July 2006 Archives

ST Book Of The Week

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Children's book of the week - Sunday Times - Times Online

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

The White Giraffe by Lauren St John

Although its plot developments are sometimes ploddingly explained, and its research sometimes conspicuous, this tale nevertheless introduces a glorious creature and enjoyable characters: Martine�s grandmother, her Zulu gamekeeper and a fortune-telling African wise woman. And it fulfils wishes common to many children: to love and be loved by animals, to outwit bullies, and to be daring, independent and triumphant. NICOLETTE JONES

Cricket & Intrigue

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Riding towards the truth

Adele Geras enjoys the mix of cricket and political intrigue in Kate Thompson's The Fourth Horseman:

Laurie's mother, Mrs McAllister, is a sports physiotherapist working with the England cricket team. She's away most of the time, in New Zealand, or Shasakstan (the fictitious state Thompson has invented which has more than a passing resemblance to Pakistan). But it is from her that the novel gets its wonderfully entertaining cricketing theme.

Celtic Tradition

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Horror is in the eye of the beholder - Books - Times Online

Amanda Craig identifies the oral tradition of Celtic storytelling in her review of new books by Joseph Delaney and Darren Shan

Delaney and Shan share an interest in salvation and redemption, and you can hear the oral tradition of Celtic storytellers in their hypnotic prose ...

Maurice Gee

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Maurice Gee - the man in a grey cardy - 29 Jul 2006 - Lifestyle & Leisure

Long profile of Maurice Gee:

We are at the library because there are books here, for props. Because of that anonymity, he seems to require some context. We are in the children's section which is fine with Gee, who says his children's books "do better than the adult books, actually".

ST Book Of The Week

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Children's book of the week - Sunday Times - Times Online

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

You're A Bad Man, Mr Gum! by Andy Stanton ill David Tazzyman

Andy Stanton accumulates silliness and jokes in an irresistible, laughter-inducing romp... NICOLETTE JONES

A Modern Catcher In The Rye

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The way she writes now - Books - Times Online

Amanda Craig reviewed Meg Rosoff's new novel in yesterday's Times:

Just in Case is a cooler, more cerebral novel than How I Live Now, deliberately shorn of the passionate romantic ardour that made Daisy�s tale so attractive, and written in the third person not the first. It is unlikely to gain the huge popular appeal of Rosoff�s debut. Yet in describing the existential anguish of adolescence, and its unique mixture of absurdity and anger, it is a modern The Catcher in the Rye.

Minimoys Creator To Quit Films

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Guardian Unlimited Arts | Arts features | The long goodbye

A few years ago, France's most successful living director announced his intention to quit while he was ahead. He would, he said, make 10 films and then get out of the game. At the time few people took him seriously. But with Angel-A (out this month) and Arthur and the Minimoys (set for release at Christmas), he has reached his limit.

Macmillan Manga

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Publishing News - News Page

from Publishing News:

PAN MACMILLAN HAS become the latest publisher to enter the manga arena, signing an exclusive sales and distribution deal with Tokyo-based Tokyopop, the US market leader, whose UK turnover is around ?2m. From 1 September, Pan Macmillan will begin sales and distribution of Tokyopop�s huge output � some 250 titles per year � with four Tokyopop staff taking space in Macmillan�s King�s Cross offices.

Horowitz On Stormbreaker Movie

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Fifth Birthday

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Child at Heart Art Gallery

The Child At Heart Gallery in Newburyport, US, celebrates ts fith anniversary this Saturday.

The gallery and website 'showcase the art of Children's Book Illustrators - from dazzling original art of Caldecott winners to fine limited edition prints - from classic children's literature to today's picture story books'.

Zephaniah's Keys

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Life and Health | Homes and gardens | What would you save if your house was burning down?

Benjoamin Zephaniah featured in The Observermagazine's 'What wouyld you save if your ouse was burningdown slot?'

A friend of mine did an exhibition where he asked artists to bring what they'd take if they had to leave immediately and go into exile. I took my front-door keys. It means you're going to come back some day.

He also revealed that he is a fan of Wendy Cope and has a lifesize cadboard cutout of her in hs lounge.

Tintin - Delighted First Readings

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Guardian Unlimited Books | By genre | Blistering barnacles! He's a literary icon

Tom McCarthy, in unearthing the secrets of Herge's oeuvre, makes some bold claims for Tintin's creator, finds Killian Fox

Review of Tintin And The Secret Of Literature by Tom McCarthy in The Observer:

The pleasure of reading it derives precisely from its author's obsessive approach, his breathtaking grasp of the oeuvre and the sheer exuberance with which he tackles his subject, showing us just how rich with detail and complexity Herge painted his world. McCarthy's saving grace, though he takes Tintin very seriously indeed, is the humour with which he peppers his analysis and the obvious joy he takes from his area of study, a joy that transcends the critical and stems from the delighted first readings of a child.

