Showing posts from October, 2016

November Is International Picture Book Month!

November 1st each year is the beginning of Picture Book Month, an international literacy initiative that celebrates the (print) picture book. Each day throughout the month,there is a post for a different picture champion explaining why he or she thinks picture books are so important. In this busy and all too digital world, picture books need love and attention. We sometimes forget the sheer wonder of physically turning the pages of a beautiful picture book, of being able to enter that world; to go back and forth within it and embark on a journey of discovery and joy, whether we are very young, or not so young any more. So, during the month of November, you are invited...all of you worldwide, to remember, to reconsider and to fall in love with picture books. You can follow along on the calendar above to find the picture book champion and their theme for the day. Each post will encourage you to read, share and celebrate the magic of picture books, whether in a school, library or at

The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal Nominees 2017

In more catch-up type news, the UK's oldest, most prestige childrens books award, the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, have announced their long list earlier this week. 114 books have been nominated for the Carnegie Medal for an outstanding book written in English for children and young people. A further 93 books have been nomiated for the Kate Greenaway Medal for excellence in illustration. The CILIP Carnegie Medal list reads quite YA heavy, but this is understandable given the large number of YA fiction titles that show exceptional qualities in writing, storytelling and vibrancy. Nominees include: Tanya Landman for Hell and High Water Jackie Morris for The Wild Swans Phillip Reeve for Railhead Gavriel Savitt for Anna and the Swallow Man Stewart Foster for The Bubble Boy Timothee de Fombelle for The Book of Pearl Malorie Blackman for Chasing the Stars Lauren Wolk for Wolf Hollow Kiran Millwood Hargrave for The Girl of Ink and Stars ....and many, many more inc

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2017

I'm playing a little catch-up here. On  the 16th of October, the long list of candidates for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) 2017 was released. 226 candidates from 60 countries have been nominated. Of these 63 candidates have been nominated for the first time.This list is a veritable gold mine for anyone interested in childrens' literature and represents the vibrant and powerful world of childrens' books. Representatives from every continent on the planet epitomise the best of the best. Established to honour the late Astrid Lindgren, creator of Pippi Longstocking, Ronia the Robbers' Daughter and so many other truly magical and beloved childrens' books, The ALMA Award is presented yearly to indicate the importance that childrens' books have in the lives of young people and to inspire authors, illustrators, storytellers and promoters of reading everywhere.The award is chosen by a jury, the 12 members of which include authors, librarians, literary cri

Guardian Childrens Fiction Prize Shortlist

The shortlist for the Guardian Childrens Fiction Prize was announced today. The four authors listed have demonstrated incredible excellence in the field of childrens' literature. Tanya Landman has a brilliant backlist of work and is no stranger to such nominations and awards, having taken the 2015 Carnegie Medal for Buffalo Soldier. She is nominated for the Guardian for her latest book, Hell and High Water, set in 18th-century England. It is one of two historical novels up for the prize; the other being Brian Selznicks' wonderful book, The Marvels. The Marvels interweaves a story told in illustration that begins in 1766 with a lone survivor of a shipwreck with a text story in 1990 about a boy who runs away from school to the house of his uncle. Also shortlisted are two contemporary novels. Crongton Knights by Alex  Wheatle is set on a fictitious council estate and follows the adventures of McKay during the course of one night. And finally, Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillo

It's Baboró Time!

In just a few days, the 2016 Baboró International Arts Festival for Children will kick off. From October 17 through the 23rd, venues all over Galway will host will play host to a wide array of events for anyone and everyone from 0-100 years, with theatre, puppetry, dance, film, animation, talks and workshops. Each year, Baboró brings a variety of artists from every field and all over the world. In addition to family events, Baboró hosts dedicated school everyone has a chance to attend something. And this year, they've even added "Something for the Grown-Ups" events. A few of the incredible acts at this years' festival include: Cruthanna/The Shape of Things, a bililngual event for ages 0-4 yrs.; The Secret Life of Suitcases, puppetry filled with wit and humour for ages 4+; Dream City/Droomstad with De Dansers from Holland; A Feast of Bones for ages 9+; Cartoon Saloon bringing us both Song of the Sea and The Long Way North; Becoming: the Adventures of

BA (Children's Studies) at NUI Galway

On Friday, 30th of September, I was invited to the official launch of an exciting new programme of study at NUI Galway. The new BA Children's Studies is a ground-breaking field of study. This 4 year programme is the only interdisciplnary programme of it's kind in Europe, encompassing every imaginable field of study to do with practical and theoretical approaches to childhood and adolescence. Whether the individuals' emphasis is on arts, literature, teaching, social services, legal and human rights, the programme is covering it. Community-based service-learning and enquiry-based learning are embedded within the degree and the third year placement combines with practical experience to prepare its' students with a wide range of specific career goals. I could go on, but suffice to say, I think this is one of the most exciting approaches to the field of childhood and youth study I have seen, and long over due. The programme was launched by Minister for Children and