Wednesday, March 31, 2010

e books

The Booksellers Association is expressing concern that e books will be freely available through the library service. The gist of their argument is the lack of need to visit an actual library and the difficulty of securing the perminent downloading of the e book. I can't see why I should need to read an e book unless I was back packing somewhere...but I can see that this could be yet a further nail in both libaries and bookshops coffin.

William Mayne

I received an email from Val Bierman today asking if we had heard of the death of William Mayne. I hadn't and on checking via google found a Times death announcement today from the undertakers and a full account in The Darlington and Stockton Times on 25 March. This said that "An award-winning children's writer whose career was ruined (2004) when he was jailed for sex attacks on children has been found dead at his home in the Yorkshire Dales. William Mayne who was 82 was the author of more than 100 books and regarded as one of the leading children's authors of the 20th century".

I remember the Archbishop of Canterbury defending his books (if not the man) at the Oxford Literary Festival in 2005. And I also remember an author who knew him well feeling that the accusation was unsound. I know nothing of him other than his books but find it extraordinary that his death should be so roundly ignored by the national press.
enid stephenson

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hans Christian Andersen Award

The national committee of British IBBY announced that author David Almond from the United Kingdom and illustrator Jutta Bauer from Germany have been announced as winners of the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Awards. Presented biennially by the International Board on Books for Young People, the awards are recognised as the most prestigious prizes in the children’s book world. They are awarded for the entire body of an author and illustrator’s work.

David and Jutta will receive their medals and diplomas at the international IBBY congress in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in September.Each of IBBY’s national sections is allowed to nominate a single name for each of the awards and the winners were chosen by an international jury from nominations from twenty eight countries. Our nomination for the illustrator award was Michael Foreman.

David Almond is only the third British author to receive the Award in the more than fifty years that it has been presented. His predecessors were Eleanor Farjeon in 1956 and Aidan Chambers in 2002. He joins an illustrious roll-call of some of best known names of modern children’s literature from across the world, including Tove Jansson, Astrid Lindgren, Virginia Hamilton, Patricia Wrightson, Martin Waddell and Margaret Mahy.

David Almond has already won many awards in the United Kingdom and, the United States, including the Whitbread Children’s Book Award and the Carnegie Medal for Skellig, his first children’s book. He lives in Northeast England and many of his books are set in and around Felling, in Gateshead, where he grew up. In making the Award, the IBBY international jury recognised his "unique voice as a creator of magic realism"; and his sophisticated use of language that has a wide appeal and, "captures his young readers’ imagination" encouraging children "to read, think and be critical".

IBBY also awarded its biennial IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Awards, for projects run by groups judged to be making a lasting contribution to reading promotion for young people. Two organizations won the award this year: the Osu Children's Library Fund of Ghana, a Canadian-based charity that has built and stocked libraries in Ghana's capital and in more than 150 schools and villages in the country; and the Convenio de Cooperatión al Plan de Lectura de Medellín, Colombia, for its reading activities within the four poorest municipalities of that city.

Details of all the nominees for the Awards and the shortlists are available at Further details of British IBBY from the Chair: Ann Lazim,

Details of David Almond at

Monday, March 15, 2010

Muddle Earth on CBBC

In a landmark occasion for the channel, CBBC is to unveil its first ever in-house long-form animation series, Muddle Earth.
The 13x11 minute series follows the adventures of Randalf the wizard and his human apprentice Newt as they attempt to thwart the devious attempts of Dr Cuddles, an evil blue teddy bear, from taking over the land.
Aimed at six to nine year olds, the comedy-fantasy series features the vocal magic of Sir David Jason (Randalf), and music performed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra – another first for the Channel.
Muddle Earth is based on Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell's much-loved children's novel of the same name. An affectionate nod to Lord Of The Rings, it takes the heart of the eponymous world and runs with it in a series of hilarious epic adventures.
Complete with inept wizards, goblins, talking clocks, elves, sarcastic budgies and scheming fairies, the upside down world of Muddle Earth will transport the audience to an astonishing fantasy world they won't want to come back from.
The series will be broadcast Monday to Friday, 3.50pm, BBC One until March 31.
A second 13x11 minute series is in production for broadcast in September 2010.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2010 Red House Children's Book Award

The full shortlist for the 2010 Red House Children's Book Award is as follows:
Books for Younger Children
A Very Strange Creature - Ronda Armitage and Layn Marlow (Orchard Books)Crunch Munch Dinosaur Lunch! - Paul Bright and Mike Terry (Little TigerPress) The Baby Dragon-Tamer - Jan Fearnley (Egmont Books) Bottoms Up! -Jeanne Willis and Adam Stower (Puffin Books)

Books for Younger ReadersAngel Cake - Cathy Cassidy (Puffin Books) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The LastStraw - Jeff Kinney (Puffin Books) Mondays are Murder - Tanya Landman(Walker Books)

Books for Older ReadersThe Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Children's Books) Ausländer -Paul Dowswell (Bloomsbury Children's Books) Love, Aubrey - Suzanne LaFleur(Puffin Books)

This Award is run by the Federation of Children's Book Groups.

Queen of Teen

Queen of Teen is now inviting nominations for this year's award, which will be presented at a glittering award ceremony in September 2010. Between 12th April and 14th June 2010, readers can nominate any female author for the award, and a shortlist based on these nominations will be announced on 21st June. Fans of each of the shortlisted authors will be invited to the awardceremony - held in the grounds of Queen of Teen HQ in leafy Surrey - wherethey will be able to mingle with their favourite writers, invitedjournalists and other special guests.

see their website at

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Blue Peter Book of the Year

Frozen in Time by Ali Sparkes (OUP), has been named Blue Peter Book of the Year at this year's Blue Peter Book Awards. The novel, winner in the Book I Couldn't Put Down category, saw off competition from Dinkin Dings and Frightening Things by Guy Bass and Pete Williamson (Stripes - Most Fun Story with Pictures) and Why Eating Bogeys Is Good for You by Mitchell Symons (Red Fox - Best Book with Facts).

I'm really delighted that Frozen in Time has won...this is what I said in issue 41 of Carousel

Frozen in Time written by Ali Sparkes, OUP 978-0-19-272755-8 £5.99
Ben and Rachel are resigned to a quiet and dull summer spent with their absent minded uncle Jerome whilst their parents are off on tour. So in the best Enid Blyton tradition there are no interfering adults to spoil the fun. Whilst fooling around in the overgrown garden they find a hidden vault containing (wait for it) the frozen bodies of a girl and a boy. Rachel accidentally hits a button and the excitement begins. The story is mainly set in 2009 but with flashbacks to 1956 and 2007. Plots galore: spies, scientists and secrets. But this book is something more than an exciting read. The two frozen children, Polly and Freddy, wake up and have to face life in 2009 and Ali Sparkes cleverly shows the changes over fifty odd years in both speech and styles. This book will undoubtedly appeal to children but I think adults who were children during the fifties will find it fascinating too. enid stephenson