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The Signal Annotations 1994-03The Signal Poetry AwardSignal BooklistsThe Thimble Press

The Signal Annotations 1999—2003

Signal 88, Jan. 1999

The Shared Moment: Thoughts on Children & Poetry — Neil Philip, 3

Playing in the Phase Space: Contemporary Forms of Fictional Pleasure — Margaret Mackey, 16

Edward Blishen: Teacher versus Critic — Nicholas Tucker, 34

Other Sides of the Story: War in Translated Children's Fiction — Gillian Lathey, 48

The Second Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation — Anthea Bell, 59

Every Year is a Year of Reading: The Patrick Hardy Lecture — Liz Attenborough, 61

Endpapers, 69 including Lissa Paul & Peter Hunt on Ted Hughes


Neil Philip is the editor of several poetry anthologies for the young, including The New Oxford Book of Children's Verse and most recently War and the Pity of War (New York: Clarion, 1998); he is working on an appreciation of Ted Hughes for a future issue of Signal.

Margaret Mackey teaches at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta in Canada; she is North American editor of Children's Literature in Education and author of The Case of Peter Rabbit: Changing Conditions of Literature for Children, just published by Garland.

Nicholas Tucker, lecturer in child psychology and children's literature at the University of Sussex, writes and reviews for the Independent, the New Statesman and all three Times Supplements; his best-known work, The Child and the Book: A Literary and Psychological Exploration, has been reprinted by Cambridge University Press in their Canto 'Classics' series.
Formerly an infant teacher and now a lecturer at Roehampton Institute, Gillian Lathey has a long-standing interest in translation and German literature; she is adminstrator of the Marsh Award - presented this year on 28 January at the Arts Club in London - on behalf of the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature.

Anthea Bell has contributed a number of articles about translating to Signal; her next will be on the poetry of Josef Guggenmos.

Liz Attenborough, Project Director of the National Year of Reading, was for many years Director of Puffin Books; her anthology The Children's Book of Poems, Prayers and Meditations is published by Element Children's Books (1998).
The Open College of the Arts, mentioned on page 67, may be reached at Houndhill, Worsbrough, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S70 6TU.

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Signal 89, May 1999

The Signal Poetry Award 1999 — Margaret Meek & Heather Kay, 79

Emil and the Detectives: A Publishing Story — Gerda Faerber, 100

Aesop in the Shadows - The Annual Linder Memorial Lecture — Peter Hollindale, 115

Books about Children's Books 1998 — Sheila Ray, 133
Endpapers — including Morag Styles responding to Neil Philip, 148


Margaret Meek is Emeritus Reader at the Institute of Education, University of London; she selected the Signal Poetry Award for 1981 and 1982 (with Peter Hunt) and for 1983 and 1984 (with Neil Philip).
Formerly lecturer in English and drama at the University of London Institute of Education, Heather Kay is a poetry speaker and teacher; one of the Barrow Poets, she has recorded several albums, including two for children, Magic Egg and Islands of the Moon.

Gerda Faerber teaches English and German at a Grammar school in Vienna.

Peter Hollindale is Reader in English and Educational Studies at the University of York; his Signs of Childness in Children's Books is published by the Thimble Press, and his lecture on 'Animal Stories since Beatrix Potter and her Influence on the Genre' will shortly be published by the Beatrix Potter Society in Beatrix Potter Studies VIII.

Sheila Ray is Associate Editor of Children's Literature Abstracts; she is author of The Blyton Phenomenon: The Controversy Sourrounding the World's most Successful Children's Writer (Deutsch, 1982).

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Signal 90, Sept 1999

Books before Lunch — Joan Aiken, 155

Translating Pictures — Emer O'Sullivan, 167

Presencing the Past — Valerie Krips, 176

The International Case of Little Colourless Babaji: Reracinating, Returning and Retaining a Classic — Sanjay Sircar, 187

Endpapers — Peter Hollindale on journeying childnesses, 212
Annual Index: Volume Thirty, 214

Contributors, 219


Joan Aiken was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List; she has a new book, In Thunder's Pocket, coming from Red Fox next year.
An article on modern Children's literature in Ireland by Emer O'Sullivan appeared in the September 1996 Signal; an extensive discussion of theoretical aspects of translating Children's literature, including picture books, can be found in her Komparatistische Kinderliteraturforschung (Heidelberg: Carl Winter; forthcoming).

