Thursday, June 28, 2012

Authors call for a library in every school legislation

A host of award-winning authors including Sarah Waters, David Almond, Philip Reeve and Malorie Blackman are calling on the government to make it a legal obligation for every school to have a library.

Kevin Crossley-Holland who is the new president of the School Library Association and who has won both the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Carnegie Medal says "If only the government would full-bloodedly espouse and implement this mission, they will be making a profound statement about their commitment to educational standards, an to what it actually means for a scoiety to be civilised.  Here's a common cause, and an investment in the future, if ever there was one"

See full report

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Winnie the Witch celebrates her 25th birthday this summer


Booking has opened for the UK’s largest dedicated children’s book festival, taking place in Bath from 28 September to 7 October.

Best-selling authors and inspiring illustrators will once again make their way to this historic city for ten late summer days of top class events, interactive talks and creative workshops for children of all ages and their families.

Horrible Histories’ Martin Brown is this year’s Illustrator in Residence and heads a stellar line up of the UK’s favourite children’s illustrators including Axel Scheffler, Anthony Browne, Tony Ross, Laurence Anholt and Korky Paul, whose inimitable creation Winnie The Witch celebrates her 25th birthday this summer.


The festival opens on Friday 28 September with a free, city-wide parade to celebrate an amazing 25 years of Where’s Wally: anyone can join in, the only requirements are red and white stripes, glasses and bobble hats.

The parade is followed by a special opening night gala in Bath’s central venue The Guildhall with Waterstones Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson and the ever-popular Axel Scheffler.  The best-selling picture book duo will talk about their much-loved characters, including their new hero Superworm.


The magnificent Georgian buildings of Bath will then play host to the biggest names in children’s literature today including Anthony Horowitz, Michael Morpurgo, Helen Dunmore, Lauren Child, Andy Stanton, Michael Rosen, and Cathy Cassidy.  With over 100 events programmed, the festival will also make use of some exciting new venues, including the Paragon School’s yurt.

We take a walk on the wild side with Michaela Strachan (BBC Springwatch), Benjamin Mee (We Bought A Zoo) Steve Bloom (Big Cats) and with intrepid explorer Matt Dickinson.    We step back in time with James Holland (Duty Calls: Battle of Britain) and Michelle Paver (Gods and Warriors) and in a KidsLit exclusive performance we witness the epic tale of Achilles, as told by master storytellers Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden.

BBC Radio 2’s Simon Mayo will talk about his first novel Itch and best-selling author Frank Cottrell Boyce tells how he has given fiction’s best-loved car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a makeover and a new set of magical adventures.

We celebrate 80 years of Babar and 100 years of Tarzan and we welcome back Peter Rabbit, Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam, Mr Men, Maisy, Moshi Monsters and all the other family favourites.


KLF is a new feature of the festival this year, designed specifically for teens and devised by a collaborative group of teens from Bath. The authors appearing in this special series of events include the award-winning Norwegian Johan Harstad (172 Hours on the Moon) as well as Sophie Crockett (After the Snow), Gemma Malley (The Killables) and Jeff Norton (Metawars) who talk about life after The Hunger Games. Darren Shan, Sally Gardner, Sophie McKenzie, and dystopian debutante Moira Young also come to Bath as part of KLF to talk about their new books.

The festival also features a series of in-depth workshops and master classes, which reinforce the author-led events and offer a range of activities from cartoon illustration to crime writing.

As part of Bath Festivals’ commitment to year-round learning and participation, there is an extensive schools programme involving visiting authors, reaching out to and engaging children of all ages, from a wide area around the city.

The full programme is available to view at
Booking line: 01225 463362

For all press information: Tamsin Treverton Jones 07980 585664/01225 462231
Images available on request

About Bath Festivals

Bath Festivals brings leading international performers, writers and thinkers to Bath every year to inspire, entertain and challenge audiences of all ages and artistic tastes.  The festivals champion diversity and collaboration, open people's minds, and showcase the work of both established and up-and-coming performers  - all in the special setting that is Bath, a World Heritage Site, and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

Bath Festivals is the charitable organisation responsible for the internationally acclaimed Bath International Music Festival, the thought-provoking Independent Bath Literature Festival and the inspirational Telegraph Bath Festival of Children's Literature.  Bath Festivals provides year-round learning and participation opportunities for children, young people and adults through creative workshops, gigs, and master classes.

Bath Festivals acts as a central hub for the arts in Bath and North East Somerset, serving over 90 festivals, events and local arts organisations through the Bath Box Office, and supporting the Bath Area Cultural Forum.  Bath Festivals earns a significant part of its income from box office sales and sponsorship, and, since the creation of the music festival in 1948, has also relied on grants, donations, and charitable giving in order to secure its national and international reputation and the contribution it brings to Bath's creative and cultural life.    Bath Festivals is funded by Arts Council England through its National Portfolio programme and also receives support from Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Carousel is pleased to be sponsoring Polly Dunbar on September 29th

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Scheffler & Schwarz - new work!

