Saturday, 20 April 2013

The Children's Bookshow and Me

Through a series of unexpected and delightful developments I am thrilled to be volunteering with The Children's Bookshow.

This wonderful organisation recently allowed Cullompton Library to host a rather magnificent visit from renowned author and illustrator Alexis Deacon. There is so much I could tell you about the brilliance of this event but I will keep it simple. Lots and lots of kids from local primary schools. Packed in to our lovely library. Entertained and inspired by the hugely talented Alexis Deacon. Delighted by his books. Resounding success. Everyone happy. Big smiles on my face.

Basically, making kids happy with books is one of the most lovely things you could be paid to do. Encouraging their reading skills and confidence is so important, and how much easier is this when they have something tangible and fun to bring this process alive. 

Devon Libraries was superbly priveliged this spring to be one of only two areas in England who were given the opportunity to put on some free Author/Illustrator sessions for children.

This is a pilot scheme, in celebration with World Book Day, where the Children's Bookshow collaborated with Bounce to provide a tour showcasing the very best of children's writers and illustrators.

My ears pricked up at this news, and positively flapped when I heard which author we were allocated. It was just such a gift. We are still reaping the rewards of such an extraordinary experience. Our relationship, as a library, with the local schools is being forged and nurtured to allow further cooperation in the future. We are merrily planning visits to schools, drawing competitions, class visits and a whole lot more in the pipeline. 

Alexis' visit really sparked something and I am thrilled to have been there when things ignited, and to be a part of keeping the fire alive within our precious community, under my role within the library. 

And now, as an amazing bonus, I will be helping out a little with the work of the Children's Bookshow. It is early days but I am so stoked to be involved. The organisation conceives and facilitates some very special events at Theatres around England, every autumn. Schools are invited to attend, and additional workshops are run within individual schools. The people behind the scenes are passionate about promoting the work of talented and unique storytellers and artists, and are devoted to introducing children to these inspiring people and their brilliant books. 

I am learning a huge deal about the many and varied organisations out there who do such a lot to get kids hooked on reading at an early age. 

Sarah Clarke and Alexis Deacon Cullompton Library, March 2013.

I believe every job in the world has bits about it that are irksome, even if you love your work and don't want to be doing anything else. I am so grateful that in my job I am able to link in passions of my own, that either encourage, inpsire, or facilitate a child to enjoy a good story. And in so doing, equip them for life, even if only in a very small and unquantifiable way that I may never see. 


Thank God for books, and for people who make brilliant ones.


  1. Such exciting news, Susie, I hope the door opens wide for you with The Children's Book Show. Enjoy xx

  2. So utterly delighted for you. What fun!