Valerie Krips is Director of the Children's Literature Program at the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches in the Department of English; her forthcoming book, The Presence of the Past: Memory, Heritage, Childhood, is to be published by Garland.

Sanjay Sircar, an independent scholar in Children's, women's and other marginalized literary traditions, works in the Australian Commonwealth Public Service; the latest of his numerous international publications is an article on an E. Nesbit fairy tale, which appeared this year in Folklore.

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Signal 91, January 2000

Reading in Childhood — Elaine Moss, 4

Nina Bawden: An Author for Today [reprinted from Signal January 1971] — Elaine Moss, 9

Children's Literature and the Emerging Artist — Susan T. Viguers, 15

Children's Literature Studies in a New Century — Susan R. Gannon, 25

Betwixt and Between: The Canonization of Naughton and Nolan — David Rudd, 41

The Strange Story of the Unidentical Twins: The Patrick Hardy Lecture — Quentin Blake, 52

Endpapers, 64

Contributors, 67


Elaine Moss contributed 'John Burningham: Picture Book Artist Extraordinary' to the first-anniversary issue of Books and Company ('Issue Five The End of the Century 1999'), a quarterly journal published by Susan Hill, Long Barn Books, Ebrington, Glos. GL55 6NW (telephone 01386 593352, fax 01386 593443).

Susan T. Viguers, professor at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and director of its University Writing Program, wrote about Ruth Hill Viguers in 'My Mother, My Children, and Books' for the January 1988 issue of Signal.

Susan R. Gannon is professor of literature and communications in the Dyson College of Pace University, New York; she is co-author of Mary Mapes Dodge (Twayne) and is currently co-editing a collection of articles on St. Nicholas Magazine.

David Rudd is a senior lecturer at Bolton Institute where he runs courses on Children's literature within the undergraduate literature programme; a book based on his doctoral dissertation, Enid Blyton and the Mystery of Children's Literature, is due for publication by Macmillan Press in April this year.

Quentin Blake is preparing a book about his own work to be published by Jonathan Cape in September 2000 in conjunction with an exhibition at Chris Beetles Gallery in London. He is also working with the National Gallery on an exhibition for spring 2001, which will combine paintings from the gallery's collection with prints and contemporary Children's book illustration to explore the idea of story in pictures. The Laureate's Party, a choice of fifty of his favourite Children's books, will come from Random House in May 2000.

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Signal 92, May 2000

The Signal Poetry Award 2000 to Christopher Reid's All Sorts — Peter Hollindale & Sophie Hannah, 71
The Unlearned Lessons of the Stories Children Tell — Hugh Crago, 94

Hans Christian Andersen Award 2000 to Anthony Browne — Jane Doonan,119

Books about Children's Books 1999 — Sheila Ray, 126


Recently retired as Reader in English and Educational Studies at York University and now a freelance writer and lecturer, Peter Hollindale has written about Robert Westall for 'Telling Tales' (Mammoth), a series on modern children's writers; Thimble Press published his Signs of Childness in Children's Books in 1997.

Sophie Hannah's latest poetry collection, Leaving and Leaving You, was published by Carcanet in 1999, and Arrow have just published her second novel, Cordial and Corrosive: An Unfairy Tale; she is a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, and teaches part-time at Manchester Metropolitan University Writing School.
In 1999 Jane Doonan gave lectures and workshops arising out of her Looking at Pictures in Picture Books (Thimble Press) in Australia and Venezuela.
Hugh Crago, who has taught both human development and psychotherapy, has been working on the nature of children's interaction with stories for nearly thirty years; his book A Circle Unbroken: The Hidden Emotional Patterns That Shape Our Lives was published in 1999 by Allen & Unwin (Australia).

Sheila Ray has been associated with Children's Literature Abstracts since its launch by her husband, Colin, under the auspices of IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) in 1973; when the editorial and production duties where handed over to Gillian Adams in the USA in 1991, she continued to be responsible for much of the British input.

