Are you ready to read?

Join the Record Breakers Summer Reading Challenge!

Schools have well and truly broken up for the summer and several more weeks of long holiday lie ahead… what will your children be doing? Visit your local library this summer to see all the events and activities for children which are on offer. There are events on throughout the holidays, so there is lots to choose from!

Record Breakers logo

If your children like a Challenge, why not bring them to join this year’s Record Breakers? All they need to do is read 6 library books over the holidays, and they’ll receive stickers and rewards for telling us about them.

It’s free to join, just visit your nearest library to sign up – all that’s needed is a library card. There’s a medal for everyone who reads 6 books!

What weird, wonderful or wacky records will you and your kids discover?

Kensal Library: What we’ve been up to!

Natasha, Senior Customer Services Assistant at Kensal library, writes…

It’s been a busy six months at Kensal Library, with a packed program of events for our young users. Below, we share pictures from some of the stand out sessions.

March: African Dance Session

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We had an African Dance Session in March. As you can tell from the photos, it was a great experience and everyone had a lot of fun and enjoyed the music.

Mother’s Day Craft

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We made wonderful Mother’s Day rosettes in March and the children couldn’t wait to give them to their mums.

Bear Hunt in the Library!

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We had the bear hunt in conjunction with Go Golborne in May.  The children wore great bear hats and the hunt around the library proved to be as adventurous as any real bear hunt! All of this was followed by tasty, healthy snacks.

A stall in front of the library about healthy eating also proved to be very popular.

Mini Beasts & Creepy Crawlies: 

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In June we had a Minibeast workshop hosted by Holland Park Ecology Centre.  The children had a chance to hold and examine a hissing cockroach or a giant Madagascan millipede.  Lots of interesting questions and observations were made and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the workshop.

Now it’s finally summer and we are looking forward to this year’s Summer Reading Challenge – Record Breakers – which starts on 11 July.  Come along and register for great incentives and a super gold medal if you complete the challenge.Summer Reading Challenge Logo

Author event with Sangeeta Bhadra

Senior Customer Services Assistant, Nahid, writes…

Cover page of children's book, Sam's Pet Temper
Sam’s Pet Temper, illustrations by Marion Arbona

Both children and parents were delighted by a reading of “Sam’s Pet Temper” by author Sangeeta Bhadra at Notting Hill Gate and Kensington Central libraries on Saturday 30 May.

In the story Sam’s temper is initially great company, and so he decides to take it home as a pet. Before long, however, it becomes too hard to handle and he begins to wish it would leave him alone…

Author Sangeeta reading from her book
Sangeeta reads from her book

Sam’s temper in the story is a real life naughty creature adorably illustrated by Marion Arbona. At the end of the reading, the children were invited to take part in a fun creative activity where they imagined and drew their own tempers.

Sangeeta visited Notting Hill Gate and Kensington Central libraries as part of a whistle-stop libraries tour with her debut children’s book, which has been published in Canada, in English and French, and will soon be published in Italy and South Korea. Sangeeta kindly presented Notting Hill Gate and Kensington Central libraries with signed copies of the book for our readers to enjoy.

Sangeeta's signature on the inside cover of 'Sam's Pet Temper'
Sangeeta kindly gifted us signed copies of ‘Sam’s Pet Temper’

Many thanks to Sandeep, Gaynor and of course Sangeeta for a great event!

Flamenco Storytelling

Picture of young person with flamenco accessories (fan and skirt)
A Señorita at the Flamenco storytelling session

¡Hola!

Last week, Brompton, Chelsea, Kensington Central and North Kensington libraries had the pleasure of hosting Canela Fina! who ran their “Quiero Bailar Flamenco” interactive Flamenco storytelling session in Spanish and English.

We hear a lot of Spanish as we’re floor-walking, especially after school when the kids have come into the library, so we expected a good turnout for this workshop – and we weren’t disappointed!

Not all the attendees were Spanish speakers, but amongst those who were, some came along in their own beautiful flamenco dresses.

