Related to: 'Tim Atkinson'

Franklin Watts

Autism

Louise Spilsbury
Authors:
Louise Spilsbury

How do you explain the concept of racism to a young child or help them if they are being subject to racist abuse? This hands on picture book is designed to help children with their questions and feelings about tricky topics that can be hard to talk about. This book offers practical help, tips and advice an well as exploring everyday situations, supported by, exquisite and approachable illustrations to give a comforting story book feel. A perfect aid to help children open up and explore how they feel and give steps they can take to help them cope.

Wayland

The Vikings

Tim Cooke
Authors:
Tim Cooke

The At Home With... series uses a fascinating magazine-style approach to reveal what fashionable life was like at the time of the Vikings! Find out all about the invasions and raids in their struggle for the Kingdom of England. Each book in the series focuses on a highly popular and widely studied period of history. The subjects include famous individuals and their homes, fashions, pastimes, food and drink, ways of getting around - and the must-have possessions of the day. Life in the past was in many ways very different from life today, but in one way it was very similar. There were always some people who were wealthier, more powerful or more famous than everyone else - and it was those early celebrities who set the fashions of the age and who got tongues wagging with early celebrity gossip. A fun take on a Key Stage 2 National Curriculum topic!

Franklin Watts

Let's Eat Grandma! A Life-Saving Guide to Grammar and Punctuation

Karina Law, Mike Phillips
Contributors:
Karina Law, Mike Phillips
Franklin Watts

Early Islamic Civilisation

Anita Ganeri
Authors:
Anita Ganeri
Franklin Watts

Indus Valley

Anita Ganeri
Authors:
Anita Ganeri

Each book in Great Civilisations approaches its subject through a scene-setting spread Who/where were the... then introduces the achievements of the chosen civilisation through 12 structures or objects, each of which illustrates a key aspect or theme. Writing, architecture, industry, warfare, transport and learning are all covered in the same simple, colourful and engaging way. Fact boxes and panels present incidental information and point the reader to the importance of parallel developments in other parts of the world.Indus Valley offers a look at one of the most important ancient civilisations. Through structures as complex and magnificent as the Great Bath at Mohenjo Daro or as simple as a steatite seal or a pot, readers gain a picture of who was whom in the ancient Indus Valley and how the civilisation in which they lived really worked.

Wayland

The Ancient Egyptians

Tim Cooke
Authors:
Tim Cooke

Life in the past was in many ways very different from life today, but in one way it was very similar.There were always some people who were wealthier, more powerful or more famous than everyone else- and it was those early celebrities who set the fashions of the age and who got tongues wagging withearly celebrity gossip. At Home With... uses a magazine approach to reveal what fashionable life was like in various societies.Each book in the series focuses on a highly popular and widely studied period of history. The subjects include famous individuals and their homes, fashions, pastimes, food and drink, ways of getting around - and the must-have possessions of the day.

Franklin Watts

At the Water Hole

Jane Clarke
Authors:
Jane Clarke

Zebra is longing for a cool drink at the water hole, but can he escape both Lion and Crocodile!.The Tiddlers series features fun stories with a word count of fewer than 50 words for children who are just starting to read.A word list at the beginning of the story allows for a quick check of the  reader's ability to read and understand words before reading, and a puzzle at the end of the story encourages rereading for pleasure.

Wayland

India

Tim Atkinson
Authors:
Tim Atkinson
Wayland

United Kingdom

Tim Atkinson
Authors:
Tim Atkinson

Each title looks at each country through a variety of themes such as location, landscape and climate, population and health, settlements, family life, religion and beliefs, education and learning, employment and economy, industry and trade, farming and food, transport and communications, leisure and tourism and environment and wildlife.Includes maps, statistics panels and simple graphs and charts; and a topic web showing links with this series to other subject areas.

Hodder Children's Books

Grammar

Andy Seed, Roger Hurn
Authors:
Andy Seed, Roger Hurn

All the essentials of grammer covered thoroughly in a light-hearted and accessible style. The books act as a genuinely useful tool for children who want or need to improve their English and grasp areas that they have perhaps not understood at school or missed out on. Each page covers a key point, shows lots of examples to demonstrate correct usage, and has a handy summary at the bottom of the page. Comic-strip style illustrations and the group of characters that make up the Odd Mob make learning fun and easy, with puns, jokes and cartoons.

