Roehampton Readers: Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans

Review: Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans

By Julie Mills

Wed Wabbit is a fantasy story told with humour, exploring serious themes including grief, anger, dealing with emotions, change, fears, leadership. Positive play and imagination, co-operation and friendship are positive themes. “Know yourself” might be the motto for this is a moral tale.

wed wabit

Image via David Fickling Books

It is a super compulsive read, good for readers of the younger age group (9/10 or younger if read aloud, upwards). An adventure story with a great narrative, it uses mystery, puzzles and the journey quest as plot movers and includes a map of the land of the Wimblies. This is the land into which Fidge and her cousin Graham are hurled, following the near fatal accident to Fidge’s sister Minnie, whose favourite toy Wed Wabbit has recently taken over the idyllic, but stiflingly structured, land where the different coloured Wimblies live. This is a realisation and subversion of Minnie’s favourite story book The Wimbly Woos and a leap into the imaginative world of the pre-schooler.

Fidge soon realises that there is something rotten in the state of Wimbly Woo: “the prettiness seemed painted on. Nasty things were happening here” (p57). She is driven by the need to return Wed Wabbit the toy to her dangerously ill sister, but in the process leads a motley team of life sized toys to liberate the land of Wimblies not only from the tyranny of Wed Wabbit but from previous weak leadership and stereotyped expectations of its citizens.

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2019 NCRCL Scholarships

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We are pleased to announce that the current round of applications for our annual scholarships in children’s literature is open (studies commencing October 2019).

 

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Countdown to NCRCL/IBBY UK 2018 – 4 Days to Go!

25th Annual NCRCL MA/IBBY UK Conference

Crafts and Hobbies in Children’s Books’

Saturday 10th November 2018, 9:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Tickets are available here.

There’s only four days left until the 25th Annual Conference.

Bookings close today! Bookings close today! Bookings close today!

Make sure you don’t miss out on exciting content from well-known illustrators and craft practitioners, academics, and key figures in the children’s literature world!


“The NCRCL/IBBY conference always has a very friendly atmosphere, where everyone is encouraged to engage in interesting discussions.” Anne Malewski, PhD Student.


For the last post pre-conference, here’s a reminder of the day’s programme. We will also receive a live demo of paper-cutting by Su Blackwell, and information on the Prison Reading Groups scheme from its director – Sarah Turvey!

9.30 Welcome Tea and Coffee

9.45 – 10.45 Plenary
Dr Jane Carroll (Ussher Assistant Professor in Children’s Literature, Trinity College Dublin) | A Stitch in Time: The Craft of Wasting Time in Children’s Books

10.45 – 11.15 Refreshments

11.15 – 12.30 Parallel sessions

A: Creative Practice and Theory and Crafts
Ann Malaspina| Knitting for Peace and Understanding
Anita Radini | Narrating Ancient Crafts to Children: Perspectives from an Archaelogist
Siddharth Pandey | The Hand, the Head, and the Hearing of Things: A Brief Look into Fantasy’s ‘Aesthetic of Making’

B: Historical Making   
Siwan Rosser | Crafting New Talent in Victorian Children’s Periodicals
Angela Sparks | Crafting Traditions in Native American Children’s Books
Ellie Reed | “A Friendly Penguin in Double Knitting” – Knitting for Children in Woman’s Weekly, 1958

C: Hobbies
Mark Carter | Drawing Drawings in Picturebooks
Lesley Smith | Jennings and the Dangers in Stamp Collecting
Pat Pinsent | Patchwork in Lucy Boston’s The Chimneys of Green Knowe (1958): Structure and Metonymy

12.30 – 1.30 Lunch

1.30 – 2.45 Parallel sessions

D: Archival and Museum Research
Claudia Pazzini | Art and Collection in Children’s Modern Picture Books. A Review on the Art of Collecting According to the Children’s Point of View
Marciej Wroblewski | All the Books of a Little World: Education Through Creative Imitation
Liz West | In and Out of Doors: A Compendium of Sage Advice

E: Historical Toys
Susan Bailes | Fashioning Dolls: Different Treatments and Attitudes Revealed in Children’s Texts
Karen Williams | “Valued Treasures”: Toy Theatres as Craft and Hobby in the Early Nineteenth Century
Melanie Keene | How I Made a Noah’s Ark: Juvenile Periodicals and Homemade Toys in Victorian Britain

F: Practical Crafting
Lisa Boggis-Boyce | Designed by Men, Made by Women: An Exploration of the Gender Dynamic in the Genesis and Production on Pop-Up Books and it’s Effect on the Canon
(delegates will be encouraged to try out paper cutting)