For the others, workshop instructor Maria brought along all manner of accessories to help them get into that Spanish spirit: flowers, hair combs, bracelets and shawls.

Picture of accessories; combs, shawls, books, fans
These colourful accessories definitely helped us embrace the spirit of the flamenco dance…

Although most of the children started off a little shy and hesitant, by the end of the session there was plenty of rhythmic footwork and ¡Olé!s coming through the walls and ceilings as the children (alongside their parents and carers!) gradually lost their inhibitions and really threw themselves into the spirit of the dance! And who wouldn’t move to the familiar sound of  Bamboleo? (Not strictly speaking a well-known flamenco song but undoubtedly Spanish!)

Workshop instructor maria teaching dance to young children
Maria, from Canela Fina! instructs the young dancers

Everyone learnt some Spanish words and were really pleased they’d come to the session.

Hasta la vista!

Brompton’s Bug Ball Blog!

Stephanie, Brompton Librarian, writes:

“And a happy time we’ll have there, one and all

At the ugly bug ball”

Well, they certainly did! Brompton hosted Holland Park Ecology Centre’s children’s event with what the Ecology Centre call “exotic invertebrates” but most of us would call creepy crawlies or, perhaps a little more kindly, minibeasts.

Fiona and Sadie set up one table with the larger, non-native bugs and one with some soil and foliage that the kids could rummage through to find the smaller, more familiar garden bugs and then study them in containers with magnifying lids. They couldn’t have been more fascinated.

Children looking for bugs
Searching for creepy crawlies

I was very pleased that after exhausting the possibilities of the live bugs a lot of children then went on to make some wonderfully creative multi-coloured spiders with ridiculous numbers of eyes from the pipe cleaners and other parts supplied by the centre.

Arts and Crafts session
Making spiders with string and pipecleaners

This really was the most popular event I’ve ever witnessed at Brompton and the buzz and excitement were almost tangible. A big thank you to Fiona and Sadie and to the Ecology Centre for the great work they do!

Chatterbooks at Brompton library

Stephanie Webb, Lending Librarian at Brompton Library, writes:

The Chatterbooks session on Monday 9 March was both a happy and a sad occasion as it was the last one led by Babita Sinha. Babita is leaving at the end of March and has led Chatterbooks here at Brompton for five years and before that at Chelsea for three years. She has a devoted following of children who will be very sad to see her go.

Babita's last Chatterbooks session at Brompton Library, March 2015
Babita’s last Chatterbooks session at Brompton Library, March 2015

However, she went out in style with a (slightly premature) Shakespeare Week event which had the kids searching the children’s area for Shakespearean clues, followed by word searches and other quizzes and some readings from the bard. All this was helped along with some naughty nibbles to mark Babita’s last session.

So, Babita is leaving (Boo-hoo!) but Katie Collis will be taking over (Hurrah!) in May.

Chatterbooks session at Brompton Library, March 2015
Chatterbooks session at Brompton Library, March 2015

There’s still room for a few more at our Chatterbooks reading group which is on the third Monday of each month at 3.45pm

Electric Babyland on tour!

Leanne Bellot and Silvia Sousa, North Kensington Library, write:

A couple of months ago, North Kensington Children’s Library had several celebrity visitors: apart from Father Christmas, we had two very special, and talented, hosts for our Baby Rhyme Time session. Dressed in matching elf jumpers (it was Christmas!), Daniel and Robert (on loan from Chelsea Library, pun intended) came to North Kensington to give us their thrilling Electric Babyland session as a festive treat.

The words “thrilling”, “loud” and “exciting” come to mind when I try and describe the experience. But even then, Electric Babyland seemed to generate a myriad of feelings, that limiting it to these three adjectives does it a disservice.

Electric Babyland!
Electric Babyland!

The amps were the focus of several curious gazes but when the iconic strums to “Wild Thing” began to play, it didn’t take long for most of the children (and the adults!) to start getting their groove on.  And if the giggles and wiggles we witnessed are any indication, we several future rock stars to look forward to! One Direction, who?

