Shirley Hughes CBE 1927 – 2022

Sad to see, last week, of the death of children’s author and illustrator Shirley Hughes, who passed away at age 94 after a short illness. She wrote more than 50 books and sold over 11 million copies. She was best known for her Alfie series of stories featuring Alfie and his sister Annie Rose, and also for her picture book Dogger. Dogger, published in 1977, is about a boy who loses his stuffed dog – it won her the Kate Greenaway Medal. Tributes have flooded in from leading writers including Michael Morpurgo, Philip Pullman and Michael Rosen.

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25 years of World Book Day

Delighted to celerbrate this milestone. I’m rather hopeful that there will be more children reading this time, rather than simply using it as an excuse to just dress up. I was shocked to see that around 148,000 children leave primary education without being able to read well, according to a 2021 report by the National Literacy Trust! That is appalling. Let’s get their heads out of their tablets, switch off the TV and get reading books – it won’t give them eye strain either. Having got that rant of my chest, I’m equally appalled that there are adult households I know where finding a book of any description is rare.

A good selection of books available again this year for a £1 from local booksellers and even better that there are braille versions RNIB), large print (Guide Dogs) and audio versions (RNIB and Calibre Audio).

World Book Day sponsored again by National Book Tokens.

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Hay Festival Dates

Good to see that the world famous Hay Festival is back with face-to-face events and interviews from 26 May to 5 June.  The pandemic forced them on line last year, but this did mean that those of us who can’t get to visit the festival, at least had the opportunity to enjoy the sessions. Subscribing to the Hay Player makes it possible to re-visit hundreds of events – well worth the £15.00 annual fee. More on Hay over the next few weeks.

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