Archive for the ‘Children’s Book News’ Category

Discover a New World with Jonathan Litton’s new Book

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Jonathan Litton, author of Journeys, The Earth Book and Touch-and-feel 123 is back! This time we will be exploring burrows, boreholes, Cavities and Canyons. This is a fascinating book that looks at all of the different types of holes, from household to human.

Holes: Discover a Hidden World is a fascinating new book of discovery. Learn what’s going on, underground, and inside these man made and naturally occurring spaces. Jonathan Litton has written a number of books using both prose and verse. Holes (and many of his other books) have stemmed from Jonathan’s science background. Whether it’s sea creatures or sinkholes, Jonathan Litton tells brilliantly interesting stories about how our world is shaped.

From Jonathan Litton

“I’ve wanted to write about holes for as long as I can remember. I loved digging them as a child, whether in sand or soil, and enjoyed daydreaming about what I might find – a T. rex tooth, Roman coins, or a passage to New Zealand. I savoured the mud, sweat and sometimes blood of digging (yes, I was one of those kids!), and sometimes I was fortunate enough for my excavations to unearth real treasures – an ammonite the size of my head and an air raid shelter were two particular gems.

Decades passed, with limited digging. Then several years ago, I began hollowing out a huge hole, and a secret one at that. One in which I could squirrel away and hoard ideas. I placed all sorts of holes in there – black holes, white holes and wormholes, arrow holes, keyholes and sieve-holes, subways, tunnels and escape holes, sinkholes, geysers and lava tubes, caves, crevasses and caldera, groundhogs, snakes and spiders, xylem, phloem and lotus flower seed pods, sponge-holes, plugholes and sewers, mouths, bottoms and tear ducts, mathematical holes, philosophical holes and religious ones.

I waited until an opportune moment and then lured my publisher into the trap. Holes is the result of all this squirrelling and hoarding. And lots of new research too. The net was cast very wide as to what constituted a hole, and then came a sieving process and categorisation of the contents in collaboration with the editor and illustrator. Some of my most fascinating findings were of ‘true voids’ in space — huge ‘holes’ of nothingness — lizards which dug corkscrew burrows, a road tunnel which loops around six times in a spiral-like fashion as it climbs up the inside of a Norwegian mountain, the 50 million holes a woodpecker might make in a lifetime, and ingenious holes in the roofs of some Senegalese houses which funnel rainwater for family use.

But perhaps most fascinating of all is the philosophy of holes. I’m studying for a degree in Eastern & Western Philosophy and love wrangling with deep thoughts from different angles. Thus, a philosophical interlude begged to be included in this book, which begins by inviting the reader to think of a hole in a sock. It can be counted – there is one hole in this sock. Or are there two? What about the intentional hole for the foot? Or are there thousands? Think of the gaps between the threads where air and water can get in, and pungent smells can escape! The hole can grow bigger. But what if the hole becomes so big that there’s no sock left at all? What happened to the hole? Does it still exist? Did it swallow the sock? Or did it disappear in a puff of smoke when all the thread disappeared?

I hope readers will look at holes in a whole new light.”

Holes: Discover a Hidden World was published on the 14th June and is published by 360 Degrees, a new imprint of the Little Tiger Press Group. This non-fiction imprint publishes books that uniquely deal with a range of topics to make nonfiction more accessible to younger readers. The books available from 360 Degrees are filled with fun activities, high quality pictures and easy to understand presentation – great for making learning more interesting. Take a look at our 360 Degrees category for more books and information.

Older Not Wiser by Sophy Henn

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

Older not Wiser and Sophy Henn

Sophy Henn, author of Almost Anything, Playtime with Ted, Bedtime with Ted, Edie and Pom Pom Gets the Grumps is back with a brand-new book! Older Not Wiser is out on the 31st May and tells the story of Jeanie’s up-to-no-good Grandma.

At what age are you old enough to know better? 10? 15? 20? Older? Jeanie’s Grandma is always getting into mischief and, although it can be embarrassing for Jeanie sometimes, it is really fun when she gets involved in her Grandma’s tricks.

This gorgeously illustrated Bad Nana book is the first in a brand-new series, with 8-year-old Jeannie sharing her Grandma’s latest exploits. This mischievous little book is aimed at readers aged 6 and above. Perfect for making little mischief-makers gasp in shock and laugh your socks off!

