Two people have been awarded the honour of SLA School Librarian of the Year.

At the celebration on 4th October in London, M.G. Harris , author of  The Joshua Files presented the awards to;

Kevin Sheehan from Offerton School in Stockport and Duncan Wright from Stewart's Melville College in Edinburgh.

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 Martin


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.


70 years of Puffin Books – what an amazing feat!! And celebrated by the opening of an exhibition at Seven Stories, Newcastle featuring a whole host of brilliant authors and illustrators.

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!

Sue Martin at Dolphin Booksellers - information and books always 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.


Ifeoma is a well known writer of children's books, using her photographs and text bringing family and community life in Africa into the western world.

At the end of June in 2010 Ifeoma is visiting Washington DC.

On 26th June she will be performing at the Washington Convention Center a play reading of one of her best loved books, Welcome Dede, a beautifully illustrated book of the naming of Dede by all the community.

af artOn 27th June she will delivering one of her exciting, interactive workshops at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Arts.

(Image from Playtime at National Museum of African Arts).

A great accolade for a great writer and illustrator.

Ifeoma's books and gallery are available to view and to buy and there is also a US version of her website, where US visitors to the site can purchase Ifeoma's books from Amazon.com

This is part of Ifeoma's programme about portraying Africa as a place full of colour, life and vibrancy and bringing this to America. Breaking down barriers, making bridges, encouraging communication and interest.

There are organisations that are already active in this endeavour, the Africa- America Institute , which has a programme to help in education and training and the site  America .gov which promotes partnership for peace and prosperity.

At Dolphin Booksellers we are delighted to support Ifeoma in her visit to Washington and will update you on this blog just as soon as the photos arrive.

Dolphin Booksellers - great books and information, always 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.


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.


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.