|Jeremy de Quidt|
October 2008 Archives
Moniza Alvi for Europa
Peter Bennet for The Glass Swarm
Ciaran Carson for For All We Know
Robert Crawford for Full Volume
Maura Dooley for Life Under Water
Mark Doty for Theories and Apparitions
Jen Hadfield for Nigh-No-Place
Mick Imlah for The Lost Leader
Glyn Maxwell for Hide Now
Stephen Romer for Yellow Studio
The winner will receive their prize of £15,000 on January 12 from Eliot's widow Valerie Eliot, who will also present the shortlisted poets with cheques for £1,000. Previous winners include Les Murray, Ted Hughes, Carol Ann Duffy and Seamus Heaney.
Marsh Award Shortlist
My Brother Johnny by Francesco D'Adamo translated from Italian by Sian Williams (Aurora Metro Press, 2007)
When the Snow Fell by Henning Mankell translated from Swedish by Laurie Thompson (Andersen Press, 2007)
Letters from Alain by Enrique Perez Diaz translated from Spanish by Simon Breden (Aurora Metro Press, 2008)
Tina's Web by Alki Zei translated from Greek by John Thornley (Aurora Metro Press, 2007)
Toby Alone by Timothée de Fombelle translated from French by Sarah Ardizzone illustrated by François Place (Walker Books, 2008)
Message in a Bottle by Valérie Zenatti translated from French by Adriana Hunter (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2008)
The Judging Panel
·Patricia Crampton - winner of the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation 1999
·Wendy Cooling - Book Consultant, author and critic.
·Dr Gillian Lathey - Director of the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature, Roehampton University
·Dr Colin Niven OBE - Former Headmaster
·Becky Stradwick - former Head of Children's Books at Borders Children's Books
The award is administered by the English- Speaking Union and sponsored by the Marsh Christian Trust.
Anthony Horowitz will present the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation 2009, at a ceremony at the English-Speaking Union, on 20th January 2009. The Award of £2000 will go to the winning translator.
The Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation was designed to spotlight the high quality and diversity of translated fiction for young readers and is presented biennially. Since its inception, in 1996, there has been a steady increase in the number of children's books translated into English and published in Britain. For the current award the list of submissions has increased substantially and includes books translated from Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Icelandic, Italian, Spanish (including an entry from a Cuban author), Swedish and Yiddish.
Davie Almond's award-winning children's book about transformation has been transformed into an opera. The author explains how two small boys showed him the way...
Braham, Tod and I spent a sunlit weekend in a Northumbrian garden with house martins swooping over us and larks singing. We talked about what had to be retained, what had to be cast out. I stripped away whole sections of the book and made the first attempts at a libretto. I tried to turn the dialogue into verse, but we agreed that an approach like that just lost the natural poetic rhythms of the characters' voices and blurred the story's edge of darkness. In the coming months we became good friends. We continued to meet, to think, to speculate. At that time, we were on our own. We had no commission from any theatre or opera house. But we knew that our project was coming to life, and that the perfect commissioners would come along... DAVID ALMOND
The author of Skellig tells Nicolette Jones how he turns forms of hell into something positive...
Almond's books have now sold almost a million copies altogether - one in the eye for the agent who once told him, "I can't take you on because I already have a couple of Northern working-class writers on my list." On November 24, an operatic version of Skellig will open for five days at The Sage in Gateshead. Almond wrote the libretto himself, to music by Tod Machover. "The story was a soundscape anyway: a crying baby, heartbeats, birds. Music suits it," he says.
There is also an exhibition devoted to Almond's books currently on at Seven Stories, the Centre for the Children's Book, in Newcastle. Designed to stimulate children to write, the show locates the places in Felling that Almond writes about, and lists his favourite vocabulary: plain, unfussy concrete nouns and dialect words.
Of his school friends, Almond seemed least likely to stay close to home, but has surprised himself by discovering how rich an inspiration his youth has been, with its happiness and its griefs, and by becoming a leading celebrant of his local culture.
Recommended feature by Nicolette Jones
Stumbled on this by chance in Facebook.
What an excellent book trailer...
US YA author Maureen Johnson set up a social network site to help the Obama campaign. Recent additions include an essay by David Levithan.
Amnesty International hosted a special launch event last night for the short film Everybody to be shown in cinemas as a trailer to High School Musical 3 as well as other selected films throughout the UK from October 31st. The film - which can also be viewed online - is based on five illustrations from the book We Are All Born Free, The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, also launched at the event last night.
