Thursday, January 13, 2011

15th January Jenny Nimmo (1944) Linda Chapman (1969)

Jenny Nimmo is a British author. She is well-known for her series about Charlie Bone (Children of the Red King), but as my clientele is still a bit young to read them independently they are more likely to know her through picture books and her bridging novels, such as The Night of the Unicorn; Invisible Vinnie; The Stone Mouse; Tom and the Pterosaur and her series of three books about Delilah, a magical cat. Jenny has lived in a number of places, but now lives with her husband in Wales, which she says influences her stories. She has also said that, "she is convinced that reading to her children made her a better writer." If only that was all there was to it, I'd be a good writer too!

While many critics may question the quality of prolific British author, Linda Chapman's writing, saying it is very formulaic, I have no such quibbles. I have watched so many very young girls 'take off', reading something that Linda Chapman has written. They love unicorns, fairies and mermaids. Their mothers may start out reading to them, but the mums cannot keep up so impatient children read the books themselves. They plough through Rainbow Magic (a series written by Daisy Meadows, a pen name for a number of writers, one of whom is Linda Chapman). They then turn to Not Quite a Mermaid; Unicorn School or Little Princesses (authored by Katie Chase, but may be written by Linda) and then Darcey Bussell's Magic Ballerina series. By the time they have exhausted these, they are very fluent readers who are ready to tackle anything. Then because they recognise Linda's name they will tackle her longer books in the My Secret Unicorn and Stardust series or move on to books by authors such as Jenny Nimmo, Kate DiCamillo and Michael Morpurgo.

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