-by Emma Bilsborough, Sales & Marketing Coordinator

Though I realise this post sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, it is actually just a nice reminiscence of all of the bookish celebrations that have taken place at Bookbarn this week, in honour of World Book Day.

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(all of these abandoned pairs of wellies can only be evidence of something special happening)


There are many things that we feel quite strongly about here at Bookbarn (tea shouldn't be reheated in a microwave, it's alright for books to look well loved, etc), but none more than the fact that all Children should be given the opportunity to find a love for reading. Whether it be comic books, stories or something else all together - it's so important that we are working hard to encourage children and young people to dive into books and writing, to develop their imagination and broaden their horizon.

With that all in mind, we felt we couldn't possibly pass up the chance to celebrate World Book Day in style here at Bookbarn, and got to work on planning a week long celebration, culminating in a Creative Storytelling session on Thursday afternoon.

Our local primary school, Farrington, were also planning a week of bookish fun - so we decided to offer a visit to every class in the school. First to visit us were the little ones from their reception class, who headed straight to our Children's area, shrugged off their coats and dived in. We promised each child a free book, and so made sure that our shelves were filled with only the very best picture books and stories that you could find.

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We also asked the kids to draw us their favourite book characters, so that we could make a special World Book Day display. We had a lot of lovely drawings that we can't bring ourselves to get rid of, so we've put them behind the desk to cheer us up on rainy days.

Tuesday came around and this meant a full morning of fun with class 4, who had lots of questions to ask and were very excited to get a behind the scenes tour of our warehouse.

They donned their wellies and in little groups we headed through the 'staff only' doorway (we had a lot of excitement about this, they felt very special). Our warehouse is astounding even to me, after four years of walking through it every day. To put it in perspective, it's on two floors, and we have a total of about 220 rows of shelves. Downstairs, each row has 17-20 columns and is about 8 shelves high. Upstairs, each row has 8 columns and is 8 shelves high. That's a lot of books to look at. One of the kids asked me, "did you spend a million billion pound to buy all of these books?"

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Once again, we laid out our very best books for them to read through, some How to Train Your Dragon, some Roald Dahl, lots of Harry Potter. This time, we had a drawing of Hermione Granger, a Diary of a Wimpy kid picture and a doodle of what looked to be a totally made up character. We loved it.

Unfortunately, Wednesday's visit from class 2 had to be cancelled due to the terrible weather (they felt even their strongest wellies wouldn't survive the journey through the fields!), so we rescheduled for next week so that they could still get their free books and have a bit of fun.

Thursday came around with lots of excitement, mostly for our staff members - any excuse to get dressed up. World Book Day had arrived!

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(Our CEO as Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Our COO as Fantastic Mr Fox and me, as Pippi Longstocking)


Farrington Primary brought class 3 to spend the morning with us on World Book Day, and they too enjoyed a full tour of the warehouse, and expressed that they felt it was "super spooky" and they loved all of the dark aisles. The kids felt it'd be the perfect place to play hide and seek, and we totally agree. We'll put a team to work on testing it out right away.

They came dressed in their bookish costumes, and it may have distracted some of our team to see lots of little people running excitedly around the warehouse, dressed as Paddington, Darth Vader and Matilda, to name a few.

They left us after two hours spent rummaging our shelves, each with a pile of books to take home. They'd had to put some back because it'd be too much to carry for the walk home!

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We were also joined for the morning by three other groups of Children, from pre-schools and daycare. It was brilliant to see how many children wanted to join in the fun, and at one point there was a queue for the Children's area.

The day finished with an after school creative storytelling session, with a local Storyteller. She gathered all the little ones in the Children's area and read to them from books that they chose, she also had them help her to create a story, and it was a lot of fun to watch them giggling away in there.

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All in all, a brilliant week. Every one of the kids from Farrington School who visited was polite and interested in everything and asked lots of questions. It was so much fun seeing all of their little faces so excited about all of the books around them, playing games like who can find the biggest book? who can find the oldest book? It's great to watch people's faces light up when they look at all of the books that we have here, and for the kids to think it was "really cool" and "so much fun" was amazing. All of the other children who joined us for the storytelling and a little browsing throughout the week were just the same, and we felt very lucky to be a part of the fun.

We are already excited for next year.

 


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