Franklin Watts

Leapfrog Rhyme Time: Squeaky Clean

Jane Clarke, Anni Axworthy
Contributors:
Jane Clarke, Anni Axworthy
Wikipedia

Michael Rosen

Michael Wayne Rosen (born 7 May 1946)[1] is a broadcaster, children's novelist and poet and the author of 140 books. He was appointed as the fifth Children's Laureate in June 2007, succeeding Jacqueline Wilson, and held this honour until 2009. Michael Rosen was born in Harrow, London. The family background is Jewish, "from the Jewish East End tradition" as Rosen puts it.[2] Rosen's father Harold (1919–2008) was born in Brockton, Massachusetts, in the United States to Communist parents and settled in the East End of London at the age of two, when his mother returned to the country of her birth.[3] While a member of the Young Communist League he met Connie Isakofsky, his future wife and Michael Rosen's mother, in 1935. Harold was a secondary school teacher before becoming a professor of English at the Institute of Education, London,[4] and Connie a primary school teacher before becoming a training college lecturer; she also broadcast for the BBC. Producing a programme featuring poetry, she persuaded her son to write for it, and used some of the material he submitted.[5] Their ancestors came from Poland, Russia and Romania.[2] Michael Rosen was brought up in Pinner, Middlesex, and went to various state schools in Pinner, Harrow, and then Watford Grammar School for Boys,[2] and, having discovered the range of Jonathan Miller, thought: "Wouldn't it be wonderful to know all about science, and know all about art, and be funny and urbane and all that."[6] Subsequently, in his own words: After graduating from Wadham College, Oxford, in 1969, Rosen became a graduate trainee at the BBC. Among the work that he did while there in the 1970s was presenting a series on BBC Schools television called WALRUS (Write And Learn, Read, Understand, Speak). He was also scriptwriter on the children's reading series Sam on Boffs' Island. But Rosen found working for the corporation frustrating: "Their view of 'educational' was narrow. The machine had decided this was the direction to take. Your own creativity was down the spout."[7] Despite previously having made no secret of his radical politics he was asked to go freelance in 1972, though in practice he was sacked despite several departments of the BBC wishing to employ him. In common with the China expert and journalist Isabel Hilton among several others at this time, Rosen had failed the vetting procedures which were then in operation. This long-standing practice was only revealed in 1985.[8] In 1974 Mind Your Own Business, his first book of poetry for children, was published. In due course, Rosen established himself with his collections of humorous verse for children, including Wouldn't You Like to Know, You Tell Me and Quick Let's Get Out of Here. Educationalist Morag Styles has described Rosen as "one of the most significant figures in contemporary children's poetry". He was, says Styles, one of the first poets "to draw closely on his own childhood experiences ... and to 'tell it as it was' in the ordinary language children actually use".[7] Rosen played a key role in opening up children's access to poetry: both through his own writing and with important anthologies such as Culture Shock. He was one of the first poets to make visits to schools throughout the UK and further afield in Australia, Canada and Singapore.[7] His tours continue to enthuse and engage school children about poetry in the present.[9] In 1993, he gained an M.A. in Children's Literature from the University of Reading; he also holds a Ph.D. from the University of North London.[10] He is well established as a broadcaster, presenting a range of documentary features on British radio. He is the presenter of BBC Radio 4's regular magazine programme Word of Mouth which looks at the English language and the way it is used.