SCHOLASTIC UK ANNOUNCE LOLLIES 2017 SHORTLIST OF FUNNIEST BOOKS IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE


Michael Rosen, children’s novelist, poet and former Children’s Laureate, today announced the shortlist for the 2017 Laugh Out Loud Awards (The Lollies), a set of awards, now in its second year, created by Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, to celebrate the funniest children’s books. Having long championed humorous books for children Rosen said of the shortlist:
This is a collection of 12 whizzy, crazy, hilarious books. They are guaranteed to tickle. Parents and teachers wondering how to keep your children interested in reading, why not start here? And you can always start them off by reading them out loud – funny voices an’ all!

Rosen and his judging panel, consisting of Nicolette Jones, journalist and Sunday Times Children’s Book Editor and Katie Thistleton, presenter and host of the CBBC Children’s Book Club, were tasked with making the selected shortlist from over 130 books submitted by children’s publishers. The Lollies are awarded in three categories: Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book, Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 6-8s and Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9-13s. The shortlisted books in each category are as follows:

Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book
Oi Dog by Kes Gray and Jim Field (Hodder Children’s Books)
Eat Your People by Lou Kuenzler and David Wojtowycz (Orchard Books)
Prince of Pants by Alan Macdonald and Sarah McIntyre (Scholastic)
Danny McGee Drinks the Sea by Andy Stanton and Neal Layton (Hodder Children’s Books)

Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 6-8 year olds
Thimble Monkey Superstar by Jon Blake and Martin Chatterton (Firefly Press)
Hamish and the Neverpeople by Danny Wallace and Jamie Littler (Simon and Schuster)
Eddy Stone and the Epic Holiday Mash-Up by Simon Cherry (Usborne)
Future Ratboy and the Invasion of the Nom Noms by Jim Smith (Egmont)

Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9-13 year olds.
I Don’t Like Poetry by Joshua Seigal (Bloomsbury)
The Best Medicine by Christine Hamil (Little Island Books)
My Gym Teacher is an Alien Overlord by David Solomons and Laura Ellen Anderson (Nosy Crow)
AniMalcolm by David Baddiel and Jim Field (Harper Collins)

The winning book in each category will be decided solely by children’s votes, with schools and parents encouraged to help kids get involved and vote via the Lollies website, www.scholastic.co.uk/lollies, or via the Scholastic channel on the PopJam app. The winning books will be announced at an awards ceremony in London in January 2018. The Lollies were created in response to findings from Scholastic’s Kids & Family Reading Report, which found that what two-thirds of children aged 6-17 looked for when choosing books for themselves were ‘books that make me laugh’.

CHILDREN’S LAUREATE URGES NEXT UK GOVERNMENT TO ADDRESS THREE INEQUALITIES HARMING CHILDREN

In the UK thousands of children can’t claim British citizenship due to extortionate costs; child refugees are denied the right to family reunion; school libraries continue to close.

As he steps down as Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell highlights human rights concerns and calls on next government to address them.

Warning comes ahead of new book and theatre collaboration celebrating human rights for children.

Chris Riddell, UK Waterstones Children’s Laureate and Amnesty Ambassador, has raised concerns about children’s rights in the UK in a final statement before handing over his laureateship on 7 June, a day ahead of the General Election.

In a statement, Riddell has called on the next government to urgently address three human rights issues that affect children in the UK:

  • Thousands of children living in the UK are prevented from accessing their rights to register as British citizens simply because they and their families cannot afford the near £1,000 profit-making fee; 
  • Child refugees are the only refugees that the UK government denies family reunion, preventing their chances of overcoming the trauma of escaping conflict and rebuilding their lives in a new country;
  • A lack of investment in school libraries has caused many to close around the country. 

Chris Riddell said:

“As the UK Children’s Laureate it has been a pleasure to celebrate human rights with children through projects such as ‘My Little Book of Big Freedoms’ and Chickenshed Theatre’s production of ‘Dreams of Freedom’.

“But as I step down as Laureate, and a new government is formed, I would like to voice some deep concerns.

“It can’t be right that thousands of children in this country are not registered for British citizenship because their parents cannot afford the high fee currently charged.

“Also, I am troubled by the policy that refuses child refugees – and only child refugees – the right to be reunited with their families.

“Finally, the continuing closure of libraries in our communities and schools is a blight on the intellectual development and creative future of all our children.