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Signal 93, Sept 2000

Josef Guggenmos: Poet for Children — Anthea Bell, 147

We All Went on a Prize Hunt: The Carnegie Medal Presentation — Alan Tucker, 158
The Death of Populism — Aidan Chambers, 162
Children's Fiction Set on or near Canals: A Collection — Joan Tucker, 165
Boutique Inclusiveness in Literacy Education — Lissa Paul, 192
Endpapers — Sheila Ray on resources for studying children's books, 205
Annual Index 2000: issues 91-93, 208
Contributors, 211


Anthea Bell's translation of E.T.A. Hoffmann's last novel was published by Penguin Classics in 1999 as The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr; she has served three terms on the committee of the Translators' Association of the UK and is on the editorial committee of the journal New Books in German.
Before the first Signal appeared in January 1970, the only people who knew it was coming were: Lance Salway, Jay Williams, Downfield Press (the printer), and Joan and Alan Tucker; Alan wrote about poetry for that issue, and compiled the first Signal Booklist, on poetry, in 1975.
Postcards from No Man's Land by Aidan Chambers (Bodley Head) has received the Stockport Schools' Book Award 2000 in the Key Stage 4 category.
Joan Tucker is a director of the Company of Proprietors of the Stroudwater Navigation, reputedly the oldest canal company in continuous existence in the world.
Lissa Paul is the Children's Literature Professor at the University of New Brunswick; her book Reading Otherways is published by Thimble Press.
Sheila Ray is working on her fourteenth 'Books about Children's Books' feature, the first three of which appeared in the Signal Selections of 1987 to 1989.

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Signal 94, Jan. 2001

Enid Blyton: The Mystery Revealed — Hugh Crago, 3

Not in Front of the Children! The Patrick Hardy Lecture — Jacqueline Wilson, 17
Odysseys: The Childness of Journeying Chilldren — Peter Hollindale, 29
Ethel Talbot — David Gruegon, 45
Brethren's Child — Ethel Talbot, 47


Hugh Crago is currently working on a chapter, 'Fairy Tales and Children: Form, Function and Flux', for The Blackwell Companion to Children's Literature, edited by Peter Hunt.
The Illustrated Mum (Transworld, 1999) by Jacqueline Wilson won the Children's Book of the Year prize (British Book Awards) and the Guardian Children's Fiction Award.

Signs of Childness in Children's Books by Peter Hollindale (Thimble Press, 1997) is being translated into Japanese and will be published shortly by Kashiwa Shobo Publishing Co., Tokyo.

David Grugeon works for the Open University, having previously taught in London primary schools, in teacher education and in adult education for the BBC and the National Extension College.

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Signal 95, May 2001

The Signal Poetry Award 2001 to The Oldest Girl in the World by Carol Ann Duffy (Faber & Faber) — Peter Hollindale & Margaret Meek, 79
From World Republic to World Market: Emer O'Sullivan on Comparative Children's Literature — Gillian Lathey, 105
Books about Children's Books 2000 — Sheila Ray, 112
Brethren's Child (Part Two) — Ethel Talbot,131
Contributors, 151


Signs of Childness in Children's Books by Peter Hollindale (Thimble Press, 1997) has been translated into Japanese for publication by Kashiwashobo Publishing, Tokyo.

Margaret Meek has recently edited Children's Literature and National Identity (Trentham Books, 2001), a collection of papers given at a colloquium held in London in the autumn of 1998 under the aegis of the European Institute for the Development of Potential in All Children.

Gillian Lathey has a long-standing interest in translation and cross-cultural influences in children's literature; she is administrator of the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation on behalf of the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature at the University of Surrey, Roehampton.

Sheila Ray is the author of The Blyton Phenomenon: The controversy surrounding the world's most successful children's writer (Deutsch, 1982).
A brief account of the background to the Ethel Talbot memoir is provided by her great-nephew, David Grugeon, in the January 2001 Signal.

In the New Year's Honours List Michael Harvey was awarded an MBE for Services to Art. Michael has designed the front covers of every Thimble Press publication since 1975, an association of which we are extremely proud. An article about his work, 'Man of Letters', by Judy Taylor appeared in the May 1988 Signal.