[11] The English Association has given Michael Rosen's Sad Book an Exceptional Award for the Best Children's Illustrated Books of 2004, in the 4–11 age range. The book was written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Quentin Blake. It deals in part with bereavement, and followed the publication of Carrying the Elephant: A Memoir of Love and Loss which was published in November 2002 after the death of his son Eddie, who features as a child in much of his earlier poetry. In 2004, Rosen published This Is Not My Nose: A Memoir of Illness and Recovery, an account of his ten years with undiagnosed hypothyroidism; a course of drugs in 1981 alleviated the condition.[7] Rosen has also been involved in campaigning around issues of education and for the Palestinian cause. He has written columns for the newspaper of the Socialist Workers Party (Socialist Worker)[12] and spoken at their conferences.[13] He has also stood for election in June 2004 in London as a Respect Coalition candidate.[5] He is also a supporter of the Republic campaign.[14] Rosen was the subject of the BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs programme on 6 August 2006.[15] He is currently Visiting Professor of Children's Literature at Birkbeck, University of London, where he teaches Children's Literature and has devised an MA in Children's Literature, which commenced in October 2010.[16] In August 2010 Rosen contributed to an eBook collection of political poems entitled Emergency Verse - Poetry in Defence of the Welfare State edited by Alan Morrison[17] In 2011, he collaborated with his wife, Emma-Louise Williams to produce the film 'Under the Cranes'; he provided the original screenplay (a 'play for voices' called 'Hackney Streets') which Williams took as a basis with which to direct the film. It premiered at the Rio Cinema, Dalston, London on April 30, 2011 as part of the East End Film Festival[18] Rosen was appointed as the fifth Children's Laureate in June 2007, succeeding Jacqueline Wilson,[19] and held this honour till 9 June 2009, being succeeded by Anthony Browne.[20] Rosen signed off from the Laureateship with an article in The Guardian,[21] in which he said, poignantly: "Sometimes when I sit with children when they have the space to talk and write about ... things, I have the feeling that I am privileged to be the kind of person who is asked to be part of it". In summer 2007, Rosen was awarded an Honorary D.Litt at the University of Exeter.[22] On 19 January 2008, Rosen was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and the University of East London at a ceremony held at the Institute of Education.[23] On 5 November 2008, he was presented with an Honorary Masters degree at the University of Worcester.[24] On 18 November 2008, he was presented with the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature) by the Government of France at the French Ambassador's residence in London.[25] On 2 April 2010 he was given the Fred and Anne Jarvis Award by the National Union of Teachers for "campaigning for education".[26] On 22 July 2010, Michael Rosen was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Education (DEd) by Nottingham Trent University.[27] On April 5, 2011, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate at the Institute of Education, University of London.[28] On 20 July 2011, Michael Rosen was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of the West of England.[29] Rosen has been married three times, and is the father of five children and two stepchildren. With his first partner, Susannah, he had two sons: Joe (born 1976) and Eddie (born 1980, died 1999). His second partner, whom he does not name, had two daughters from her previous relationship: Naomi (born 1978) and Laura (born 1983).[30] He had one son with her: Isaac (born 1987). Rosen currently lives in Dalston, Hackney, London with his wife Emma-Louise Williams and their two children, Elsie (born 2001) and Emile (born 2004).[31][32]