ST Book Of The Week

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Children's book of the week - Sunday Times - Times Online

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

With a cast of loyal servants, scheming politicians, cheeky boys, feisty girls, kindly peasants, rough sailors and fearsome villains, this is an energetic pageturner in a fine storytelling tradition with enough action and emotion to put wind in its sails and a weepy ending NICOLETTE JONES

The Novelist As Journalist

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Beauty and the blubber bunny

What Burgess has done here is use journalistic clich?and devices to make the story seem more "real" - less of a smooth read and more of a reporting of events (intercut with sections written by the main characters themselves). The success (or otherwise) of the novel therefore depends on just how gripped you are by the characters and situations.

Philip Ardagh, reviewing Sara's Face in The Guardian, was gripped:

Boy Oh Boy

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Alex Rider: the proof that boys should be boys - Books - Times Online

As Stormbreaker, the first film about children�s favourite junior spy, opens in cinemas, Amanda Craig talks to his creator, Anthony Horowitz, about adventures, kissing and growing up... ...


Guardian Unlimited Books | By genre | Director's cut

Profile of Frank Cottrell Boyce by Dina Rabinovitch, in which Boyce explains how he was persuaded to write the screenplay for Michael Morpurgo's Kensuke's Kingdom.

Highly Recommended

The Anti-Readers

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Guardian Unlimited Books | By genre | The joy of reading

Somehow or other I missed this stirring piece by Dina Rabinovitch from Saturday's Guardian. Essentially a summer roundup of across-the-age-range recommendations, it leads off with a rousing attack on the anti-readers. Passionate journalism at its very best. Do not miss it!

It is one of the many mini-miracles of the great flourishing of children's writing that children's literature should be so strong in a country where the anti-readers hold sway. They are secreted in every crevice of this island. I have interviewed them, so I know. They are in government, in schools, in homes; some of them work in the media. But children's stories flow, none the less, in a huge, rushing tide from the prolific pens of the children's authors, many of whom write two or three really good stories a year. And the children find the books.

ST Summer Roundup

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Surfing into summer - Sunday Times - Times Online

Nicolette Jones has some sizzling suggestions for holiday reading - Sunday Times

There was also a roundup in Saturday's Telegraph, plus a feature on Louise Rennison in the magazine - but no hyperlinks to these...

Set In Stone

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Independent Online Edition > Reviews

Brandon Robshaw's fiction reviews in The Independent children's books special include this praise for Set In Stone, the new book by Linda Newbery:

The story succeeds so brilliantly not through sensationalism but the virtuosity of the style... ...This is a novel for young adults, but is subtle and substantial enough to be read with great pleasure and profit by older adults too.

Picture Book Reviews

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Independent Online Edition > Reviews

The Independent: Children's Book Special: Picture perfect

Reviews By 13 Year Old

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Independent Online Edition > Reviews

Children's books reviewed by Felix Taylor (age 13) - The Independent

Culture Vulture Blog

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Gone, but not forgotten from Guardian Unlimited: Culture Vulture

Julia Eccleshare's entry in the Guardian's Culture Vulture blog regarding M Peet's absence from the Carnegie presentation ceremony.

Dutch Resistance

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Independent Online Edition > News

News report from The Indepedent on Mal Peet's Canegi win

Newcomer Beats Veterans

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Special Reports | Carnegie newcomer beats veteran shortlist

News report fom The Guadian on Mal Peet's Carnegie win.

Mal Peet's Carnegie Statement

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Unable to attend the ceremony, Mal Peet wrote an acceptance statement... In it he asserts the value for young people of understanding the past and the continuum of humanity, and warns of the political consequences of disconnection or alienation from the past. Reading, he says, is not only fundamental, but also anti-fundamentalist.

Greenaway Press Release #2

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Greenaway Press elease #1

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Carnegie Press Release 2

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Carnegie Press Release #1

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Captain Mark

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Fasten your seatbelts

This year's Carnegie wine, Mal Peet, reviews Turbulence by Jan Mark:

Turbulence crackles with excellent one-liners ("women are from Venus, men are from Battersea Dogs' Home, Gran says"), running jokes (Canadians are only dull because they are planning to take over the world, sometimes disguised as Hungarians) and meditations upon such matters as why, in westerns, townships are never built on hills or rivers. But the book is a risky flight, and the late, great Captain Mark, while announcing our safe arrival, reminds us how fragile we are.

The Only Difference

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Her word - Books - Times Online

I was writing a kids� book recently, and it was not easier than adult fiction, or less demanding, or simpler to invent. The only difference I could find was that there has to be an inherent optimism...

Jeanette Winterson, on thewriting of Tanglewreck

Pitifully Oe-Dimensional

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Take a reality cheque - Books - Times Online

As an uncompromising war story wins the Carnegie, Anne Fine wonders if the spell of fantasy has broken for young readers... ...


