Skip to content

lbThe  School Library Association have launched a Primary School Library Charter on Monday 15 th February. The charter will help primary head teachers and governors set up and run a school library or increase the contribution that their current library makes to the school’s effectiveness and the pupils’ well being and learning.

At Dolphin Booksellers and at SmithMartin Partnership we are so pleased that the value of libraries in primary schools is really celebrated. A well resourced library with an area and space which is attractive for children to sit and read or to access information is so important. Library spaces we have created have been places that children just love to be in.

Many schools, for many children, are the only place that they have access to a wide range of books. It becomes the very start of their own reading materials and if we are lucky it can be the catalyst for finding the way to local libraries.

Sir Tim Brighouse, associate professor at the Institute of Education , University of London and former Schools Commissioner for London, welcomed the charter, saying: ‘The school library is one of the key indicators of whether a school environment is as best fitted as it can be for learning. If the library is a desert, you start to worry.

Lucy Bakewell, librarian at Hill West Primary School in Sutton Coldfield and the first primary winner of the SLA’s School Librarian of the Year award (2009), believes that a primary school library plays a unique role in ‘grabbing children when they are building their vocabulary and growing their imaginations to introduce them to reading habits and information handling skills which will stand them in good stead later’. She adds: ‘Primary school librarians are also well placed to reach parents and help to create a reading ethos in families as well as in schools.’

Watch this space for more information, we will be interested to find out the response from Gordon Brown to a letter from international colleagues.

Dolphin Booksellers for up to date information and a chance to buy books on line.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


if Hotbook was launched at the Free Word Centre, Farringdon Road, London on 2nd February 2010. It was really exciting to discover this new style of accessing texts.

The message below will be beamed from the future to secondary students in the UK via the HOTBOOK, a ground breaking and free digital resource created by if:book, the think and do tank.

'The Great Wipe hath irrayzed much of world culcha, butta few bits of licheracha haveth bn found ­ pleez help mi choose most bestest 2 exxibit' -
from the curator of a history of the book 2/2/3010

The HOTBOOK aims to ignite a passion for literature, by introducing and exploring fragments of great works.These are presented in ways that will excite the audience of young people, who also use electronic games and social networking as well as reading.

"Schools have good I.T. equipment and technical support, but English teachers need inspiring resources to help them stretch their digital imaginations and make creative use of the amazing potential of new media for literature," said Chris Meade, Director of if:book, a charitable company which also offers training to teacher

'These are a fantastically creative set of multi modal resources with which to deliver the rich experience of both language and literature at the heart of the revised curriculum at KS3'.

if1Ellie Clarke, Head of English at Queensbridge School , one of the pilot schools, in the picture with two of the pupils and the box!

The teachers guide, is available from the website at Future of the Book.

Funding and support is given from Esmee Fairburn Trust and the Arts Council, along with Booktrust.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


snThe Snow Leopard by Jackie Morris

Whilst listening to the radio, I heard that snow leopards are perfectly adapted to the snow and bitterly cold weather we are having in the UK. It made me stop and think, then refind my copy of The Snow Leopard by Jackie Morris, published by Frances Lincoln.

The beauty and spirituality of these animals is captured wonderfully. The story is truly magical.

From the beginning of time the Snow Leopard has sung the stars to life, the sun to rise and the moon to wax and wane. She weaves a song to keep her hidden valley safe from the world of men and as she sings, a child down in the valley beneath, dreams her song.”

slThe illustrations are amazingly evocative with the dreaming and sleeping child snuggled close to the leopard. The shades of cobalt blue matched boldly against the white and grey fur.

If you are looking for a book to use for creativity and imagination, go for this one over the winter spell. The writing and illustrations will give endless scope.

And just open the pages, read, gaze and dream............

For a more scientific approach, facts about the snow leopard can be found on the BBC nature web site with further links. There are some great videos of snow leopards, these solitary cats need about 2000 acres of snow covered lands in which to roam.

Or visit Jackie's website and find out more about her work, she has a large range of prints for sale too.
Buy The Snow Leopard, by Jackie Morris before you leave?