Hachette UK announces the creation of a single publishing division for children’s books

Hachette Children's Group Announcement

Tim Hely Hutchinson, CEO of Hachette UK, today announces the creation of the Hachette Children’s Group, a single publishing division comprising Hachette Children’s Books, Orion Children’s Publishing and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Wikipedia

David Almond

David Almond (born 15 May 1951) is a British author who has written several novels children or young adults from 1998, each one to critical acclaim. He is one of thirty children's writers, and one of three from the U.K., to win the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award. For the 70th anniversary of the British Carnegie Medal in Literature in 2007, his debut novel Skellig (1998) was named one of the top ten Medal-winning works, selected by a panel to compose the ballot for a public election of the all-time favourite.[1] It ranked third in the public vote from that shortlist. Almond was born and raised in Felling and Newcastle in post-industrial North East England and educated at the University of East Anglia. He started out as an author of adult fiction, and his stories appeared in many little magazines, including Iron, Stand, London Magazine, Edinburgh Review. His first short story collection Sleepless Nights, was published by iron Press in 1985[2]). His second, A Kind of Heaven, appeared in 1987. He then wrote a series of stories which drew on his own childhood, and which would eventually be published as Counting Stars, published by Hodder in 2001. These stories led directly to his first novel, Skellig (1998), set in Newcastle. It won the 1998 Whitbread Award, Children's Book and the Carnegie Medal. It has been published in over thirty languages.[citation needed] And it has become a radio play scripted by Almond; a stage play scripted by Almond, first production at the Young Vic, directed by Trevor Nunn; an opera with libretto by Almond, composed by Tod Machover, first directed by Braham Murray at The Sage in Gateshead; and a film directed by Annabel Jankel, with Tim Roth as Skellig. In the next seven years, four more novels by Almond made the Carnegie Medal shortlist of five to eight books.[3] Since Skellig his novels, stories, and plays have also brought international success and widespread critical acclaim. They are Kit's Wilderness (1999), Heaven Eyes (2000), Secret Heart (2001), The Fire Eaters (2003), Clay (2005), Jackdaw Summer ( ), and My Name is Mina (2010), a prequel to Skellig. He collaborates with leading artists and illustrators, including Polly Dunbar (My Dad's a Birdman and The Boy Who Climbed Into the Moon); Stephen Lambert (Kate, the Cat and the Moon; and Dave McKean (The Savage, Slog's Dad and the forthcoming Mouse Bird Snake Wolf). His plays include Wild Girl, Wild Boy, My Dad's a Birdman, Noah & the Fludd and the stage adaptations of Skellig and Heaven Eyes. Almond's novel The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean (2011) was published in two editions: Adult (Penguin Viking); and Young Adult (Puffin). 2012 publications include The Boy Who swam With Piranhas (illustrated by Oliver Jeffers). 2013: "Mouse Bird Snake Wolf" (illustrated by Dave McKean). His works are highly philosophical and thus appeal to children and adults alike. Recurring themes throughout include the complex relationships between apparent opposites (such as life and death, reality and fiction, past and future); forms of education; growing up and adapting to change; the nature of the "self". He has been greatly influenced by the works of the English Romantic poet William Blake.[citation needed] In November 2008 he was a guest on Private Passions, the biographical music discussion programme on BBC Radio 3.[4] His short story "The Knife Sharpener" appeared in The Sunday Times on 25 January 2009[5] and The Savage was given away free as part of the Liverpool Reads event.[6] In 2010 David Almond became the 29th recipient of the so-called Nobel Prize for children's literature, the international Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing, which biennially recognises the "lasting contribution" of one living author.[7] Almond's major awards include the Carnegie Medal (Skellig);[8] two Whitbread Awards; the Smarties Prize in category 9–11 years (The Fire-Eaters); the U.S. Michael L. Printz Award (Kit's Wilderness);[a] the U.S. Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (The Fire-Eaters); Le Prix Sorcieres (France); the Katholischer Kinder-und Jugendbuchpreis (Germany); and a Silver Pencil and three Silver Kisses (Netherlands).[clarification needed][citation needed] The Skellig prequel My Name is Mina (Hodder, 2010) was a finalist for three major annual awards: the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize,[9] the Carnegie Medal in Literature,[10] and the (German) Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis.[citation needed] Almond currently lives with his family in Northumberland, England. Since 2006 he has been a Visiting Professor in Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University.

Updated June 2017

Our Ethical and Environmental Policy

Our ethical and environmental policy

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Teri Terry

Teri Terry arrived on the children’s book radar last year with her debut novel Slated, which was immediately shortlisted for a number of prizes, and has recently won the 14-16 category of the Leeds Book Awards. Here she talks to Graham Marks about the extraordinary journey she has taken to become an author – a story almost worthy of a book itself.

