World Book Day is a day which seems to set a lot of parents into panic as they are required to create amazing costumes out of thin air. Fortunately my daughters’ school doesn’t have a dressing-up day but has been doing a week of curriculum enhancements including a dance workshop for the books each stage was focussing on: The Troll for EYFS; Where the Wild Things Are for KS1; and The Butterfly Lion for KS2. I’m looking forward to the parent assembly tomorrow where each class is reciting a poem and showing their dances.
Today, for World Book Day, parents were invited in for a special story time. Despite my fear of reading aloud, this is still something I really wanted to do so I signed up and had a small group of seven children from F1, Y1 and Y2. Apologies for all the acronyms, if you have a child at an English primary it will all make sense, if not I’m talking 4-7 year olds! MG was in my group and very proud of this, and the fact she knew all the books!
I took six books with me because I couldn’t decide but the one I wanted to start with was Dave by Sue Hendra and Liz Pichon as I thought it would go down a treat. After introducing myself for the children who might not know me and having a little chat, I took out all the books and the sparkly cover on Dave attracted them instantly so it was their first choice too. It was great fun reading to an audience who pointed out everything in the pictures, interrupted each other, got on brilliantly and were completely confident with me although most only knew me as “MG and DG’s mum” from a distance.
The six books I took were:
Dave by Sue Hendra and Liz Pichon
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Martha and the Bunny Brothers: I Love School by Clara Vulliamy
The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle
The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie
The Pirates Next Door and The Worst Princess were the covers that attracted them so I put it to the vote and pirates won. I would have read The Worst Princess too but we ran out of time. Room on the Broom was rejected because they all knew it already! As the pirates and dragon had attracted them so quickly I put the other books to the side to minimise the voting options.
The Pirates Next Door was probably a little on the long side for a second read-aloud and we got interrupted by another group who had finished their story time. But actually the story pulled the other group in and I ended up reading to ten or twelve children clustered around our tiny table. The double spread with pull-out flaps was a huge hit, and when I finished the book the ones who’d missed the beginning wanted to know more about the story and they all said they wanted to hear it again.
All in all, it was a great experience for me and one I’d love to do again. I can’t do voices but with keen children and great books it didn’t seem to matter. We all seemed to have fun; I definitely did.