Young People's Literature - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The Independent
News Cacheco reads one of his poems in Mexico City; his birthplace formed the backdrop to his writing

Jose Emilio Pacheco was considered one of the finest writers in the Spanish language, winning the Cervantes Prize for Literature in 2009, the highest award for writers in what is the native language of more than 300 million people. The award from the Spanish Ministry of Culture was presented at the University of Alcala by Spain's King Juan Carlos. In his later years Pacheco became visiting Professor of Literature at the University of Essex.

Nathan Filer, winner of the 2013 Costa Book of the Year

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33-year-old upsets the odds with his novel 'The Shock of the Fall' - the story of a teenager's descent into mental illness

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Invisible Ink: No 207 - the Disney authors, part 2

Walt Disney’s main concern was to fill cinemas with entranced anklebiters and their parents, but to do this he had to bowdlerise the original source material of his films to suit American tastes, so Bambi’s species was altered to one that could be recognised by home audiences. However, until the late 1960s he continued to search Europe for novels that he could adapt. Lottie and Lisa was the second most famous novel by the German author and satirist Erich Kästner (his first was Emil and the Detectives). It told of two reunited identical twins who switch places to help their parents’ respective marriages, and was filmed by Disney as The Parent Trap, starring Hayley Mills. It managed three sequels and a remake with Lindsay Lohan, as well as Hindi and Tamil versions.

Royal Mail have issued a new set of stamps featuring 12 characters from children's TV, which will be issued to celebrate over 60 years of kid's programming.

Children's TV characters to appear on stamps

Favourites from Bob the Builder to Bagpuss will be pictured in the collection

Between The Sheets: What’s really going on in the world of books

Just to make you feel old, 2014 is the 25th anniversary of Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s classic children’s book, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt. “Swishy Swashy! Squelch Squelch! Hooo wooo!” and all the rest. The book has sold more than 8 million copies in 18 languages, but initially Rosen didn’t think that it would work: “The story seems to have originally been a folk song,” he says. “David Lloyd at Walker Books saw me perform it and asked me to write it down. So I added to the story and, 18 months later, I was stunned to see the beautiful pictures that Helen had created – the family adventure is from Helen’s imagination and I enjoy and admire the book almost as an outsider – but back then I couldn’t quite figure out how it would work as a book!” To celebrate, Walker will publish an anniversary edition in January and an interactive sound book in the summer, and in February the Royal Festival Hall in London will host a “promenade performance”, where children will be invited to dress up and take home a pair of bear ears. Oxenbury recalls illustrating the book: “Michael and I never met until after the book was finished, but what was wonderful about it was there was nothing described in a way that restricted me. I modelled the children and the dog on my own. The bear’s posture I modelled on a friend who had depression, with his dropped shoulders – I felt the bear was probably lonely and wanted company rather than eat the children!” So now we know. We’re not scared!

Is Bilbo Baggins a girl?

On her daughter's insistence, Michelle Nijhuis turned Bilbo Baggins into a girl. She soon realised that a sex change was a great way to combat stereotypes in all sorts of stories

Jeremy Paxman announced what he thought the internet was really for during a segment on Wednesday night’s show

When Newsnight became Brass Eye: Jeremy Paxman claims internet used to facilitate masturbation ‘or worse’

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M&S toy packaging to be gender neutral

The retailer said it had been planning the move for months

Rhiannon Wallace in 'The Snail and the Whale'

Nothing: From Absolute Zero to Cosmic Oblivion, Edited by Jeremy Webb - Paperbacks review

What goes on in our brains when we’re not thinking? Why do some animals lounge around all day doing nothing? Is outer space completely empty? Why did it take so long for the number zero to be accepted? These are just some of the questions discussed in this intriguing collection of essays on “nothingness” by science writers including Ian Stewart, Marcus Chown, Nigel Henbest, Michael Brooks, Paul Davies and David Fisher.

One minute with: Chuck Palahniuk, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see?

'World's ugliest dog' Elwood dies unexpectedly, aged eight

The Chihuahua and Chinese crested mix inspired a children's book after he was almost killed by a breeder who deemed him 'too ugly to sell'

A biopic of JRR Tolkien's life is said to be in the pipeline

JRR Tolkien film biopic set for silver screen

The Lord of the Rings trilogy made billions of dollars at the box office and now the story of the author who created those fantasy worlds is to be brought to the silver screen.

Coming soon in theatre: Tom Hiddleston in 'Coriolanus', Iain Glen in 'Fortune's Fool', and the Moomins in 'Moominland Midwinter'

Howards Brenton and Davies are reunited at the Hampstead Theatre, for Drawing the Line (from 3 Dec), tackling the meaty topic of the partition of India in 1947. There’s more political upheaval at London’s Donmar Warehouse – of a Shakespearean variety. Coriolanus, starring Tom Hiddleston, opens 6 Dec. Fortune’s Fool begins the same day, at the Old Vic; Iain Glen stars in Turgenev’s biting comedy, directed by Lucy Bailey.

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