I was on holiday last week, when quite a lot seemed to happen in the world of children's literature. This is a catch up post to try to cover some of it. Perhaps the saddest news was the death of Diana Wynne Jones who was writing fantasy series long before Harry Potter was ever thought of. Here are the books of hers we stock - my absolute favourite is Fire and hemlock, though Howl's moving castle might be the most famous because it has been made into a film. An obituary has appeared in the Guardian.
Michael Gove, Education Secretary in the UK parliament, caused a bit of a stir by suggesting that children should read 50 books per year. This is certainly controversial given that many councils, particularly in England, are contemplating closing some of their libraries and school libraries are also under threat. So where do children get the books if they can't afford to buy them? As part of the debate, the Independent has also jumped in with its list of what those 50 books should be - a surefire way to put any child off reading in my opinion. See what you think.
Updating a beloved clasic is another way to cause controversy, and there are two developments here. Frank Cottrell Boyce is producing a sequel to Ian Fleming's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - read about it via the Guardian and the BBC - and Jacqueline Wilson is to update Five children and it by E Nesbit. Again, the Guardian has the details. The Nosy Crow blog puts the arguments for and against updates. If you want to read, or re-read, the originals we have both titles in stock.
The Eagle - the new film based on Rosemary Sutcliff's Eagle of the Ninth is out now and was reviewed favourably in Sunday's Observer and the Guardian even has an editorial about it, In praise of Rosemary Sutcliff. Again, you can borrow the book from us.
Finally, Booktrust has announced the winners of it's Best New Illustrators award. They are:
You can watch an audio-slideshow of their work being discussed by Anthony Browne, one of the judges and the current Children's Laureate. We don't have work by all the above - I've added a link to the catalogue for books illustrated by the ones we do.