List of illustrators contributing to We Are All Born Free:
John Burningham, Niki Daly, Korky Paul, Jane Ray, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ole Könnecke, Piet Grobler, Fernando Vilela, Polly Dunbar, Bob Graham, Alan Lee, Hong Sung Dam, Frané Lessac, Sybille Hein, Marie-Louise Gay, Jessica Souhami, Debi Gliori, Satoshi Kitamura, Gusti, Catherine and Laurence Anholt, Jackie Morris, Brita Granström, Gilles Rapaport, Nicholas Allan, Axel Scheffler, Chris Riddell, Marcia Williams, Peter Sis.
The photos from the event, not taken by me, are reproduced courtesy of Colman Getty.
Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, speaking
Korky Paul with his illustration from We Are All Born Free, article 4
Jessica Souhami with her illustration from We Are All Born Free, article 18
Catherine and Laurence Anholt with their illustration from We Are All Born Free, article 22
Satoshi Kitamura with his illustration from We Are All Born Free, article 20
Halifax-born children's author Kate Thompson refuses to put age guides on her books. Virginia Mason finds out why...
Actually the piece barely mentions the age-banding issue - just touches on it at the start. It's a general feature about the author, promoting her new book Highway Robbery
Fairy tales defended (viz Richard Dawkins)
The net is making us good at quick decisions - but there is a cost...
according to a US researcher, who has written a book about his findings. Look interesting.
As with "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," his mission is to reclaim a children's classic and resharpen its edges.
"The story is obviously a classic with iconic images and ideas and thoughts," he said. "But with all the movie versions, well, I've just never seen one that really had any impact to me. It's always just a series of weird events. Every character is strange, and she's just kind of wandering through all of the encounters as just a sort of observer."
Austrailian actress Mia Wasikowska will be Burton's Alice in the 2010 release and Johnny Depp will play the Mad Hatter.
Librarians have thrown their weight behind the campaign to keep age ranges off children's books, saying they will ignore the classifications and describing them as potentially harmful to children's enjoyment of reading...
Carousel Issue #40 out now
includes interview feature with Gillian McClure; Helen Craig writes about her son's mother-in-law, Philippa Pearce, and about the book Finder's Magic; there are features on John Vernon Lord and Mo Willems; and there's an article on We Are All Born Free, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures... as well as all the usual reviews, and a Christmas supplement...
Observer Review - YA Fiction by Geraldine Brennan, featuring
Jackdaw Summer by David Almond
"rich and deeply satsifying tale of lives turned around by a foundling"
Bloodchild by Tim Bowler
"Bowler is good at capturing the distress suffered by sensitive adolescent boys"
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
"The brutality of the set-up... is softened by a witty playful text"
Hang A Thousand Trees With Ribbons by Ann Rinaldi
"tells a complex and sometimes harrowing tale through a voice that readers will care about"
Observer Review - Children's Fiction by Lisa O'Kelley, featuring
A Finder's Magic by Philippa Pearce
"has a valedictory feel, gathering together [Pearce's] favourite themes - love, time, youth, age"
Kaspar Prince of Cats by Michael Morpurgo
"a classic Morpurgo tale"
Sylvie and the Songman by Tim Binding
"charming and original tale, ably told"
Tales of Terror from the Black Ship by Chris Priestley
"guaranteed to give you nightmares"
Picture Books reviewed by Kate Kellaway, featuring
The Lion Who Ate Everything by Tobias Hill
"fantastically toothy picture book"
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Lauren Child and Polly Borland
"Lauren Child stirs magic into the mix"
The Pencil by Allan Ahlberg and Bruice Ingman
I'm A Hummingbird, I Hum by Joanna Skipwith
"a charming one-off"
How To Be A Baby: By me, The Big SIster by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Sue Heap
"psychologically sound, entertaining story to shore up the dented ego of an older child faced with a new baby"
Govenor General Award Shortlist
Governor-General's Awards for Children's Literature
Alma Fullerton : Libertad: Fitzhenry and Whiteside
John Ibbotson : The Landing : Kids Can Press
Dianne Linden : Shimmerdogs : Thistledown Press/ Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Shenaaz Nanji : Child of Dandelions : Second Story Press
Mariko Tamaki : Skim : Groundwood Books
Isabelle Arsenault : text Emily Dickinson: My Letter to the World and Other Poems: Kids Can Press
Josee Bisaillon: The Emperor's Second Hand Clothes: text Ann Millyard : Smith, Bonappetit and Son
Stephane Jorisch : The Owl and the Pussycat : text Edward Lear : Kids Can Press
Matt James: Yellow Moon Apple Moon: text Pamela Porter : Groundwood Books
Kim Le Fave : Shin-Chi's Canoe : text Nicola I. Campbell : Groundwood Books
Shortlist for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award ( now one of the principal Canadian awards).