Viviane Schwarz was at the CILIP Carnegie Greenaway award ceremony last week with her shortlisted book, There are no cats in this book. As she said, she was in great company, and you've no doubt already heard that Patrick Ness (writer) and Jim Kay (illustrator) uniquely scooped both awards for their book A Monster Calls, based on an idea by the late Siobhan Dowd. However, Viv did extremely well to get on the shortlist as the competition is so fierce, so she deserves to be hugely congratulated! Luckily for us, she gave me the artwork for this book earlier in the year and there are still a few wonderful pieces remaining.

 Linda Owen-Lloyd

For further details of the pictures please email Linda or visit her website

Monday, June 18, 2012

London 2012 Festival - Cultural Olympics

Here are just a few of the many events from 21 June to 9 September which are suitable for children.  To see the full list and booking details  go to

The Caucus Race: Join Alice and other Wonderland characters in the famous race where everybody wins!  Free.  8 July Merton Fields, Oxford.

aMAZEme Marcos Saboya creates an installation featuring a maze made up of thousands of books, taking inspiration from Jose Luis Borges.  free. 31 July-24 August.  Southbank Centre, London

Alan Ayckbourn - The Boy Who Fell Into A Book.  An out of this world detective adventure in which avid reader Kevin chases Rockfast Slim though every book on the shelf.  18 July - 28 July Soho Theatre, London

Bee Detective - Tin Bath Theatre Company.  A spectacle with animation, vibrations and waggle dancing for young audiences.  As part of Unlimited.  23-24 June, Cardiff; 13 -15 July Alnwick Garden Northumberland, 31 August - 2 September Southbank Centre London

CROW - Handspring UK.  Award-winning Handspring Puppet Company UK gives Ted Hughes' CROW poems new life, co-commissioned by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, as part of Greenwich/Docklands International Festival.  18June - 7 July.  The Borough Hall at Greenwich Dance, Greenwich

KidsWeek in the West End.  Events, prizes, super theatre workshops and free tickets to London's best shows.  Whole of August (so unsure why it is called a week!).  West End Theatres, London

In a Pickle - Oily Cart.  A journey for children aged 2-4 through Shakespeare's landscapes.  19-23 June Stratford Circus, London 27 -30 June, Northern Stage, Newcastle

Betty Trask Awards

(for first novels, traditional or romantic, by writers under 35)

The three winners included Annabel Pitcher for My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece (Orion/Indigo), which was also short listed for the Carnegie.

Judges: Frances Fyfield, Mike Gayle, Fay Weldon.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Holiday Puppet Making Days

Please note, these days are taking place at Islington Museum, 245 Saint John Street, London EC1V 4NB

Bring your favourite cartoon character to life by making it into a puppet. We will work with you for the day to make your own Bart Simpson, Disney Princess, Superhero, or Manga star puppet. Bring a picture of your favourite one with you or we’ll be prepared with ideas to get you started on the day if you can’t decide. 

Working with our expert puppet makers we’ll help you make your puppet and teach you how to use it finishing the day with a short performance using the puppets you have made for your friends and family! Take your puppet home with you at the end of the day.

Tuesday 24th & Thursday 26th July, 10.00am – 4.00pm daily
Cost per Day: £35 / £30 (concession)
Cost to attend both Days: £65 / £55 (concession)
For: 5-11 years (Year 1 to Year 6)

Kevin Crossley-Holland - School Library Association President for 2012

The School Library Association (SLA) is delighted to announce that from June 10th 2012 the distinguished and award winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland will take up his role as President of the SLA.

Anthony Browne IBBY card

Following on from the success of our IBBY Christmas card (featuring illustrations by Jan Pienkowski, Michael Foreman, Jane Ray and Shirley Hughes) and in response to requests for a notelet card, we are pleased to announce a new card by Anthony Browne.

The illustration is specially designed and donated to support the international IBBY Congress which takes place in London from August 23-26. Anthony Browne will be taking part in the Congress along with Patsy Aldana, Aidan Chambers, Julia Donaldson, Bart Moeyaert, Michael Morpurgo, Michael Rosen, and Shaun Tan. More details are available on the website

The illustration on the front of the card features Anthony Browne’s well-known Willy character flying over the world surrounded by open books. The inside of the card is blank to write your own message.

Cards are available in packs of 10 at £6 (including postage and packing). Full details are available on the order form.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

North East Book Award

Congratulations to Chris Westwood on winning  the North East Book Award 2011 with  Ministry of Pandemonium and to Tom Avery for being shortlisted with Too Much Trouble.  Both books published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books.

The North East Book Award is one of the longest running regional book awards.  Students from 50 schools in the region judge the awards each year with the winner of the teenage category being announced in January and the junior category in May.

Despite the very wet  weather 250 eleven and twelve  year olds gathered excitedly in the Centre for Life, Newcastle  last night (31 May)  with their parents, librarians and teachers to hear the winner of this year’s North East Book Award announced.  Since the release of the shortlist in early March students have been enthusiastically reading, discussing, debating and reviewing the relative merits of all 5 shortlisted titles before casting their votes to decide their winner.   This year’s award was made to Chris Westwood for Ministry of Pandemonium, a powerfully written supernatural thriller.  Barbara Mitchelhill was Highly Commended for her war time story of evacuation, Run Rabbit Run