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This virtual exhibition was created to accompany a display in the Library's galleries between
1 November 2002-31 March 2003. The following events took place during that period.

Sunday 24 November 2002
Children's Play: 'The Golem'

This ancient story set in Prague shows how a friendly giant is created by magic to save a village from harm. The Golem becomes a hero. But in time the Golem decides to take control. Fusing puppetry and absurdist theatre with original music and a modern text, this new exploration of the Frankenstein story will thrill and intrigue young audiences. The Golem, inspired by the Jewish legend of the man made out of dust was the origin of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Written by Julia Pascal, directed by Liselle Terret and designed by Nicolai Hart Hansen. Suitable for children aged 6-13 years.

Event time: 15.00-16.00
Speaker: Julia Pascal
Price: £2.50 (all tickets)


image from 'The Golem'

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Wednesday 15 January 2003
Gemma Bovery

Posy Simmonds's work, whether for children or for adults, is notable for the discipline and fine tuning of the page design. She combines a razor-sharp wit with merciless social observation. Earlier this year she was awarded an MBE for services to the newspaper industry. This Reading Group event concentrates on her graphic novel Gemma Bovery (Cape, 1999), originally published in weekly parts in the Guardian. She will also bring along and discuss her initial sketches and early drafts.

Is it a coincidence that Gemma Bovery has a name rather like Flaubert's heroine? Is it by chance that, like Madame Bovary, Gemma is bored, adulterous, and a bad credit risk? These questions consume Gemma's neighbour, the intellectual baker, Joubert. With the help of the heroine's diaries, Joubert follows her road to ruin.

Event time: 18.15-19.30
Speaker: Posy Simmonds
Price: £5.00 (concessions, £3.50)


posy simminds image

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Tuesday 28 January 2003
Lost in Translation

Does the pressure to sell co-editions of picture-books to other countries result in bland, 'culturally neutral' books that stifle the creativity of illustrators, for reasons of political correctness and so-called universal appeal? Should children's books be limited to reflecting the experience of readers, or should they give access to other lives and settings?

Quentin Blake is one of Britain's most popular and widely-recognised artists. He has been drawing ever since he can remember, and his first book was published in 1960. Here he discusses the tyranny of the international market with leading children's books publishers Klaus Flugge (Managing Director, Anderson Press) and Kate Wilson (Managing Director, Macmillan Children's Books). In the chair is Sunday Times children's books reviewer, Nicolette Jones.

Event time: 18.15-19.45
Speakers: Quentin Blake, Klaus Flugge, Kate Wilson & Nicolette Jones
Price: £5.00 (concessions, £3.50)


speaker image

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Tuesday 4 February & Wednesday 5 February 2003
Narrative Illustration: Making Pictures and Text Work Together (in two parts)

Brian Alderson believes that illustration needs to be governed by text (even when no text may be present!). His two lectures will seek to establish general criteria for examining this relationship and show how illustrators have, over the centuries and through various technical changes, dealt with particular kinds of writing for children.
Brian Alderson is a well-known writer and lecturer on children's book illustration and has previously organised exhibitions at the British Library, including the Randolph Caldecott celebration described in his book Sing a Song for Sixpence (Cambridge University Press). He has worked with illustrators in writing, editing or translating books for children, including John Lawrence, Colin McNaughton, Michael Foreman, Chris Riddell and Fritz Wegner.

Event time: 18.15-19.30
Speaker: Brian Alderson
Price: £5.00 (concessions, £3.50), each event


walter crane image

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Tuesday 11 February 2003
The Art of Tony Ross

Tony Ross, creator of the celebrated Little Princess, is a prolific illustrator of books for 6-9 year-olds, including Francesca Simon's Horrid Henry books, Martyn Beardsley's Sir Gaddabout stories and Ian Whybrow's Little Wolf - as well, of course, as his own stories, I Want My Potty being his favourite! He has also re-illustrated such classics as Richmal Crompton's William and Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking. Here he talks about his work to Nicolette Jones, children's books reviewer of the Sunday Times.

Event time: 18.15-19.30
Speakers: Tony Ross with Nicolette Jones
Price: £5.00 (concessions, £3.50)


tony ross image

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Tuesday 25 February 2003
Learning to Look

How do pictures 'tell stories'? Do we all read pictures in the same way? Visual literacy is a crucial skill that all children have to master before they can make sense of the world. But is its importance sufficiently understood by parents, librarians and teachers?

Michael Foreman is a distinguished watercolourist and the award-winning illustrator of over 170 books (20 of which he has written himself), most recently Michael Morpurgo's Cool! (Collins). Judith Graham is the editor of Reading Under Control and Writing Under Control, both with Alison Kelly (David Fulton Publishers). Julia Eccleshare is the children's books editor of the Guardian, and has chaired the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize for the last eight years. Her books include Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of Children's Writers (National Portrait Gallery).

Event time: 18.15-19.45
Speakers: Michael Foreman, Judith Graham & Julia Eccleshare
Price: £5.00 (concessions, £3.50)


michael foreman image

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Tuesday 11 March 2003
Words and Pictures in Harmony - or Not?

Maria Nikolajeva's talk, based on her book with Carole Scott How Picturebooks Work (Garland Science) offers new perspectives on the relationship between words and images in illustrated books. It looks at the spectrum of interaction of text and pictures from 'symmetrical', in which the two narratives duplicate each other, through 'complementary' to 'contradictory', in which words and pictures tell significantly different stories. She shows through examples how these types of interaction work within setting, characterisation, and perspective.

Maria Nikolajeva was born in Russia and has lived in Sweden since 1981. She is Professor of Comparative Literature at Stockholm University and a former President of the International Research Society for Children's Literature.

Event time: 18.15-19.30
Speaker: Maria Nikolajeva
Price: £5.00 (concessions, £3.50)


image of maria nikolajeva

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Ordering Tickets

Unless otherwise stated, customers are strongly advised to purchase tickets in advance, as events often sell out quickly. Concessions are available for 18 years and under, senior citizens, full-time students, unwaged (ES40), Camden Leisure Cardholders and Friends of the British Library.

The British Library Box Office
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB
Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7222

All information is subject to change without notice and speakers and performers appear subject to availability.




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