Wikipedia

Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan (born 1974) is an Australian illustrator and author of children's books and speculative fiction cover artist. He won an Academy Award for the The Lost Thing, a 2011 animated film adaptation of a 2000 picture book he wrote and illustrated. Beside The Lost Thing, The Red Tree and The Arrival are chapterbooks he has written and illustrated. Tan was born in Fremantle, Western Australia in 1974 and, after freelancing for some years from a studio at Mount Lawley, relocated to Melbourne, Victoria in 2007.[1] In 2006, his wordless graphic novelThe Arrival won the "Book of the Year" prize as part of the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards.[2] The same book won the Children's Book Council of Australia "Picture Book of the Year" award in 2007.[3] and the Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Premier's Prize in 2006.[4] Tan was the University of Melbourne's Department of Language Literacy and Arts Education Illustrator In Residence for two weeks through an annual Fellowship offered by the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust.[5] In 2010, Shaun Tan was the Artist Guest of Honour at the 68th World Science Fiction Convention held in Melbourne, Australia. For his career contribution to "children's and young adult literature in the broadest sense" Tan won the 2011 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award from the Swedish Arts Council, the biggest prize in children's literature.[6] As a boy, Tan spent time illustrating poems and stories and drawing dinosaurs, robots and spaceships. At school he was known as a talented artist.[1] At the age of eleven, he became a fan of The Twilight Zone television series as well as books that bore similar themes. Tan cites Ray Bradbury as a favorite at this time. These stories led to Tan writing his own short stories. Of his effort at writing as a youth, Tan tells, "I have a small pile of rejection letters as testament to this ambition!"[7] Eventually he gained success with his illustrations. At the age of sixteen, Tan's first illustration appeared in the Australian magazine Aurealis in 1990.[7] Tan almost studied to become a geneticist, and enjoyed chemistry, physics, history and English when in high school as well as art and claimed that he did not really know what he wanted to do, even at university.[7] University studies were taking him along an academic route until he "decided to stop studying and try working as an artist."[8] Illustration was something Tan enjoyed. The decision to choose it as a career simply allowed him to make a living from drawing and painting.[8] Drawing was something he had never stopped doing, claiming "...it was one thing I could do better than anyone else when I was in school."[7] Tan claims that he had little formal training in the field of book illustration.[1] Tan attended Balcatta Senior High School in the northern suburbs of Perth where he was enrolled in a special art program for gifted and talented students. "The main advantage," cites Tan, "was that students came to be taught by a wide range of practising artists, not just art teachers."[8] He completed the program in 1991 and he "credits the...Program [for] providing him the fundamental skills of art making." [9] Tan continued his education at the University of Western Australia where he studied Fine Arts, English Literature and History. While this was of interest to him, there was little studio practice involved.[8] In 1995, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts.[10] Of his actual works he has said: ‘‘I don’t think I’ve ever painted an image as a reproduction of what I’m seeing, even when I’m working in front of it. I’m always trying to create some kind of parallel equivalent."[7] Originally, Tan worked in black and white because the final reproductions would be printed that way and this preference extended to The Stray Cat. Some black and white mediums he used included pens, inks, acrylics, charcoal, scraperboard, photocopies and linocuts.[7] Tan's current colour works still begin as monochromatic. He uses a graphite pencil to make sketches on ordinary copy paper. The sketches are then reproduced numerous times with different versions varying with parts added or removed. Sometimes scissors are used for this purpose. The cut and paste collage idea in these early stages often extend to the finished production with many of his illustrations using such materials as "glass, metal, cuttings from other books and dead insects."[7] Tan describes himself as a slow worker who revises his work many times along the way. He is interested in loss and alienation, and believes that children in particular react well to issues of natural justice. He feels he is "like a translator" of ideas, and is happy and flattered to see his work adapted and interpreted in film and music (such as by the Australian Chamber Orchestra).[11] Tan draws from a large source of inspiration and cites many influences on his work. His comment on the subject is: "I’m pretty omnivorous when it comes to influences, and I like to admit this openly."[7] Some influences are very direct. The Lost Thing is a strong example where Tan makes visual references to famous artworks. Many of his influences are a lot more subtle visually, some of the influences are ideological. Below are some influences he has named in various interviews: The Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists is sponsored by the City of Subiaco and open to all Perth school children between 5 and 17 years. The award is aimed at encouraging creativity in two-dimensional works. It is held annually with award winners announced in May and finalists' works exhibited at the Subiaco Library (crn Rokeby and Bagot Road, Subiaco) throughout June.[13] Mural in the Children's Section of the Subiaco Public Library (Perth, Western Australia). Size: 20 square metres[1]