“At the end of my Laureateship, I’d like to urge our future government to address these issues urgently.”

Riddell became an ambassador for Amnesty International UK last year. Amnesty has been campaigning for the expansion of family reunion to children, and for provisions to be put in place to support children to access their right to register as British citizens, including through the removal of the profit-making aspect of the registration fee. 

Riddell has championed human rights during his time as Children’s Laureate, and today’s intervention comes ahead of two new projects he has worked on with Amnesty that will celebrate human rights for children:

  • New book launch – on 22 June, a new colour, hard back edition of My Little Book of Big Freedoms, an illustrated version of the Human Rights Act by Chris Riddell, will be published in partnership with Amnesty.
  • New Chickenshed theatre collaboration– on 26 June, Chris Riddell will be joining 600 school children on stage at the Royal Albert Hall who are performing their interpretation of Amnesty’s illustrated children’s book ‘Dreams of Freedom’. Chris and 9-year-old Jude will be live drawing throughout the performance, with their illustrations projected to the whole of the Hall.

Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK said:

“Amnesty is delighted that the Children’s Laureate has done so much to make human rights fun for children. The right to laugh, to draw, to read and play are just some of the freedoms that we should all be able to enjoy and treasure. No matter what our age, it is important we learn about the rights that keep us safe, so that we can protect them.

“It is devastating that many children living in the UK don’t have access to the rights that should be there to keep them from harm. I sincerely hope the new government listens to Chris Riddell’s warning and takes action before more children’s lives are threatened.”

 

Gay UK: Love, Law and Liberty at The British Library

A free exhibition

1895, the trial of Oscar Wilde. 2017, the pardoning of gay men by the ‘Alan Turing Law’. How far have we come in 122 years?

Personal testimony. Public protest. Art and culture. We tell the story of love, legislative change and the battles for equality experienced by gay men and women in the UK. 50 years after the Sexual Offences Act partially decriminalised homosexuality, our exhibition looks at the build up to this monumental step, its impact, and asks what challenges still remain.

Exhibition highlights include:

  • Original campaign material, journals and posters from groups such as the Gay Liberation Front, Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners and Outrage!
  • Sarah Waters’ notebook with character notes that she used while writing Tipping the Velvet, going on public display for the first time
  • Hanif Kureishi’s annotated script for My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and continuity polaroids from the set
  • The first edition of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando alongside a sound recording of Vita Sackville-West from 1954 talking about the inspiration for the book
  • Kenneth Williams’ diary entry from 9 August 1967, which covers the murder of his friend, playwright and author Joe Orton
  • Annotated script for A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney (1958)
  • Commissioned film by performer and artist Dickie Beau exploring the decriminalisation of homosexuality
  • Rachel Foss, Lead Curator of Gay UK: Love, Law and Liberty at the British Library, says:

    “Since the passing of the Sexual Offences Act fifty years ago, there has been a transformation in society’s attitudes towards gay love and expression. Gay UK: Love, Law and Liberty tells this story through objects and documents that are iconic, public, personal or seemingly ephemeral. These objects and documents are the tangible evidence of a living history that is fragmented, punctuated by gaps and still evolving. I hope that the exhibition will prompt visitors to consider not only how far we as a society have come but also, crucially, what still needs to be done to combat prejudice and realise true equality.”

    The British Library will be hosting an accompanying season of events to provoke debate on past and present understandings of individual identity, reflecting on how far we have come as a society.

    Event highlights include:

  • Jon Savage: 1967 A Summer of Love?, writer, broadcaster and filmmaker Jon Savage reflects on the social, cultural, sexual and political climate of a season of change
  • The Gender Games: Juno Dawson in Conversation, author Juno Dawson provides a personal insight into society’s expectations of gender
  • David Bowie Made Me Gay, a discussion on the transformation, impact and influence of LGBTQ+ music makers featuring broadcaster Simone Fanshawe, writers Julie Burchill and Darryl Bullock alongside DJ Princess Julia and performer K Anderson
  • Proud Poetry, featuring Maureen Duffy, Jackie Kay, Andrew McMillan, Richard Scott and Nick Drake reading their own poetry
  • See more at: https://www.bl.uk/events/gay-uk-love-law-liberty/

    My Concerns with Book Lender

    I saw a tweet by Barbara Band last night that got my hackles up:

    I started mentally composing this post then fell asleep as it was rather late and woke up this morning still annoyed. I feel (as do many of my colleagues) that this service is not necessarily a bad thing for areas that do not have Schools Library Services or possibly for schools that lack professional input into their library but the way they are going about belittling the work of librarians and teachers is really beyond the pale, I know of no professionals that would put out-of-date materials into a collection just to have something, we are better than that

    Upon closer inspection, Book Lender is currently aimed at Primary Schools – this is a smart business move as Primary School Libraries are often run without a professional librarian and sometimes with limited teacher input.

