Dancing bunnies at Kensal Library

We just had to share these lovely pictures with you all – Kensal Library held a very special baby rhyme time on Friday last week to celebrate National Bookstart Week 2017.

There was lots of singing and dancing as prompted by Bookstart’s chosen book ‘Everybunny Dance’ by Ellie Sandall. Each child received a copy of the book plus a special rhyme sheet and a pair of cute bunny ears.

All the children had a fun time and loved the story followed by some great rhymes like Sleeping Bunnies and Jelly on a Plate.

Don’t worry if you missed out last week, Kensal Library’s baby rhyme time is every Friday, 10.30 to 11am – hope to see you there soon!

The staff at Kensal Library


Exploring other worlds with our children – it’s National Bookstart Week 2017

This week (Monday 5 to Sunday 11 June 2017), is National Bookstart Week and this year is an extra special celebration as Bookstart is 25 years old!

BookTrust, the organisation that administers the Bookstart programme, encourages children and families to read more. Over these 25 years, they have gifted more than 34 million books to children.

Bookstart currently gives free books and resources to every child in England and Wales, at two key ages before school, to help inspire a love of books and encourage shared reading.

This year’s special National Bookstart Week book is Ellie Sandall’s Everybunny Dance and many libraries will be reading this story and special rhymes to do with the great outdoors and we have many copies of this book to give away. Check out the times of the toddler mornings at your nearest Kensington and Chelsea library.

It’s never too young to share a story or a rhyme with your young ones so come along have some fun and start or continue your child’s journey to a life of reading for pleasure. Sharing stories is of huge benefit to children, particularly when done from an early age.

Children who regularly have books shared with them benefit in lots of ways:

  • better emotional health
  • children develop longer attention spans and wider vocabularies
  • it builds their language skills
  • and in the long term helps them to be better readers and learners.

All this by sharing a book together for a few minutes each day. Just 10 minutes spent sharing a story with a child each day can have a lasting impact.

You can hear Lauren Laverne read Everybunny Dance on the Bookstart website.

Nick Fuller
Tri-borough Libraries Children’s Services Manager

Blog post from the North – July 2013

A very warm welcome (to match the weather!) from our three libraries in the North.

Gingerbread men, crime and creepy houses at Kensal Library

National Bookstart Week at Kensal Library
National Bookstart Week at Kensal Library

We celebrated National Bookstart Week with a special baby rhyme time at Kensal Library.  After reading ‘The Ugly Duckling’ we read ‘The Gingerbread Man’, sang a few songs and then had a craft session where the children coloured in little gingerbread men cut them out and stuck them onto lolly sticks. Then the children made the gingerbread men run as fast as they could. Also we handed out the gingerbread man recipe from Bookstart and we’re hoping to try any that baked! If you’d like the recipe it’s on the Bookstart website.

Malorie Blackman display at Kensal Library
Malorie Blackman display at Kensal Library

As Malorie Blackman has been named as the Children’s Laureate for 2013-2015 we decided to display our lovely new copies of some of her titles.  Leanne Bellot our Customer Services Assistant at Kensal Library helped put together the display.

We love the Creepy House theme for the Summer Reading Challenge and Ruth and I have set up the dump bin in readiness.  We are putting aside lots of great titles and are gearing up for the expected rush of children!

Natasha Chaoui, Senior Customer Services Assistant

Kensal Library

Crime and creepy houses at North Kensington Library

Crime on display at North Kensington Library
Crime on display at North Kensington Library

This month we celebrated the National Crime Writing Month with displays of crime fiction in all our libraries. Pictured here is the crime book display at North Kensington Library complied by Customer Services Assistant, Irani Singh. We have excellent crime fiction collections which include:

  • Classic crime e.g. Agatha Christie mysteries
  • Modern European crime and nordic Noir e.g. Henning Mankell’s Wallender and Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series
  • Spooky crime e.g. Ben Aaronovitch’s  Peter Grant Series
  • Celtic crime and tartan noir e.g. Ian Rankin’s inspector Rebus
  • Medieval crime e.g. Ellis Peters’ Cadfael mysteries
  • Light humorous crime e.g.  M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin and Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody Series

In fact we have something to suit all tastes. Even if you are not a hard core crime aficionado you will find something that will interest you. For more information visit the Crime Writing Month website

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge got off to a sprint start in our libraries and already we have lots of names on our progression boards. Enroll your children now  and pick up a leaflet about  our programme of Creepy Craft activities and events at your local library.

Children get prizes for reading library books and can engage in lots of fun activities and games on the Creepy House website. There is even an amazing, interactive book sorter to help your child choose books to read. If you don’t have a computer at home they can book time on one of the library computers.

