Reading Matters – news from the world of children’s books

Hello and welcome to another look at the news from the world of children’s books over the last few days. It has been a busy week. So much so that I have resorted to a supplement to the main edition so that this blogpost did not become too overwhelming. Rather like a colour supplement in a weekend newspaper! Anyway, I hope that this helps and you find something that entertains or interests you this week.

What I’m reading…


As part of the 20 Books of Summer 20 Challenge I am straying away from fiction for children and teens. However I did not stray very far from my comfort zone; a book featuring a librarian and the discovery of a special book tempted me and you can find out more in my review of The Library of the Lost and Found.  Following the announcement of the winners of this year’s Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals, more of which below, I reread Lark by Anthony McGowan. It was just as stunning, powerful and moving as I remembered it. I urge you to read it if you have not already done so. This review of the quartet of stories ,of which Lark is the last, which I wrote last year will give you a taste.

Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal Winners Announced 

This was the big children’s news story of the week so I have collected a range of items linked to the award itself and the winning author and illustrator in a Reading Matters supplement here for you to browse at leisure.

News and resources…

CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal Winners 2020 – the official announcement on the award website highlights the fact that “Two ‘extraordinary’ books exploring survival and our relationship with nature through short stories win UK’s most prestigious book awards for children and young people”.

The Reading Agency: Pride Book List for Children and Young People – June is Pride Month and the Reading Agency have created a list of LGBTQ+ positive books. These books highlight family dynamics and stories to help children and teens develop the values of acceptance and kindness towards themselves and others, regardless of identity.


Picture books that celebrate LGBT families – because it can sometimes be hard to find picture books which reflect different family set-ups BookTrust have  put together a list of lovely titles featuring LGBT+ families.

Bobby Seagull: ‘Libraries have a central role to play in a post-Covid world’ – I love this article, brimming with positivity, in The Big Issue about the pivotal role libraries will play in social justice when we rebuild after the crisis.

Up and Up! and the art of the wordless graphic picturebook – following on from Mat Tobin’s wonderful webinar last week this is the article by Melanie McGilloway from 2017 which he referenced. It’s a fascinating and enlightening read.

Tomorrow written and illustrated by Nadine Kaadan: resources– teacher Ian Eagleton of the Reading Realm has created a comprehensive teacher resource for this stunning picture book about a courageous little boy growing up in a time of conflict. The resources plus videos are available on the Lantana Publishing website on the link above.

Diapers and Mailboxes: Busting myths about children’s literature in translation – a thought provoking article by Mohini Gupta discussing ‘ the Children’s Literature in Translation’ session with Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Lawrence Schimel and Daniel Hahn which was part of the ‘Translating the Future’ series. A video of the discussion can be seen here.

Spellbound: guiding you through the magic of children’s books – Spellbound is a podcast hosted by Melissa Thom that explores books for early years, right the way through to young adult readers. This particular episode features books for children aged 7 – 9 and ties in perfectly with this week’s #OURfPBookBlether chat. However the links to the previous episodes sound equally appealing.

Herts Primary English teaching & learning resources for KS1 & KS2: weekly digest Vol 9 – each week this compilation of teaching ideas, resources and recommendations contains items useful for librarians and parents in addition to teachers. I was delighted to see the picturebook Here I am and the newspaper The Week Junior both feature in this edition having used them successfully in the school library.  A must read each week.

Ed Vere on the Power of Pictures– BookTrust’s Illustrator in Residence, Ed Vere, is passionate about the power of art and drawing in aiding children’s development. He talks about his involvement with the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) in getting children drawing.

The Dilemma of Dahl: to ditch or defend – Just Imagine free webinar in association with Dahl specialist Dr. Ann Alston. Whether you love teaching Dahl or not, this webinar will invite you to think afresh about his place in the classroom.

Children’s books website ReadingZone launches online bookclub– The ReadingZone Bookclub will run on YouTube, with author videos, book trailers, children’s and teenagers’ book reviews and recommendations from specialists. The bookclub will give particular focus to supporting debut and BAME authors and illustrators. Thank you to the School Library Association for making me aware of this.

No Child’s Play: A Case for Diversity in Children’s Literature– Children need to see themselves in the books they read, they need to see images that represent their lives, celebrate their experiences and let them know that they are not alone says Shranya Gambhir in this article for The Wire.


The English Association 2020 Shortlist Announced – the shortlist for the 2020 English 4-11 Picture Book Awards was announced this week. From a record total of 333 entries 17 have been shortlisted. The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Wednesday 25 November 2020.

Raising readers by Scott Evans – Scott Evans, aka The Reader Teacher, writes about the importance of creating and sustaining a positive reading culture in schools for BBC Teach.

Finally, some reviews that caught my eye this week…

Hello Now by Jenny Valentine – this outstanding review by Sam Creighton for Just Imagine has completely sold this book to me. ‘Hello Now’s greatest strength is its writing. It’s the sort of book you feel jealous reading because you know that despite having all the same words at your disposal, you will never be able to piece them together quite so beautifully.’ Wow!

Child of St Kilda by Beth Waters – this thoughtful review by Mat Tobin makes me want to both read the book and travel back in time to visit the island as it once was. “From its unique, resident wildlife to the families who lived there…Waters presents us with an island story that reads like a journal” It sounds perfect.

In My Dreams by Stef Gemmill and Tanja Stephani – a picture book for little ones which sounds beautiful. Veronica Price says ‘This would make a wonderful bedtime story; Stef Gemmill’s sentences are filled with assonance and gentle rhythm, lulling any child to whom you read this into a tranquil state.’

That’s all for this week and ‘all’ is rather a lot I know so thank you for reading and I hope you have found something helpful or enlightening among the links. Don’t forget that Independent Bookshop Week starts today. Another excuse to buy fabulous books with the added bonus of supporting small businesses. Wishing you a happy and restful weekend.

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6 Responses to Reading Matters – news from the world of children’s books

  1. Thank you Anne for another comprehensive round up of resources, there are many on here which I shall find very useful.😊Have a lovely weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. setinthepast says:

    I’m trying to remember which translated books I read as a kid. Heidi, Pippi Longstocking, Mrs Pepperpot … that was probably about it. There were very few available!

    Liked by 1 person

    • alibrarylady says:

      When I was a child I only really remember Heidi and Tintin. Although Grimm’s fairy tales and those written by Hans Christian Andersen were translated. I didn’t read the Moomins or Pippi Longstocking. There’s been a recent growth in translated works which is a good thing.

      Liked by 1 person

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