Andrea Reece’s View

This fabulously fun book has been reviewed by Andrea Reece who thinks this is a great book for ‘fans of Lauren Child and her Clarice Bean stories’. Here is a little more from Andrea Reece:

‘Children are fascinated by the way old people have a license to misbehave, and they will be delighted by Bad Nana’s exploits which break all the rules of good behaviour … This lovely, hugely appealing book is one to recommend to fans of Lauren Child and her Clarice Bean stories in particular.’

If you want to read the Andrea’s full review, head over to the Older Not Wiser book page on the LoveReading4Kids site.

This bright and colourful book, illustrated by Sophy Henn is a brilliant start to a new series that will be perfect for children starting to read on their own, and will bring laughter and fun to story times or assisted reading.

Older Not Wiser will be published by HarperCollins on the 31st May, meaning it’s not long until we can enjoy the exploits of Bad Nana!

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

What’s The House With Chicken Legs About?

The House with Chicken Legs is the debut novel written by Sophie Anderson. This story is told by Marinka with Slavic folklore and stories of the Baba Yaga interwoven into the story to tell a remarkable story of a house that, two or three times a year, stands up and walks away from where Marinka and her family have been living.

All Marinka wants is for her house to stay in one place long enough for her to make some friends. Unfortunately, the house has other ideas and the only people that Marinka gets to know are the dead. Her Grandmother, Baba Yaga guides the dead through The Gate between this world and the next. With warnings against venturing too far in to the world of the living, and a destiny to become a Yaga, Guardian of The Gate, like her Grandmother, Marinka’s frustration could lead to her risking it all for the chance to make friendships that last more than one night.

This intriguing new story is a fantastic debut for Sophie and wonderfully combines coming of age themes and frustrations that are entirely relatable, with the supernatural and a developed interpretation of the Baba Yaga stories.

This story is great for those reading 9+ books and will be released on the 3rd May. Sophie Anderson’s book has also been read by one of our experts and our Reader Review Panel.

What the LoveReading4Kids Reader Review Panel Thought

Grace Phelan, age 10 – ‘Wow-just wow! What an enchanting read that was!

Seren Daly, age 11 – ‘This book was really good, and I enjoyed it a lot…It is about finding your own destiny and never giving up.’

Ellen Cox, age 11 – ‘This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. The House with Chicken Legs is one of my favourite stores now and I hope Sophie Anderson writes more stories like this.’

What our LoveReading Expert Thought

Joanne Owen – ‘This sparkling debut weaves the captivating folklore of Baba Yaga with the thrills of a classic venturing-out-into-the-world quest, replete with primal conflicts, tantalising twists and an unforgettable protagonist that readers will truly root for […] ideal for fans of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. Older readers might also enjoy Circus of the Unseen, which offers an alternate re-working of Baba Yaga’s infinitely enthralling Slavic folklore. Radiant with wonder and wisdom, this is an exceptional debut.’

Hurry – Entries for the 2018 Wicked Young Writer Awards close on 12th March 18

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

NOTE: THIS WRITING AWARD IS NOW CLOSED FOR SUBMISSIONS

“I credit the Wicked Young Writers’ Award with helping me find my voice as a writer and build my confidence. Having my winning story printed in the Anthology and read aloud by an actor from Wicked was a treasured moment. I have recently published my first book, lost and found, and I credit this award with being the first people to believe in me as a writer and so helping me to start this journey. The opportunities this award gives are unrivalled and I would urge every young writer to enter.”

Sophie Max, Wicked Young Writers’ Award winner 11-14 category 2012.  Sophie and one other winner have also shared their TOP TIPS TO BUDDING NEW WRITERS as has the bestselling author of How to Train your Dragon, Cressida Cowell, has also shared her tips too.  Scroll down to view them.

Now in its 8th year, the Wicked Young Writer Awards is a chance for young people from across the UK and Ireland aged between 5 and 25, to write on a theme or subject of their choice, so absolutely anything! It’s your chance to get creative and write on any theme that interests you. Young people are free to submit entries written at home or at school, and teachers are encouraged to enter writing on behalf of their pupils. The judges want to hear your voices through original writing and stories.

