Thursday, 22 November 2018

Children's and YA Seasonal anthologies with heart

Today was the first properly frosty morning walking Billie who coincidentally has a Christmas day birthday. So we were both starting to feel that it was time to get in the festive spirit!

 I've never tired of that childish excitement of the season of candles, home fires and heartwarming gatherings. But I, like many of us, have never lost the sense of outrage that so many people in this frosty weather don't have a roof over their heads and that an increasing number of homeless people are children and young people. So as we approach the Christmas season we hold these great fissures in our minds. The disparity between plenty and poverty. comfort and crisis, love, joy and neglect.

I thought to bring together two Christmas and wintry anthologies that include wonderful  stories of so many of my amazing friends and colleagues in the YA and children's publishing world. Funny, heartwarming, diverse, thought provoking, emotional, humane stories from some of the most wonderful writers today who are holding this dual sensibility of the season through young eyes - alert and all seeing to both the world's woes and wonders at this time of winter celebration.

'One Snowy Night' is a new collection of animal tales for younger readers that captures the beauty  of the wintry season through truly heartwarming tales about the animal world. It's lovingly illustrated in atmospheric black and white drawings by Alison Edgson. I was delighted to be invited to write a story for younger readers with a focus on animal tales as it moves us away from - in Wordsworth's words a period of  'getting and spending' towards seeing much 'in nature that is ours.' Animals and our connection to nature can be the link to a universal human need for a magical sense of awe at the natural world.  Here is Rabina as she meets her first robin in 'Snowland' in 'One Snowy Night.'

'A Robin's Welcome is.a profoundly moving story that has many layers.'

'I'll Be Home for Christmas' was published in 2016 by Crisis and Stripes, for YA and teen readers. £1 of every sale goes to Crisis.

Here are Amir's thoughts  from 'Amir and George' 

'Amir and George' is re-printed in:
' A Country to Call Home' Ed. A collection of  stories by some of our most treasured YA writers. The focus of these stories is refugee experience Ed. by Lucy Propescu and illistrated by Chris Riddel

and - 'English and Media Centre' Publication 'The Power of Voice' with KS3 curriculum resources.  

Invitation from Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants hosted by Amnesty International
30th November 6.30pm
If you're looking for a heartwarming celebration of poetry, art and music that finds a way to hold the disparities of the season by celebrating our common humanity - Come along to a joyful evening celebrating the work of Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrant  at Amnesty HQ


Wishing you a light filled festive season

Billie and Sita X