Gaynor Lynch
Gaynor Lynch

Gaynor Lynch, Lending Librarian

North Kensington Library

Bookstart Bear Club at Notting Hill Gate Library

Notting Hill Gate Library's first Bookstart Bear Club completer!
Notting Hill Gate Library’s first Bookstart Bear Club completer!
A big congratulations to our first Bookstart Bear Club Completer!!
Bookstart Bear Club is a free membership scheme for babies, toddlers and preschoolers that opens up an exciting world for parent and child to explore stories, books and rhymes together.
Bookstart Bear Club logo
Bookstart Bear Club logo
Children will receive a free membership pack when they are registered at the library, the pack will contain a membership certificate, bookmark, door hanger and a Bookstart Bear Club passport.
Every time a child visits the library to attend a baby rhyme time, storytime or borrow books, they will get rewarded. Some of the rewards are stickers, stamps, certificates and exclusive to Notting Hill Gate Library, three different teddy bears.
Ihssan Dhimi
Ihssan Dhimi

Ihssan Dhimi, Senior Customer Services Assistant

Notting Hill Gate Library

Blog post from the North – June 2013

Welcome to our June blog post from our three libraries in the North.

Notting Hill Gate Library

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

The Notting Hill Gate Library Reading Group met to discuss The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. As usual the discussion was lively and vibrant with opinions bouncing across the table.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a monologue by Changez, a young Pakistani boy telling his life story to an American stranger in a café in Lahore. Changez used to live in America and is reporting why he has come to live back in Pakistan, in doing so he highlights the post 9/11 tensions. Changez went to America as a student to study at Princeton University, he lands a job with a prestigious consultancy firm and falls in love with an American girl, everything changes for Changez after 9/11 when his dream becomes a nightmare.

The group had different opinions about what the book was actually about. Some said it was about a man finding his identity, some said it was about the after effects of 9/11 and some said it was about a man going against America, but what we all agreed was, it was powerfully written and Changez’s story was deeply touching. We covered a range of discussions from religion, terrorism, capitalism, identity crises, the American dream and culture.

The story is full of intrigue, suspense and tension and it’s where we are left to fill in the blanks and the ambiguous ending that made it an exceptional book to discuss.

A trip to the cinema
A trip to the cinema

Lucky for the Notting Hill Gate Reading Group, the Reluctant Fundamentalist was then released in cinemas on 10th May, so of course we had to go and see it! We enjoyed the movie as much as we enjoyed the book and thought it was a great idea to have a comparative discussion. We were of course annoyed about some of the cuts from the book but we thought it still kept the essence of the story and it did justice for the book. We are very enthusiastic about linking future films with books.

Fancy a mystery?

To celebrate Crime Writers Month, we have decide to make things a little more exciting at Notting Hill Gate, choose a mysterious book from our display if you dare…

Crime fiction display at Notting Hill Gate Library
Crime fiction display at Notting Hill Gate Library

National Crime Writing Month is an initiative of the Crime Writers’ Association. Formerly known as Crime Writing Week, it was launched in 2010 with 50 events up and down the UK. In 2012, due to the popularity of the event, it was increased to a month. It gives readers the opportunity to explore the latest and best crime writing, as well as to discover (or rediscover) many classic writers. At Notting Hill Gate we have a vast collection of books by the authors of the Crime Writing Panel and by other authors associated with Crime Writing Week.

Ihssan Dhimi
Ihssan Dhimi

Ihssan Dhimi

Senior Customer Services Assistant, Notting Hill Gate Library

North Kensington Library

Sunshine in the Children’s Library

Don’t you think the sun is bright?
I wonder where it goes at night?
Does it sleep or does it hide?
Or is the moon its other side?
Does it hide behind the hills?
Late at night as outside chills?
Do you think it needs to rest?
From all that warming it does best?

On a gloomy and rainy Thursday afternoon we brought some sunshine to North Kensington Children’s Library by reading a poem about the sun, written by Gareth Lancaster and making the sun for our half term story and craft session. Children enjoyed tracing their palms on coloured paper, cutting traced fingers and sticking them on the back of paper plates. That is how we created the sun and now our display in children’s library looks bright and sunny.

Adisa Behmen-Kreso
Adisa Behmen-Kreso

Adisa Behmen-Kreso

Senior Customer Services Assistant, North Kensington Library

Kensal Library

National Bookstart Week

Bookstart logo
Bookstart logo

We are looking forward to celebrating National Bookstart Week here at Kensal Library and will be having a special baby rhyme time on Friday 28 June at 10.30 to 11.00 am with stories, songs and a craft tying in with Bookstart’s theme of fairytales.

There’s  more information about National Bookstart Week on the Bookstart website.

Crime at Kensal

Crime fiction on display at Kensal Library
Crime fiction on display at Kensal Library

We currently have a crime fiction display at Kensal Library to promote National Crime Writing Month.  We have included staff recommendations and the display has proved to be quite popular.

Natasha Chaoui

Senior Customer Services Assistant, Kensal Library