Bringing books and children together over the summer…

How have the Federation and our children’s book groups across the country been celebrating children’s books and stories this summer and into the autumn? The answer is in a wide variety of exciting ways…

Three of our groups marked the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth, working with their  local community groups and venues in different ways to bring children, books and stories together.

Yeo Valley enjoyed some of Beatrix Potter’s stories in the beautiful setting of the Yeo Valley Organic Garden with storytelling and a children’s trail.  Aldbourne Children’s Book Group told her much-loved stories across the generations at Aldbourne Nursing Home, enjoying tea and cakes with the residents. And Ipswich CBG braved the rain to visit the Wildlife Family Fun Day at Holywells Park, making Peter Rabbit ears, masks, birthday cards and taking part in a Lucky Dip. They also learned about local wildlife.

Ipswich is also celebrating a birthday in 2016 – their 40th – and they have marked the year with a host of events, including becoming involved in the first BooksEast Festival. Ipswich is one of six groups across the Federation who are hosting events with our Jean Russell Storyteller, Anna Conomos and they are currently preparing for Anna’s on 8th November. Birmingham Children’s Book Group hosted Anna at two schools at the end of June, working not only with the children but also with parents at a very successful workshop with mothers, fathers and carers.

Oxford CBG, another group who will be hosting Anna in November, are involving Dads in their events with a Saturday “Rugby and Reading” event for “Dads n’ Lads”, also planned for November. Oxford also recently met Usborne author Claire Barker, sharing her book A Horse called Moon with local families and group members.

One of the Federation’s major national events is our National Share-A-Story Month. These events are usually held in May, but NSSM this year was celebrated by South Bucks CBG in August with a wonderful afternoon of Elephant Stories held in the magical gardens of Wycombe Museum. The group welcomed around 30 children and carers who listened to stories, coloured in paper elephants and made trunk blowers that were trumpeted in full blast around the gardens.

After a busy and varied summer, our groups are currently planning for more exciting events through the autumn. Reading CBG are delighted to be hosting Jim Kay, illustrator of the first illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in October as well as holding their regular monthly meetings. Lincs CBG will be welcoming Korky Paul at the end of November – visit their web site for more details. And if you live near Lewes, you can drop in to their book swap to be held in October half term.  

To know more about our groups, how to get involved and what is going on across the country visit our web page: or follow us on Twitter or via our local groups on Twitter.

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