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Between the lines

TES books editor Geraldine Brennan on the inside literary track The longlist of librarians' nominations for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration (shortlist to be selected in April, winner announced in July) shows a handful of choices among the 40 books which depart from the usual picturebook format. If, like me, you and your pupils are keeping your fingers crossed for Tony DiTerlizzi's companion to the Spiderwick Chronicles, Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You (text by Holly Black), I strongly recommend a tour of this top US illustrator's Imaginopolis website ( where you can find free downloads based on the delightfully gothic Spiderwick books. Alan Snow's Here be Monsters! is another chance for line drawing in longer illustrated fiction to have a presence on the Greenaway shortlist. See the full longlist plus the longlist for the companion Carnegie Medal (for writers) at

Meanwhile, the judges of the Aventis General Prize for popular science writing for adults have a mere 13 books on their longlist announced at the London Book Fair this week. They include a former TES Book of the Week (February 11, 2005): Electric Universe: how electricity switched on the modern world by David Bodanis (Little, Brown). The shortlist for the Aventis Junior Prize (for science books for children up to 14) will be announced on March 20 and there is an update on both prizes on

The latest mission for Anthony Horowitz's schoolboy spy Alex Rider is to stop the Stormbreaker film being pirated before its July release. Scenes have already been glimpsed on a Moscow-based website, so fans at the London Book Fair were only shown the trailer featuring Alex Pettyfer, picked to play Rider after Horowitz, pictured, spotted him in the Tom Brown's Schooldays TV drama series. "Such was the writer's power and influence on the film that they saw another 600 boys - but then they picked him,"

Horowitz said. He is less pleased with his own Hitchcock-style cameo in Stormbreaker. He dressed up as a fisherman for filming on the Isle of Man, standing in for Cornwall. "I had my hand inside a rather large trout, and when I saw the scene the rest of me had been cut."

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