Author Archives: Mattlibrarian

General Election 2017 Display Resources

As you all know we have a snap General Election on the way on the 8th June, I am currently working on some resources for my students. The first three are posters that you can download below by clocking on the images and saving the A3 .pdf files that they link to. Other materials will be uploaded here once they are ready.

#StarWarsDay Library Posters

As everyone is no doubt aware Thursday is Star Wars Day as it is May the Fourth, I have observed it faithfully for a few years and this year I have designed two posters for the day but ones that can be used on every other day of the year as well!

To grab copies just click on the images below to save an A3 .pdf copy of each.

rebellion poster1.png

sith poster1.png

You can also download the classic Darth Vader I find your lack of interest in reading… disturbing! poster here

The Power of the School Librarian

I would dress like a high school librarian if he had his way. He’s old-fashioned in that way.
~ Cate Blanchett on her husband playwright Andrew Upton’s fashion likes

An interesting article in the latest Pople Magazine Style Section titled Cate Blanchett Says Her Husband Likes Her to ‘Dress Like a High School Librarian’ made me think about the lasting influence school librarians can give their students.

51 year old playwright and director Andrew Upton’s school education would have ended over 30 years ago and over the years his subconscious has changed the obviously strong influence his high school librarian has had on him into a desire for his wife to resemble her, at least in regard to her clothing style.

He is a writer of plays and film scripts – this career may have developed out of his love for writing and literature which would have been nurtured in his school library, possibly by a librarian that favoured wearing the combination of a cardigan, a tweed skirt and a pair of spectacles?

Gandalf’s Exam Tips 2

The second poster in the Gandalf’s Exam Tips series

Gandalf’s Exam Tips

Not an original idea, I have seen several versions over the past few years and thought I would make my own version. If anyone else would like to use it in the run up to the exams feel free to download an A3 pdf by clicking on the image below.

Peppa Goes to London

The record skips, there is a screech as the needle runs across the surface… Peppa Pig appearing in Teen Librarian?

Surely Peppa is more suited to a younger readership? Yes – yes she is!

However… Peppa Goes to London is one of my daughter’s current favourite books of the moment.

I know that if I wish to attract her attention then all I have to do is pick it up and concentrate furiously on the story and ignore her; moments later as if by magic I will see her smiling, cherubic face peer round the side of the book before she pushes it aside to sit in my lap and wait for me to read the story, sometimes she will grab the book and tell me all about it – I may not be able to understand what she is saying, but she is emphatic in her love for this book.

Featuring recognisable London landmarks from Buckingham Palace to Tower Bridge and ending up at Trafalgar Square with Her Majesty the Queen acting as a daredevil bus driving tour guide. Any story that ends with the Queen, Peppa and all her friends joyfully jumping in muddy puddles is great for all ages!

Look – Peppa Pig is phenomenally popular, appearing as she does on TV, in books, as plush toys and stickers and more! All the books that feature her are exceptionally popular as small children around the world love her and her family. I know too that much like Tellytubbies and other popular child-centric characters that appeared in pop culture before her that some adults are not massive fans but my daughter loves reading and watching her.

But don’t just take my word for it. Check out my daughter below:

Daddy Pig is also the ‘face’ of The Book Trust’s Bath Book Bed programme to help weary parents get their children to sleep at night.

Exhausted new parents lose out on over 650 hours of sleep a year

Research finds sleep deprivation is the most stressful challenge about becoming a parent

Research out today by children’s reading charity BookTrust reveals new parents are completely sleep deprived in the child’s first few years, losing out on a whopping 657 hours per year, which equates to almost four weeks of less sleep a year.

BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity also found:

  • Sleep deprivation is the most stressful challenge about becoming a parent, second only to worries about children’s health
  • A fifth of new parents (21%) have taken a day off work in order to catch up on lost sleep
  • Children not following a Bath, Book, Bed routine are less relaxed at bedtime, get up more often during the night and get fed more frequently
     
    The survey polled over 1,000 families on bedtime routines and sleeping habits and revealed that half of parents who don’t follow a Bath, Book, Bed routine would favour a night of uninterrupted sleep over romantic weekends and nights out with friends. Health, productivity and sense of humour also suffer in those who aren’t following the nightly routine with 34% eating poorly, 24% nodding off during the day and 34% taking a knock to their sense of humour.

    BookTrust’s annual Bath, Book, Bed campaign aims to solve these problems in three easy steps, encouraging parents to stick to a simple bedtime routine and asking families to share stories as a regular part of bedtime to help their little ones sleep soundly.

    Jo Frost, worldwide parenting expert and BookTrust Ambassador said:

    BookTrust’s Bath, Book, Bed campaign is a really straightforward approach to tackling a problem that most parents with young children face – the bedtime battle. Bedtime routines do not need to be complicated for especially-tired parents on their last legs. Implementing healthy sleeping habits, and a consistent bedtime routine will not only calm down the child and parents but, provide an environment so that both child and parent can read together helping them both relax and wind down. Meaning everyone will be well-rested, happier and healthier.

