Harry Potter Moving Portraits at North Kensington Library

On Wednesday, 1st February and Saturday, 4th February North Kensington Library opened its doors to Harry Potter fans of all ages and invited them to take part in a series of special Harry Potter Book Night craft workshops.
Continue reading “Harry Potter Moving Portraits at North Kensington Library”

#HarryPotterBookNight at Kensal Library

This event was the perfect craft for Harry Potter fans.

We kicked off Harry Potter Book Night 2017 by making trunks like the one Harry uses during his stay at Hogwarts.

Continue reading “#HarryPotterBookNight at Kensal Library”

Goodbye Summer Reading Challenge 2016: Big Friendly Party at Brompton

Last Saturday saw Brompton Library put this year’s Summer Reading Challenge to bed with our annual finishers’ party. The Roald Dahl theme this year was massively popular with the kids and many of them hoovered up the few titles they hadn’t already read. We supplemented his novels with joke books, revolting rhymes, biographies and autobiographies.

In the end an impressive 89 children completed the challenge, and the party was well attended! They had a great time – Katie lead the party, ably assisted by our long-standing friend and volunteer Lisa and they were treated to some great games and free juice and nibbles to keep them going as they played some very energetic games such as Duck, Goose (new to me) and musical chairs and statues (old favourites).

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They also reviewed the books they’d read and enjoyed and talked about the craft events they’d come to at the library. Katie got some great feedback after the party and the kids and their parents agreed that the party was a great idea to round off the summer. Well done to everyone who took part and roll on the Summer Reading Challenge 2017- I wonder what it will be?

Steph Webb

 

Party time at Chelsea Library!

 


Last Friday we hosted the Chelsea Library Summer Reading Challenge party. We had over seventy completers and one hundred parents and children turned up to dance to Diane’s Latin American compilation and find Willy Wonka’s golden fridge magnet—the winner is yet to come forward! Please if you find the golden ticket nestling between packets of shrimp shaped haribos and some savoury crackers contact Chelsea children’s library! Continue reading “Party time at Chelsea Library!”

Canela Fina! First anniversary celebration

I can’t believe that our wonderful providers of Spanish storytelling and dance events, Canela Fina!,  have only been around for one year! Many of you will know of them from the  bi-lingual children’s events they put on for us during school holidays  (including this week!), mixing stories, dance, movement and music and teaching the non-Spanish speakers a few words and phrases as they go.

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As organisers of their events in Kensington and Chelsea, Sandeep and I were invited to share this milestone with them in a chartered pod on the London Eye and what a great experience it was! Although the weather wasn’t really conducive we enjoyed the food and refreshments (canapes and wine!) but mostly we got to meet other people that they work with and had a long chat with Maria about her plans for the future and other events she could provide for adults as well as children.

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Canela Fina! have come a long way since their first session with us, always creating a new programme for each series of events and I like to think we’ve helped and encouraged them along the way. Their next programme this half term is Storytelling- Los 3 cerditos y Caperucita Roja (the Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood).

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Here’s to their next year!

For more half term events please see our children’s events page.

Steph Webb

Take a look at our minibeast visit!

Getting up close and personal with some of the creatures you could find in your garden at North Kensington Library last week. The children loved it! One of the huge cockroaches made a bid for freedom and we had to point out that the library was not interested in taking new lodgers…

With many thanks to Holland Park Ecology Centre team,Trevor Bowyer and Hannah Williams. To keep updated about our events and activities in the libraries, follow us on Twitter, find us on Facebook or look at our website.

Zvezdana Popovic, SCSA

 

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The Little Paper Boat

What a treat! A quick post with some nice photos of our North Kensington Library audience enjoying this interactive storytelling session, The Little Paper Boat, and learning some Spanish words with Jose Maestre, teacher.

Jose will have more sessions like this one in various libraries. We’re looking forward to seeing him again!

 

Zvedana Popovic, SCSA

 

Story-time at Chelsea Library

When I first started doing the under-5s at Chelsea I had no experience at all, in fact I had come from delivering the housebound service in Hammersmith, so I was used to dealing with the very elderly who were often slow on their feet and very polite. I was in no way prepared for the chaos of pre-schoolers: the tired and distracted mothers and the nannies on their mobiles.
My God they were a tough audience!

I soon realise why so many people were reluctant to take on the responsibility. Some fellow workers were not brave enough to put on the baritone voice of the ogre in The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff
The Three Billy Goats Gruff

There was almost a sense that the children’s library should be free of noise and chaos.

Did we really need class visits when books were left strewn across the carpet? Well, yes we did! We needed to embrace the chaos.

I soon developed a taste for amateur theatrics and found myself thinking my way inside Mr Bear’s mind in the wonderful ‘Peace At Last’ where the adults are amused by Mr Bear’s wretched sleepless night, his snoring wife and the horrible brown letter from the Inland Revenue which appears at the end and is clearly responsible for the wiggly lines etched round his eyes.

