Friday, 16 December 2011

Visit to children’s book group

It was such a treat earlier this week to visit a thriving children’s book group in a Barnet library. I’m told attendance was lower than usual because it’s close to Christmas, but there were still lots of children having a great time. There was a good mix of boys and girls, and of ages, with children from Y2 to Y7. I loved meeting them and hearing what they like reading. This Y5 boy told me he likes books about science, books with facts, and stories as well, so he had chosen the perfect book. I really enjoyed our discussion about it. I was delighted that three looked-after children came to the group with their foster mother.

This week was a special event: The Book Group’s Got Talent. I felt very honoured to be one of the judges. There were some wonderful book reviews, and insightful pieces about favourite book characters. (I was so pleased to hear the BFG, a big favourite of mine, getting a great press, and it was lovely to listen to two very different sets of reasons for Horrid Henry’s popularity.) We were also treated to jokes and to excellent recorder playing and singing. My fellow judge, a children’s librarian from elsewhere in the borough, and I were very impressed by the children’s eloquence and presentation skills, so it was a surprise to find out later from parents and carers that some had overcome speech and confidence problems. In fact, it was clear that the group has had a very positive effect on many of the children, in all sorts of ways. Needless to say, everyone got prizes.

Many thanks to Nalayini, the lovely children’s librarian who runs the group, and to all the children.