Thursday, November 26, 2009

Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children's Books

John Fardell, Lari Don and Keith Gray have been named as this year’s winners for the 2009 Royal Mail Awards, Scotland’s largest children’s Book Prize which is voted for exclusively by Scottish children themselves.

Author/Illustrator John Fardell won the Early Years category (0-7) for his first picture book Manfred the Baddie (Quercus), Lari Don won the Younger Readers category (8-11) for her first book First Aid for Fairies and Other Fabled Beasts (Floris Books) and best-selling teenage fiction author Keith Gray won the Older Readers category (12-16) for the acclaimed Ostrich Boys (Random House). They will each receive £3,000 and a prize presented to them by Adam Ingram, Minister for Children and Early Years who commented:
"These awards play a valuable part in helping children to discover the joy and pleasure of reading a great story. Nearly 30,000 children have been reading from the selected lists and voting for their favourite books and it's impressive that so many have been involved. That's why I am delighted to be at the Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children’s Books and help hand out the prizes to these worthy winners!"

Record numbers of children took part in the voting process this year, with nearly 30,000 children from all over Scotland actively involved in the awards compared to 18,000 in 2008 and just over 10,000 in 2007.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Skellig on the London stage over Christmas

Live on stage at the Bloomsbury Theatre!14th December - 23rd January 2010 Based on the Whitbread award-winning book by David Almond, this spellbinding adaptation comes to the Bloomsbury Theatre following a sell-out run at the Shaw Theatre last autumn. promises to be a truly unique treat this Christmas! Watch the trailer online at Ages 7+ Tickets:Full Price £17.50Concessions £13.50Children £12.50Family of Four £54 (not available on line)School rate £9.50, teachers go free (call for details)Group discounts available for bookings of ten or more. Box Office: 020 7388

BookTrust Teenage Prize 2009

Neil Gaiman is winner of the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2009.

The Graveyard Book tells the story of Nobody ‘Bod’ Owens, a child abandoned in a graveyard after the vicious murder of his parents and sister by The Man Jack. Raised and educated by the ghosts that live there, Bod encounters terrible and unexpected menaces in the horror of the pit of the Sleer and the city of Ghouls. It is in the land of the living that the real danger lies as The Man Jack is determined to find Bod and finish him off.

Neil Gaiman is listed as one of the top ten living post-modern writers, and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama. He is the creator of the iconic DC comic series The Sandman, the only comic to ever make the New York Times Bestseller list. His books have been adapted for a number of successful films, most recently the animated adventure Coraline.

In his acceptance speech, Neil paid credit to the authors that had inspired him: ‘Sometimes when we look big, and seem to see further, it's because we are standing on the shoulders of giants. The field of children’s literature has seen many giants, and those of us who toil in the field make our contributions using what we've learned from those who came first. ‘I'm proud of The Graveyard Book. But I know I got to stand on the shoulders of giants in order to write it. There were two writers of children's fiction who influenced The Graveyard Book. Foremost, obviously, Rudyard Kipling, and his short story collection The Jungle Book; less obviously Pamela "P.L" Travers, and her Mary Poppins stories. And everyone else: the writers I learned from as a young reader, and the writers I've learned from as a writer: a host of other craftsmen and women I learned, or borrowed, or stole from, to build The Graveyard Book.

This year’s shortlist was: Auslander by Paul Dowswell (Bloomsbury)The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury)Ostrich Boy by Keith Gray (Definitions)The Ant Colony by Jenny Valentine (HarperCollins)The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant (Puffin)The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (Walker)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Perform a Poem website

Michael Rosen launched Perform-a-Poem, the first e-safe site for children's poetry performances, at the National Theatre on 3rd November.He said:“I’m hoping that Perform-a-Poem will give an opportunity for children and teachers to experiment and play with poetry in an exciting way. All poems have a voice; sometimes this voice is best heard silently, but most poems enjoy being spoken and performed, because this is how we get to feel a poem.”
Perform-a-Poem, a unique poetry performance website for primary school children, encourages children to write, choose, perform, film and edit poems. Their poetry video performances can then be uploaded by their teachers, and browsed and enjoyed by children in other schools as well as families and friends.
To browse the site log on to <>

Friday, November 06, 2009

Illustrated Children's Books

A copy of this beautifully produced book published by Black Dog Publishing arrived yesterday when I was sweeping up leaves. At first glance the book looks splendid, but that was before reading the text. Review follows shortly on the review section of this blog. enid stephenson