried and tested, that ‘work’ with children either at home, playgroups, nurseries or schools. In some instances, there will be ideas for working with the books."

The latest winner of the Costa Children's Book prize is Jason Wallace for Out of the Shadows, a story set in Zimbabwe just after independence. Oops, I seem to have missed that one so I've ordered it for the Library now. You can read an interview with Jason Wallace on the Books for Keeps site and Booktrust has a reading guide to download.

Finally, it's time to elect a new Children's Laureate. Anthony Browne's tenure is coming to an end and suggestions for the next one are invited - previous Laureates have been Quentin Blake, Anne Fine, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Rosen so there are some hard acts to follow. There's also a competition for children to win tickets to the award ceremony in June. The closing date is 28th February.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Death of Dick King-Smith

Sad news for the beginning of the year - Dick King-Smith, author of The Sheep-Pig on which the film Babe was based, has died. This was just one of many titles he wrote - check our library collection for more. Just a few are illustrated below. There is already an obituary in the Guardian and I will add more as they come in. See also the Books for Keeps Authorgraph from a while back.

More obituaries:
Books for Keeps
Scribble City Central