CONTENTS 2 Editorial


3 Little Rebels judge Catherine Johnson on this year’s award

4 Happy Birthday _________________________________________

Alanna Books! Ten years of child-centred publishing

6 Windows into Illustration: Richard Collingridge on the cinematic Lionheart


8 Authorgraph: Caroline Lawrence interviewed by Philip Womack

10 Ten of the Best books on space exploration chosen by Sue Unstead

12 The Carnegie Medal _________________________________________

shortlist appraised by Nicholas Tucker

13 The Kate Greenaway _________________________________________

Medal shortlist appraised by Piet Grobler

14 What Katy did in the _________________________________________

21st century Jacqueline Wilson talks to Rebecca Butler

16 FREE poster: promote reading with Lulu!

18 Good Reads chosen by pupils at Leighton Park School

_________________________________________ _________________________________________ _________________________________________ B _________________________________________


ologna was buzzing. It always is since it is one of the most attractive of cities with its arcaded streets, tradition of great food, enticing shops and the oldest university in world. It teems with tourists, students and locals. Then there is the Fiere – the centre for trade fairs. There are great exhibition halls where people can show off their wares, which could range from funeral and cemetery art to innovation in butchery … to children’s books. Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the showcase for publishers from around the world to display their books, not principally to the public but to other publishers. The aim is to sell foreign rights or identify an author or illustrator to add to their list. Visiting the Children’s Book Fair is fascinating and really brings home the global nature of publishing books for children. It also makes one aware of the gaps. While the UK, USA and Europe have an enormous presence as does, increasingly, the Far East, there are very few publishers from the African countries – though lovely books are beginning to emerge from there. Walking down the aisles is like walking through a fantasy land. The publishers’ stands, some enormous (especially those dedicated to the conglomerates), others very modest – but all bright and beautiful – often display great imagination in their design. One Croatian publisher had a castle!


18 I Wish I’d Written… Robin Stevens chooses

19 Two Children Tell: Ramona and Rebecca

20 When two is better _________________________________________ _________________________________________ _________________________________________

than one: Prentice and Weill on co-authoring

21 Twenty years since publication of Junk, Geraldine Brennan assesses its impact


22 Reviewers and reviews Under 5s (Pre-School/ Nursery/Infant) 5-8 (Infant/Junior) + Editor’s Choice 8-10 (Junior/Middle 10-14 (Middle/Secondary) + New Talent 14+ (Secondary/Adult)


32 Classics in Short No. 117 The Dolls’ House

_________________________________________ COVER STORY This issue’s cover illustration is from

Lulu Loves Flowers by Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw. Thanks to

Alanna Books for their help with this cover and to Hachette Children’s Books for their support of the Authorgraph interview with Caroline Lawrence.

Though this is not really a Fair for the general public, there is plenty to attract them. There are seminars and presentations, as well as exhibitions; this year Germany was the guest country, and there was a brilliant and innovative display of German illustrators. There are also a bewildering number of prizes. The Bologna Ragazzi Awards ‘acknowledge and celebrate publishing excellence in terms of innovative drive, graphic skill and general ability to capture young readers’ attention’, and there are four categories: Fiction, Non Fiction, New Horizons and Opera Prima. They are international, and the entrants and the winners really are drawn from around the world; it was great to see Flying Eye achieving two honourable mentions. Then there is the Disability Award, the Digital Award – congratulations to Nosy Crow for their appearance here – and the Bologna Prize for Best Children’s Publisher of Year (BOP); Andersen Press was the winner in the European group. There is also the International Award for Illustration – last year the young British illustrator, Maisie Shearring, won this prestigious award, this year it was the Mexican, Juan Palomino. Yet who

Books for Keeps

May 2016 No.218 ISSN 0143-909X © Books for Keeps CIC 2016 Editor: Ferelith Hordon Assistant Editor: Ruth Williams Editorial assistant Annabelle Rose Managing Editor: Andrea Reece Design: Louise Millar Editorial correspondence should be sent to Books for Keeps,

c/o The Big Green Bookshop, Unit 1, Brampton Park Road, Wood Green, London N22 6BG

2 Books for Keeps No.218 May 2016

will hear of many of these winners in this country? Why has Mallko y Papá, for instance a moving account of a father’s relationship with his Down’s syndrome son by the illustrator Gusti, and which won the Disability Award, not been published in the UK? And when will we see the work of the brilliant Juan Palomino?

So what? one might say. These are just prizes awarded by a small select group of judges. Similar criticisms are often aimed at our own national prizes – esoteric, out of touch, no popular appeal. Some people think there are too many prizes. But book awards are important because they focus attention on a select number of books drawn from the thousands that are published each year.

Getting on a long list, a short list, hopefully winning, is a way to stand out and attract attention. Awards can draw attention to particular concerns or areas. In the UK the Little Rebels Award for Radical Fiction aims to draw attention to important themes including diversity, gender, ecology and identity. Attention is directed to debut authors and their editors in the Branford Boase Award, while the newly established Klaus Flugge Award does the same for debut illustrators. There is the YA Book Prize, the Lollies (a relaunch of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize), the Children’s Book Award run by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups which involves children in the judging and the UKLA (United Kingdom Literacy Association) Award run by teachers. There is the CLiPPA award for poetry, and the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards for outstanding writing and illustration respectively. All of these prizes have similar, yet very different, aims and all can, and do, court argument, disagreement and discussion. I would suggest that this is where the true value of awards lies. Of course, they reward the creators of the books, but there is only one winner of any prize. However, book prize long lists and short lists invite important conversation and debate; there is rarely such a thing as an agreed ‘best’ book. Prizes are celebrations of books and should provide an opportunity to reflect, think, and make new discoveries. We should take notice of our national prizes

for children’s

books, but it is crucial that we take notice of international prizes too.

Ferelith Hordon, Editor

Books for Keeps is available online at A regular BfK Newsletter can also be sent by email. To sign up for the Newsletter, go to and follow the Newsletter link. If any difficulty is experienced, email addresses can also be sent to*


Website: *Email addresses will be used by Books for Keeps only for the purpose of emailing the Newsletter and will not be disclosed to third parties.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32