 FICTION categories – any creative writing will be accepted including a story, play, or poem with five age ranges – 5-7 years old   •   8-10 years old   •   11-14 years old   •   15-17 years old   •   18-25 years old

NON-FICTION categories – enter the Wicked: For Good Award for Non-Fiction and write an article, essay, biography, review or letter, to name a few! – 15-17 years old   •   18-25 years old

Launched in 2010, the free-to-enter, annual creative writing competition for 5-25 year olds raises money for, and awareness of, the National Literacy Trust who campaign to improve public understanding of the vital importance of literacy.  The Wicked Young Writer Awards was established by the long-running musical WICKED to link the important messages of the production with a competition that would inspire young people to use creative writing to look at life a little differently. Since its launch in 2010, over 20,000 entries have been received.

Deadline for entries is  MONDAY 12th MARCH 2018. Entrants can submit their writing by visiting www.WickedYoungWriterAwards.com, where they will also find writing tips and resources from the Award judges.

JUDGING PANEL – The acclaimed WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS, created and sponsored by the award-winning musical WICKED in association with the National Literacy Trust, are delighted to announce that author, award-winning journalist and former Labour MP Ed Balls is returning to join on the judging panel, alongside acclaimed Young People’s Laureate for London, Caleb Femi and Editor-in-Chief of First News, Nicky Cox MBE. Author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon books, Cressida Cowell, returns as Head Judge for the fourth consecutive year, together with long-standing judges Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust and Michael McCabe, Executive Producer of WICKED.

Check out some Top Tips to Budding New Writers from bestselling children’s author and one of this year’s judges, Cressida Cowell as well as two previous winners:

Cressida Cowell

My top writing tip would be to read lots, to give you a feel for the way different stories can be told. Also practice writing as much as you can – write, and re-write – don’t worry if you don’t finish a story, as long as you are practicing, that’s what matters. Also don’t worry if your stories aren’t very long: I didn’t start out writing books as long as the ones I write now.

You can still do research when you are creating your own fantasy world. Kids often think that ideas get beamed into an author’s head, or that when you write fantasy you can’t do background reading, but many ideas in The Wizards of Once were sparked by books I read about the history of magic, and magical creatures.

You can be inspired by your own experiences. Ideas I had about Vikings and dragons during summer holidays when I was 9 years old became 12 books, and a film and TV series. I had a slightly unusual childhood (I spent my summers on an uninhabited Scottish Island), but the world we all live in is full of extraordinary, wonderful idea for stories. You only have to watch an episode of Blue Planet to see that’s true.

I always begin my stories with a map of my imaginary place. Lots of other authors have done the same – Robert Louis Stevenson drew a map of Treasure Island before starting to write. This is a really easy way of thinking about characters and setting.

Often kids say to be that they aren’t very good at writing, but I know that’s not true – what they’re struggling with is the mechanics of getting the words onto paper. If you can make up a game in the playground, or you tell your friends stories, you can be an author! Get an adult to write or type for you, if you need to.

Keep an ideas notebook so you can scribble down ideas and drawings. This doesn’t need to be neat, and no one should be correcting it for spelling, because spelling doesn’t matter. I kept an sketchbook for The Wizards of Once for about 5 years.

Cressida Cowell’s new book, The Wizards of Once is available now.

Sophie Max (Co – Winner of the 11-12 category, Wicked Young Writer Awards in 2012):

1. Write down all your ideas! I carry a journal to jot down sparks of inspiration. If I don’t have my journal to hand, I’ll use the Notes app on my phone.
2. I always say that I know my characters better than I know some real people in my life. Perhaps its because I’m also an actress, but I think you’ve got to know them inside out to be able to get inside their head and write their experience authentically. You need to love them in order for your readers to love them!
3. Jump in at the deep end! Just write. Try and turn off your inner critic and let the words flow out. Don’t worry about the grammar, the structure, the word count. You can go back and edit later. I like to get some distance from my work by not looking at it for 2 weeks, then go back and re-read it: once for typos/spelling/ grammar, then multiple times more for the sense, word choices and the story, to check I’m expressing myself exactly how I want to. Then, I leave it again for a week or two before starting the whole editing process again.
4. Inspire yourself! Meet interesting people, go to art galleries, watch plays and movies, read a variety of books, travel, keep up with the news, go for walks…you never know what might inspire you. Cultivate yourself because your writing comes from you- the more interested you are, the more interesting your work will be!
5. Each person has a different voice- your biggest power as an author is YOU. Write from your heart and imagination. Write what you’re passionate about. Never worry about what someone else thinks or mimic another writer – you won’t write the same as someone else and that is your
strength!  GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY WRITING!!

