Friday, May 30, 2008

Who's Kidding Who?

Listed in one of those free book magazines - May edition of Booktime to be precise - is a list said to be from The Mammoth Book of Boys' Own Stuff. I haven't checked it out BUT the list is headed "Ten Books to Read Before the Age of Ten" and includes Coral Island, The Call of the Wild and Treasure Island!!

Angus Book Award 2008

Kate Cann wins 2008 Angus Book Award

Author Kate Cann has won the 2008 Angus Book Award for her novel Leaving Poppy, Lewis Miller, Chair of the Angus Youth Congress, presented the winning author with her trophy, a miniature replica of the Aberlemno Serpent Stone, and £500 prize at a ceremony in Montrose Town Hall on 20 May.

After several months of decision making and debate in the eight Angus secondary schools, the five shortlisted authors arrived from all over the UK to speak to the pupils and take part in the award ceremony in Montrose.

The ceremony, organised by 3rd year pupils, was hosted this year by Montrose Academy. Pupils from the other secondary schools spoke about the shortlisted books and asked the authors questions. This year’s voting was again a close run race but the reaction of the pupils to the announcement of the winner confirmed that this was an extremely popular choice.

The other shortlisted authors for the 2008 award were: Sherry Ashworth for Close-up (Simon & Schuster UK)), J. A. Henderson for Bunker 10 (Oxford University Press), Graham Marks for Omega 10 (Bloomsbury) and Anthony McGowan for Henry Tumour (Definitions).
Leaving Poppy is a taut, tense ghost story with a chilling edge, published by Scholastic. It tells the absorbing story of Amber who has fled from her claustrophobic, manipulative family, determined to start her life again in a different town, only to discover that her new home hides a horrifying, terrible secret. When circumstances bring her suffocating sister Poppy to live with her again, a latent power concealed in the house is awakened. The book raises the question, which is more frightening - the supernatural or the selfish, destructive family?

Kate Cann said: “The Angus Book Award was an absolute blast! It more than deserves its formidable reputation. The girls from Arbroath Academy blew me away with their wonderful report on my book at the ceremony. The kids ran the show and they did it brilliantly. I am so proud and happy to have won.”

Friday, May 16, 2008

bedtime stories on the bbc


Next week’s Bedtime Stories on the CBeebies Channel will be read by the Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen.

Michael has chosen five of his favourite children’s books to read – Ruby Sings the Blues (Niki Daly), Eliza and the Moonchild (Emma Chichester Clark), Farmer Duck (Martin Waddell), The Opposite (Tom Macrae) and Slinky Malinki Catflaps & Hairy Maclary of Donaldson’s Dairy (both by Lynley Dodd).

Michael said: “I chose these stories because they are rhythmic and full of feeling and fun. I think it’s really important that children hear the sounds of stories read with full colour and characterisation. Stories on the page need to be lifted and dramatised. I hope if mums and dads are watching they’ll think ... I could read a story like that.”

Bedtime Stories are produced by Angela Young for CBeebies Presentation. You can see Michael reading the stories from May 19th – 23rd on the CBeebies channel at 6.45 pm. Ruby Sings the Blues and Eliza and the Moonchild will both be repeated on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th at 6.45 pm.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Illustration Cupboard Exhibition

The Illustration Cupboard
presents its Spring Exhibition 2008

The Art of Aardman
Original Film Animation Artwork
Thursday 15 May to Saturday 07 June

Monday – Friday 10am to 6pm
Saturday 12pm – 5pm

A Multimedia exhibition including artwork by Nick Park and Michael Salter for Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run
Sketches of the claymation figure Morph by Peter Lord
Rare character development drawings for Creature Comforts
Working film storyboards for Shaun the Sheep
Original claymation models and documentary film will also be on view.

Entrance is free, Families welcome
3 Minutes form Green Park Station
Meter Parking outside the gallery
Wheelchair access

Hurrah! At long last a prize for humour

The Roald Dahl Funny PrizeBooktrust, in association with Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, is delighted to announce the inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize.
This exciting new prize has two categories – the funniest book for children aged six and under, and the funniest book for children aged seven to fourteen. Fiction, non-fiction and poetry will be welcomed.

A panel of five judges will be chaired by Michael Rosen; the other judges are Sophie Dahl, Dara O'Briain, Chris Riddell and one other.

The judges will select a shortlist of six books in each category in early September to tie in with the third Roald Dahl Day on 13 September.

The winner of each category will receive £2,500, which will be presented at an awards ceremony in London in November 2008.

Michael Rosen explains:

'If there had been a prize for funny books when Roald Dahl was writing, he would have won it with every book he wrote! That’s why this award was named in his honour.

'Children love funny books but when adults draw up lists of the best books they nearly always leave the funny ones out. When I became the Children’s Laureate, I said that my job should be as an ambassador for fun. That's why I came up with the idea of this funny prize, all part of the job!”

The Roald Dahl Funny Prize aims to:

> promote laughter and humour as a feel-good factor when reading, by encouraging families to read together and discover the pleasure of humorous (funny) books. This in turn will reinforce the message that reading together promotes family well-being.

> draw attention to funny books as readable and enjoyable books. We hope that the prize will enable these books to gain a profile that makes them more accessible to children and young people. The prize will work to achieve this through a range of activities supported by libraries, teachers and parents.

> reward and encourage authors (and illustrators) who write and illustrate books using humour in their stories, poetry and fiction. By creating these awards we hope to promote a vibrant area of publishing often overlooked by other awards.

Felicity Dahl, the author's widow, said:

'Roald would have been absolutely thrilled to have this prize named in his honour. Humour is at the heart of all his writings and, as a strong supporter of new talent, he'd have been tremendously excited at all the wonderful funny books being published for young people today.'

Sophie Dahl, eldest grandchild of Roald Dahl and the inspiration for the character of Sophie in The BFG, added:

'I am thrilled and tickled to join the judging panel of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize this year. A prize that involves laughing until your belly aches and you get the hiccups is the kind of prize I want to be involved with for eternity. It's a pretty irresistible proposition.'

Roald Dahl himself, of course, appreciated the role of humour in his writing:

'My lucky thing is that I laugh at exactly the same jokes that children laugh at and that's one reason I'm able to do it. I don't sit here roaring with laughter but you have wonderful inside jokes all the time and it's got to be exciting, it's got to be fast, it's got to have a good plot but it's got to be funny. It's got to be funny. Each book I do is a different level of that ...

'The fine line between roaring with laughter and crying because it's a disaster is a very, very fine line. You see a chap slip on a banana skin in the street and you roar with laughter when he falls slap on his backside. If in doing so you suddenly see he's broken a leg, you very quickly stop laughing and it's not a joke anymore. I don't know, there's a fine line and you just have to try to find it.'

For further information go to