Travelling to Sydney means more than just a visit down under.
On our second visit this year to develop a literacy project for children and families we met with some great people; yr 4 children, school teams, parents, authors,publishers and many more.
The project, Books go Walkabout, brings authors and illustrators to children from both sides of the world! Ambitious, yes but really exciting. Some of that eternal Aussie optimism catching hold.
We are finding ways of working through the systems and enabling a dialogue to take place from one country to the other. It will share stories and bring new dimensions to children as authors from across the world can bring their perspective.
Our first venture is with a school in Sydney and an English author, Ifeoma Onyefulu. Ifeoma travels to a different part of Africa most years taking the most amazing photos and building stories.
This is followed by an Australian author, Lindy Batchelor sharing her work with a school near Cambridge.
Much work to do in pioneering a new fledging venture and our work in business structures is a key part in making it a success.
Sue Martin – SmithMartin Partnership – broadening horizons in communitiesFiled under Featured authors | Tags: australia, ifeoma onyefulu, lindy batchelor | Comment (0)
How can a dusty old picture draw the past and the present together?
In The Rabbit Girl by Mary Arrigan the mystery unfolds. In one time period two evacuees are brought together on the far side of Lake Windermere. They are living with country people and finding life very different from life in the city of London during the war.
They find a friend turns out to be a very famous artist. She has time for them and they get together whenever they can. But time is not on their side and Tony has to return to London as his father is killed in a bombing raid.
Two generations later in a pet shop the story is brought back to life and the grumpy old man is not all he seems. Mallie is intrigued by an old picture of a rabbit and a girl which she gives to her Mum as a present. But it has something very special hidden within it that will reveal a very special secret.
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Jackie Morris, children’s book illustrator and author has some wonderful illustrations of tigers. These fill many of her books with colour and splendour, and capture that engaging image of the tiger in the wild. Yet, within the picture lies a sense of majesty,strength and compassion.
The original watercolour from the book, Lord of the Forest, illustrated by Jackie and written by Caroline Pitcher is being donated by Jackie and auctioned on eBay in aid of the 21st Century Tiger.
From the 21st March for 10 days you can bid in the auction for the painting.
21st Century Tiger is a unique fund raising partnership between the Zoological Society of London and Global Tiger Patrol.They raise money to support conservation products throughout Asia.
Jackie says.” Even though in my lifetime I may never see a tiger in the wild, my world is a richer place for knowing that these wonderful creatures are there…. It is my hope that when I have grandchildren tigers will still walk through their dreams and through the forests of the world as living creatures and not something from history, creatures of myth.”
Information can be found at 21st Century Tiger
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” Have my lunch, growled the bear. ” And my lunch is…YOU!”
Poor old Grizzly Bear, there was nothing left to eat in the woods. Because he had eaten it all!
From tasty toes to biting in half, this bear means business when he comes across the rabbit. But unlike other animals Rabbit is not scared.
He has intriguing reasons why the bear should not eat him for his lunch and it works!
A great story in a picture book retold in a very appealing way. The drama, the pictures, the way it is presented and the rhyming text make it a joy to read and to share.
It comes from Sean Taylor and illustrated by Hannah Shaw,the team who put together Crocodiles are the best Animals of All- short listed for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2009.Newly published by Frances Lincoln, this book is a great one to read and to buy.
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The Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award promotes diversity in children’s books, it encourages new authors to write about aspects which touch children from all over the world. It enables books to be published which recognise and celebrate diversity.
The award is held in memory of Frances Lincoln who was an advocate for hearing the voice of children in all sorts of situations, especially those who were unable to access books and reading.
For the winner there is a prize of £1500 plus an option for Frances Lincoln to publish the novel.
The details are on the Seven Stories website, which is great site for a wander. There’s lots happening.
The winner of last year’s Diverse Voices Award was Tom Avery with Too Much Trouble
Closing date for entries is February 25th. So get writing, it’s worth it just to get that story finished!