Iona Mandal (co-winner of the 8 to 10 category, Wicked Young Writer Awards 2017)

King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, Birmingham

“Good writing needs practice and is best nurtured over time. Try to write something new every day for the joy of it and refine your work continuously with time and patience.

Good reading makes good writing. A latent idea often needs a spark to emerge. Good books inspire conceptualizing new plots besides helping barge onto unfamiliar territory and subjects. Technology is a blessing and can be used judiciously to boost online reading. I tend to rely on personal experiences, anecdotes or even stories passed down orally over generations in the family. These can be valuable repositories in framing characters and situations from myriad perspectives as one chooses. Research becomes crucial especially if one is delving onto subjects demanding historical authenticity in terms of dates or facts. But I also tend to let my imagination run wild.

An inquisitive and sensitive mind always helps. Observation, often deliberately or unknowingly (till it becomes almost second nature) can help one make mental notes to be later translated onto paper.

A good piece of writing oozes power and yet remains silent. Hence, handpicking right words or phrases is vital so as to express ones thoughts and feelings as eloquently as possible so as to touch a chord with the reader. Building one’s vocabulary always helps but what is more important is to appreciate the meaning and feel of words so as to enrich the quality of writing.

Clarity of thought comes from knowing what you wish to accomplish exactly. It is worth keeping the plot simple with a few well thought out characters. Imperfections and peculiarities always work, so avoid clichés.

Normal is boring. There is a big, wide world out there waiting to be explored!”

RULES

  • 750-word limit (not including the title words)
  • Entrants must be aged between 5-25 years old when entering the Wicked Young Writer Awards
  • Entries can be hand-written or typed
  • Writing must be original and your own ideas
  • Judges criteria: originality, narrative, descriptive language, characterisation.
  • Ensure that all students include their name, surname and age on the entry form
  • Open to UK residents only

Full Rules can be found at Wicked Young Writer Awards

PRIZES

  • 120 finalists from across the UK will see their work published in the WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS Anthology, which will be published in association with Young Writers (www.youngwriters.co.uk). The 120 finalists are also invited to an exclusive ceremony at London’s Apollo Victoria, home to the musical WICKED since 2006, where judges and members of the WICKED cast announce who has won in each category.
  • The overall winners from each category will win £50 book/eBook tokens, and the 5-14 year old winners will receive £100 worth of books for their school library kindly donated by Hachette Children’s Group.
  • Winners in the 15-17, 18-25 and FOR GOOD categories will also win an exclusive writing experience with one of the Awards’ literacy partners.
  • The three schools that submit the most entries will also win a Creative Writing Workshop for their school for up to thirty students delivered by WICKED’s education team.
  • Winners in all categories receive a VIP family experience at the West End production of WICKED, including tickets, an exclusive backstage tour and a meet-and-greet with members of the cast.

AWARD PARTNERS

NATIONAL LITERACY TRUST – The Award is proud to partner with National Literacy Trust.  One person in six in the UK lives with poor literacy. This holds them back at every stage of their life. As a child they won’t be able to succeed at school, as a young adult they will be locked out of the job market, and on becoming a parent they won’t be able to support their child’s learning. Lacking these vital skills undermines their well being and stops them making a full contribution to the economic and cultural life of our nation. The National Literacy Trust is a national charity dedicated to raising literacy levels in the UK. It works to improve the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities, where up to 40 per cent of people have literacy problems. Its research and analysis make it the leading authority on literacy. Because low literacy is intergenerational, the National Literacy Trust focuses its work on families, young people and children.

FIRST NEWS – First News is the Media Partner to the awards and is the UK’s only newspaper for young people. It was founded in 2006 by Sarah and Steve Thomson with editor Nicky Cox. It has always been independently owned and have no political affiliations. It is published both print and digital editions every Friday. Ten years on, over 2 million young people nationwide read First News each week with over half of all UK schools subscribing to the paper.

LOVEREADING – We have just joined the Awards as a partner for 2018. LoveReading is a unique family of websites including Lovereading.co.uk, Lovereading4Kids.co.uk and Lovereading4schools, and media channels which helps to connect writers, readers, publishers and organisations with an active and enthusiastic audience of book lovers.

