Site updated 10/6/2013
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Jay’s thoughts this month ...The CBN Symposium, and thoughts for the future
Fresh News every month...
Please note that the next update of Bookchat will be delayed until 15 July.
MEMORABLE MEETING IN FRANSCHHOEK
Quietly, on 15 May, a dozen people sat and talked in a way which may change the world of children and books in South Africa. Inspired by Lesley Beake and Sindiwe Magona (pictured), this was the Symposium hosted by the Children’s Book Network and facilitated by the Franschhoek Literary Festival. Please read this month’s “Thoughts from Jay”. The CBN website is at www.childrensbook.co.za and will be active from 22 June.
NEW CHILDREN’S LAUREATE IN UK
Malorie Blackman, author of the popular Noughts & Crosses series, will be Laureate for the next two years. Previous Children’s Laureates include: Julia Donaldson (the most recent), Anthony Browne, Michael Rosen, Michael Morpurgo, Anne Fine, Jacqueline Wilson and Quentin Blake. The post carries a bursary of £15,000 sponsored by Waterstones.
Bologna – Fifty Years of Children’s Books from Around the World
Since 1964, the International Children’s Book Fair at Bologna has been the key annual event in children’s literature. To celebrate its 50th year, the Fair and the University of Bologna have produced a superb publication. Over 500 pages describe and illustrate the growth of the Fair, the strengthening of youth literature, the essence of illustration; as well as contributed articles from 15 international perspectives (including English-speaking and French-speaking Africa); then come personal memories of the 50 years of the Fair. This must be one of the most important books on children’s literature published this year.
Bexar County's so-called BiblioTech is a low-cost project with big ambitions. Its first branch will be in a relatively poor district on the city of San Antonio's South Side.
It will have 100 e-readers on loan, and dozens of screens where the public will be able to browse, study, and learn digital skills. It is likely most users will access iblioTech's initial holding of 10,000 digital titles from the comfort of their homes, way out in the Texas hinterland.
However … a study published in Time magazine indicates that young people who read only on screen are 50% less likely to become above-average readers compared to those who read the printed word.
AMONG THE CLASSICS
Susan Cooper’s 5-book sequence The Dark is Rising is available from Red Fox, as impressive and deeply powerful as it ever was. [See Notable Overseas Books for review.]
Michael Ende is famous as the author of The Neverending Story, but search out his story of Momo (Puffin). To my mind this conflict between a free-thinking young lady and “the little grey men” is a sinister allegory of our times.
Very much from within South Africa – and reading matter for mature young adults – are the republished novels Dog Eat Dog and After Tears by Niq Mhlongo (from Kwela Books) voicing with vigour the life and feelings of a young man in and after 1994.
Open Book Festival in Cape Town will be held from 7 to 11 September.
THE NAME OF THE TREE
(Human & Rousseau 2013)
A brand new African animal folktale.
Dessert wine discovery: Kranskop Viognier Noble Late Harvest 2011. If you can find it (only 530 bottles available) this is smooth, sweet liquid gold.
DO YOU PLAY CRICKET? Well, then, you might enjoy The Innings Sauvignon Blanc created by the wish of Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis.
I have been hailed (with approval!) as a Luddite Dinosaur because I do not own a cell phone. Any other members of the LD Society?
South African Children's Books in Print (SACBIP) lookup