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Signal 96, Sept. 2001

Hunt for a Discipline: Charting the Children's Literature Scene — Susan R. Gannon 155
The Collecting Urge — Judy Taylor 174
At the Cutting Edge: Picturebooks by Sara Fanelli and Bruce Ingman — Jane Doonan 181
Brethren's Child (Part Three) — Ethel Talbot 199
Endpapers — Victor Watson on hype — Lissa Paul on a children's literature symposium, 209
Annual Index 2001: issues 94-96, 215

Contributors, 219


Susan R. Gannon is a professor of English and communications in the Dyson College of Pace University, New York, and is currently coediting a collection of critical essays on St. Nicholas Magazine to be published by McFarland in 2002.
Two books by Judy Taylor, Beatrix Potter: Artist, Storyteller and Countrywoman (Warne) and Edward Ardizzone: Sketches for Friends (John Murray), have recently been translated into Japanese.

Jane Doonan's essay, 'A Pictured World Through Eastern Eyes', appears in the exhibition catalogue, Through Eastern Eyes: The Art of the Japanese Picture Book (see page 214); she is preparing a paper for the Chicago Humanities Festival, November 2001, on the illustration of folk and fairy tales.

David Grugeon, Ethel Talbot's great-nephew, will write about her books and family for the January 2002 Signal.

Victor Watson is Editor of The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and Chairman of the Trustees of the Centre for the Children's Book, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; his Reading Series Fiction: From Arthur Ransome to Gene Kemp is published by Routledge Falmer (2000).

Lissa Paul teaches children's literature at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton; she is currently chair of the Children's Literature Division of the Modern Language Association.

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Signal 97, Jan. 2002

Book Jackets — Michael Harvey, 3

Who was Ethel Talbot? — David Grugeon,18

Where Poems Come From — John Mole, 29

Children's Literature in a Brutal World: A Critical Response to Joseph Zornado's Inventing the Child — Margaret Mackey, 45

Narrative Heaven: The Editor's Tale - The Patrick Hardy Lecture — David Fickling, 54

Endpapers — Margaret Clark / Peter Hunt / Hildy Johnson, 69
Contributors, 75


In partnership with Andy Benedek Michael Harvey has recently set up Fine Fonts, an internet type-design company (; his Creative Lettering Today is published by A. & C. Black.

David Grugeon has worked for the Open University since 1969, first as Regional Director for East Anglia, later as Pro Vice Chancellor and currently as Director of UK Partnerships; he edited the professional journal Teaching at a Distance and latterly Open Learning.
In autumn 2002 John Mole's new collection for children, Cuckoo Jones, will be published by Oxford University Press; his most recent collection is For the Moment (Peterloo Poets, 2000).

Margaret Mackey teaches at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta in Canada; her new book, Literacies across Media: Playing the Text, will be published by Routledge Farmer in mid 2002.
Before establishing his eponymous imprint in 2000 David Fickling worked at Oxford University Press, Transworld and Scholastic; last year David Fickling Books joined the Random House Group.

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Signal 98, May 2002

Tune, Argument, Colour, Truth — John Mole, 79

Transformations of Pastoral and Gothic in Children’s Fiction — Tess Cosslett, 91

Charting the Territory: The Cambridge Guide to Children’s Books in English — Clive Barnes, 102

Books about Children’s Books 2001 — Sheila Ray, 111

Ethel Talbot the Writer — David Grugeon, 133

Endpapers — including Dorothy Devlin on Ethel Talbot in Edinburgh, 148
Contributors, 151


John Mole’s new children’s collection due from Oxford University Press in the autumn has been retitled The Wonder Dish; his Boo to a Goose (Peterloo Poets) received the Signal Poetry Award in 1988 and he was a selector of the Award in 1995 and 1996.
The final Signal Poetry Award was made in May 2001; an article reflecting upon the award’s twenty-three years will be included in Signal 100, a bumper volume combining the three issues for 2003, to be published next August.

Tess Cosslett is Reader in Victorian Studies and Women’s Writing at Lancaster University.