Last month I was sent on a story-time training session in Barnet where I hoped to pick up some new tips.
Would there be some hints on puppetry?
How to throw your voice or even a magic spell to aid concentration?

The session in Barnet was led by three high octane women. They had a personal interest in all the stories and like fans of music they felt a special relationship with Lucy Cousins and Jez Alborough. They had taken ownership of the books. Their enthusiasm was a little daunting for the first timer. I both appreciated the course and squirmed with embarrassment at having to sit on a small inflatable ring in a mock-up of a farm yard. Story-time means you have to let go, become cartoonish, engage the children with eye contact and big swirling gestures.

What I learnt is that repetition in a story is great, less text too, stories that elicit a call and answer response and some of those almost silent books such as ‘Hug’ which repeat one word over and over are the best. Most important of all don’t be afraid of repeating the same story. They will soon know Jack and the Beanstalk by heart.

Hug by Jez Alborough
Hug by Jez Alborough

We had a busy Summer Reading Challenge party and began with some themed record breaker questions for the completers. No one was prepared for the weird questions quizmaster Vince Symmons prepared: the length of the longest nose hair or the greatest distance covered by a skate-boarding goat?
Answers on a postcard please.
The more absurd the question the better the children responded.

Furry Creatures
Furry Creatures

Story-craft this month was structured around monsters. Di devised some brilliantly huggable creatures with folding arms and big furry bodies – a bit like an angry sporran. Earlier we designed frogs with red woollen tongues and a squashed fly on the end.

Frogs and flies
Frogs and flies

We also had a visit from the Holland Park ecology centre. The staff brought cockroaches and millipedes to the library and they did very well with our very own two-legged mini beasts!

By Daniel Jeffreys
Customer Service Assistant, Chelsea Library

 

Notting Hill Gate’s Halloween Story and Craft Event

Notting Hill Gate Library had a busy October this year, which included our Halloween display and the first Halloween Story and Craft Event on Saturday 24th October. This was a great opportunity for the children to dress up as their favourite characters and celebrate the holiday. The turn out was great and the afternoon was memorable. However, this could not have happened without the help and support from both parents and our kind volunteer Karima, who is a Primary School Teacher.

Mariam dressed as a witch
Mariam dressed as a witch

We began the afternoon with a scary story called Spooky House by Roger Priddy, in which we all participated in the reading together. After this, with the help of Karima’s teaching experience, we explained health and safety measures to the children.

Laila reading spooky story
Laila reading spooky story

With limited space in the Library, sitting on the floor worked to our advantage as it brought everyone together. The children were hooked in the making of their spider webs and loved the challenge when weaving the wool. After this, we had played a game of pass-the-parcel which engaged everyone’s attention, including the parents who also joined in.

Showing their presents
Showing their presents

To promote healthy eating, we created our very own pumpkins from oranges (the pumpkin’s body) and celery (the pumpkin’s stalk). In addition to this, we also made ghosts from bananas and raisins were used for the eyes. It proved to be a success.

Showing our spooky food
The children holding their pumpkin oranges and banana ghosts

At the end of the day everyone was sad the afternoon was over, but were cheered as each were given Halloween goody bags filled with raisins and a Halloween activity booklet.

To encourage reading I asked parents to take out a book for each child from the display, in which I had drawn inspiration from The Wizard of Oz. We all know how inspirational books can be and as it has been said ‘Today a reader, tomorrow a leader!’

Come along and join us for our next Story and Craft event on Saturday 21st November 2015 but please book early to avoid disappointment!

NHG Halloween Display
NHG Halloween Display

Chatterbooks Event

Chatterbooks, as we all know, is the national reading group for children and this year 11th – 18th October is Chatterbooks Week.

Chatterbooks
Chatterbooks

We got in a few days early with a great event from the very popular children’s author Steve Cole. Steve is the author of, amongst other things, the Astrosaurs and Cows in Action series, has taken over the Young Bond series from Charlie Higson and has also written episodes of Dr Who.

Steve Cole, Author playing ukele
Steve Cole, Author playing ukulele.

Over 100 KS2 pupils from local schools witnessed the most energetic author event I’ve ever seen, with Steve leaping on and off the stage and running up and down the aisles taking questions. When I asked the Reading Agency if he’d be bringing any equipment with him (I was thinking laptop, usb stick) I was told no, just his ukulele! His songs had the children screaming along with the choruses.

Steve Cole standing and engaging audience
Steve Cole standing and engaging audience

Steve was really strong in exemplifying the role of imagination in storytelling, improvising stories from the names of children’s (and teacher’s) pets, playing with words and making it all such fun.

The Chatterbooks reading groups are a great forum for children who enjoy reading to meet up and talk about their reading experiences, recommend books to each other and maybe do some fun activities related to reading and books like word searches and quizzes.

They are held monthly at most of the RBKC libraries – check here to find the nearest to you.