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


opA great competition which had over 4000 entries this year from all over the world.
The awards and celebrations were held at The Unicorn Theatre in London on 14th December.
Children and parents mingled with poets and publishers.

Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate and chair of the judging panel said,
'We left our meeting convinced that the true beginnings of poetry are to be found in writing by children.”

This international poetry competition, now in its fourth year, is run by Children's Poetry Bookshelf, part of Poetry Book Society, in partnership with the British Council.

grpLots of excited faces, as the winners joined judges John Agard, Roger Stevens and Carol Ann Duffy at the presentation. As well as the prizes there will be a commemorative booklet, in which winning and recommended poems will be featured.

It is available from Children's Poetry Bookshelf, which is a great website as a resource and just good to read as well!

Some of the lines that have stayed with us are;

Men watching
Friends go forever

From A Soldier's Poem by Louisa, aged 8.

And,

He is the blow of a whistle
That can be heard all over the world
.

About Barack Obama by Sarah, aged 8.

Children's writing has a way of finding the truth.....

Dolphin Booksellers – finding out more about books for children.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


ppPapa Panov was an old shoemaker, who lived in a Russian village.

It was Christmas Eve and he was expecting a special visitor the next day. He found the very best pair of tiny leather shoes that he had ever made.

' That's what I shall give him.' He said.

The next day, Christmas Day, he made a really warm fire, put some coffee on the stove and waited. He had several visitors that day, the old road sweeper, a young mother with a baby. He asked them into the warm and gave them coffee. He gave the best pair of shoes that he had ever made to the baby.

But still the special person didn't come.

As it got dark, he sat in his chair. Two large tears welled up in his eyes.

"Dearie, dearie" he said. It seemed as if someone was in the room. A voice said, " I was cold and you made me warm, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. Didn't you see me Papa Panov?"

Papa Panov is a beautiful, old french story, retold by Leo Tolstoy . It captures the heart of Christmas without too much tinsel.

Papa Panov's Special Day has been adapted by Mig Holder and illustrated by Julie Dowling.

cdppThere's also a CD which features Papa Panov as a story.

This story is one of several Christmas stories that will be on Dolphin Bookblog this Christmas.

Dolphinboooksellers.co.uk for children's books and information on line.

...continue reading "Papa Panov’s Special Day – Books for Christmas"


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


cj1

Crispy Juice – Love Music, Love poetry, Love kids.

A new concept bringing rhymes and poetry together in a beautifully presented package. Crispy Juice website has style, quality and is a real delight in the illustrations and the way rhymes and music are put together.

The music is available to listen to on the website and CD's can be purchased on line. If you are lucky enough to live near Bristol, there may be some markets where you can find a Crispy Juice stall.

When you buy a CD, a donation of £1 is given to Zambuko library.

calpCalico Pie is the first CD produced. There are over 20 rhymes and songs, old favourites and new ones too, set to music by Paul Bradley using a melodica, glockenspiel, guitar and piano.

Its very dreamy and as they say on the CD, 'Its best served warm with a cosy blanket'.

Just right for winter evenings and anytime that you and the children want to enjoy music and rhymes.
It would be great for nurseries 'sleepy times' just after lunch. You know that sort of time when you don't need to actually sleep, but music and a comfy chair and a good book are just right!

Dolphin Booksellers have information and lists of books for Christmas, plus you can buy them direct through the link to Amazon, so great books at good prices. A winning combination.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


ntPerform-a-Poem is a terrific concept. Children perform their own poems, which are put onto a video and safely uploaded on to the web site. All you have to do is stand back and watch the performance.

Michael Rosen launched Perform-a Poem on 3rd November at the National Theatre. He wanted to create a website where it was easy for children to upload their own videos and to browse other children's poetry.

A fantastic concept and I guess its going to grow and grow. There's a whole host of poems that are out of copyright, such as Edward Lear and the Book of Nonsense. And you will be able to find the poem that matches your feelings, and make it come alive.

A Michael Rosen quote from the website;

"Poetry is the sound of words in your ears, it’s the look of poets in motion and that can be you. Make your poems sing, whisper, shout and float. Let the words make the rhythm and give the viewers a buzz to see you."

