The Spring Break has brought a very welcome two weeks with time and space to get outdoors. This week’s snow was a bit of a surprise after 23 degrees just a few days ago. It has also brought some time to read.
Since Book Week, I have been reflecting on the power of reading and story-telling. During Book Week, it was fabulous to see one of our much-loved events take place in an almost normal way – only slightly re-calibrated to meet all of the current Covid restrictions. Book Week boasted a packed programme of author visits (in person and online), storytelling sessions, creative workshops, Waterstones book fair and the super-popular book character dress-up day.
We had two inspirational visits, one in person and one remote. It was wonderful to see how Gillian Muir, the remote author beaming in from her home in Scotland, really captivated the students. Gillian first made her mark as an author when she was living in Belgium and wrote a story about her own dog, Louis. Since then, she has gone onto write a series of ‘Louis, Louis’ books. During her interactive presentation, Gillian encouraged our students to be creative with their writing and suggested that they should write down any ideas that come to them as even the simplest idea can be the start of a great story. Our students bounced home and several set to work on their first books – I heard from parents impressed by this sudden burst of creativity and was accosted by students at the Waterstones book fair, eager to let me see the books they had already written!
Our youngest learners in Timbertops also created some magical ‘reading rainbow’ videos where the students had worked together in small groups to present their favourite books. One student very eloquently explained that she loved Janell Cannon’s Stellaluna, because the main character (a young fruit bat) “makes friends with some birds. So that means you can be friends with anyone, even if they are different”. Such insight!
I am sure that this Spring Break holiday will provide some opportunities to curl up with a book, capture the imagination, transport us to new environments… in these times when our opportunity to travel is limited, the world of books opens up a world of ideas and lets us travel without limits. Enjoy!