I heard yesterday that East of the Sun has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal and Little Evie in the Wild Wood and I am Cat for the Greenaway. The nominations list is long, long, and the company my books are keeping is strong, strong, which says much about the standard of children’s books in the UK today. I am very pleased to say that Frances Lincoln have 7 books in all on the list.
I heard this week that in Penrith my books were being held up as examples of excellence of writing to primary school teachers who were attending an inset day introducing the new curriculum. In this, thanks to Mr Gove and his new policy, children in reception will be taught all about nouns and verbs.
I didn’t learn to read properly until I was about 12. I struggled. I am completely unqualified to write. I know what a verb is and a noun, but never really give it a thought when writing. When writing I think about the story, the rhyme and the rhythm of the language, the way it tastes in the mouth and how it feels in the ears, how it brushes the mind. Not about adverbs and grammar and spelling. I still can’t spell.
I have very little respect for the secretary of education, but a great deal of faith in teachers, who will work around all the obstacles that Gove puts in the way of creativity to add light, life and creativity to the life of the child.
I hope that my books will help them.
I would like to thank CILIP for the nominations. I am thrilled. And I would like to thank Janetta Otter-Barry for publishing East of the Sun, West of the Moon. It took me at least 7 years to find a publisher for the book. And I would like to thank her for being my editor and having faith in my writing.