Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Words and Letters

Having now fully recovered from the madness that was the last half term I am now back on an even keel and have been able to return to my reading habit, I try and get through at least four new children's books a week, not least becasue there are so many good ones to read but also because the children at school love to hear my latest recommendations and I now have a reputation to maintain!

So I have been busily reading away though I must confess that half term found me finally finishing
Anna Karenina - a moving and powerful story and Emma Kennedy's hilarious 1970s holiday memoir The Tent, The Bucket and Me. It was lovely to indulge in some adult reading but I do miss my children's books. There is something very special about the way in which writers of chidren's book use words and language with such skill that they can be as entertaining and fulfiulling for an adult as a child. There is also something very special and priviledging about being able to read such books.

One book that stays with me and I find myself regularly recommending is Toon Tellegan's
Letters to Anyone and Everyone. Tellegan has a magical way with words, making them powerful, touching, amusing and compelling. Not only does he prove that letter writing is not a lost art but that short stories can be built from the simplest of letters. Accompanied by the gentle and calming illustrations of Jessica Ahlbery, Tellegan has created one of a series of such books that Boxer Books, the small, indpendent publisher discovered and thankfully shared with us. So special is this particular book in fact that it recently won the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation. This award is fully deserved and will, I hope, bring this wonderful author and his very special skill to a much bigger audience.

I can not recommend the book more highly and suggest that you all make an effort to find and read a copy, you will, I promise, be transfixed!

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