Love Letters To Libraries: Ali Limentani

To see us through the summer months we’re launching a new blog feature: Love Letters to Libraries. A collection of missives from authors and illustrators reminding us of the far reaching influence of the humble Public Library and the effects a love of reading and a thirst for knowledge can have on an individual as well as a career

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To kick us off we have Alison Limentani. Alison has always been fascinated by animals and wildlife. She has a Degree in Animal Behaviour, and worked as a Zoo Keeper in Jersey before training as a veterinary nurse. She is passionate about drawing animals, and sharing her knowledge about them.

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Why I like libraries

Well let’s get one thing straight. I don’t like libraries… I love libraries!

Where else do you get the opportunity to visit a multitude of other cities, countries or universes absolutely free?

I love being able to lose myself in a world full of facts and information. The ideas for my books are often triggered by discovering just one amazing fact, which starts a cascade of other ideas, leading me on a fact-finding mission that allows me to build a whole book around one astounding piece of the puzzle.

Sometimes I enjoy escaping into a fiction book to find refuge from real life amongst the pages. It’s exciting to take on a new identity and walk around for a while. That’s why we read books, right? Your body doesn’t go anywhere, but your mind gets to travel beyond the reaches of your own imagination, into someone else’s.

I love libraries.

Alison’s debut picture book How much does a Ladybird weigh?’ was published in 2016. This stylish book uses an array of native wild animals to explain how heavy each animal is relative to the others. It was nominated for Cambridgeshire Libraries ‘Read it again’ award 2017 and was also on the New York Public Libraries Best Books for Kids 2016 list.

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Her most recent book ‘How Tall Was A T-Rex?’ uses traditional printmaking techniques and digital editing to create vivid and engaging comparisons to profile this notorious dinosaur.

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You can find out more about Alison, including her work as a children’s art facilitator, via her website: http://alisonlimentani.wixsite.com/alisonlimentani

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CKG19 Nominations

Though the dust has barely settled after the excitement of the Carnegie and Greenaway medal announcements in June, we’re already busy thinking about what we’ll be nominating for the 2019 awards. Our marvellous committee met up to discuss the books that have caught our attention over the past few months…

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After much discussion we came up with two shortlists of books to be read over the summer months. If you’d like to read along with us you can find our shortlists below.

We will be holding a discussion day in September looking at how our shortlists measure up against the Carnegie and Greenaway criteria  and selecting the two books from each list we think are most worthy of being nominated.

It is also worth bearing in mind that all CILIP members can make nominations in their own right. Eligible titles must be published between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018. You can read more about eligibility for the awards on the Medal’s website.

 

Carnegie Shortlist for Nominations

  • Moonrise – Sarah Crossan
  • The House With Chicken Legs – Sophie Anderson
  • Notes On My Family – Emily Critchley
  • Satellite – Nick Lake
  • The Poet X – Elizabeth Acevado
  • Orphan Monster Spy – Matt Killeen
  • The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert

Greenaway Shortlist for Nominations

  • Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes – Mehrdokht Amini (Hena Khan)
  • The Lost Words – Jackie Morris (Robert Macfarlane)
  • The Last Wolf – Mini Grey
  • Space Tortoise – David Litchfield (Ross Montgomery)
  • Rebel Voices: The Rise of Votes For Women – Eve Lloyd Knight (Louise K Stewart)
  • Suffragette: The Battle for Equality – David Roberts
  • The Squirrels Who Squabbled – Jim Field (Rachel Bright)

 

 

CKG Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Here we are at last! The day the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medal winners for 2018 are finally announced, as well as the Amnesty CILIP Honours, and we can’t wait to see which books have been chose to receive the top prizes in children’s literature.

The shortlists this year have been outstanding as always, and we’ve really enjoyed reading and reviewing the shortlisted titles. This morning we round off our reviews with Emma’s thoughts on The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which is shortlisted for the Carnegie award.

What the publisher says…

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. 

http://www.walker.co.uk/The-Hate-U-Give-9781406372151.aspx

The Hate U Give

 

What we say…

The Hate U Give gave me bags under my eyes! I just couldn’t stop reading until I finished it (at 3am!). The book addresses some really big issues, such as police shootings of unarmed black people and white privilege, through telling the story of one ordinary girl, Starr Carter, who finds herself in an extraordinary and horrific situation, having witnessed the fatal shooting of her unarmed friend by an officer. 