Wikipedia

Enid Blyton

Enid Mary Blyton (11 August 1897 – 28 November 1968) was a Britishchildren's writer also known as Mary Pollock. She is noted for numerous series of books based on recurring characters and designed for different age groups. Her books have enjoyed huge success in many parts of the world, and have sold over 600 million copies.[1] One of Blyton's most widely known characters is Noddy, intended for early years readers. However, her main work is the genre of young readers' novels in which children have their own adventures with minimal adult help. Series of this type include the Famous Five (21 novels, 1942–1963, based on four children and their dog), the Five Find-Outers and Dog, (15 novels, 1943–1961, where five children regularly outwit the local police) as well as The Secret Seven (15 novels, 1949–1963, a society of seven children who solve various mysteries). Her work involves children's adventure stories, and fantasy, sometimes involving magic. Her books were and still are enormously popular throughout the Commonwealth and across most of the globe. Her work has been translated into nearly 90 languages. Blyton's literary output was of an estimated 800 books over roughly 40 years. Chorion Limited of London now owns and handles the intellectual properties and character brands of Blyton's Noddy and the well known series the Famous Five. Blyton was born on 11 August 1897 at 354 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, London, England, the eldest child of Thomas Carey Blyton (1870–1920), a salesman of cutlery, and his wife, Theresa Mary Harrison Blyton (1874–1950). There were two younger brothers, Hanly (1899–1983) and Carey (1902–1976), who were born after the family had moved to the nearby suburb of Beckenham—in Oakwood Avenue. Blyton adored her father and was devastated after he left the family to live with another woman; this has often been cited as the reason behind her emotional immaturity. Blyton and her mother did not have a good relationship, and later in life, Blyton claimed to others that her mother was dead. After both her parents did die, Blyton attended neither of their funerals. From 1907 to 1915, Blyton was educated at St. Christopher's School in Beckenham, leaving as head girl. She enjoyed physical activities along with some academic work, but not maths. Blyton was a talented pianist, but gave up her musical studies when she trained as a teacher at Ipswich High School.[2] She taught for five years at Bickley, Surbiton and Chessington, writing in her spare time. Her first book, Child Whispers, a collection of poems, was published in 1922. On 28 August 1924 Blyton married Major Hugh Alexander Pollock, DSO (1888–1971), editor of the book department in the publishing firm of George Newnes, which published two of her books that year. The couple moved to Bourne End, Buckinghamshire (Peterswood in her books).[3] Eventually they moved to a house in Beaconsfield, named Green Hedges by Blyton's readers following a competition in Sunny Stories. They had two children: Gillian Mary Baverstock (15 July 1931 – 24 June 2007) and Imogen Mary Smallwood (born 27 October 1935). In the mid-1930s Blyton experienced a spiritual crisis, but she decided against converting to Roman Catholicism from the Church of England because she had felt it was "too restricting". Although she rarely attended church services, she saw that her two daughters were baptised into the Anglican faith and went to the local Sunday School. Since her death in 1968 and the publication of her daughter Imogen's autobiography, A Childhood at Green Hedges, Blyton has emerged as an emotionally immature, unstable and often malicious figure. By 1939 her marriage to Pollock was in difficulties, and she began a series of affairs. In 1941 she met Kenneth Fraser Darrell Waters, a London surgeon with whom she began a relationship. During her divorce, Blyton blackmailed Pollock into taking full blame for the failure of the marriage, knowing that exposure of her adultery would ruin her public image. She promised that if he admitted to charges of infidelity, she would allow him unlimited access to their daughters. However, after the divorce, Pollock was forbidden to contact his daughters, and Blyton ensured he was unable to find work in publishing afterwards. He turned to drinking heavily and was forced to petition for bankruptcy. Blyton and Darrell Waters married at the City of Westminster Register Office on 20 October 1943, and she subsequently changed the surname of her two daughters to Darrell Waters. Pollock remarried thereafter. Blyton's second marriage was very happy and, as far as her public image was concerned, she moved smoothly into her role as a devoted doctor's wife, living with him and her two daughters at Green Hedges. Blyton's husband died in 1967. During the following months, she became increasingly ill. Afflicted by Alzheimer's disease, Blyton was moved into a nursing home three months before her death; she died at the Greenways Nursing Home, London, on 28 November 1968, aged 71 years and was cremated at the Golders Green Crematorium where her ashes remain. Blyton's home, Green Hedges, was sold in 1971 and demolished in 1973. The area where Green Hedges once stood is now occupied by houses and a street called Blyton Close. A blue plaque commemorates Blyton at Hook Road in Chessington, where she lived from 1920-4. [4] Her daughter Imogen has been quoted as saying "The truth is Enid Blyton was arrogant, insecure, pretentious, very skilled at putting difficult or unpleasant things out of her mind, and without a trace of maternal instinct. As a child, I viewed her as a rather strict authority. As an adult I pitied her."