THE LITERACY SHED – a unique online resource for teachers, home to a wealth of visual resources collected by primary school teacher Rob Smith over 10 years as a teacher. The Literacy Shed has over 24k followers on Twitter.

PRIMARY TIMES – over 18 million copies of Primary Times magazines distributed every year through primary schools in 59 regions across the UK and Ireland.

 

ABOUT WICKED
Based on the acclaimed novel by Gregory Maguire that ingeniously re-imagines the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, WICKED tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.  Now in its 12th year in London and acclaimed as “one of the West End’s true modern classics” (Metro), WICKED has already been seen by over 8.5 million people in London alone and is the recipient of over 100 major awards worldwide, including ten theatregoer-voted WhatsOnStage Awards (winning ‘Best West End Show’ on three occasions) and two Olivier Audience Awards in the UK.

 

 

The Big Idea Competition returns in 2018 to search for the best British story idea for children

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Barry Cunningham, Chicken House:

“We’re offering the opportunity for some-one’s idea to become a reality in the Dragon’s Den of children’s storytelling.”

The Big Idea Competition, an industry first, matches a creative story idea with a children’s writer in a collaborative process.  Two finalists from the 2014 competition will have their ideas published as full-length children’s novels in January 2018.

The Big Idea Competition Ltd has announced that its nationwide search for the idea behind the next big story for children will open for entries on Monday 15th January 2018.

The Big Idea Competition seeks to uncover new talent in storytelling, transforming an idea from a member of the public into a book, film, game or play. Its inaugural competition was launched to huge success in 2014.

The Big Idea Competition Ltd is a joint initiative by Chicken House and The Blair Partnership, born out of a desire to find a new way of discovering and creatively developing original story ideas for children and their families.

Entrants from across the UK, aged from 13+, are asked to send in their idea in no more than 750 words for the chance to win a £1,000 cash prize and the promise that their idea will become the inspiration for a complete story, written by a children’s author and published as a book. Their story will also be presented for TV, film, theatre and gaming by experts in the business, Chicken House and The Blair Partnership. Bestsel-ling writers represented by the creators of the competition include: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter creator; Kieran Larwood, author of the award-winning Podkin One Ear series; Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of the award-winning Girl of Ink and Stars; James Dashner, Maze Runner writer, and M.G. Leonard, author of the Beetle Boy series and one of this year’s judges.

Barry Cunningham, Managing Director of Chicken House, said: “Stories remain the most important currency of our lives. A great idea can come from anyone and any-where. It’s where the magic of storytelling begins. We’re very proud to be offering the opportunity for someone’s idea to become a reality in the Dragon’s Den of children’s storytelling.”

Neil Blair, Founding Partner of The Blair Partnership, added:

“The Big Idea Competition is about helping new storytelling talent to emerge in the most inclusive and collaborative way. It’s about finding the right story, matching it with the best storyteller and then making sure it stands out in a crowded marketplace. As judges, we’re searching for an imaginative idea that we think children will truly love.”

The inaugural competition in 2014 received over 1,000 entries. In January 2018, the winner of the 2014 competition, I.T. engineer Neal Jackson, will see his idea, ‘The First Aeronauts’, published as a children’s book called Sky Chasers, written by established author Emma Carroll. Runner up Angela McCann will also have her idea published as The Fandom, written by Anna Day. McCann was an Egyptology student and Day was a clinical psychologist at the time of the competition, but both were huge fans of YA. This is Day’s debut novel, following her Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction competition win in 2015 with The Gallows Dance. The Fandom is a development of both McCann’s idea and Day’s The Gallows Dance. The book has been Chicken House’s fast-est-ever selling foreign rights title.
Sky Chasers and The Fandom are published by Chicken House to coincide with the competition launch on 15th January 2018, with the Blair Partnership managing the film and TV rights to both titles.
Neal Jackson commented:

“Sky Chasers is the result of me walking into a Clapham bookshop one sunny afternoon and discovering a real-life gem from history, and wishing it was a story for children. The past is full of inspiring and amusing moments, if fewer sunny days – and I am delighted to see my idea at last become fiction!”