Carnation,Lily,Lily,Rose: The Story of a Painting - Hugh Brewster : Kids Can Press
Darkwing - Kenneth Oppel: HarperCollins Publishers
Elijah of Buxton - Christopher Paul Curtis : Scholastic Canada
Eye of the Crow: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His First Case - Shane Peacock : Tundra Books
Please, Louise! : Frieda Wishinsky : Illustrated Marie-Louise Gay: Groundwood Books
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
...Every page is crowded with invention, both funny and scary, such as the dour Miss Lupescu, who comes to teach Bod unpleasant lessons, or the final mythology of why Bod is being hunted. Gaiman's villains are a creation so creepy I would happily read a whole other novel just about them. And yes, they are indeed a pack of terrifying murderers, but children's books have always been filled with death - you can't have an orphan without at least two dead people, after all - and Gaiman's ultimate lesson is exactly right: get to know it, make friends with it, then forget about it and live your life. PATRICK NESS
The vagaries of The Times website's link indexing means that tomorrow's Sunday Times selection by Nicolette Jones can be blogged a day early while, if Amanda Craig has a review in today's paper (I don't have my paper copy yet) it can't be located...
The Boy In The Dress by David Walliams, ill. Quentin Blake
His [Walliams] is not the finest writing, and the book has moments of self-indulgent zaniness: two pages of "aaaaaas" convey wailing; three pages of "hahahas" laughter. But it has a light touch and Quentin Blake's illustrations show us the awful teachers and the celebratory moments with apposite joie de vivre. Everyone is on the side of freedom and tolerance by the end, for which the book must be applauded. NICOLETTE JONES
Teen Reading Trends: 2008-2009
An Interview With the YALSA President
|Giles Andrae & Katharine McEwen|
Michael Rosen's commentary, accompanying previously blogged iterm about poetry in schools...
"poetry needs to be in the spaces between everything else in school. It needs to be just in the air and around everyone. It should be on the walls, in assemblies, in corners and in the books that are around..."
Poetry In Decline
Tes article published last Friday Oct 17
National Book Award Finalists
YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATURE
Laurie Halse Anderson, Chains (Simon & Schuster)
Kathi Appelt, The Underneath (Atheneum)
Judy Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied (Scholastic)
E. Lockhart, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (Hyperion)
Tim Tharp, The Spectacular Now (Alfred A. Knopf)
Verna Wilkins, FOUNDER AND MD OF TAMARIND BOOKS will be giving this year's Patrick Hardy lecture.
Tamarind Books was founded by Verna Wilkins in 1987. Verna's mission is to redress the balance in publishing by giving a high positive profile to children from ethnic minorities and those with disabilities. The company has won many awards for its contribution to children's literature. Most recently Tamarind won the Decibel Award for Cultural Diversity at the British Book Industry Awards 2008. Tamarind Books is now an imprint of Random House.
PATRICK HARDY (1936-1987) joined Constable Young Books as Grace Hogarth's assistant, where he succeeded Grace as Editor. Constable Young Books then became Longman Young Books and from there Patrick transferred, with his list, to Penguin, where he founded Kestrel Books. Between 1982 and 1985 he ran his own company, maintaining the high standards he had always set himself.
November 1989 saw the inaugural Patrick Hardy Lecture, given in the form of a dialogue between Jill Paton Walsh and John Rowe Townsend. These series of lectures have continued, occurring annually, with honoured speakers from the world of children's books such as Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz and Quentin Blake.
This year's lecture is held at Goodenough College, Mecklenburgh Square, London WC1N 2AB on Wednesday 29th October, 2008.
The Trouble With Dragons by Debi Gliori
"The cover makes it look too cute but Gliori's quirky pictures and couplets are full of dry humour, as well as an important message."
Green Smoke by Rosemary Manning
Dragon Moon by Carole Wilkinson
"Wilkinson's series carries a strong ecological and moral message wrapped in towering adventure. Her dragons are, in accordance with Chinese mythology, benign spirits of the land. Their dance relieves drought, but they are hunted by evil Necromancers."
