Author Podcasts now available!

Snip20150225_7Cotsen Children’s Library has interviewed children’s authors since 2009, and has just made these interviews available for free as podcasts.  There is a good mixture of well known authors on there – Philip Pullman, Sharon Creech, Joseph Delaney and Kaye Umansky, to name a few.  To read about the programme, and how the author Lloyd Alexander inspired the interviews, see here.  To read more about the featured authors including transcripts of the interviews, see here. This is a great archive that Cotsen Children’s Library has built up – thanks to them for making all of this freely available.

BiblioFiles artwork by Aliisa Lee. Used with permission.

Harry Potter Night at Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School

Harry Potter-007

Anita, Librarian at Merchant Taylors’ school in Liverpool, sent me her account of what they got up to on Harry Potter Night.  It sounds fantastic! She says:

“I had 80 years 3 and 4 for 90 minutes doing three of a ten activity programme. Somehow I managed to persuade eleven teachers to run an activity after school for no extra pay (lots of approval points though) and then further persuade our deputy head to be Professor McGonagall complete with sorting hat. Altogether there were 20 of us last night all gowned up, playing Quidditch,making mini Hedwigs,watching an amazing science demonstration,learning Latin spells,following a mischief map,learning about the history of magic,doing mini science ,astronomy and making wands. Even refreshments were HP themed green jelly with sour spiders,pumpkin juice and cupcakes.”

A fuller description and photos can be found on the school website.  Pictured here is Deputy Head Jane Tyndall in the guise of Professor McGonagall.

National Storytelling Week 2015

Storyteller Sue AllonbyQEGS were delighted to be a part of National Storytelling Week and celebrated in the Library with a wealth of stories and tales all during this special storytelling week. From our Telling Tales group sharing scary tales to Mrs Verner reading The Viper, to our key event and guest storyteller Sue Allonby who shared lots of traditional tales including working with different year groups and also presenting a lunchtime event – to Mr Hargreaves complete with his flat cap and then finally to Mrs Foxley adding her own original touch to her delightful story which included delicate bones, frogs, lashing reeds and Little Duke.

Head of Library, Mrs Dewhurst commented ” it’s been an exciting week packed with a variety of stories and different members of staff volunteering to read – for which I am extremely grateful. A web of stories was spun, exciting sessions created much interest, with all events being extremely well attended. NSW is celebrated by all ages and often includes folk tales, fairy lore, figments, phantoms, dragons, serpents, storms at sea.  A good teller will conjure intriguingly –  our storytellers did just that!  It’s good to see that NSW appears to be steadily growing each year as more and more schools now get involved and celebrate, we are very proud of our contribution. My thanks must go to all storytellers including my own Telling Tales group, and also to many of Year 7 who joined in with the celebrations. A very big thank you to the Grandmother of Ruth Brown (8RMW) and Jane Brown (7NJP) who created a beautiful handmade storyteller’s gift for our visitor/storyteller, Sue Allonby. This has been a busy, eventful and successful week, which now leads on to our annual Book Week in March when we will welcome author Tom Palmer.”

Do let me know if you also celebrate National Storytelling Week – and how you do it!

Stan Lee Excelsior Award Shortlist 2014

Stan Lee Excelsior Award

Regular readers of Heart will know all about this amazing Reading Award, now in its fourth year.  It is currently the only award for graphic novels in the UK, and is immensely popular.  Run by Sheffield Librarian Paul Register, the numbers grow from year to year.  If you wish to register, or just see which books made the shortlist this year so that you can buy them for your own library, then follow go to the website.

Bookbuzz Mini Projects

BookBuzzSchool Librarian Philippa Godwin from Alde Valley School in Suffolk has shared an amazing resource with us!  She has created a series of mini projects around the Bookbuzz books, and has shared them with us through the Heart Files, and generously left two not in PDF so that you can adapt them yourselves.  Please remember to be as generous back and acknowledge her as your source.  The files are in the Box Files to the right in a folder called Bookbuzz.  Enjoy this wonderful resource!

Urgent questionnaire about the impact of author visits on reading

The Children’s Writers and Illustrator group, part of the Society of Authors has asked all of us to fill in an important questionnaire (link to Google doc at end of post).  Children’s authors Bali Rai and Helena Pielchaty say that the group has met with representatives in the DfE about how to get the Government and Ofsted to recognise the value of libraries in schools and the impact of author visits on reading.  The committee was advised that any letter sent to Sir Michael Wilshaw (Ofsted) would have to have evidence to back it up.  This survey is to collect the evidence from all of us.  We all know that author visits always generate interest in that author’s books, and reading, so I think we can all give a positive response to this.  The responses need to be in by November 12th, please email them to sbaxter@societyofauthors.org.  Thank you.  Link to survey here:https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B0ejuseTrf-3TkJndjNVMUdFZXc

A Monster Calls wins double accolade

A Monster Calls made history when it became the first book to win both the Carnegie and Greenaway awards.  Patrick Ness became only the second author to win the award on two simultanous years, and Jim Kay won the Greenaway for his stunning illustrations.  It is fitting that this book, which I consider to be one of the must-read books of the decade, should win this unique accolade.  In his acceptance speech, Patrick Ness criticised the government policy of closing libraries.  If you would like to read more about this, then have a look at these articles:http://tinyurl.com/cf2mr7p  (Guardian)  and http://tinyurl.com/c5a7rmr (Telegraph)