Friday, April 30, 2010

Anthony Browne on the Scottish Friendly Book Tour

Children’s Laureate and internationally celebrated author, Anthony Browne, will inspire primary school children from Fife to Moray during Scottish Book Trust’s forthcoming Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour.

The tour, which will take place from 9-14 May, begins with an exclusive family event held at the National Galleries in Edinburgh. Anthony will lead an interactive workshop where children will be encouraged to use their eyes, ears and imagination to create pictures and play his famous Shape Game.

The Children’s Laureate will then embark on a tour across Fife, Angus, Aberdeenshire and Moray to spread the wonders of reading, writing and drawing to local school children.

Anthony has penned nearly 40 titles including the visually stunning Gorilla (1983) and Voices in the Park (1998). Anthony has won numerous awards including the Kate Greenaway Medal twice as well as the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2000, which he was the first British illustrator to ever win.

The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour is run by Scottish Book Trust, Scotland’s leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing. The tour aims to give children across Scotland, even those in the most rural and remote areas, access to the best UK children’s authors. A dedicated Facebook page has been set up to keep fans up to date with the latest authors’ news and tours at

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Authors against SATS

We are children’s authors and illustrators opposed to the SAT tests. Our campaign was founded in 1993. We believe that children’s understanding, empathy, imagination and creativity are developed best by reading whole books, not by doing comprehension exercises on short excerpts and not from ticking boxes or giving one word answers. It is our view that reading for pleasure is being squeezed by the relentless pressure of testing and we are particularly concerned that the SATs and the preparation for them are creating an atmosphere of anxiety around the reading of literature. Resources now being channelled into testing could and should be redirected towards libraries, the training of librarians and book provision.We support the boycott called by head teachers in the NUT and NAHT unions. There are no SAT tests in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. We deplore Government threats to use legal action against a form of action which will give children more time to learn and will not disrupt their education in any way.
Signatories:Michael Rosen, Alan Gibbons, Roger McGough, Cathy Cassidy, Bali Rai, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Darren Shan, Geraldine McCaughrean, Beverley Naidoo, Robert Swindells, Linda Newbery, Tom Palmer, Jean Ure, Mary Hooper, Tim Bowler, Sally Nicholls, Paul Geraghty, Lucy Coats, Fiona Dunbar, Tanya Landman, Bernard Ashley, Pippa Goodhart, Tony Mitton, Phiip Ardagh, Eleanor Updale, Malcolm Rose, Alan Corkish, Charlie Butler, Helena Pielichaty, Mary Hoffman, John Shelley, Sam Mills, ‘Mr Read’, Keren David, Tommy Donbavand, Jamila Gavin, Catherine Johnson, Jon Mayhew, Cliff McNish, Anne Cassidy, Jan Dean, Caroline Pitcher, Tabitha Suzuma, Ellen Renner, Elizabeth Kay, Anna Perera, Steve and Sue Weatherill, Nicola Morgan, Ann Bryant, Dennis Hamley, David Calcutt, Jane Ray, Chrissie Gittins, Tony Lindsay, Ros Asquith, Katy Evans-Bush, Heather Butler, Ronda Armitage, Cathy Cunning, Wendy French, Charles Lambert, Eva Salzman, Helena Nelson, John Hartley William, Ros Barber, Gwen Grant, John Siddique, Katherine Gallagher, Antony Dunn, Andrew Strong, Elizabeth Baines, Andy Seed, Isobel Dixon, R V Bailey, Frances Leviston, Anthony Williams, Christopher Reid, Philip Wells, Steve Skidmore, Anne Rouse, Naomi Foyle, Richard Rose, Pat Thomson, Steve Barlow, Yvonne Luna, Anne Cottringer. Contact Authors Against Sats organizer Alan

