Throughout April, Londoners have been celebrating Cityread London by reading 2017’s title ‘Prophesy’ by S.J. Parris, an historical thriller set in 1583 in the middle of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign. And every April there are some amazing events across the capital connected to the that year’s book.
Last month, some of the St John’s Wood Library customers were lucky enough to attend a special Cityread London event with the Wallace Collection at the Penfold Community Hub. Sarah, a community officer at the Wallace Collection, not only introduced us to their treasures but also brought along replicas and reproductions of the collection’s Elizabethan influences.
We admired a portrait of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who was Elizabeth I’s close friend and favourite – everyone even got a postcard to take away. We also looked closely at a painting by Paul Delaroche titled Hippolyte depicting Edward V and the Duke of York in the Tower. The group also got to try on some replica armour. It was widely agreed that armour is not as heavy as it looks and much more comfy to boot.
This snapshot into the wealth and richness of the Wallace Collection was truly inspiring. If you haven’t been before we encourage you to visit soon; it’s an outstanding local asset and free! For more information such as opening hours and you can also view their paintings online at the Wallace Collection website.
This year’s Summer Reading Challenge is ‘The Mythical Maze’, and what an a-maze-ing (sorry) first week we’ve had!
Tons of children have headed down to their local library to take part in the Challenge; we’ve had over 900 join so far! And 40 children have already completed the Challenge by reading 6 books.
If you haven’t yet joined in, don’t worry, the Challenge is going on across our libraries throughout the summer holidays right up until September. So there is still time to come and take part.
There are lots of events and activities going on too, which are all free! Here are some highlights of our events this week:
Diddidance company visited Marylebone Library and got the under fives and their grown-ups boogie-ing away! Lots of fun was had with pom poms…
The Wallace Collection did a craft session at St John’s Wood Library, inspired by some of their awesome artefacts – check out Ruby who came to take part (above), and library staff member Shaun wearing the mailed glove!
Check out our website for details of our events near you this summer: www.westminster.gov.uk/summer-reading-challenge
Hope to see you soon!
We’re approaching the halfway mark of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge: Story Lab, and it’s shaping up to be one of the most successful yet.
Most Westminster libraries have had more children join the challenge this year than last, and with a massive 130+ events across the libraries this summer, there’s no danger that they’ll forget to come in and tell our willing volunteers about what they’ve been reading!
If your children haven’t joined yet, it’s not too late – get down to your local library, sign up and get your Story Lab pack.
Here are some photos of what the kids have been up to in the last couple of weeks:
Storyteller Bronia Evers visited Paddington Children’s Library for a really well-attended session. There was lots of good feedback and the queues afterwards for the children to pick up their first stickers (there’s a prize after each two books read) had to be seen to be believed. Storytellers Seema Anand and Guo Yue visited Church Street and Charing Cross libraries respectively (read about it here), and the children of Queen’s Park can see Wafa Tarnowska on 18 August.
Performer Keeley has been taking her Debutots event for the under fives (“dipping tiny toes into stories and sounds”) to every Westminster Library this summer – you can catch her next at Marylebone Library on 14 August. The sessions include songs, stories, actions, music, dancing and very exciting bubbles!
The ever-popular Wallace Collection art and craft workshops have been going down particularly well this year – one event was packed out with over 40 children (not to mention the accompanying grown-ups). The workshops include a story told with props (with lots of audience participation!) after which the children can then create their own artworks based on what’s in the Collection.
Posted in Charing Cross Library, Children / Teens, Church Street Library, Mayfair Library, Paddington Library, St John's Wood Library
Tagged Charing Cross, children, Church Street, Debutots, Mayfair, Paddington, St John's Wood, Storylab, storytime, Summer Reading Challenge, Wallace Collection