Emma Carroll, author of Sky Chasers, added:

“I immediately saw the huge story potential in Neal’s idea, inspired by the invention of the very first air balloon by the Montgolfier brothers in France. The real-life history part is remarkable enough – think roosters, flying sheep, Marie Antoinette. So, the chance to bring it to life on the page was too good an opportunity to miss! Suffice to say, I’ve had great fun weaving history with fiction. I can’t wait for readers to meet my main character Magpie and her band of feathery, four-legged friends.”

How to enter – Think of a story idea that children will love. Download and complete the entry form and send your complete entry to The Big Idea Competition, ℅ Chicken House Pub-lishing, 2 Palmer Street, Frome, Somerset, BA11 1DS by 23 February 2018. Please ensure you read the terms and conditions of entry on the competition’s website.

www.thebigideacompetition.co.uk
#TheBigIdeaComp

Hot off the press! – You’ll notice a new addition to LoveReading4Kids…

Monday, June 19th, 2017

The KRiB – The Kids Review & Interview Bookclub – an online world of exciting book related shows presented by a flurry of book crazy kids, featuring viewer reviews, competitions, kid’s culture broadcasts, celeb author interviews and an exciting genre based book search library.


The KRiB celebrates authors, publishers, booksellers, libraries and
young readers, spreading the word about the coolest books everyone
should be reading!

The KRiB TV aims to raise literacy levels and to give all kids, whether they love reading or not, an entertaining platform that unites them, builds their confidence and inspires them to see the connection between books and their own lives.

A tour of The KRiB’s pages, will take the viewer from the entertaining ‘KRiB TV’ page, where you can watch video reviews of new releases, to insightful ‘Conscious Kids’ location broadcasts exploring the messages authors give us about modern life, to the educational
‘KRiB Skool’ which offers exciting presenting and acting courses, to
the motivational ‘Vlogs’ page where you can audition to become a KRiB
TV presenter and interview your favourite authors!

So we invite everyone to visit thekrib.tv

Children’s love of reading at all-time high, research shows

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Children’s love of reading is at an all-time high according to a survey of more than 42,000 pupils.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the National Literacy Trust’s (NLT) Young Readers Programme – the first national initiative of its kind – the charity has published data showing that more than three quarters of primary school children (77.6%) enjoy reading, the highest ever recorded by the NLT. It also showed that 10-year-olds who enjoy books have a reading age 1.3 years higher than their peers who do not, rising to 2.1 years for 12-year-olds and 3.3 years for children aged 14.

The NLT will also publish on its website ’20 Years of Children’s Choices’ which celebrates the most popular books chosen over the last two decades by the children who have taken part in the project.  The first year of the programme (1997) saw Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (Bloomsbury) top the list. Subsequent favourites included Skellig by David Almond (Hodder Children’s Books) the following year, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler (Macmillan Children’s Books) in 1999 with Anthony Horowitz’s Stormbreaker (Walker Books) riding high in 2000. Last year’s winner was Bake Me a Story by Nadiya Hussain and illustrated by Clair Rossiter (Hodder Children’s Books).

Liz Pichon’s The Brilliant World of Tom Gates (Scholastic) was chosen as the most inspirational children’s read of 2011. Pichon has supported the scheme for many years, delivering storytelling sessions in numerous primary schools.

She said: “I’m often contacted by parents who tell me how their kids were reluctant readers and how seeing them with their noses in a book – sometimes for the first time – makes them both happy. Helping children to find the books that they enjoy is so important, as reading should be a pleasure that will hopefully stay with them for life.”

Jonathan Douglas, director of the NLT, said: “We are thrilled that our research has found children’s enjoyment of reading to be at an all-time high. When children enjoy reading and have books of their own, they do better at school and later in life, so we must continue to do everything we can to inspire children to fall in love with reading for a lifetime.”

A recent evaluation found that, after taking part, reading enjoyment levels rose for 93% of participants and reading attainment levels rose for 92%.

In February, the NLT exposed a “literacy crisis” with  86% of constituencies (a total of 458 out of 533) contain at least one ward with literacy issues.

For more information, visit literacytrust.org.uk or read the full report here.

Share tales over tea to raise money for literacy

Friday, May 26th, 2017

The National Literacy Trust and Boots Opticians are calling on book lovers and baking enthusiasts to help give disadvantaged children the literacy skills they need to succeed, by holding a Tales and Teapots party.

 

The fundraising initiative, which was developed by Boots Opticians, launched last year when hundreds of people held parties across the UK. It encourages friends, family and colleagues to come together and share books they’ve enjoyed over a slice of cake, while raising money to support the National Literacy Trust’s work in the UK.

