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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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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
This is an exhibition about everyone’s childhood reading, whichever generation is yours, you can find books that will take you straight back to your own memories. As we approached Stig of the Dump‘s Cave I touched the Stig type clothes, someone next to me said’
‘I’m not going in there! I always worried about the smoke from Stig’s fire.’
Mr Big is there with his piano and author Ed Vere is delighted to be in the exhibition,
“ It’s a real honour for me to be part of Puffin’s 70th birthday celebrations and this wonderful exhibition.”
A real gem of the exhibition has to be the Kaye Webb Collection . Kaye was the second editor at Puffin and much of her work inspired the addition of so many titles and new authors and illustrators.
Along with her complete archive of children’s books, which was the first major purchase of Seven Stories, there are letters written to authors and friends. Written on the old style type writer and with a soft way of expression, they make enchanting reading, especially when there is the odd correction, crossed out and over written.
There are some very modern ways too of interacting with characters, The Borrowers , by Mary Norton is well worth stopping at, just past the grandfather clock….. thanks to the team at Newcastle University for providing support.
If you are in Newcastle, then do visit the exhibition and Seven Stories, its just up from the Quayside and make sure you get to find the little boat in the Ouseburn…..
And even if you can’t get to Seven Stories in Newcastle on Tyne, you can still take part.
Everyone has a favourite place to read. In a comfy chair, on a bus, up a tree… It could be anywhere! Email Seven Stories a picture of you reading in your favourite spot and you can be on the super screen in the exhibition too!
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Ifeoma Onyefulu has just returned from Washington. She was a huge success and her books about life in Africa, illustrated with wonderful photographs were extremely popular.
Her book Welcome Dede! was part of play reading session at Washington Covention Centre , with a number of other well known authors.The session brought the books to life as the play scripts were directly from the books and written by the authors.
This is a great way to bring two huge continents of Africa and America together. There is much we can all learn from different ways of life, not least of which is that families have great similarities. Their values, hopes and dreams for their children are about living a great life with friends, family. Having time to share, to laugh and to love and to make the best of opportunities.
Another of Ifeoma’s books, The Girl Who Married a Ghost, also published by Frances Lincoln has also had a recent great review by Gwen Grant on Armadillo, the on-line magazine. It is a series of tales from Nigeria with amazing titles and fascinating stories and as it says in the review’
“As soon as I began reading the introduction to this book, I was sitting down, crossing my legs and hunching up closer to the story teller for whilst these ten stories in The Girl Who Married a Ghost are spiky, scary and funny, the ghosts are some of the scariest I have ever met. “
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On the very top floor in the attic of Seven Stories, a group of people gathered to listen with excitement to the announcement of the Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Book Award. Set within a roof space of sturdy beams, interlocked together from the industrial past of this amazing building beside the canal, the atmosphere was wonderfully friendly with an electric buzz waiting to find out which book and which author had won.
‘ And the winner is….
Tom Avery for Too Much Trouble
A story of two brothers, Emmanuel and Prince. Emmanuel tells his story as he looks back on how events led to him holding a gun to a man’s head. The boys are forced to live on hand outs as their drug dealer uncle says they are too much trouble. They make an art of being unnoticed. But when they are forced to look after themselves they end up in a life of crime from which Emmanuel can see no way out.
Short listed for the prize were, Remi Oyedele for Goal Dreams, Sue Stern for Rafi Brown and the Candy Floss Kid and Karon Alderman for Story Thief.
The judges were made up of a panel including the team at Seven Stories and they said that they had some excellent entries in this second year of the award.
The award was announced by John Nichol, Managing Director at Frances Lincoln and Janetta Otter Barry, said that she is looking forward to working with Tom on the future publishing of the book.
Our team from Dolphin Booksellers were delighted to be at the event and look forward to the publication of Too Much Trouble.
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The winner of the Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award for 2010 will be announced on Tuesday 8th June 2010 at Seven Stories in Newcastle upon Tyne .
Frances Lincoln Ltd, the award winning publisher, and Seven Stories, the Centre for Children’s Books, set up the award in memory of Frances Lincoln(1945- 2001).
It encourages and promotes diversity in children’s fiction.
From role models to different cultures and groups, it values the need for all children to be able to find themselves in a book and to widen horizons and aspirations.
Last year, 2009, Cristy Burne was the successful winner of the award for Takeshita Demons , a great start and an amazingly brilliant adventure story.
“ The demons are all real: Western cultures have vampires and werewolves and witches, Japanese people have kappa and oni and tengu. “ Says Cristy, who has now had the story published by Frances Lincoln in an amazingly colourful and vibrant book.
We were pleased to be invited to the Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award, watch this space to find out the winner for 2010.
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