Philip Ardagh writes some of the most genuinely funny books for children you are likely to find.
My elder son was a huge fan and was thrilled to meet the man himself when he was on a reading tour that included Vancouver's wonderful Kidsbooks. That occasion also marked his first publication as a reviewer for The Vancouver Sun, although his career high so far was reviewing one of the Harry Potter books on a 48 hour turnaround. No mean feat for a twelve-year-old boy.
I've written here
before about my younger son's love for the opening paragraph of Fall of Fergal
and now he has done a first person POV animation of that scene. (Initially he was concerned that he might have to purchase an option on the paragraph but we decided to trust in the author's goodwill.)
The sound effects are particularly good, although we both agreed that the whole thing might benefit from an authorial voiceover reading the opening paragraph. Someone with a nice, deep, Philip Ardagh-ish voice, perhaps?
The very last words young Fergal McNally heard in his life were: "Don't lean out that window!" The very last sounds were probably the air whistling past his sticky-out ears as he fell the fourteen stories, the honk of traffic horns below (getting nearer and nearer, of course), and--possibly--the SP of the SPLAT! he himself made as he hit the pavement. Fergal certainly wouldn't have heard more than the SP, though, because by the time the LAT! part had followed he would have been well and truly dead.
The inaugural Pop Up Festival of Stories took place on July 9th and 10th and has been declared “an astonishing success”! Visitor numbers exceeded expectations as over six thousand children, with their families and friends, flocked to London, UK, to revel in the fun of the first ever Pop Up Festival of Stories – a free two-day festival for kids, celebrating the fun of reading. The festival was the finale to the Pop Up Schools Programme which gave almost 3,000 children aged three to 14 from 8 schools the chance to explore books and meet authors and illustrators at exciting host venues in the London area.
Dylan Calder, Pop Up’s Director, said: “Pop Up exceeded all our expectations. We set out to create a free literature event that was both accessible and extraordinary, that children from all kinds of backgrounds could enjoy and be part of…We’re already starting to plan for 2012 and beyond…and we’ll soon be announcing an extension of our programme.”
Author Philip Ardagh on the ceiling in his House of Illusions
Sara Montgomery, Acting Head of Guardian Books which ran a hugely successful pop-up children’s bookshop at the festival, said: “The Guardian is delighted to have been associated with the Pop Up Festival of Stories. It featured a great line-up of authors, which resulted in queues around the corner for signings at the Guardian Bookshop on several occasions. The Guardian Book Doctor, featuring the Guardian’s children’s books editor Julia Eccleshare, was a hit, with no shortage of ‘patients’ requesting their book recommendation diagnoses over the two hours she was in session. Sales were robust, and being part of the festival was valuable exposure for the Guardian Bookshop and the recently-launched children’s books website.”
Former UK Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen described the festival as “A fantastic time for fun, creativity and pure pleasure for children and adults alike.”
Former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen and author/illustrator Hervé Tullet
Nicky Potter was kind enough to send us these lovely photos from the event taken by Danny B. To see more photos check the Pop Up Festival website and the Pop Up Festival Facebook page. Enjoy!
One of our young chums has just started reading Philip Ardagh, which made me think of Ardagh's website which I hadn't checked for some time. Well worth a visit if you're looking for somewhere to go on a Saturday. (We're all eagerly awaiting Eddie Dickens: The Movie.)
And if you visit the Pitt-Rivers site you can do a virtual tour of the museum. It's part of a series of panoramas of Oxford created by Dr. Karl Harrison. We'd like to do a non-virtual tour one day soon.
If you pop by the Doctor Who site here you can play games online. (And I'm about to be kicked off the computer by someone who wants to do just that.)
As for us, we're off today to see Indiana Jones and the Whatever It Is This Time. Enjoy your Saturday.
Philip Ardagh picks his top ten children's books by Roald Dahl in an article in the Guardian.
Ardagh, who won the upper age category in last year's Roald Dahl Funny Prize for the first of his Grubtown Tales, is perhaps best known as the author of the Eddie Dickens (which we are currently reading and about to go in search of further volumes). The household choice for top children's book by Philip Ardagh would have to be The Fall of Fergal from the Unlikely Exploits series. If you use the look inside feature here you can read the very funny opening of this book, which begins:
The very last words young Fergal McNally heard in his life were: "Don't lean out that window!" The very last sounds were probably the air whistling past his sticky-out ears as he fell the fourteen stories, the honk of traffic horns below (getting nearer and nearer, of course), and--possibly--t
Posted by Candy Gourlay
The SCBWI* gang recently had Philip Ardagh as guest author on the SCBWI message board.
(*Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators British Isles - phew!)
Philip was just one of many excitements on the SCBWI message board since we introduced competitive moderation - in which moderators change monthly and try to outdo each other in turning the message board
THE FOLLOWING POST IS TAKEN FROM CANDY GOURLAY'S AND TERI TERRY'S BLOG - NOTES FROM THE SLUSHPILE.
THEY HAVE KINDLY ALLOWED ME TO SHARE THEIR POST WITH MY READERS.
Bye Bye Libraries. Bye Bye Civilization.
That's the gist of Catherine Bennett's piece for the Guardian, listing all the closures expected in the coming government cost-cutting exercise.
'Of course, for the almost 250 libraries already earmarked for closure, their role in the happiness supply chain is probably irrelevant. By the time experts have established that, where the alleviation of ignorance, illiteracy, isolation, helplessness, unemployment, infirmity, boredom, neglect and poverty are concerned, libraries do, after all, offer something culturally irreplaceable, they will be gone. It is becoming clear that Mr Cameron's government will do nothing to protect them.'
THINK! Kill a library and live with the consequences.
Anyone who loves reading (or writing) will want to bang their heads on the wall if they read the comments below the piece.
Somewhere down below all the trolls was a comment from Michael Rosen, our Children's Laureate for 2007 to 2009. And I thought it would be a public service to highlight it here.
Readers, if you care and if you blog, or have an online profile, please repost this!
I hope Margaret Hodge, Ed Vaizey, Ed Balls
, and Vernon Cloaker
have google alerts on their names so that they can read this and blush (I enlarge your names in case you're as short-sighted as your policies). Shame on you.
Here is Michael Rosen's comment:Michael Rosen
Books have become optional extras in schools. They've been sidelined by ITC and worksheets. There is now a generation of young teachers who have been through teacher training with no more than a few minutes of training in children's literature and little or no work on why it's important for all children to read widely and often and for pleasure.
So, what we have is the notion that there isn't time to read whole books, there isn't time to help all children browse and read and keep reading - but there is time to do worksheets on different aspects of 'literacy'.
And yet, the people running education know full well that children who read widely and often and for pleasure find it much easier to grasp the curriculum as a whole. There is an international study showing this.
What does this have to do with libraries? If the government (or the last one) had felt willing, all they needed to do was formalise the link between schools and libraries. They could have required every sc
When we think about new additions to the English lexicon such as locavore or tase (or other candidates for the New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year), it’s easy to forget that some of our most common vocabulary items were once awkward newcomers, like transfer students desperately trying to fit in with the other kids in class. A good reminder of that is John Ayto’s A Century of New Words. Looking through this “chronology of words that shaped our age,” one is struck again and again how so many of our old lexical friends are really not so old after all. Have we really only been talking about plastics since 1909, when Leo Baekeland invented bakelite? And who would have guessed the T-shirt has only been around since 1920, and the zipper since 1925? All of these words must have sounded downright peculiar when they first came on the scene, and yet now they’re unremarkable elements of the linguistic landscape.