 

This year Tales and Teapots is being supported by author and Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, who has provided an exclusive recipe for party hosts and is encouraging baking and book fans across the country to get involved. Nadiya said:

 

“Hold a Tales and Teapots party and celebrate two of my favourite things – books and baking!  The funds you raise will go to an incredibly worthwhile cause – the National Literacy Trust’s work to give disadvantaged children books and a path to a successful future. I love sharing stories with my children and I hope there will be many parties across the UK to ensure that all children have the opportunity to enjoy reading and the world of stories too.”

 

Tea party hosts can register for a free party pack, which contains posters, invitations, balloons and decorations, at literacytrust.org.uk/talesandteapots. Recipes and other useful resources will also be available on the website.

 

The National Literacy Trust and Boots Opticians have been working together since May 2015 to highlight the links between eye health and literacy. Their partnership aims to improve the literacy skills and life chances of the UK’s most disadvantaged children.

 

Amy Grilli, Project Manager at the National Literacy Trust said: “For many of us, sitting down to enjoy a good book with a cup of tea is one of life’s simple pleasures, but for one child in seven in the UK there are no books of their own to read at home.

 

A Tales and Teapots party is a great chance to catch up with friends and share your favourite stories, while helping the National Literacy Trust inspire more children to enjoy reading. After a successful first year, we are delighted to be working with Boots Opticians on this exciting initiative again and hope to see even more people enjoying parties this June.”

 

Demonstrating their commitment to the initiative, every one of Boots Opticians’ 600* practices across the UK will host a Tales and Teapots party on 2 June 2017. Everyone who hosts a party and sends in their donations before 30 June 2017 will have the chance to win exciting prizes, including a fantastic box of books from Walker Books.

 

The money raised at Tales and Teapots parties across the country will give children and young people books to keep and empower them with the literacy skills they need to improve their employability and reach their full potential.

 

To sign up for a free party pack, visit literacytrust.org.uk/talesandteapots.

Harpercollins Children’s Books Have Arrived on the Hopster app

Monday, April 10th, 2017

To inspire toddlers to read for fun, Hopster, the preschool learning and entertainment app, has teamed up with HarperCollins Children’s Books to bring its little users a range of hit stories. UK subscribers to Hopster can now access and enjoy a selection of best-loved children’s books on the multi-platform service.

 

In the newly launched Book Boat section of the app kids can now find all their favourite stories including Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea and Mog and the Baby, Rachel Bright’s Love Monster, available in ebook, and Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers available in audio. The different formats allow children to discover their favourite characters as well as magical new stories in a multi-sensory way.

 

To celebrate the arrival of books on Hopster, for a limited time, subscribers will receive a HarperCollins picture book with their annual subscription for only £35. That’s a saving of over 27% and a free book that can be selected from a range of classic children’s books.

 

Hopster can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play, helping parents who are after a safe and ad-free platform. In one magical app kids will be entertained by hundreds of preschool TV episodes, nursery rhymes, games and now books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find out more about Hopster now:

UK Literacy Association Book Awards 2017

Monday, March 6th, 2017

SHORTLISTS ANNOUNCED FOR THE UNIQUE AWARDS FROM TEACHERS

  • For the first time illustrated books in all three age categories
  • Past winner Philip Reeve shortlisted in two categories with Brian Selznick, Gill Lewis and Benji Davies each with potential second award
  • Debut authors challenge medal winning heavyweights in each category

 @The_UKLA  #UKLA17   #teachersbookawards

For the first time ever the awards that come with the teachers’ guarantee that these are the books which get their classes reading have an author shortlisted simultaneously in two age categories. Philip Reeve’s creative partnership with Sarah McIntyre will be looking to repeat their 2015 triumph in the 7-11 category. But they face stiff competition from another previous winner Gill Lewis who won with her debut novel, Sky Hawk in 2012. Debut authors Ross Welford and S.E.Durrant will see that as a very good omen. Completing the 7-11 list is the 2014 shortlisted author Katherine Rundell and the Kate Greenaway longlisted title The Journey by Francesca Sanna: a powerful picturebook which teacher judges described as “taking children to new experiences outside their own”.