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
" I dislike these books as derivative and poorly written, but there is no denying that many children (especially boys) of 11+ love them, and certainly the idea of having a dragon as your best friend in a battle is appealing."
The Dragon and the Gruesome Twosome by M. P. Robertson
"The fourth of M.P. Robertson's charming books about young George and his dragon has them sorting out two quarrelsome trolls..."
How To Ride A Dragon's Storm by Cressida Cowell
"Cressida Cowell's inspired series about Hiccup and his dragon Toothless..."
All quoted comments from Amanda Craig's review. Click the link to read in full.
Julie Bertagna Blog Entry
describing how she was unprepared to be announced as winnder of the catalyst Award, for Zenith
Feature About Judith Kerr, celebrating the 40th anniversary of her classic book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Puffin has announced the acquisition of "publishing rights to develop Moomin into a new range of high quality picture and novelty books for young children."
The Puffin deal was agreed with Bulls Press and Parthenon. Puffin will be selling rights in the new books at Bologna 2009.
Sophia Jansson, the niece of Tove Jansson, says, "I am absolutely delighted about Puffin's plans to reintroduce Moomin to young children. Through this new range of books a completely new generation of readers will have the wonderful opportunity of finding their way to the timeless original Moomin books."
Puffin will launch the new Moomin range in 2010, the year that Moomin celebrate their 65th anniversary and Puffin its 70th anniversary.
In November, bidders on eBay will be given the opportunity to own an original Emily Gravett illustration, a rare first edition set of a Darren Shan novel or appear as a character in the next Cliff McNish book. These are just a few of the long list of pledges that children's writers and illustrators have generously donated for the IBBY World Congress Benefit auction.
London is hosting the 2012 Olympic Games but more importantly for worldwide reading promotion and literacy it will also host the IBBY World Congress, a biennial conference for publishers, authors, illustrators, librarians, teachers, booksellers, cultural institutes and reading organisations. Attracting 1,000 delegates from over 70 countries, this congress will provide professional and academic opportunities and cultural exchange for those working to develop children's reading and access to books. Plans for a children's congress, to support IBBY's mission to promote international understanding through children's books and reading are also underway.
To support the development of this event of national and international importance and prestige, IBBY UK is mounting the eBay benefit auction, which will be held between the 8th and 22nd November (final auctions closing on the 22nd November).
Random House Children's Books has just announced the acquisition of Monster Republic by Ben Horton, for readers aged 11 upwards.
The three book deal, for World Rights, was done by Lauren Buckland, Editor at RHCB, with the packager, HotHouse Fiction.
Buckland commented, "Monster Republic is an edgy, exhilarating, power-paced blend of Alex Rider action and The Matrix science fiction that is utterly unputdownable. I know that readers will be hooked from the first page - resistance is futile! - I'm delighted that Random House Children's Books will be publishing this fantastic new series."
The first book in the series - Monster Republic: The Divinity Project - will publish in Corgi Children's Books paperback in Spring 2010.
A previous success story from HotHouse Fiction is DARKSIDE by Tom Becker, which won the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize in 2007.
This mega-sized non-fiction title is without doubt one of the most striking books about space I've seen. It's superbly well-produced and designed, with high-quality photographs and illustrations. Sparrow's writing is never condescending. It commands respect and attention, and because it's presented in manageable factboxes, even less fluent readers will be encouraged to read for meaning. Presented as a flight through the solar system (with a double page spread given to each of the planets and their moons), the Milky Way and then out beyond our galaxy, it is easy to navigate around.
A white typeface on black page backgrounds contributes to the book's striking impact.
This is a book that will be pored over for hours and is complex enough to provide several years of interest.
I can imagine an inquisitive child given this when he or she is eight years old still finding things to interest them when they are fourteen. Indeed, any adult seeing the book lying around is likely to pick the book up and find likewise.
Pleasingly free of flaps and fiddly bits.
Simply highly recommended.
Some councils also revealed those authors whose books were most popular with thieves, or which were borrowed and not returned. Not surprisingly, perhaps, they tallied with best-sellers such as Harry Potter author JK Rowling, Roald Dahl, Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Wilson... In Wrexham, 74 health books were not returned in 2006-07 and another 68 copies are "missing" for 2007-08. Forty one copies of books by children's author Jacqueline Wilson were stolen or not returned over the same period.