    Once this service has become established it is only a matter of time until it is extended to secondary schools which may put even more librarian jobs at risk, as with school budgets becoming ever tighter and the offer of targeted stock to fit in with lesson plans, head teachers may well decide that a professional librarian is a luxury that can be done away with.

    It also appears that BookLender is a business run by Carillion, a company that is making inroads into running public library services for a number of local authorities. In the past Carillion has been criticised for running a blacklist against unionised workers, and colleagues who have worked in libraries taken over by this company have mentioned less than satisfactory working conditions.

    Carillion were also in the running to take over my local authority’s library service but last I heard they had pulled out.

    The privatisation of public library services has long been a major concern of mine and now corporate tentacles winding their way into school library services is widening my concern.

    Towel Day

    Towel Day is an annual celebration on the 25th of May, as a tribute to the late author Douglas Adams (1952-2001). On that day, fans around the universe carry a towel in his honour.

    I have created three posters to celebrate Towel Day, the designs are mine but the words are by Douglas Adams himself.

    To download click on the images and save.

    Quirk Books Authors Out and About

    Love books and pop culture? Have a hankering for something geeky to do next Bank Holiday weekend but no firm plans?

    Fret ye not true believers because Quirk Books have an action-packed offering!

    For you!

    First up why not stop off at MCM ComicCon London? One minute hanging with Archie and the gang from Riverdale or having your photo taken with The (Incredible) Hulk; the next, camping out in Author Corner listening to awesome women in publishing talk about comics, amazing women in history, and twisted fairy-tales.

    http://www.mcmcomiccon.com/london/attractions/author-corner/

    If that does not exhaust you then grab a date and head on over to the book heaven that is Waterstones Piccadilly on Monday, 29th May for an evening of book-related chat and wine, plus the chance to grab swag and win awesome prizes.

    https://www.waterstones.com/events/bookpop-with-ashley-poston-hope-norton-and-sam-maggs/london-piccadilly

    Please note that Quirk Books will not accept responsibility for overstimulated minds and having too much fun in one go but they will be secretly pleased by this!

    The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship by Philip Pullman & Fred Fordham

    Today, the 18th May 2017 marks the 156th anniversary of the ship that became known as the Mary Celeste, the ship that achieved notoriety when it was discovered adrift and deserted in the Atlantic Ocean, off the Azores Islands, on December 5, 1872.


    Another mystery ship is the Mary Alice – the ghostly ship whose crew travels the seven seas unbound by time first set sale in the first issue of the sadly scuppered weekly comic The DFC, then, as now it was penned by the inimitable Philip Pullman. The original artist was the phenomenal John Aggs; when it took to the high seas in the pages of The Phoenix it was redrawn by the equally talented (but new to me) Fred Fordham. The Pullman/Fordham collaboration is now available as a graphic novel, produced by David Fickling Books and the Phoenix Comic.

    I grew up of tales of ghostly ships and spectral schooners, living as I did on the coast with a father who was an ex-navy man and The Mystery of The Ghost Ship reawakened that part of me that thrilled to nautical tales of hair-raising mystery and derring-do. With a no-nonsense heroine teamed up with a mysterious boy and a whole crew of time-displaced sailors all trying to get back to their timelines and survive an all-powerful foe determined to destroy them for reasons of his own.

    This book is a thing of beauty, a hardback with a beautiful full-colour dust jacket that hides a gorgeous navy blue cover emblazoned with a mysterious, glowing Macguffin. Speaking as a somewhat obsessive book collector – the outward appearance of items that I choose to keep on my shelves is incredibly important – almost as important as the art and story contained on the pages within and believe me when I say the reread potential in this tome is incredibly high – the story works just as well huddled up in bed under the duvet at midnight with a torch (my favourite reading location) as it does on a bright summer day at the seaside!

    #TeenLibrarianMonthy May 2017

    Download (PDF, Unknown)

    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