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Wed, 22 Feb 2012 07:36:22 EST Jamie Oliver, Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Morpurgo are among a host of literary stars due to shine at a glittering evening in celebration of children's literature at The Clore Ballroom in the Royal Festival Hall.
Children's literature is often described as being in a Golden Age. The sale of children's books is rising unimpeded by the current economic climate. More and more children's books are becoming the subjects of Hollywood blockbuster films – Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse most recently. There are numerous campaigns to aid literacy being launched and meeting with success.
And yet despite these triumphs, children's literature – unlike many children – could be described as 'quiet'. There are no red carpet ceremonies, no black tie functions, no glamorous occasions to celebrate the richness of the industry.
Tomorrow (February 23), at The Clore Ballroom in the Royal Festival Hall, the great and the good of children's literature will finally be celebrating all that is great and good about children's literature!
Complete with red carpet, black tie dress code, stunning Thames-side venue and a children's books-themed menu devised by Jamie Oliver himself, the gala dinner, hosted by the Book People will be a fairytale night to remember.
To enable even more children to share in the joy of stories, each gala guest will be asked to provide a copy of their own favourite book from childhood. These books, together with hand-written postcards from each guest outlining why they love the book, will then be donated to children and schools involved with the Letterbox Club and Volunteer Reading Help.
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall (Just So Stories), George Osborne (Stig of the Dump) and Quentin Blake (Angelica Sprocket's Pockets) have all donated books to the cause. Such generosity helps ensure that part of a new generation of children can enjoy the best children's literature, old and new – a very happy ending!
Seni Glaister, CEO of the Book People, says: 'As a company, the Book People is passionate about children's books. From school book clubs and literacy programmes to celebrations like Queen of Teen and the Red House Children's Book Award, we are constantly thinking of new ways to encourage children to get the reading habit.
'Our gala dinner is a way of thanking the authors, illustrators and publishers involved in producing the fabulous range of children's books available, and highlighting what an amazing job books do in educating, enlightening and - most importantly - entertaining Britain's young children!'
Note to editors:
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall - Just So Stories
George Osborne - Stig of the Dump
Michael Morpurgo - The Elephant's Child
Mark Haddon - The Wind in the Willows
Justin Fletcher - Dear Zoo
James Patterson - The Book Thief
About the Book People
Britain's number one direct bookseller and a true home-grown success story. Specialising in bringing high quality books at amazingly low prices to customers in their places of work, the Book People's network of independent distributors sell exciting new titles, carefully chosen collections and the best children's books directly to people who seldom visit high street bookshops.
The Book People also sell books through their own successful website and mail-order catalogues and run book clubs and magazines such as Red House and Puffin Book Club which encourage children to enjoy reading. Customers know that they can rely on the Book People for quality and value, gaining the company an enviable, award-winning reputation in its 23 years in the bookselling business.
About The Letterbox Club
The Letterbox Club is a programme managed by Book Trust in partnership with the University of Leicester. It focuses on improving the educational outlook for look-after children's aged seven to 13 years by providing them with a parcel of books once every month for six months. www.letterbox.org.uk
Since 1973 Volunteer Reading Help (www.vrh.org.uk) has been training and supporting volunteers to help transform the lives of children by giving them the gift of reading. They have been a registered charity since 1980 and company limited by guarantee since 1987. VRH reading helpers work with children on a one-to-one basis giving them their full attention and support to:
About The Royal Festival Hall
The Royal Festival Hall was built as part of the Festival of Britain by Holland, Hannen & Cubitts for London County Council, and was officially opened on 3 May 1951. It stands at the heart of Southbank Centre complex and is one of the world's leading performance venues. www.royalfestivalhall.org.uk
For more information, please contact:
Donna Stevenson at the Book People
Telephone: 01483 860215
Jamie Oliver, Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Morpurgo are among a host of literary stars due to shine at a glittering evening in celebration of children's literature at The Clore Ballroom in the Royal Festival Hall.