Sue Martin Dolphin Booksellers – the best in children’s books always on line.Filed under Dolphinbooksellers, Featured authors, Featured children's book | Tags: diverse voices award, dolphin booksellers, Frances Lincoln, seven stories, tom avery | Comment (0)
Poetry is back on the agenda!
It certainly was for all those who entered the Old Possum’s Children’s Poetry Competition. On Friday 10th December the winning young poets were presented with their book prizes.
There were twelve prize winners and a further eight received commendations. They were all between the ages of 7 and eleven. One of the poems is featured below.
Hearing my dad on the computer.
Hearing the quiet buzz of the heater.
Hearing the cars rushing past.
I know I am home.
Smelling paint as I walk past the wall.
Smelling the food being cooked.
I know I am home.
Touching the peach wall when I walk in.
Touching my toys and start playing with them.
I know I am home.
Setting the food on the table ready to eat.
Seeing the furry stairs in the corridor.
I know I am home.
By Michael Hills, aged 8, from Yateley Manor, Hampshire
All winning entries are on Children’s Poetry bookshelf . The judges of the Old Possum’s Children’s Poetry Competition, led by Chair Roger McGough, selected twelve children as winners of the Competition, with a further eight receiving high commendations. The judges awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes to children in two age groups (7-8 and 9-11).
This international Poetry Competition, now in its fifth year, is run by the Children’s Poetry Bookshelf, a poetry book club for young people run by the Poetry Book Society. To link with National Poetry Day on Thursday 7 October, children aged 7-11 were invited to submit poems on the theme of ‘Home’.
The partnership with the British Council boosted entries to the ‘International Learners’ category for children based outside the UK who are learning English as a foreign or second language. In total, well over 3,000 entries were received from schools and individual children worldwide, nearly a quarter of which were from 31 countries other than the UK.
Roger McGough said:
“’Home’ proved to be a fruitful subject for this year’s crop of young poets and the judges relished those poems in which the child’s imagination was let loose. More than attention to domestic detail, the sounds and smells, the furnishings, the judges relished those poems in which the child’s imagination was let loose. Above all, it was a delight to witness very young writers discovering the power and the joy of language.”
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Quentin Blake, the inaugural Children’s Laureate who has also been referred to as a ‘national institution’ and one of France’s most highly acclaimed illustrators illustrator Francois Place (best known in the UK for his illustrations for Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse) talked about their work, showing exquisite examples, and then treated an enthusiastic audience to an amazing drawing duel.
A wonderful evening watching and listening to two people who are good friends but also expert in their fields. They so much enjoyed their work and seemed unruffled by their fame. But then an audience of children are always good at asking the questions that you hadn’t thought about and didn’t really want to share on a wide scale. But Quentin and Francois just answered away.
Seeing a book in pictures first, meant that for Francois, he “ …wondered where the words would go?” and Quentin liked to tell the story in pictures and leave the words to children’s minds.
The artists took it in turns to transform each other’s drawings, keeping the audience guessing what would happen next. Much laughter later a splendid wordless story had been created on one sheet of paper. At the end of the show there was a round of applause when one young person asked the artists to do another drawing. The artists took up the challenge and picked up their pins, giving the audience another chance to see two masters of their craft at work.
A finale to a national programme that has seen children across the country involved with authors and illustrators, a great way to explore children’s books and we look forward to 2011 in even more places.
Sue Martin, Dolphin Booksellers – the best in children’s books always on lineFiled under Book events, Dolphinbooksellers, Featured authors, Featured children's book, Featured illustrators | Tags: children's laureate, dolphin booksellers, francois place, quentin blaeke | Comment (0)
Imagine 30 children in a village school on an October afternoon, enthralled, listening and just wanting to hear the end of the tale.