We quite enjoyed our “Route 52” rendition of “Wheels on the Bus” (we travelled all the way from Ladbroke Grove to Willesden Junction!) and let me be the first to say that there was a lot of passionate “shh, shh, shh” going on!

Things got a little bit competitive when it came to a post code-challenge “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”! Sufficient to say, Daniel and Robert were blown away with our talented children and their superior skills. Better luck next time, guys!

If after the session, we borrowed a copy of “Guitar for Dummies” and dusted off our once-used-and-quickly-abandoned-guitar, we would never tell. Guess we will have to see what our next Baby Rhyme Time sessions bring!

Find out when our Baby Rhyme Time sessions are held here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being bilingual & saving the planet

Steph Webb, Librarian at Brompton Library, writes:  

It feels like an age since it was all arranged but we finally had our first bilingual story event for children today! With the French lycéé just down the road and a large French community locally, it made perfect sense to bring them into the library. The author JN Paquet came to read one of his books, The t-rrible, a great story about how being bilingual is special and the bilingual hero saves the planet!

Avid listeners
Avid listeners

The children were really engaged with the story, jumping up and down one minute then listening hard the next. After the story there was a competition to draw the main character and, although everyone got some stickers, we had three, proud gold medal winners.

bilingual1

Please join us for more bilingual storytelling in March: take a look at our events page for children for more details!

I believe in unicorns (and that books are magic)!

Last week, Kensington Central Library hosted a marvellous magical performance, by Wizards Present, of the stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s book “I Believe in Unicorns”

Five classes, of over 150 children and their teachers, from schools in Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea were entranced by this fabulous story about how lives can be transformed by books, stories and of course libraries and librarians.

Roll up roll up...who wants to see something amazing?
Roll up roll up…who wants to see something amazing?

Not only was the script and the performance magical, but the props used were magical too! The children gasped as books opened up to become houses and villages, books within books, books used to represent mountains and lakes, and they concealed other surprises as the story unfurls as Tomas, with his newfound love of books, becomes instrumental in saving his burning library when his village is devastated by war.

The children and staff loved it. We even discussed it at our whole school assembly today

And here it is...an actual unicorn!
And here it is…an actual unicorn!

We think this is an excellent example of how libraries can work with schools to inspire and create a love of books, stories and reading!

If you’re interested in finding out more about library events for schools, keep your eye on the Schools Bulletin (for WCC), the Schools Circular (for RBKC) and the School Staff Zone (for LBHF)

Summer kicks off at Notting Hill Gate Library!

Notting Hill Gate Library has gone storytelling, craft making and nursery rhyming crazzzy this month!

To celebrate the launch of the Summer Reading Challenge we have offered more Baby Rhyme Times, Crafts, and Storytelling Sessions. The children have come in and had a blast! We have had lots of positive feedback from parents, especially with the Baby Rhyme Time on Saturday: a few of the parents work during the week so this was a chance for them to see their toddler getting involved- singing, dancing and meeting new friends!

Come along to our next sessions: Baby Rhyme Time- Friday 25th July, Storytelling- Saturday 26th July.

Click here for more information about our Summer Reading Challenge!

And remember….DON’T let the pigeon drive the bus!!
And remember….DON’T let the pigeon drive the bus!!

We have also had the Fab Flowers Team at Notting Hill Gate Library helping us to make our very own fabulous flowers! There was much excitement as we all got to stitching and some wonderful pieces were made: brooches were the chosen favourite and some beautiful brooches were made by some very happy (and very proud of themselves!) attendees.

Fab Flowers!
Fab Flowers!

Fab Flowers was part of Adult Learners Week.

ALW

 

And Finally, the Notting Hill Gate Reading Group said farewell to a much loved group member, she will be very missed as she has contributed immensely to the group and was one of the first participants when the group formed 10 years ago! We wish her good luck in the years to come…

(For more reading group details, please see our reading groups page on the library website).