[5] Elder daughter, Gillian, did not hold the same view toward their mother, and Imogen's biography of Blyton contains a foreword by Gillian to the effect that her memories of childhood with Enid Blyton were mainly happy ones. The Red Story Book, The Green Story Book, The Blue Story Book, Bedtime Stories are some other books by Enid Blyton. Blyton wrote hundreds of other books for young and older children: novels, story collections and some non-fiction. She also filled a large number of magazine pages, particularly the long-running Sunny Stories which were immensely popular among younger children. She used a pseudonym Mary Pollock for a few titles (middle name plus first married name). The last volumes in her most famous series were published in 1963. Many books still appeared after that, but were mainly story books made up from recycled work. Blyton also wrote numerous books on nature and Biblical themes. Her story The Land of Far-Beyond is a Christian parable along the lines of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, with modern children as the central characters. She also produced retellings of Old Testament and New Testament stories. Enid Blyton was a prolific author of short stories. These were first published, for the most part, in Sunny Stories, an Enid Blyton magazine, or other children's papers. She also used to explore the forests when she was a little girl and wrote of her dreams in a notebook kept by her bedside. In February 2011, the manuscript of a previously unknown Blyton novel, Mr Tumpy's Caravan, was discovered in a collection of her papers which had been auctioned in 2010[6] following the death of her elder daughter in 2007.[7] Blyton books are generally split into three types. One involves ordinary children in extraordinary situations, having adventures, solving crimes, or otherwise finding themselves in unusual circumstances. Examples include the Famous Five and Secret Seven, and the Adventure series. The second and more conventional type is the boarding school story; the plots of these have more emphasis on the day-to-day life at school. This is the world of the midnight feast, the practical joke, and the social interaction of the various types of character. Examples of this type are the Malory Towers stories, the St Clare's series, and the Naughtiest Girl books and are typical of the times — many comics of the day also contained similar types of story. The third type is the fantastical. Children are typically transported into a magical world in which they meet fairies, goblins, elves, pixies, or other fantasy creatures. Examples of this type are the Wishing-Chair books and The Faraway Tree. In many of her short stories, toys are shown to come alive when humans are not around. Enid Blyton's status as a bestselling author is in spite of disapproval of her works from various perspectives, which has led to altered reprints of the books and withdrawals or “bans” from libraries. In the 1990s, Chorion, the owners of Blyton's works, edited her books to remove passages that were deemed racist or sexist.[8] The children’s author Anne Fine presented an overview of the concerns about Blyton's work and responses to them on BBC Radio 4 in November 2008, in which she noted the “drip, drip, drip of disapproval” associated with the books.[9][10] It was frequently reported (in the 1950s and also from the 1980s onwards) that various children's libraries removed some of Blyton's works from the shelves. The history of such "Blyton bans" is confused. Some librarians certainly at times felt that Blyton's restricted use of language, a conscious product of her teaching background, militated against appreciation of more literary qualities. There was some precedent in the treatment of L. Frank Baum's Oz books (and the many sequels by others) by librarians in the United States in the 1930s. There were numerous critical comments about Blyton: claiming that her vocabulary was too limited, that she presented too rosy a view of the world, even suggestions that little Noddy's relationship with Big Ears was "suspect", that he was a poor role model for boys because he sometimes wept when frustrated and the laws were politically incorrect. A careful account of anti-Blyton attacks is given in Chapter 4 of Robert Druce's This Day Our Daily Fictions. The British Journal of Education in 1955 carried a piece by Janice Dohn, an American children's librarian, considering Blyton's writing together with authors of formula fiction, and making negative comments about Blyton's devices and tone. A 1958 article in Encounter by Colin Welch, directed against the Noddy character, was reprinted in a New Zealand librarians' periodical. This gave rise to the first rumour of a New Zealand "library ban" on Blyton's books, a recurrent press canard. Policy on buying and stocking Blyton's books by British public libraries drew attention in newspaper reports from the early 1960s to the end of the 1970s, as local decisions were made by a London borough, Birmingham, Nottingham and other central libraries. There is no evidence that her books' popularity ever suffered: her response to criticism is said to be that she was not interested in the views of critics aged over 12.[11] Blyton was defended by populist journalists, and others. In November 2009 it was revealed in the British press that the BBC had a longstanding ban on dramatising Blyton's books on the radio from the 1930s to the 1950s. Letters and memos from the BBC Archive show that producers and executives at the time described Blyton as a "tenacious second-rater" who wrote "stilted and longwinded" books which were not suitable to be broadcast. In 1936 Blyton wrote to the BBC suggesting herself as a broadcaster, pointing out that she had "written probably more books than any other writer." She was turned down. In 1938, Blyton's husband, Hugh Pollock, wrote to Sir John Reith, the then Director General of the BBC, pointing out that his wife was receiving letters from children from all parts of the British Empire, and that she should be allowed to speak to them via the radio. Jean E. Sutcliffe, of the BBC's schools broadcast department wrote, "Her stories...haven't much literary value. There is rather a lot of the Pink-winky-Doodle-doodle Dum-dumm type of name (and lots of pixies) in the original tales."