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The Bard beats the body

Shakespeare, snakeskins, fly traps and femurs all feature in this year's TES Book, Resources and Equipment awards, announced yesterday by Trevor McDonald, the broadcaster and chairman of the Better English Campaign.

The World of Shakespeare, by Anna Claybourne and Rebecca Treays (Usborne, Pounds 9.99), which won the senior books prize, "succeeds in making an impact and exciting interest through well-crafted text and good design rather than a whizz-bang attempt to popularise", said the judges at the Education Show.

The Human Body, by Steve Parker(CarltonWatts, Pounds 12.99), one of three runners-up, impressed the judges with its "computer-generated model of the abdominal aorta and the stirrup ossicle".

The junior award went to What's Under the Bed? by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom (Wonderwise, Watts), which pipped Fly Traps by Martin Jenkins and David Parkins (Read and Wonder, Walker Books) to the post.

The winner is a "clever yet simple" book in which a lot of disciplines come together including geology, history and technology. The judges said its structure owed much to the familiar, musically repetitive nursery genre typified by The House that Jack Built and There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly. Bugs, mice, floorboards, wires and pipes lead to an illustrated exploration of a journey to the centre of the Earth.

Klondyke Kate and other non-fiction texts, edited by Barbara Bleiman, Sabrina Broadbent and Michael Simons (English and Media Centre) won the senior English schoolbook award, as the judges said it would introduce key stage 3 students to advanced and textual questions by way of accessible entertainment.

But many of the primary entries left them "heavily underwhelmed by both the quality and quantity". They chose My Home, based on pictures by Cliff Wright, as "proof that a book can be useful and functional, but none the less a work of art - a lovely miniature of verbal and pictorial imagination to stand with the best of picture books".

History in Evidence-writing through artefacts, from Technology Teaching Systems, and Molly, a large hand-puppet from the manufacturer, LDA, were joint winners of the new prize, the TESBESA Equipment award. The secondary section had "disappointingly few entries", but the winner, Philip Harris Education, for its electrophoresis kit "tackled a difficult area for science education, that of demonstrating DNA", said the judges.

Village Life in India won the TES Resources award. This multi-media package from Action Aid and Cambridge University Press gave "the feeling of being a guest in the Tamil Nadu village of Chembakolli". The secondary mixed-media resources award went to the TSB Artsbound package.

The awards are sponsored by the Education Publishers' Council and the British Education Suppliers' Association.

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