What a busy but fabulous week!
World Book Day was first started back in 1995 and if I remember correctly, it used to be around Shakespeare’s birthday (April 23rd). For the last few years however, it has always been celebrated on the first Thursday of March.
Essentially, World Book Day is a day to celebrate all things books, stories, authors, illustrators and tales! Most schools take part and children and staff put together a collection of wonderful costumes and dress as a character from a book.
Over the years I have been Pocahontas, Cinderella, Aladdin, Cruella DeVille Old MacDonald, Maid Marion and Puss in Boots to name but a few. It’s always a great day of fun for everyone.
This year I was fully booked for the whole week so I thought I’d give you an insight into the World of a Storyteller during World Book Week. Hold on tight, it’s quite a ride!
Lamby and I packed the story tin and headed off to a local school in Liverpool for a day of Storytelling with the Infants. What a lovely time we had. The school had given Lamby and I the topics of Fairy Tales, Stories from other Cultures and Mini-beasts. Lots of scope there and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing stories that the children were familiar with and those that were completely new to them. The school were planning to do some follow up work from our visit for World Book Day. And if the writing was as good as their listening, the results would have been fantastic! We had some wonderful feedback including…
“The children enjoyed taking part in the stories. I got lots of great ideas for when storytelling. I will use a prop to tell a story from.” Year 2 Teacher
Another day, another school and this time Lamby and I were bound for Warrington. This was a return visit to this school and once again we were made to feel very welcome at St. Benedict’s.
It’s always nice to watch the children’s faces when you tell stories. Because there are no books and illustrations you can almost see their imaginations creating the settings and characters as you speak. One child in the juniors told me he was going to write his own story based on one I had told. What more could you want? Yet again, we had some lovely feedback…
“They were clearly interested and listened extremely well. It was lovely to see children enjoying stories. I would like to use some storytelling ideas on World Book Day.” Year 4 Teacher.
Lamby and I dug out the first of our costumes today. I loved (and still do) the Meg and Mog books when I was a child and as we were in Allerton Library for under 4’s this seemed a perfect theme. Digging out my witch hat and costume I sacrificed a pair of black tights in order to transform Lamby from a lamb into a striped cat. I was pretty pleased with the result! And I think you’ll agree with me, he did look very cute!
I had taken a selection of objects for the children to choose from. As usual the favourites were The Gingerbread Man and Goldilocks. To finish the session, I read Meg’s Veg to the children. Although some of them were as young as 7 months old they loved it! And so did Lamby and I.
Following a drive down south on Wednesday afternoon, Lamby and I were ready for the big day itself. World Book Day had arrived and today Lamby and I were going to be the Knight in Shining Armour and Sleeping Beauty. The first job of the morning was to de-ice my car. Lamby had clearly decided that his Knight in Shining Armour duties didn’t extend to scraping ice which left poor old Sleeping Beauty to do it!
Once the ice was dealt with, we spent a lovely day in another of our regular schools, St Mary’s in Chingford. Another warm welcome awaited us and we shared and told stories from all around. The children’s classics ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ and the ‘Tiger Who Came to Tea’ proved very popular as did the legend of King Arthur and the story of the Rualdo Bird from Costa Rica. Sharing stories with classes full of Dorothys, Gruffalos, Hermiones, Harry Potters and Dennis the Menaces just added to the fun!
Here is some of the feedback, this time from some of the Year 5 pupils…
“She should come back again.”
“I wish she could have stayed even longer.”
“I really enjoyed it.”
And so to the last day of our World Book Day themed week. This time Lamby and I would be delivering a Drama workshop based around the Julia Donaldson book The Highway Rat. This is a great book that appeals to both boys and girls. Once again our costume box had been raided and my lovely green cloak (pictured above) was perfect for me to wear as I commanded the children to ‘Stand and deliver!’. Other props were provided in the form of rabbit ears and a red scarf to be the squirrels tail.
The children (aged 4 and 5) were brilliant. They responded really well and were determined to help the poor rabbit and squirrel who had lost their food to the dastardly rat. The children saved the day and the rat saw the error of his ways. He has promised to be good and is now good friends with the rabbit and squirrel!
“Wonderful to see normally quiet and shy class members becoming so animated. I was very impressed by the way Jude allowed the children to use their own ideas to take the workshop down a different path. An excellent EYFS practitioner!” Reception Teacher
And so we had reached the end of our wonderful week. Books and stories are so very important for everyone to enjoy and that is exactly what we had done. One week, four different schools, one library, stories, tales, costumes and over 500 children all mixed together make a truly magnificent recipe for FUN! We can’t wait for next year….