Clive Barnes is Principal Children’s Librarian in Southampton and is studying for an MA in Children’s Literature at Roehampton Institute; he is a reviewer for Books for Keeps.

Sheila Ray has been professionally involved with children’s literature for nearly half a century; her special interest is in books for girls.

David Grugeon has worked for the Open University since 1969, after teaching English in London primary schools, for the BBC and the National Extension College; he is a Labour county councillor for Bedfordshire.

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Hans Christian Andersen Awards
On 10 April at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair the Andersen Award jury of the International Board on Books for Young People announced that Aidan Chambers had won the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Author Award and Quentin Blake had won the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration. These awards, the highest international recognition given to creators of children’s books, are presented every two years by IBBY to an author and an illustrator whose complete works have made an important and lasting contribution to children’s literature. The awards will be presented to the winners at the opening ceremony of IBBY’s 50th Anniversary Jubilee Congress in Basel, Switzerland, 29 September 2002.


Signal 99, Sept 2002

Elsie Piddock, Then and Now — Anne Harvey, 156

The Discipline of Children’s Literature: To Benchmark or not to Benchmark — Peter Hunt, 176

Keeping Children’s Classics Alive and the Case of Beatrix Potter — Nicholas Tucker, 183

Teaching Children’s Literature as a comparative literary subject in a British University — Penny Brown, 189

The Collecting Mystery — Brian Alderson, 200

Endpapers — Signalling William Mayne, 221

Annual Index 2002: Issues 97-99, 224

Contributors, 227


In autumn 2002 Sutton Publishing Ltd publish Anne Harvey’s anthology of childhood Christmases, When Christmas Comes; in 1992 her Shades of Green (Julia MacRae Books) received the Signal Poetry Award, and she wrote ‘Journey into Poetry’ for the September 1992 Signal.

Peter Hunt is Professor of English at the University of Wales, Cardiff; his first article for Signal, ‘Critical Method for Children’s Literature: A Booklist’, appeared in the January 1976 issue.
Nicholas Tucker is honorary Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex; recent publications include Family Fictions: Contemporary Classics of Children’s Literature (part author with Nikki Gamble), Continuum (2001), and The Rough Guide to Children’s Books 0-5 and 5-11 (2002).

Penny Brown is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literary Studies, Department of French, University of Manchester; she has written The Poison at the Source: The Female Novel of Self-Development (Macmillan, 1992) and The Captured World: The Child and Childhood in Nineteenth-Century Women’s Writing in England (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993) and is currently working on a critical history of French children’s literature.
In July Brian Alderson received the degree of Doctor of the University honoris causa from the University of Surrey Roehampton. In the citation Dr Kimberley Reynolds said: ‘Brian Alderson’s publications and activities span the history of Children’s Literature . . . [he] has provided the kind of meticulous, thoughtful and original work with primary materials that underpins the scholarship of all who work in the field . . . [and] has influenced generations of scholars. . . . [He is] the personification of the academic conscience.’

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Signal 100, Sept. 2003 — The Final Issue

Editorial, 3

Contributors, 6

What Are Fairy Tales? — Hugh Crago, 8

Defining Edges and Closing Gaps: Structural Features in the Sequential Art of the Picture Book — Jane Doonan, 27

So Many Books, So Little Time: The Patrick Hardy Lecture — Anne Fine, 51

Consolation Prize — Richard Flynn, 66

All the World's a Stage — Peter Hollindale, 84

Translating Dutch into Dutch — Vanessa Joosen, 106

In the Company of Shakespeare — Ishrat Lindblad, 127

The Signal Poetry Award — Jan Mark, 135

Reading Robert — Margaret Meek, 142

A 1960s Scrapbook — Elaine Moss, 163

Consuming Passions; or Why I'm Obsessed with L'Ogresse en Pleurs — Lissa Paul, 173

The Shawl of the Beauty of the World: The Children's Books of Ted Hughes — Neil Philip, 191

The Strange Case of the Invisible Jane Shaw — Sheila Ray, 203

All Her Own Work: Gillian Bell and Black Marigolds — Lance Salway, 212

The Mouse and the Doormat — Alan Tucker, 226

Accepting the Hans Christian Andersen Medal — Aidan Chambers, 247

Endpapers: Brian Alderson's Edward Ardizzone: A Bibliographic Commentary, 251

Index, 253



Hugh Crago's first article for Signal appeared in 1973; he is a teacher, independent scholar and psychotherapist, and with his wife, Maureen, edits The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy.

