Ten-Minute Blog Break - 6th August

It's a pleasure to return to the Blog Break today, and a big thank you to Candy Gourlay for her inspired clone work last week. She was stretching the truth by claiming I was on an adventure holiday, though - unless you consider paddling in the sea and writing a synopsis to be adventurous!

Of course, the main reason I took a week off was so that my blog would get featured in this column for a change ;-) Let me return the favour by highlighting Candy's latest post, in which she tells us all about the long-long-long-awaited follow-up to her Crystal Kite winning debut Tall Story. Shine is the name of the new book, and I'm quite sure there'll be no getting away from it once it's formally launched in September. Candy even gives us her own take on that internet favourite the "unboxing" moment, as she sees the published book for the first time.

Paula Rawsthorne is blogging over at the edge, with a thoughtful post about the importance of secondary school libraries in promoting reading for pleasure. My teenage daughter practically lives in her school library, but like many others that Paula highlights, it has been renamed as a "Learning Resource Centre" with the focus largely taken off books.

Still on the subject of literacy, it seems baffling to me that anyone would doubt the value of comics for getting children reading. But many people do, so thanks to Amanda Lillywhite for highlighting a great free booklet called "Raising a Reader" that clearly outlines the benefits of comics and graphic novels (which include building verbal and visual literacy, developing critical thinking and enhancing memory).

Seeing Anne-Marie Perks's two-part post at Big Little Tales on the recent SCBWI Picture Book Retreat (here and here) reminded me that we hadn't had a round-up of the weekend on Words & Pictures. So here's a third link to another write-up by Julie Fulton, who also attended. I can't draw for toffee, so I remain in awe of our incredibly talented SCBWI writer/illustrators.


Nick Cross is a children's writer, blogger and all-round digital guru. In 2010 he was a winner of Undiscovered Voices with his zombie comedy Back from the Dead.
For his most recent blog post, Nick questioned the ways we recognise the achievements (rather than the failures) of writers and asked whether we've moved Beyond Recognition?


  1. Some brilliant posts on the round-up again (including your own, Nick) thanks for mentioning my post about the Raising a Reader booklet - it really is a good read whether you agree or whether you have kids or not.

  2. Nick, thank you for drawing attention to the Picture Book Retreat write ups and how by the magic of the internet we can suck some of their goodness in for W&P!


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