    Diana Gerald, CEO of BookTrust said:

    BookTrust understands how troublesome it can be for parents to get young children to sleep and we know that sometimes it can feel like a never-ending struggle, so we’re sending out 450,000 copies of our Bath, Book, Bed booklet filled with advice and tips to help families tackle bedtime head on and ensure everyone gets a good night’s sleep.

    Sweet dreams start with a simple routine. Families can get involved by attending events or visiting www.bathbookbed.org.uk to register for tips, advice and recommended bedtime books. Get involved on social media @booktrust #bathbookbed

  • #TeenLibrarianMonthly April 2017

    Download (PDF, Unknown)

    Poster: Don’t Fear the Reader

    This A3 poster may be more useful during Halloween or for a librarian who is a fan of Blue Öyster Cult.

    Downloadable by clicking on the image below

    The White Hare by Michael Fishwick – Interview

    Hi Michael, welcome to TeenLibrarian. Thank you for giving up your time to answer a few questions about The White Hare.
    Before we begin would you please introduce yourself to the audience?

    I am a publishing director at Bloomsbury, where I have authors like Peter Frankopan (whose book The Silk Roads was on the bestseller lists for thirty-one weeks last year, William Dalrymple, Frank Dikotter, Adam Sisman, John Simpson, Anna Pavord and many others.  Lots of biography, history, memoir.  I live in south London, and have a family that includes three now rather tall sons.

    I think that I am right in saying that The White Hare is your first novel for young readers?

    It is.  I’ve written two other, adult novels; Smashing People and Sacrifices. 

    What inspired you to begin writing for a teen audience?

    About fourteen years ago I went with a New Zealand friend to see the film ‘Whale Rider’, where a young girl has to win the trust of her grandfather by proving herself the natural leader of their tribe; she forms a bond with a whale and is ridden out to sea, and indeed under the sea.  It made me want to write something that combined human relationships with a magicality that perhaps transcends and heals the fractures in the real world. I think Robbie’s encounter with Mags’s world helps him reconcile himself to the world he finds himself in, and ultimately to forgiveness towards his father.

    What feeling did you have when you saw the first finished copy of The White Hare?

    As a book comes together you see all sorts of aspects of it; cover ideas, proofs, book proofs, bits of flap copy, the look of the pages, and you know the text back to front from working on it so long.  So in a way there’s no surprise when you see the final thing; but it is just amazing anyway, especially when your publisher has taken such care and paid such attention as Zephyr has.  And detail such as the light blue silk ribbon and the way in which they have used the cover on the pages within the book, which I didn’t know about, were a source of lovely surprise and delight.  

    What is the most satisfying part of the writing process for you?

    To be honest, it’s simply the writing; making something up on the pages, especially when you have an idea you are confident with and are just working it through.  I write in ink in a rather lovely library, so there’s a very pleasurable feeling of seclusion and communing with one’s own thoughts and ideas; I’m always rather astonished that I have any. 

    TWH is also the first novel published under the Zephyr imprint – do you feel any pressure being their headline author?

    I’m very proud to be their launch title, and I so hope it works for them (and me).  They’ve done a terrific job, and I feel just the ordinary anxiety about what’s going to happen to my poor little brainchild, whom I hope many will love as I do. 

    Is any part of the story based on personal experiences?

    That’s tricky.  Lots of little bits and pieces along the way.  Generally, I grew up in south London, as did Robbie, and we’ve been going down to a cottage between Arthur’s Seat on the Stourhead estate and Cadbury Castly, King Arthur’s castle, as Mags tells Robbie for twenty-five years, which I always felt was a deeply magical place (the cottage overlooks the Somerset Levels, which feature in the book).   

    Do you ever read the works of other Teen/MG authors? If yes what can you recommend?

    Apart from Rowling and Patrick Ness, I drew upon my own favourites: Alan Garner, John Masefield and Barry Hines’s A Kestrel for a Knave (a friend of mine spotted a bit of Jez Butterworth in there, too).

    How would you describe The White Hare to pique the interest of a potential reader?

    That’s a hard question and something I am still working on! To any readers out there I would say that The White Hare is, at its core, a coming-of-age story. I would love the reader to join me on Robbie and Mags’ journey as they learn about what it means to love in a world where this is the bravest thing a person can do. And if you enjoy my story as I tell it, then I have succeeded in all I set out to do. 

    Do you ever visit reading groups in schools and libraries? If yes what is the best way to get hold of you?

    Not so far, but very happy to do so.  You can get in touch with the Publicity Director at Head of Zeus, Suzanne Sangster.