Summer Half Term at National Gallery

All sessions are free. Children must be accompanied to all events. No need to book, but places are limited and allocated on arrival.
For under-5s Magic Carpet storytellingTuesday 1 to Saturday 5 June 2010, 11.30am Meet in the Education Centre Foyer Join us and fly away on the magic carpet, which comes to land in front of a different painting each day. Storytelling sessions last half an hour and are suitable for children from 2 to 5 years old.
For families with children aged 5 to 11 Free hands-on art workshops for families. Meet in the Education Centre Foyer. We’re going on a boar hunt (we’re not scared)! Tuesday 1 to Saturday 5 June 2010 11am, repeated 2pm. Workshops last two hours.
The hunter in Diego Velazquez's painting ‘La Tela Real’ is actually King Philip IV of Spain. With the help of artist Thomas Gosebruch we will make a picture book about the big event. For all ages
Family Walk and TalkTuesday 1 to Saturday 5 June 2010 12.30–1.30pm Meet in the Education Centre Foyer Join us on a journey through the Gallery where we will walk, talk and bring paintings alive!
Don’t forget our regular Family Sundays. Join us for free activities or learn more about paintings with a range of family audio tours.
During workshops a picnic room is available for families in the Education Centre. For more information on National Gallery Family events, please visit or telephone 020 7747 2894/2885. Rail: Charing Cross Tube: Charing Cross and Leicester Square Buses to Trafalgar Square: 3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 23, 24, 29, 53, 88, 91, 139, 159, 176, 453 The National Gallery Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

Friday, April 23, 2010

Greenaway/Carnegie Shortlists

Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell's The Graveyard Book has become the first book in 30 years to be shortlisted for both of the most prestigious awards in children's publishing, the CILIP Carnegie Medal (children’s book) and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal (illustrated book). It follows Peter Dickinson and Michael Foreman's City of Gold (1980), which went on to win the Carnegie. The Dave McKean-illustrated Crazy Hair, a second title with text by Gaiman, is also a Greenaway contender.

The full shortlists are:

CILIP Carnegie Medal

Laurie Halse Anderson, Chains (Bloomsbury)
Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book (illustrations by Chris Riddell, Bloomsbury)
Helen Grant, The Vanishing of Katerina Linden (Puffin)
Julie Hearn, Rowan the Strange (OUP)
Patrick Ness, The Ask and the Answer (Walker)
Terry Pratchett, Nation (Corgi)
Philip Reeve, Fever Crumb (Scholastic)
Marcus Sedgwick, Revolver (Orion)

CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal

Grahame Baker-Smith, Leon and the Place Between (Templar)
Freya Blackwood, Harry and Hopper (text by Margaret Wild, Scholastic)
Oliver Jeffers, The Great Paper Caper (HarperCollins)
Satoshi Kitamura, Millie's Marvellous Hat (Andersen)
Dave McKean, Crazy Hair (text by Neil Gaiman, Bloomsbury)
Chris Riddell, The Graveyard Book (text by Neil Gaiman, Bloomsbury)
David Roberts, The Dunderheads (text by Paul Fleischman, Walker)
Viviane Schwarz, There Are Cats in This Book (Walker)

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at BAFTA in central London on Thursday 24 June.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Scottish Book Trust Searches for Young Writing Talent

Scottish Book Trust is currently on the lookout for three enthusiastic young writers to take part in the Young Writers Awards.
Young people aged between 14 and 17 can apply for a rare opportunity to be mentored by award winning novelist and Scottish Book Trust’s Virtual Writer in Residence Catherine Forde (Sugarcoated, SKAARS, Firestarter) as well as to meet industry professionals, including a literary agent and London publisher Scholastic, who publish Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials Trilogy amongst others.
They will also have the chance to get their work published in a book alongside other Scottish writers in early 2011.
The budding authors need to submit a 2,000 word story by May 31st in order to be selected. Details on how to apply can be found at

Inappropriate books

Do visit this delicious website
to find recommended inappropriate books for kids

Friday, April 09, 2010

Brian Wildsmith Exhibition

The Master of Colour – Brian Wildsmith at 80. 24 March – 24 April 2010 The Illustrated Cupboard is delighted to host an exceptional exhibition of original artwork by one of the most influential book illustrators of the modern era. Brian Wildsmith changed the way picture books were produced and paved the way for much of the modern era of book illustration. This exhibition of his original published paintings and drawings is the first of its kind, with work on show for the very first time.Brian Wildsmith will be at the gallery on Tuesday 13th April signing books, and the exhibition runs until 24th April.

A warm welcome is extended to all. Original artwork from £1500
Limited signed giclĂ©e editions produced by Brian Wildsmith from £250

Signed books from £5.99
Preview and purchase on

The Illustration Cupboard +44 (0)207 976 172722 Bury StLondonSW1Y 6AL

Green Park Tube is nearby and if you are in London this is a treat not to be missed.