Thursday, 23rd June was a big day in the children's book world. It had long been set as the award date for the Carnegie and Greenaway medals, but a few days beforehand it began to look as if these would be upstaged when cryptic messages began to emanante from JK Rowling. What could they mean?
First, the Carnegie / Greenaway awards. These are presented annually by CILIP, the professional body for library and information workers. The Carnegie Medal is for the writer of an outstanding book for children and the Kate Greenaway Medal is for distinguished illustration in a book for children. This year's winners were Patrick Ness, for Monsters of men, and Grahame Baker-Smith for FArTHER (sic). Read more about them in CILIP's press release.
I've blogged about Patrick Ness several times before, including reviewing the Chaos walking books which I loved. I'm also happy to report that his acceptance speech included a fierce defence of libraries - read about it here in the Guardian. There is also an interview with him in today's Independent. You can borrow his books from us but, unfortunately, that's not yet true of Baker-Smith's book, which seems to have flown under my radar. However, I've ordered it now and, in the meantime, here is a slide-show of his work, again from the Guardian.
So what was Pottermore all about? "Pottermore is a free website that builds an exciting online experience around the reading of the Harry Potter books" - but you still have to go back on 31st July to find out more. Here's JK Rowling announcing it on YouTube and here again is the dependable Guardian. Clever marketing or unnecessary hype? You decide.
Finally, there was another piece of news yesterday which probably got a bit swamped by everything else that was going on. Penguin announced the winners of their cover design awards - the children's entries were illustrating James and the giant peach - you can see the winning and short-listed designs here.