Local children’s author, Neil Griffiths, has been short-listed for the Dundee Picture Book Award.
It’s been an exciting and busy start to the year for Swindon based children’s author Neil Griffiths, with the news that his latest title, Fatou, fetch the water is one of four books short-listed for the prestigious Dundee Picture Book Award.
Chosen from an initial list of 35 titles published over the last year, the book will now be read, discussed and reviewed by 800 children from 14 schools in Dundee.
Each school will champion it’s own winner, but it’s not until an Award Ceremony in June, that the overall winner is announced by the Lord Provost of Dundee.
Neil said, "the nomination is a huge honour. I only self-publish so don’t get the exposure that books put out by big publishing groups. I wrote Fatou, fetch the water to show families here how children live in Gambia. In villages all the water is pulled by women and young girls from a well and carried to the home for cooking and washing. Girls keeping falling down the wells, but the story is about a forgetful child and her adventures on the way to and from the well."
Neil was headteacher at Westlea Primary School in West Swindon until the mid-1990s when he started a project to promote early years reading through the use of his invention: Story Sacks. This led to setting up his own company Corner to Learn and later, through contacts in the Gambia, he took on sponsorship of five schools and he set up the Starfish Malaria Charity which provides malaria nets to households and sponsors health and education workers to show how they should be used.
For more information on the award go to: www.dundeecity.gov.uk/library/picturebooks.
For more information on Red Robin Books go to: www.redrobinbooks.com
Right, Neil reading Fatou, fetch the water to children from Westlea Primary School where is was once headteacher. Below, Neil in Gambia at the end of February where he delivered school resources and worked with teachers at schools that he sponsors
What people have said about Fatou, fetch the water:
Fatou is a simple, heartening story set in a vividly depicted rural environment. The rhythm of the narrative, with its richly modulated refrain of gratitude and gift-giving, each repetition involving a new, colourful garment and foodstuff, proved a real delight to the young readers who shared this book.
Books for Keeps. Read the full review at: http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/issue/186/childrens-books/reviews/fatou-fetch-the-water
An enchanting progressive story to read aloud and share with your child. … An interesting insight into the world of The Gambia, the vivid illustrations take you right inside a Gambian village. Encourage your child to talk about the pictures and the life depicted. A two-page spread at the end supports and extends the information in the book, making this an ideal book for Foundation Stage and KS1 pupils learning about other countries.
Parents in Touch. Read the full review at: http://www.parentsintouch.co.uk/Book-reviews-fiction-0-to-5