This wonderfully well-written and assembled history of children's book publishing in America will prove indispensable to all those making a serious study of the genre, but is also fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in bookish affairs.
For me the most rivetting passages in the book fell within the first two-thirds. During the early history it was a joy to come across names familiar to me from the time when I did my research into the friendship between Melville and Hawthorne. This part of the book describes, for example, the first moves of librarians to separate out children's literature from the rest of the stock. As the story moves into the 1920s and 1930s Marcus is good at pointing out the degree to which children's literature had separated itself off from the main culture of modernism.
Several times during my reading I found myself wanting to turn to a few pages of illustrative plates giving portraits of some of the key players in this fascinating story. Margaret Wise Brown is described as "the charismatic ash-blond editor with film-star good looks" - it would have been helpful to be able to turn to a photo to corroborate this description :)
Marcus finds room for some fascinating detail regarding the editors who turned down Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War. The last two decades covered - the 1980s and 1990s - are given brushstroke treatment in comparison with the in-depth analysis accorded the earlier years, but that didn't bother me in the least.
Meticulously indexed and referenced, this is a work of high scholarship written for the general reader.
The Government body responsible for maintaining the nation's historic monuments has been forced to withdraw a children's guide to Stonehenge because it was littered with factual errors.
The book, called The Ghastly Book Of Stonehenge, has become a laughing stock among archaeologists because of its many blunders...
The mistakes in the book, by children's author Tracey Turner, were spotted by a reader of British Archaeology magazine, which lampooned the errors in its latest edition.
Isle Of Man Stamp Set
IMAGES from the award-winning best-selling children's book, The Jolly Christmas Postman, are the theme for the Island's festive stamps...
This is a lovely book to hold, with its elegant grey cover of gondolas and bats. It even has a purple-ribbon bookmark. But the copy editing or proofreading is not up to the same standard, and there are mistakes in the Italian, the most egregious of which is the misspelling of La Serenissima as Serrenisima. That's a real shame, because in every other respect the book is a class act. MARY HOFFMAN
The days of children reading traditional books are numbered, claims the man spearheading a campaign to improve literacy in schools. Publishers must adapt titles to the demands of modern young readers who spend more time on the internet if they are to succeed in persuading the next generation to read, says Jonathan Douglas, the director of the National Literacy Trust.
The RHS Bath Golden Sponge-Stick Competition
Are you a budding young writer?
Could you create the next Flavia Gemina or Falco?
Well, here's your chance.
The Royal High School, Bath presents to you a national writing competition for all UK school and college students, The Golden Sponge-Stick Competition!
Click the link for all the info.
Closing date: Friday November 21 2008
Thursday is National Poetry Day and the theme of this year's celebration is work. In workplaces up and down the country there'll be all kinds of cunning poetry stunts. A City law firm plans to hold a board meeting in which only verse will be spoken. HSBC will host a reading by a Kazakh poet at its Canary Wharf headquarters. Shop workers at the Co-op in Penzance will offer poems in a tin to customers.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Interview with Julia Donaldson
Amanda Craig meets the creator of The Gruffalo and her magical new character Stick Man
Daisy Goodwin, announcing her new recital competition, explains why children should stock their minds with verse
Somehow or other the news of Jacqueline Wilson's heartfailure and emergency hospital admittance earlier this year had completely passed me by, so it came as a large shock to read all about it in this article yesterday.
Bookhabit Poetry Competition
· Audio and Video
Are you too shy to perform your own poem on video? Would you like a professional actor to perform your poem for free? Professional online talent agency Starnow will provide you with an actor to perform your poem at no cost - and no strings attached.
· 1st US$500, 2nd $200, 3rd $100 - each section
· Overall Winner $500
· All prizes in US Dollars.
Judged by the New Zealand Poetry Society
· People's Performance Choice $500 (Audio and Video section only- awarded to the person delivering poem)
Judged by registered Bookhabit users
Dates: 22 September - 2 November
· Entries may be submitted in any of the 6 weeks of Round 1
· Each week Monday GMT 00:00 - Sunday GMT 23:59 is a new week
· At the end of the week will judge the 50 poems from each section that will advance to Round 2
· The poems advancing to Round 2 will be announced as soon as the judging is completed for each week
· Registered users can let everyone know which poems they like by using the 'thumbs up' or 'thumbs down' mechanism available
· The aggregation of the 'thumbs up and down' determines only the sort order of the poems and has no bearing on which poems advance to Round 2.