Mini Peet Profile

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'Fundamentalism is a form of illiteracy' - Books - Times Online

Nicolette Jones writes a short profile of Mal Peet, Csarnegiewinning author of Tamar

Poetry Winner

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The winner of the CLPE Poetry Award for 2006 is:

Why does my mum always iron a crease in my jeans? Poems about important stuff chosen by Fiona Waters (Puffin)

The presentation was made at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education on Tuesday July 4th 2006 by Michael Rosen.

The CLPE Poetry Award was set up in 2002 and was awarded for the first time in 2003. The award aims to honour excellence in poetry written for children. It is presented annually for a book of poetry published in the previous year. The judges of the award this year were Valerie Bloom, Roger McGough and Tony Mitton, with Margaret Meek Spencer as chair of the judges. The CLPE Poetry Award is administered by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, Webber Street, London SE1 8QW. It is supported in 2006 as in 2004 and 2005 by Mr and Mrs J.A.Pye�s Charitable Settlement.

For further information, please contact: Ann Lazim 020 7401 3382 email ann@clpe.co.uk

The other books shortlisted for this year�s award which form the 2006 honour list, were::
Gerard Benson, Judith Chernaik & Cicely Herbert (eds): The Carnival of Animals, illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura (Walker)
June Crebbin: The Crocodile is Coming! illustrated by Mini Grey (Walker)
Belinda Hollyer (ed): She's All That! Poems about Girls, illustrated by Susan Hellard (Kingfisher)
Michael Morpurgo and Jane Feaver (eds): Cock Crow, Poems about life in the countryside, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Egmont)

Bookslut Interview

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Bookslut | An Interview with Frank Portman

Bookslut interviews Frank Portman, author of King Dork:

It�s the best young-adult novel I�ve ever read, and nothing else even comes close. Portman�s debut book has received critical praise from pretty much every publication that�s reviewed it. It�s also created a stir on the Internet -- the book has its own video trailer, available on YouTube and on Portman�s website, and was the subject of the most entertaining book blog tour in history, making stops at well-regarded sites such as Gawker, Largehearted Boy, and Brooklyn Vegan...


Doctor Rhyme

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icLiverpool - A Doctorate of rhyme for chronicler of city times

An honorary degree for Roger McGough:

THE man dubbed Liverpool's Poet Laureate was awarded an honorary degree yesterday in recognition of his extensive contribution to culture...

Willy The Charmer

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Monkey business - Books - Entertainment - theage.com.au

Australian profile of Anthony Browne.


Silly Billy will be published in September.

ST Book Of The Week

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Children's book of the week - Sunday Times - Times Online

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson

the novel�s sentence-long paragraphs do not make it simple, and an inconsistent pace diffuses its emotional power. Ambitious in its range of times and places, the book can be confusing in its allusions, with, for instance, unexplained references to Schr?ger�s cat, Atlantis and Robert Hooke. It is far from a wreck, but it is a bit of a tangle. NICOLETE JONES

In the interests of balance, and since Winterson's publisher objected when I posted an extract from another criical review, I shall point out, for those who don't click the link to the full rview, that Jones also says - besides calling the book 'ramshackle and rambling' - "Some details are beautifully made."

Witty And Wicked

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Witty pigs and wicked Brazilians - Books - Times Online

Amanda Craig's summer roundup of children's books

Cuban Book Ban

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nbc6.net - Local News - Cuban Librarians Decry Case Of Banned Book In Miami

A widely syndicated story:

HAVANA -- Cuban librarians on Friday criticized attempts by the Miami-Dade County school board to ban a children's book because of its positive depiction of life on the communist-run island.

The book in question is A Visit To Cuba by Alta Schreier

Mythical Sensibility

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Review: The Road of Bones by Anne Fine

"a modern novel with a mythical sensibility that grapples with those troubling questions about the atrocities human beings can perpetrate in the name of making the world a better place..." Diane Samuel's reviewing Anne Fine's The Road Of Bones in The Guardian

a modern novel with a mythical sensibility that grapples with those troubling questions about the atrocities human beings can perpetrate in the name of making the world a better place

Splendidly Meticulous

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | The line of duty

Nicolotte Jones, best known as the Sunday Times children's books reviewer, has just published a biography of Samuel Plimsol:

"this splendid and meticulously researched biography" Geoffrey Morrhouse, The Guardian

The Plimsoll Sensation: The Great Campaign to Save Lives at Sea by Nicolette Jones will be Radio 4 Book of the Week next week, Mon-Fri 3-7 July, abridged and produced by Jane Marshall, and read by Paul Copley. (Five 15-minute extracts at 9.45 am and half past midnight. Listen Again is available through the BBC website next week and the week after.)


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