It’s the week of World Book Day, so the diary tends to get a bit busy. Yesterday I visited Woodbury Day Nursery and read to the pre-schoolers there. That age group is always a giggle and the visit didn’t disappoint, as I was introduced to various cuddly toys and asked to admire a selection of t-shirts and dresses before we even started. The loveliest part was when I picked up A Seal Swam In From The Sea to read and a little girl insisted it was her book. It didn’t cross her mind that there are other copies out there, and I didn’t have the heart to correct her.
Today I was at Ballard School in New Milton with children from nursery up to year 2. Stories were read, weird creatures drawn, and then something a little different. For the past ten months or so I’ve been writing regular stories for the Short Stories For Kids podcast, so with Years 1 and 2 I used that experience for a story-writing workshop. This involved the children suggesting elements for a story (they were: an octopus, a bee and a paint tin; a seahorse, a fish and a chair; and a tree root, a lamp and an ant) which I then had to turn into three stories there and then. Every now and then I’d ask the children to chip in with a suggestion, and together the tales grew into a complete whole. The children then helped me create some fantastical beasts and, once we knew what they looked like, the children suggested where they might live, their size, their colour, and even the fact that one was allergic to cats. This a great exercise for children to do because it helps shape in their minds exactly what it is they will be writing about, so the descriptive writing improves and the reader benefits.
World Book Day is tomorrow, so if you’ve a child that deserves a book please do head on over to www.ceratopiabooks.co.uk and make their day special.