Jane Doonan is a critic and reviewer of picture books; since 1983, when she first contributed to Signal, she has lectured on picture-book artists and aesthetics on courses and at conferences around the world.

Anne Fine has recently completed her two-year reign as the children's literature laureate; her books have received the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Carnegie Medal (twice) and the Whitbread Children's Book Award (twice).

Richard Flynn is Professor in the Department of Literature and Philosophy at Georgia Southern University; his writings include Randall Jarrell and the Lost World of Childhood (1990); he is incoming editor (2004) of the Children's Literature Association Quarterly.

Peter Hollindale retired in 1999 as Reader in English and Educational Studies at the University of York and is now an independent writer and lecturer; his Signs of Childness in Children's Books (Thimble Press, 1996) has been translated into Japanese.

Vanessa Joosen has recently received a Belgian government scholarship to do a four-year PhD at the University of Antwerp, where she will be working on the link between literary theory and fairy-tale retellings.

Ishrat Lindblad is Associate Professor in the Department of English at Stockholm University; she has contributed to The Shakespeare Quarterly, and her current research interests are Shakespeare in Sweden and Indian writing in English.

Jan Mark's new anthology, A Jetblack Sunrise: Poems about War and Conflict, is published by Hodder Children's Books (2003); her work is considered in Coming of Age in Children's Literature: Growth and Maturity in the Work of Philippa Pearce, Cynthia Voigt and Jan Mark by Margaret Meek & Victor Watson (forthcoming from Continuum).

Margaret Meek is Reader Emeritus at the Institute of Education, University of London; her first Signal article appeared in 1980, and she has been a Signal Poetry Award judge on six occasions.

Elaine Moss's article 'Them's for the Infants, Miss' (May, September 1978 Signal) led to the Signal Bookguide Picture Books for Young People 9-13, which has gone into three editions (1981, 1985 and 1992) and established a new children's-book category.

Lissa Paul, a professor at the University of New Brunswick, Canada, is one of two associate general editors of the forthcoming Norton Anthology of Children's Literature and one of three new editors of The Lion and the Unicorn; she has written for Signal since 1986.

Neil Philip, whose books include The Oxford Book of Children's Verse, and The Penguin Book of English Folktales, first contributed to Signal in 1980; his essay 'Creativity and Tradition in the Fairy Tale' is included in Davidson and Chaudhri's The Companion to the Fairy Tale due soon from Boydell & Brewer.

Sheila Ray, author of The Blyton Phenomenon (Deutsch, 1982), wrote her first annual survey of new books about children's books for The Signal Selection 1987, her last for the May 2002 issue of Signal.

Lance Salway is a writer and translator of children's books; he wrote about Hesba Stretton for the first Signal in January 1970, and his Signal Reprints series throughout the 1970s led to A Peculiar Gift: Nineteenth Century Writings on Books for Children (Kestrel, 1976).

Alan Tucker wrote about poetry for the first issue of Signal, compiled the first Signal Bookguide, Poetry Books for Children, in 1976, and was an initiator of the Signal Poetry Award in 1978.

Aidan Chambers is the Thimble Press publisher.

Brian Alderson, the critic and bibliographer, is founder of the Children's Books History Society and children's book consultant for The Times.



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Signal 100 is the final issue of the magazine. The Thimble Press will continue to supply its other existing titles, including back issues of Signal, and to produce occasional new publications.


Publications by the Thimble Press:

Cover Signal 100

Cover Reading Otherways

Cover Childness

Cover Information and Book Learning

Cover Signal Companion

Cover Reading Environment

Cover Reading Talk

Cover Tell Me

Cover Looking at Pictures...

Cover Childrens Book Research

Cover How Texts Teach...

Cover Poetry Books for Children

Cover Read with me

Cover Signal Collection