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Happy New Year everyone. Welcome to the new decade.

ACHUKA's eyes are once again peeled wide open following the Christmas break.

What did we miss while cracking nuts by the fire?

Two things principally.

1. The death of Wombles creator, Elizabeth Beresford, on Christmas Eve - so here are a few links to obituaries:
Guardian obit.
Telegraph obit.

2. The furore over threatened withdrawal of government funding for Bookstart.

The exact lie of the land with regard to this story is not crystal clear to me (or, I gather, to those involved in the scheme). As I understand it, the government had decided that they could save the £13 million currently used to fund the scheme. Philip Pullman and a number of other prominent people cried foul, Scrooge, and other things. Michael Gove back-pedalled and said that the scheme would continue to be funded but would be renegotiated when the current contract runs out (in the Spring I think).
A national scheme in which all children receive a free book (chosen for them) is surely never going to sit comfortably with a Tory or Liberal mindset, so it was no surprise to me that a coalition government hellbent on cutting costs should consider different uses for this pot of money. What is surprising, although welcome in this instance, is their lack of stomach for unpopularity.
I haven't (yet) been able to follow the correspondence in the press and online, but will look out for updates and clarification.

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on January 1, 2011 10:17 AM.

Marsh Award 2011 Shortlist was the previous entry in this blog.

Characters With Disabilities Scarce In Top Children's Books - Disability Scoop is the next entry in this blog.

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