December 2010 Archives

Marsh Award 2011 Shortlist

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Here is the shortlist for the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation, awarded biannually since 1996.

The Pasta Detectives by Andreas Steinhöfel translated from German by Chantal Wright (The Chicken House, 2010)
An inventive and highly entertaining detective story involving a curious, intrepid, crash helmet-wearing protagonist. The Pasta Detectives offers a unique narrative voice that is both gripping and humorous, with an element of the cartoon about it. The intriguing relationship between the two central characters is beautifully naively expressed in Chantal Wright's translation, while Rico's gift of noticing things nobody else does ensures that this is a whodunit with a real difference.

Letters to Anyone and Everyone by Toon Tellegen translated from Dutch by Martin Cleaver, illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg (Boxer Books Ltd, 2009)
A completely original epistolary novel composed of 23 letters from a range of creatures including a snail, an elephant, a bear and an ant - to each other and to the world around them - and all delivered by the wind. The voices are distinct and the dreams, musings and possibilities explored are delightfully surreal (can Elephant and Snail dance on Snail's house?), philosophical and gently humorous. Cleaver's translation captures Tellegren's richly imagined world and the distinctive characters and poetic voices in it.

No and Me by Delphine de Vigan translated from French by George Miller (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2010)
A refreshingly honest and unsentimental novel that broaches homelessness in a way that will appeal to both adults and children. No and Me brilliantly portrays the friendship between two teenage girls, and expresses how loneliness can exist where you least expect it. Miller's deft translating style is simple yet emotionally charged, and the reader watches on as determined Lou comes to realise that part of growing up involves understanding that some things can't be changed.

David's Story by Stig Dalager translated from Danish by Frances Østerfelt & Cheryl Robson (Aurora Metro Publications, 2010)
Based on real accounts by children, this is a chilling documentary-style account of the Second World War. The de-humanising struggle for everyday survival in the ghetto is seen through the eyes of young David, for whom horror almost becomes banal. Rich in authentic and unexpected detail (even for such well-documented terrain), the narrative is punctured by deeply shocking scenes. Frances Østerfelt & Cheryl Robson's translation retains a real sense of David's initial bewilderment followed by a grim but always sympathetic toughening up in this tale that cannot be ignored.

The winner of the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation 2011 will be announced at a ceremony held by The English-Speaking Union, on Thursday 20 January 2011. The award of £2000 will go to the winning translator.

The Judging Panel - for the current award:

Sarah Ardizzone - Translator, winner of the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation
Wendy Cooling OBE - Children's book consultant, author and critic.
Dr Colin Niven OBE - Teacher, former Headmaster
Elizabeth Hammill OBE - Co-founder of Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books, and critic

Non-Fiction Picks, Updated

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The judges of the Old Possum's Children's Poetry Competition, led by Chair Roger McGough, last week selected twelve children as winners of the Competition, with a further eight receiving high commendations. The judges awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes to children in two age groups (7-8 and 9-11).

This international Poetry Competition, now in its fifth year, is run by the Children's Poetry Bookshelf, a poetry book club for young people run by the Poetry Book Society. To link with National Poetry Day on Thursday 7 October, children aged 7-11 were invited to submit poems on the theme of 'Home'.

Roger McGough said, "'Home' proved to be a fruitful subject for this year's crop of young poets and the judges relished those poems in which the child's imagination was let loose. More than attention to domestic detail, the sounds and smells, the furnishings, the judges relished those poems in which the child's imagination was let loose. Above all, it was a delight to witness very young writers discovering the power and the joy of language."

Graphic Picks

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Younger Fiction

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Jane Nissen Books

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Jane Nissen Books

ACHUKA would like to wish Jane Nissen Books a very Happy Christmas.

"The purpose of this personal venture is to bring back into print some of the best-loved children's books of the 20th century and to enable a new generation of readers to discover for themselves high-quality, timeless titles that should not be lost." Jane Nissen

It's particularly good to see, in the current batch of new titles, Bogwoppit by Ursula Moray Williams reprinted, complete with the orignal chapter-heading illustrations by Shirley Hughes.

Ursula Moray Williams, who died only a few years ago (2006) aged ninety-five, had a fantastically fluid and natural writing style, perfect for reading aloud.

Enid Blyton Out Of Top 10<

Daily Telegraph reports:

Enid Blyton has fallen out of the top ten list of children's authors for the first time in decades because youngsters cannot relate to her language...

Don't Write the Obit For Picture Books Yet

Publishers Weekly piece countering the New York Times front-page story back in October called "Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children."

Definitely worth a read.

Guardian Review

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Guardian Review

Julia Eccleshare makes her seasonal selection of children's books for all ages:

Blue Peter Censors Its Own Award SHortlist

Andy Mulligan hit back yesterday at the Blue Peter Book awards after they removed his book 'Trash' from the shortlist for the 2011 awards.

After appearing on the original longlist for tomorrow's awards selection, the novel was deemed to contain scenes that are "unsuitable" for Blue Peter's core audience of six to twelve year olds. Mulligan said: "I'm sad because I thought when Blue Peter chose the book they were declaring their passion for literature, Sadly the fall-back position is one of fear. It's part of the insidious process that bans snowball fights."

Observer Review - Teenage Fiction

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Observer Review - Teenage Fiction

reviewed by Geraldine Brennan

Observer Review - Picture Books

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Observer Review - Picture Books

reviewed by Kate Kellaway

10 Gems
selected by Anita Silvey for the Boston Globe

All combine the highest standards of art and writing; when introduced by an enthusiastic adult, they connect with young readers. Children's books that adults admire but that children also find meaningful have always been the most difficult to create. The authors and artists of these works accomplish that feat in very different and original ways.

A Highly Recommended selection

Children's Books of the Year - The Independent

chosen and commented on by Inbali Iseries

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Guardian Review

Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman

It's a striking opening: Dante is waiting for his A-level results to arrive in the post, but what he gets instead is an ex-girlfriend on the doorstop with a baby she says is his. One event offers him a future at university; the other, since the mother is about to dump the baby on him, leads to the death of all his dreams...
Blackman is a clever sleight-of-hand artist. It's only after you've finished reading that some doubts creep in... MARY HOFFMAN

US poet wins £30,000 Dylan Thomas prize

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American Poet Wins £30,000 Dylan Thomas Prize

Elyse Fenton has been awarded the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize, set up to honour the Welsh poet and encourage writing among the young.

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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