For a whole hour the children in years 4, 5 and 6 at Babraham Cof E Primary School near Cambridge, sat and listened to Jackie and watched these wonderful pictures developing into a whole world of dragons, cake eating dragons, dragons made from the sun and the stars and tiny dragons with whisper thin wings.
“In their own drawings, their imaginations were sparked with fire as the dragon came to life, tails made of flowers, to dragons with spikes and claws whose tails curled round and round in spiraling circles”.
By the end of the afternoon, neither the children or the teachers were in any hurry to leave, eagerly looking at the books of Jackie’s we had brought.
Tell Me a Dragon(published by Frances Lincoln ) was in print from last year, the images and the story are just beautiful. The latest book from Jackie Morris is The Ice Bear, look no further for an inspiring book as a present.
We are really looking forward to working with Jackie again. Enabling her to share with children in schools, so they can be inspired first hand is worth so much, apart from being a magical moment which both the children and staff will remember.
Book events, Dolphinbooksellers, Featured authors, Featured children's book, Featured illustrators, New titles | Tags: award winning, children's book illustrations, Dolphinbooksellers, Frances Lincoln, jackie morris, smithmartin partnership | Comments Off
Two people have been awarded the honour of SLA School Librarian of the Year.
Ginette Doyle, Chair of the Selection committee and Chair of the School Library Association said: “Kevin and Duncan come from two completely different schools. Kevin’s school has a higher than average learning support register and more pupils eligible for free school meals than normal. He makes his library fun; he goes beyond the book to entice pupils in and demands that they respect the space so that it has become highly valued.
Duncan’s school is more academic and he has ensured that the information literacy ladder he helped to devise is at the heart of lessons, but he too, makes the Library a fun place to be and engages disaffected readers with his enthusiasm for other things than just the Library. Two exceptional librarians, working in different ways to bring their libraries into the heart of the school and learning, we could not decide between them. They are not joint winners, but each deserves the accolade of SLA School Librarian of the Year.
The SLA School Librarian of the Year Award celebrates the essential work that school librarians are doing at a time when school libraries are being closed at an alarming rate.
We were impressed by the passion and dedication of the librarians we visited and the innovative and inspirational ways in which they bring books and an enthusiasm for learning into the heart of the school and into the lives of children. We had a hard job selecting a short list and feel that everyone on the Honour list should be celebrated.”
The Honour List:
Sue Bastone – Licensed Victuallers’ School, Ascot
Rebecca Jones – Malvern St James, Worcestershire
Shiona Lawson – Rothesay Academy, Isle of Bute
Denise Reed – Hurst Prep School, Hurstpierpoint, Sussex
You can find profiles of the six librarians are on the School Library Association website.
Dolphin Booksellers were pleased to support SLA both in their work and by attending the event.
Sue MartinFiled under Book events, Dolphinbooksellers, Featured authors, Featured children's book | Tags: authors, award, award winning, Dolphinbooksellers, school libray association | Comment (0)
Jackie Morris’s latest book The Ice Bear is newly in print this month with Frances Lincoln.
‘ When the great bear wakes in her ice den to find that one of her two cubs has been taken, she holds the second close, but she never forgets her lost child.’
Set in the pristine polar regions of the Arctic, this is a beautiful story with illustrations that are just amazingly powerful.
It brings emotions to the surface, and is a reminder of our responsibility to the world’s animals and wildlife. Polar bears, for instance, can show us the best ways to use natural resources, even in the wildest of places like the Arctic.
Jackie also has exhibitions across the country. Imagine Gallery at Long Melford in Suffolk is currently holding an exhibition of illustrations including cheetahs and the contemplative White Hare.
In October Dolphin Booksellers are hosting and sponsoring an event in Cambridge with Jackie at Babraham C.of E. Primary School. Young children learning, creating and using illustrations and books to fire imaginations.
You can see Jackie’s books and illustrations, plus cards to buy on her website. It’s definitely worth a visit.
Dolphin Booksellers – information and children’s books, always on line