It has started with support from Booktrust and the London Grid for Learning and is available across the capital. But it can be hosted by other UK learning grids.

pfpThis is a web site for sharing and for children, teachers and parents to get involved in. Would be great for some Christmas poems?

Dolphin Booksellers supporting great books for children.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


qrQuick Reads are a really good way to find your way into books. In fact they are an excellent read in their own right and they have been a huge success.In the last four years they have distributed over 1 million copies and introduced thousands of new readers to books.

2010 is their fifth anniversary and they have some exciting titles lined up already including Doctor Who and the Code of the Krillitanes by Justin Richards. aw Traitors of the Tower is written by Alison Weir. She is a great author who specialises in historical novels, based very closely to facts and research. For a larger novel try also Innocent Traitor or The Lady Elizabeth.

The back lists for Quick Reads are still available and definitely worth checking out. They are all written by best selling authors and include some celebrities too. The Quick Read website has lots of information and a chance to write a review about the books.

At Dolphin Booksellers we would be really interested in bringing some books and authors for an event for your organisation. Our City Stories website has more information too.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


dvSo good to have an award to celebrate diversity in children's fiction. Frances Lincoln Ltd, the award winning publisher and Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books announced the second Diverse Voices Children's Book Award.

Its aim is to encourage and promote diversity in children's fiction and is in memory of Frances Lincoln ( 1945 - 2001).

In the UK we have an amazing richness of cultures and people from all over the world. Children's perceptions of the world are largely based on the environment around them, the friends they meet and the books they read. Books need to be relevant to children of today.

The Diverse Voices Award is in its second year and is for new writers, whose books ensure that heroes, heroines and the range of characters reflect our modern cultures. The manuscript must celebrate cultural diversity in the widest sense, either through the story, or the origins of the author.

tdThere is a prize worth £1500 and an option for Frances Lincoln to publish the novel.

Last year's winner was Christy Burne and there's lots more information on her web page.

The fiction must be unpublished, between 15,000 and 35,000 words and written for 8 – 12 year olds, by a writer aged 16 or over.

All the details are on the Frances Lincoln and Seven Stories, where you will also find the entry forms.

If you already have an idea or have even started writing, there's nothing to lose and lots to gain.

Dolphin Booksellers are delighted to be able to include this information on Dolphin Book Blog and make it available to a wide audience of Children's Centres and schools.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


lucyLucy Bakewell of Hill West Primary School, Sutton Coldfield has just been announced as the School Librarian of the Year 2009 .

A first for primary school libraries.

Lucy said, “I am ecstatic and honoured to be given this award for something I love doing. I have the best job in the world and it’s a joy to spend time the library. I feel passionate about making the library a space that children feel is their own and am delighted to receive the honour for the children and for the school. It is exceptionally important that a primary school has won for the first time. It is vital to enthuse and engage children in books and reading from an early age.’
Anne Cassidy award winning author of Looking for JJ, presented Lucy with the award.

Ginnette Doyle, chair of the Judging Panel was especially full of praise for Lucy's inspiration in creating a place where children can love reading.

‘Primary schools are vital in inspiring children to read and reading is so important in the development of children, expanding their imagination, their knowledge, their vocabulary. They also are the places where children begin to learn, where information skills are first taught, creating individuals competent in finding information. Few primary schools can afford to have a librarian and many rely on dedicated individuals, such as Lucy to run their libraries. Lucy inspires her pupils to love books and reading and she inspires the adults around her. Hill West School is an example of a marvellous school where reading and books are central to learning, much of which is down to Lucy. We feel that it is really important to raise the profile of good primary school library practice, to demonstrate that with the right person in place wonderful things can be achieved.’

The groupwork of three other exceptional school librarians on the Honours List was also celebrated.
" Barbara Band - The Emmbrook School, Wokingham
" Lynne Varley - Sponne Community Technology College, Towcester
" Joy Wassell-Timms - Parrs Wood High School, Didsbury

Its fantastic that the award celebrates so much the good work that exists in school libraries, not just as a place for rows of books. But more and more as a place where children can go to read, enjoy books and lose themselves in their imaginations.

Photographs by kind permission of Philip Paul

Dolphin Booksellers is pleased to be a member of SLA.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.