 It is the characters and the relationships between them that make this a truly exceptional book for me. The balance of the awful things Starr is having to deal with and the everyday teenage-ness of her character is perfect and the strong family dynamic of the Carters is a joy to experience.

Emma

See Angie Thomas talk about The Hate U Give here: http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/watch.php?id=13

View the full CKG 2018 shortlists here:

http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/carnegie-current-shortlist.php

http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/greenaway-current-shortlist.php

 

CKG review: A First Book of Animals – illustrated by Petr Horacek

Not one, not two, but three reviews in one day! We’re so close to he CKG winners announcement now – and so close to getting all our reviews of the shortlisted titles posted! Here are Lizzie’s thoughts on A First Book of Animals from the Greenaway list, which sees Petr Horacek shortlisted for his stunning illustrations.

What the publisher says…

Nicola Davies, the award-winning author of A First Book of Nature, presents a spellbinding treasury of poems about the animal world, illustrated in breathtaking detail by Petr Horacek. … From blue whales to bumblebee bats and everything in between, A First Book of Animals takes you all over the planet to visit all kinds of different creatures. 

http://www.walker.co.uk/A-First-Book-of-Animals-9781406359633.aspx

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What we say…

It’s impossible to tell which came first here – the text or the illustrations – as both work so perfectly together to create an outstanding work of vivacity and exuberance. Nature bursts from the page in abundance. Petr Horacek’s double page spreads allow Nicola Davies’ poetic text to dance across the page whilst his jewel-like colours and textured collages express the remarkable diversity of the natural world on a grand scale. Clever layout and design, with the occasional nod to works of natural history from yesteryear, make this a book which works on several levels with appeal across a wide age and ability range, A true treasury!” 

Lizzie

See Petr Horacek talk about A First Book of Animals here: http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/watch.php?id=4

View the full CKG 2018 shortlists here:

http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/carnegie-current-shortlist.php

http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/greenaway-current-shortlist.php

 

CKG Review: The Song From Somewhere Else illustrated by Levi Pinfold

The reviews are coming thick and fast today as we prepare for tomorrow’s medal ceremony. Here Lizzie tells us her thoughts on The Song From Somewhere Else….

What the publisher says:

A poignant, darkly comic and deeply moving story about the power of the extraordinary, and finding friendship where you least expect it. Written by the author of the critically acclaimed The Imaginary and illustrated by award-winning illustrator Levi Pinfold,

https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-song-from-somewhere-else-9781408853368/

The Song From Somewhere Else

What we say: 

‘Dark, eerie and beautiful’ and ‘magical, earth-like and majestic’ both apt summations of this atmospheric book from my shadowers.

Indeed, it’s a book that’s captured a lot of attention within our shadowing group with lots of them clamouring to read it after looking at just the first few pages of illustrations (we used the Session 1 outline from the wonderful CLPE teaching sequence). For me it’s a book that I’ve continued to think about long after putting it down – and I think that the illustrations have a huge part to play in the way it’s lingered with me. The slightly smaller format, subtly gleaming front cover, nettle covered endpapers (even nettled covered boards if you have the hardback edition) and swirling title pages all tell you that you are reading something very special.

Immersive and atmospheric double page spreads communicate both the sense of wonder and dark menace that the story pivots on. There’s a filmic quality to the composition of many of the illustrations with pools of light and dark adding a frisson of danger and a use of scale which positions Frank so that she looks swamped by her surroundings – this is a town where the very sky looks like it could fall down and engulf you. Shadowy threats leach onto page edges and roll across the page – details which all sustain the atmosphere and tension.

My favourite illustrations, however, are those that depict Nick’s mother and her Troll music – she is both otherworldly and yet graceful – mountainous and delicate – and all the while surrounded by the wisps of her beautiful music. A beautiful depiction, regardless of her strangeness, of a mother.

All in all a perfect blending of words and pictures.

Lizzie

See Levi Pinfold talk about The Song From Somewhere Else here: http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/watch.php?id=16

View the full CKG 2018 shortlists here:

http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/carnegie-current-shortlist.php

http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/greenaway-current-shortlist.php