Philip Reeve’s science fiction Railhead secured his second shortlisting in the 12-16 category, but once again he is up against stiff competition with the previously Highly Commended Brian Selznick. They both face competition from a cosmopolitan list which features Selznick’s American compatriot Gary.D.Schmidt, Canadian Susin Nielsen and Alaskan Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s Carnegie longlisted debut title. Joining Philip in representing home grown talent is previously shortlisted award winner Jenny Valentine .

The 3-6 category sees Benji Davies repeating his 2016 shortlisting and hoping to improve upon his Highly Commended award. He will be up against Greenaway winner Emily Gravett, the inaugural Amnesty CILIP Honour winner, Ross Collins, Roald Dahl Funny Prize winning Jim Field in a new partnership with Rachel Bright and impressive debuts from Lucy Ruth Cummings and David Litchfield.

All three age categories once again show the fresh perspective that class teachers can bring to the judging process in their search for books which can “enhance all aspects of literacy learning”,  as required by the criteria. This makes them particularly useful as co-sponsor Peter Crawshaw, Director and Co-founder of Lovereading4kids said:

“Lovereading4schools and its sister site Lovereading4kids are delighted to support the UKLA Book Awards. The fact that the teacher judges reflect on their students’ responses to the books gives the award huge credibility and trust that schools use to know the books will be loved by their own pupils. The awards are equally valuable for parents. We can’t wait to see the eventual winners as the shortlisted books are all simply excellent.”

The enthusiastic judging discussions revealed how much teachers welcomed the opportunity to widen their knowledge of recent children’s titles and enjoyed talking together in order to decide which books would best match the criteria for the award:

There have been so many great spin-offs from that initial decision to get involved: seeing teachers who had never been big readers catching the reading bug, avid readers who found a whole new treasure trove of books to keep them up reading till the small hours, colleagues queuing up to borrow the books and so many children inspired to share this reading journey with them. Jess Anderson, Group Leader

For UKLA, giving classroom practitioners the opportunity to read a number of new quality children’s books is as important as finding an overall winner. Research carried out by members of UKLA (Cremin et al 2008) clearly demonstrated the links between teachers’ knowledge of children’s books and the likelihood of pupils becoming successful readers. Despite this evidence, teachers are seldom given time to read new books or funding to purchase them when they do. As Awards Chair Lynda Graham said:

Teacher judges in education authorities across Scotland clearly delighted in opportunities to discuss the best of newly- published, quality books with teacher colleagues and to share these books with children and young people in their classrooms. 

12 teachers nominated from the 55 involved in the shortlisting, who came from Aberdeen City, North Ayrshire, Dundee, Edinburgh, East Lothian, Falkirk and Renfrewshire, will now form the final judging panel and have the challenging task of reading all the shortlisted books in all three age categories, which will mean nursery teachers reading fiction for teenagers and secondary teachers reading picturebooks!

The winners will be announced on June 30th at the UKLA International Conference, University of Strathclyde

For further information and to request an interview with the shortlisted authors and illustrators, or for images, please contact fao Lynda Graham awards@ukla.org
The Shortlists in full

3-6

The Lion Inside written by Rachel Bright and illustrated by Jim Field (Orchard Books)

There’s a Bear on MY Chair written and illustrated by Ross Collins (Nosy Crow)

A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Simon & Schuster)

Grandad’s Island written and illustrated by Benji Davies(Simon & Schuster)

Tidy written and illustrated by Emily Gravett (Two Hoots)

The Bear and the Piano written and illustrated by David Litchfield (Frances Lincoln)

 

7-11

Little Bits of Sky written by S.E Durrant and illustrated by Katie Harnett (Nosy Crow)

Gorilla Dawn written by Gill Lewis(Oxford University Press)

Pugs of the Frozen North written and illustrated by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre (Oxford University Press)

The Wolf Wilder written by Katherine Rundell and illustrated by Gelrev Ongbico (Bloomsbury)

The Journey written and illustrated by Francesca Sanna (Flying Eye Books)

Time Travelling with a Hamster written by Ross Welford (HarperCollins)

 

12-16

The Smell of Other People’s Houses written by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (Faber &Faber)

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen written by Susin Nielsen (Andersen Press)

 Orbiting Jupiter written by Gary .D. Schmidt (Andersen Press)

Railhead written by Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press)

The Marvels written and illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)

Fire Colour One written by Jenny Valentine (HarperCollins)


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