Books for Schools Thanks to the Duchess’s Bookshelves

By July 11, 2017Children's Literature, News

The Duchess of Cornwall is celebrating her 70th birthday, and while you may not be aware, the royal is patron of several literacy charities including the National Literacy Trust, Beanstalk, Booktrust, First Story, and Roald Dahl and the Wicked Young Writer Awards.

This birthday the Duchess is working with the Literacy Trust to create an initiative called The Duchess’s Bookshelves and what this means in reality is books for schools up and down the country!

Today (11th July) the Duchess of Cornwall was presented with a set of the Duchess’s Bookshelves at Clarence House during a birthday garden party and now the same bookshelves, containing seventy children’s books will be sent to seventy schools around the UK!

The seventy books were inspired by suggestions from children in schools from all over the UK as they were asked to recommend their favourite books to be included on the bookshelves. The initiative, which is designed to inspire reading for pleasure is backed by the Duchess and comes with reading activities, a classroom activity plan, and pupil worksheets and teacher’s notes for players, all downloadable from the Literacy Trust website.

Hemlington Hall Academy in Middlesbrough and Berkley Primary School in Hounslow were chosen to nominate their pupils’ favourite books and were chosen to attend the event at Clarence House to present HRH The Duchess of Cornwall with one of the bookshelves.

You can see the full list of 70 books in PDF format here.

Chris Riddell in War of Words with John Lewis over Moz Likeness

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Author and illustrator Chris Riddell got into a little Twitter spat last week with retailer John Lewis over the Moz character from the new advertising campaign, and a week on it’s still rumbling on as the ever witty and creative Chris Riddell continues with a stream of monster talk.

The former children’s laureate, Riddell, pointed out that Moz the Monster bears a striking similarity to Mr Underbed, his own monster character. Riddell then went on to show blow by blow how the stories are almost identical, and even the monsters bear a striking resemblance. Read More

Michael Rosen and Tony Ross Recreate a Christmas Classic

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“This Christmas, join Michael Rosen and Tony Ross with their unforgettable retelling of Charles Dickens’ beloved classic. In a school theatrical production of “A Christmas Carol”, the boy who plays Scrooge is extra nervous because his very busy father is in the audience. However, it’s likely his father won’t stay for the duration, due to business. As always. Will the classic story’s message of Christmas cheer and family love reach his father’s distracted heart?”

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Brambly Hedge Creator Jill Barklem Died Aged 66

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Born in Epping in 1951, Jill Barklem had a natural talent for art and drawing. He interest in the natural world became a real influence in her work, and after completing her study of illustration at St Martin’s in London, she went on to research extensively for her Brambly Hedge stories.

Her curiosity and interest in rural life bled into her quaint and sweet stories, accompanied by beautifully detailed images of anthropomorphised field mice and other hedgerow creatures.  Her Brambly Hedge stories were adored by many children growing up in the 80s and 90s from her first book ‘A Spring Story’ (1980) to ‘A Year in Brambly Hedge’ (2010). Her work was made into an animation in 1996, voiced by two British treasures- Jim Broadbent and June Whitfield.

After a long illness Jill died, aged 66, on November 16th 2017. The publisher’s staff at HarperCollins were all deeply saddened at the news of Barklem’s death. “Her exquisite Brambly Hedge stories have enchanted children and many adult admirers across the world for more than 35 years. Jill was a lovely person with a rare talent to turn her astute observation of the English countryside into an enchanting miniature world,” she said. “Her enduring stories about the mice of Brambly Hedge remain as beautiful today as when she first created them and will continue to be treasured by future generations.”

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A Life-Sized Diagon Alley Has Been Built in Seattle!

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A dedicated father of two daughters in Seattle, USA has built a life-sized Diagon Alley in his own driveway.

As a lifelong fan of Harry Potter himself, Jonathan Chambers has created a stunning replica of the infamous wizarding shopping street from Harry Potter. He quit his job and starting on this crazy project, spending a few thousand dollars on construction. By November 2nd they had accumulated 3000 visitors- and have raised over $500 so far. The money raised will go towards creating a two-story Gringotts Bank playhouse, with the remaining money going to Pancreatic Cancer Research.

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Nosy Crow Partner With John Lewis with Moz the Monster Book

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It’s that time of year when the seasonal advertising campaigns swing around and first off the bat as usual in the UK is John Lewis with another touching, heart warming advert. As always, John Lewis are accompanying that advert with a stack of related merchandise so you can expect to see Moz the Monster under many Christmas trees, and this year the brand is partnering with Nosy Crow for a Moz the Monster children’s book!

If you haven’t seen the advert yet, you should probably start there. It begins with a little boy nodding off as his book slides off the bed. Read More

Share Some Secrets: New Book Helps Abused Children Speak Out.

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Children’s author Christina Gabbitas has created a book to help children speak out about abuse they may be suffering. The book explains how there are ‘good’ secrets such as a surprise birthday present and ‘troublesome’ secrets like abuse and manipulation. It is meant to encourage children to distinguish between the two, and support them in sharing troublesome secrets.

The idea came to Gabbitas a couple of years back “after seeing and listening to harrowing stories on the news and speaking to various individuals”.

According to The Guardian, the author says: “I started to look into available resources to try and educate early years and primary children. I noticed there was a distinct lack of books for a child to pick up without needing parental supervision. There is plenty of stuff available to help pick up the pieces afterwards, but we haven’t done enough to educate children from a young age”.

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