2.45- 3.15 Refreshment Break

3.15-3.35 IBBY briefing and NCRCL news

3.35-4.20 Plenary
Kim Reynolds (Professor of Children’s Literature, Newcastle University) | Political Projects: Hobbies and Youth Activism in Mid-Twentieth Century Britain

Nick Tucker (University of Sussex, retired) | Messing About in Boats; Mostly Maritime Hobbies Suggested by the Boys Own Paper 1930-1939

4.20-5.15 Plenary
Jemma Westing (Book Designer) | Make-ing it count: The Value of Making in Play and Publishing’


Dear readers,

I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this short blog series. For those of you who can’t make it, I look forward to following up with a summary of the conference in the days which follow. Also, keep an eye on the @NCRCL Twitter account. I will be tweeting live updates on the day!

Best wishes,
Emily

Roehampton Readers: Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean

Review: Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean

By Lorna Collins

geraldine

Image of Geraldine McCaughrean via  http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk

Geraldine McCaughrean is a prolific author of children’s books, and has won several awards, including the Carnegie Medal nearly 30 years ago with A Pack of Lies[1]. She has been nominated for the Carnegie award a total of eight times, the last time was in 2015 for The Middle of Nowhere[2] which has also been reviewed by Roehampton Readers. The Middle of Nowhere and Where the World Ends are both concerned with survival in almost impossibly hostile environments.  However, the locations could not be more different; The Middle of Nowhere is set in the Australian outback and Where the World Ends is set on the small island of Hirta, part of the St Kilda archipelago of islands situated off the north western coast of Scotland.

Warrier Stac

Image of Warrior Stac by Anna White

McCaughrean’s inspiration came from a visit to St Kilda made by her daughter, who brought back an abundance of stories about the history of the islands, including one about a group of men and boys who were put ashore on Warrior Stac (Stac an Armin) in August 1727 to collect birds, eggs, feathers and oil to provide for the islanders over the winter.  This was an annual event and they should have been collected after two to three weeks at most, weather permitting. However, they were inexplicably abandoned leaving them marooned on the stac for nine months. Nothing more is known about how they survived or what they thought had happened to cause their predicament. McCaughrean states in an interview on the Carnegie website that this is the ideal scenario for an author to build on – a verifiable historical event, but with very little factual information, allowing the author to imagine the gaps.[3] She has used extensive research into life on St Kilda at the time to imagine how it might have felt to be marooned on the stac and her account of the types of birds harvested and how they were used exemplifies the depth of research undertaken (pp. 38-39).


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Countdown to NCRCL/IBBY UK 2018 – 5 Days to Go!

25th Annual NCRCL MA/IBBY UK Conference

Crafts and Hobbies in Children’s Books’

Saturday 10th November 2018, 9:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Tickets are available here.

Bookings close Tuesday 6th November.

This short blog series will span the next five days, counting down to the 25th Annual Conference. It will be showcasing some of the papers anticipated for this year’s NCRCL/IBBY UK conference. You can expect lots of exciting content from well-known illustrators and craft practitioners, academics, and key figures in the children’s literature world!

We are delighted to dedicate this blog post to Nicholas Tucker who will be joining us to give another of the plenary papers. His paper is titled:

Messing About in Boats; Mostly Maritime Hobbies Suggested by the Boys Own Paper 1930-1939

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Countdown to NCRCL/IBBY UK 2018 – 6 Days to Go!

25th Annual NCRCL MA/IBBY UK Conference

Crafts and Hobbies in Children’s Books’

Saturday 10th November 2018, 9:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Tickets are available here.

Bookings close Tuesday 6th November.

This short blog series will span the next six days, counting down to the 25th Annual Conference. It will be showcasing some of the papers anticipated for this year’s NCRCL/IBBY UK conference. You can expect lots of exciting content from well-known illustrators and craft practitioners, academics, and key figures in the children’s literature world!

Both IBBY and the NCRCL are highly regarded within the field of children’s literature research! This post is dedicated to telling you a little bit about the hosts of this 25th Annual Conference.

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Call for volunteers: Prison Reading Groups 2018

“Prison Reading Groups (PRG) promotes the spread of reading groups in prisons and provides support and funding for those who run them. The project began in 1999 and now works with over forty groups in more than thirty-five prisons nationwide. The groups are informal and encourage reading for pleasure. Members choose what they read and the books are theirs to keep or pass on to others.”
https://prison-reading-groups.org.uk/

2018

Together with their parent charity Give a Book, PRG has gained a grant from Wandsworth Council to provide workshops for prisoner father and a final family reading event at Wandsworth Prison. These workshops will be led by David Kendall, a very experienced prison reading consultant. He describes the aim as follows:

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