[12][13] Enid Blyton tried to get her work on the radio again in 1940, but her manuscript was once more turned down, the BBC employee who reviewed it writing, "This is really not good enough. Very little happens and the dialogue is so stilted and long-winded...It really is odd to think that this woman is a bestseller." Eventually, in 1954, Blyton's works appeared on air for the first time. Jean Sutcliffe wrote of Blyton's ability to churn out "mediocre material", and that "Her capacity to do so, amounts to genius...anyone else would have died of boredom long ago." Michael Rosen, the former Children's Laureate, said of the BBC's ban on Blyton, "...the quality of the writing itself was poor...it was felt that there was a lot of snobbery and racism in the writing...There is all sorts of stuff about oiks and lower orders."[12] The books are very much of their time, particularly the titles published in the 1950s. They present the UK's class system — that is to say, "rough" versus "decent".[14] Many of Blyton's children's books similarly reflected negative stereotypes regarding gender, race, and class. One incidence of altering this type of dated material might be the altering of a statement like "black as a nigger with soot" appearing in Five Go off to Camp.[15][16] At the time, "Negro" was the standard formal term and "nigger" a relatively common colloquialism. This is one of the most obvious targets for alteration in modern reprints, along with the replacement of golliwogs with teddy bears or goblins. Some of this responses by publishers to contemporary attitudes on racial stereotypes has itself drawn criticism from some who view it as tampering with an important piece of the history of children's literature. The Druce book brings up the case of The Little Black Doll (who wanted to be pink), which was turned on its head in a reprint. Also removed in deference to modern ethical attitudes are many casual references to slaves and to corporal punishment - The Faraway Tree's Dame Slap was changed to Dame Snap and several references to characters in the Malory Towers and St. Clare's series being spanked were changed to them being "scolded". Blyton's attitudes came under criticism during her working lifetime; a publisher rejected a story of hers in 1960, taking a negative literary view of it but also saying that "There is a faint but unattractive touch of old-fashioned xenophobia in the author's attitude to the thieves; they are 'foreign'...and this seems to be regarded as sufficient to explain their criminality."[17] Similarly, some have suggested the depictions of boys and girls in her books were sexist. For example, a 2005 Guardian article[18] suggested that the Famous Five depicts a power struggle between Julian, Dick and George (Georgina), with the female characters either acting like boys or being heavily put-upon. Although the gender issues are more subjective than with some of the racial issues, it has been suggested that a new edition of the book will "address" these issues through alterations, which has led to the expression of nostalgia for the books and their lack of political correctness.[19] In the Secret Seven books, the girls are deliberately excluded from tasks such as investigating the villains' hideouts — in Go Ahead, Secret Seven, it is directly stated "'Certainly not,' said Peter, sounding very grown-up all of a sudden. 'This is a man's job, exploring that coal-hole'".[20] In "The Adventurous 4, the two girls are often sent to do the cooking and washing up for the two boys. In the Famous Five this is less often the case, except Anne doing it voluntarily most of the times, but in Five on a Hike Together, Julian gives similar orders to George: "You may look like a boy and behave like a boy, but you're a girl all the same. And like it or not, girls have got to be taken care of."[21]. Similarly, in "Five have a wonderful time", Anne says "I don't expect boys to tidy up and cook and do things like that but George ought to because she's a girl". To this, George replies "If only I'd been born a boy". This is perhaps the most prominent example of gender stereotyping in her books. It shows that the stereotypes were not just enforced by boys but accepted by girls too. The story of Blyton's life was turned into a BBC film in 2009 with Helena Bonham Carter in the title role. Filming began in March 2009 and first aired in the United Kingdom on BBC Four on 16 November 2009, followed by a documentary on Enid Blyton. Matthew Macfadyen and Denis Lawson played Blyton's first husband, Hugh Pollock, and Blyton's second husband, Kenneth Darrell Waters, respectively.[22]

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Julian Sedgwick

Julian Sedgwick is a some time screen writer and therapist, and a highly accomplished, largely self-taught artist; you could call him a Renaissance Man, if he wasn’t so down-to-earth. He is also award-winning children’s novelist Marcus Sedgwick’s slightly older brother. Here he talks to Graham Marks about sibling rivalry, his obsessions (China, Japan and the Flying Wallendas), and his debut novel…

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

James Campbell

James Campbell is a playwright, a comedian, a storyteller and he does comedy workshops. He has been described as ‘the only stand-up comedian for children in the known universe’. Last but not least, he’s also an author, of books. Here he talks to Graham Marks about his latest book Boyface and the Tartan Badger.