Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

Month: January 2009

Ghostscape by Joe Layburn

ghostscapeGhostscape is the first novel of Joe Layburn. (Amazon link)

Joe works as a teacher in London’s East End, a far cry from his time as a journalist and televsion reporter. But maybe there are lots of connections between his book and what he had to report for the TV.

Ten year old Aisha is trying to make a life in London’s East End. But she had lived in Somalia and had seen war and dead bodies. Now she was just a girl in a headscarf.

But she had never seen a ghost before, well that was about to change…..

An exciting time slip novel when Aisha is transported back to the Blitz in the 1940’s.

In a world full of changes Aisha comes to rely more and more on her new ghost friend and together they work it out. But you should read the book, its really a great story.

This quotation taken from the first chapter of Ghostscape, called Bombs and Bullies, gives a little idea of the feelings the book fosters.

“Don’t let her get you down,  Aisha. You’re worth more than that.” I liked that.  He was right.  I was worth something.  I fell asleep, leaning against him, still with a smile on my face.”

Ghostscape, written by Joe Layburn and illustrated by John Williams is published by Frances Lincoln, first edition in August 2008.

Joe is a great author to have working with children and is part of a team delivering workshops directly with Year 6 children in Newport Primary School, Leyton, East London. This is part of LeytonStories, an exciting new initiative bringing children’s books direct into the community.

See Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk home page here.

The Pencil by Allan Ahlberg

The PencilThe Pencil written by Allan Ahlberg and illustrated by Bruce Ingman.  (Amazon link)

What a book! Another winner for Allan Ahlberg.

It starts out as a simple pencil. Then it builds the story until it begins to draw.

It adds colour and people come into the picture. They begin to squabble and act as all people do.

A twist of magic is when the eraser is introduced!

This is really a picture book for any age. A joy to look and to read. But yet it is a book about being creative, how complex life can be and that often conflict is maybe just around the corner!

A success for Walker Books.  (Publisher’s home page link).

Amazon link for Walker Books.

To look for more information and find other new titles in picture books and beyond try Carousel, The Guide to Children’s Books.

The Dolphinbooksellers home page is here.

Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation

tobyaloneCoverAnnouncement of the 2009 winner

At a ceremony at the English speaking Union on 20 January Sarah Ardizzone won the Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in translation 2009, for Toby Alone by Daniel Pennac.

There was great competition from some exceptionally talented authors and translators, including Henning Mankell’s book When the Snow Fell and Francesco D’Adamo’s book My brother Johnny.

The Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation has been running since 1996, and is given biennially.

It was designed to spotlight the diversity of translated fiction for young readers and to bring a richness to children’s books into the English language from places way beyond our own lives and in cultures and countries we may never have the chance to visit.

Our feelings at Dolphin are that is just great to value books and cultures in countries that we have little experience of. Stories still give everyone a chance to experience something else, to be with that character in the story, feel what its like and learn that you’re not alone.

Congratulations to Sarah and to the other short listed translators.

This is the shortlist, hope you get to read at least one, I’m going to start with When the Snow Fell.

My Brother Johnny by Francesco D’Adamo translated from Italian by Sian Williams (Aurora Metro Press, 2007) Amazon link

When the Snow Fell by Henning Mankell translated from Swedish by Laurie Thompson (Andersen Press, 2007) Amazon link

Letters from Alain by Enrique Perez Diaz translated from Spanish by Simon Breden (Aurora Metro Press, 2008) Amazon link

Tina’s Web by Alki Zei translated from Greek by John Thornley (Aurora Metro Press, 2007) Amazon link

Toby Alone by Timothée de Fombelle translated from French by Sarah Ardizzone illustrated by François Place (Walker Books, 2008) Amazon link

Message in a Bottle by Valérie Zenatti translated from French by Adriana Hunter (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2008) Amazon link

The Dolphinbooksellers home page is here

Author event in East London


bookpic224We are working with a school in East London in February to deliver one our City Stories author and book events.Leyton Stories is the children’s book group based around the school and children’s centre in Leyton.

We are working with the school, the publishers Frances Lincoln and over a hundred children to undertake workshops and author meetings with parents and carers.

The event is part of our City Stories project – designed to deliver books, authors, illustrators and story-tellers to inner city children.

Watch this space in February to see how it went.

You can see the Dolphinbooksellers home page here

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