Welcome to this week’s look at what has been happening in the world of children’s books. Long lists for the Carnegie, Kate Greenaway and Klaus Flugge Awards have attracted attention over the last few days as have the winners of this years LOLLIES. World Book Day is approaching rapidly and I have included links that may help schools planning to mark the day.
What I’m reading…
Unfortunately once again life has got in the way of my reading time this week however I did manage to read and review Jo Clarke’s debut Libby and the Parisian Puzzle. This is delightful and has all the ingredients to encourage young readers to feel part of the fun and the puzzle solving, ensuring that Libby’s first adventure will be a welcome addition to school and home bookshelves.
I do want to mention a couple of great new picture books that I did have time to savour this week. The Comet by Joe Todd-Stanton is a kind and thoughtful story that will reassure young children who may be moving house, starting a new school or experiencing a change of some sort. It is also a lovely celebration of the power of a child’s imagination. The artwork is stunning and this is a book to linger over. The title of the second book was impossible for me to resist. Nour’s Secret Library by Wafa’ Tarnowska illustrated by Vali Mintzi is inspired by a true story and conveys beautifully how books, stories and libraries offer a source of hope and comfort in times of struggle. I also love how it is the young people who are making the difference in this heartening tale. I will try to get reviews of both of these up on the blog next week.
News, articles and resources…
S F Said World Book Day 2022 Video – A message from popular children’s author S F Said for World Book Day 2022 about reading for pleasure – and writing for pleasure too.
Tom Palmer – A short film for World Book Day 2022 – another useful video to share in schools for World Book Day. Award winning author Tom Palmer tells us why one particular book is his favourite and you will find his explanation interesting.
25 Ways to Celebrate World Book Day – the organisers of World Book Day together with their partners, The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, The National Literacy Trust and The Open University have created a strategy to nurture a life long love of reading. This excellent resource is full of suggestions, tips and ideas plus links to research, book lists and more. It is free to download.
Open University Reading for Pleasure February Newsletter – if you haven’t already signed up for this brilliant resource I can wholeheartedly recommend it. The current issue includes the World Book Day feature above plus news of awards, the Empathy collection, top texts selected by Miranda McKearney, author of the month and a poster to download.
Yoto Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Award Long Lists Announced – The UK’s longest running book awards for children and young people, the Yoto Carnegie Greenaway Awards, announced the longlists for 2022 this week. 33 books have been selected in total – 18 for the Yoto Carnegie Medal and 15 for the Yoto Kate Greenaway Medal – with themes of community and connection, shared humanity and friendship all explored in the titles. Many congratulations to all the authors, illustrators and publishers. I’m particularly pleased to see Phil Earle’s and Lesley Parr’s books included, both of which I loved.
The Klaus Flugge Prize Long List Announced– this award celebrating outstanding newcomers to picture book illustration was established in 2016. Previous winners include Jessica Love for Julian is a Mermaid and Francesca Sanna in for The Journey. It’s a wonderful long list this year containing several I have rated highly and others that I’ve had my eye on for a while. A list worth exploring!
Open University- Building a Culture of Reading for 2022-23 – Thursday 24 February 4.00-5.15pm – a free briefing for schools led by Professor Teresa Cremin to find out more about this successful, research led programme. Suitable for school leaders in primary, junior and infants schools
Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature Exhibition V & A Museum – if you are within travelling distance of London this family friendly exhibition sounds interesting. Visitors go on a journey to discover Potter’s life as a scientist and conservationist and explores the places and animals that inspired her most beloved characters. It opened last weekend and continues until January 2023.
Diversifying children’s literature: whose worlds are we sharing? – an incredible line up for this event at Oxford Brookes University on Tuesday April 5th 6pm-7pm. Hosted by lecturer Mat Tobin and with a panel featuring Darren Chetty, Alice Curry, Sita Brahmachari and Ken Wilson-Max this should be a fascinating and enlightening evening. I do wish I lived nearer!
Books for Topics: Children’s Fiction: 10 You Might Have Missed – I think this is such a good idea. With so many new children’s books published each month, often just a handful of key titles claim the spotlight. The review panel at Books for Topics have selected some titles they think should not be missed.
An Interview with Alex Wheatle – Imogen Russell Williams interviews this author for Books for Keeps asking about his new historical novel, Kenosha of the Caribbean in this interesting feature.
The National Teen Book Club – this free club run by Speakers for Schools brings together 14 to 19-year-olds from state schools and colleges across the UK, to a shared, virtual book club. You can sign up to the next club taking place on Wednesdays, 3.30-4.30pm, from the 9th March to the 30th March 2022 via the link. The book will be Darren Charlton’s award-winning Wranglestone.
Reading for Pleasure Padlet – teacher Andrew Rough has created this excellent resource which will be of particular value to librarians and teachers. It includes helpful websites and blogs, review sites, literacy organisations and book related resources. A treasure trove of valuable information.
The Laugh Out Loud Book Awards 2022 (the Lollies) – this award celebrates the best and funniest children’s books in the UK and Ireland, voted for by children. Congratulations to the 2022 winners who were announced this week: 101 Bums by Sam Harper and Chris Jevons, Cats React to Science Facts by Izzi Howell and The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates by Jenny Pearson and Rob Biddulph.
I wish to break the rules…a blog by Ben Harris – at first I was going to link to this article in the review section below as it features the forthcoming book by Lissa Evans, Wished, which does sound wonderful. However Ben also provides a fascinating insight into children’s literature looking back on the work of both Nesbitt and Aiken and the relevance to today’s fiction for children. This is definitely worth a read. Thank you, Ben.
Mr Dilly Meets World Book Week Bonanza – Celebrate World Book Day in your School as Mr Dilly Meets a whole host of amazing children’s authors and illustrators including Joanna Nadin, Rikin Parekh, Christopher Edge, Mel Taylor-Bessent and many more. The event is free and takes place on Tuesday March 1, 2022 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Full details and registration via the link above.
Finally, some book reviews that caught my eye this week…
Dogs in Disguise by Peter Bently illustrated by John Bond – I don’t think you would have to be a dog lover to be tempted by this review in Books For Keeps. “A visual treat, a joy to read aloud, and a doggy delight!” One for early years story-time and library read aloud sessions by the sound of it.
The Lost Whale by Hannah Gold illustrated by Levi Pinfold – The Last Bear was recently shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Award so expectations are high for this follow-up published next month. Emma Kuyateh’s lovely review reassures us that The Lost Whale will be a success too. Definitely one to watch out for!
Amazing Animals by Sabrina Weiss & Paul Daviz – in the school library it is often information books that children enjoy reading for pleasure as they browse and learn at the same time. This new book published by What on Earth Books has been put to the test by reviewer Kate Heap’s children and has passed with flying colours!
Serendipity edited by Marissa Meyer – I wish I had noticed this review in time for Valentines Day. This collection of stories inspired by romantic tropes features a range of diverse characters and Joy Court in her review for LoveReading4Kids says, “As well as being a thoroughly enjoyable read this collection could find uses in the classroom for analysis of genres, styles and tropes.” The collection is suitable for readers aged 13+
That’s everything for this week and I do hope that something included here will be helpful to you. I am hoping that this weekend I can start reading Pony by R J Palacio, a book recommended by both Jon Biddle and Teresa Cremin so it must be good! Happy reading.