|The British Library|
Today, my mum is leaving her house in a bright yellow dress and as a brunette for the first time in a long time. She is Snow White. Why? Because it’s National Children’s Book Week, and she’s a teacher. It’s also International School Library Day today, and National Poetry day in a few days time. Woah! Lots of stuff to squeeze in right? I’ll save Poetry day for another time.
Firstly, Happy National Children’s book week! This year’s theme is Heroes and Heroines – ‘Who’s your hero?’ A COOL theme no? That’s what I thought! But then I struggled for days to come up with MY literary hero, and the ones I came up with are terribly predictable. Not one woman too! *bows head in shame* I don’t have a heroine in literature, but I have plenty in real life luckily!
1. My first hero is Goku from Dragon Ball Z, who I have a cartoon crush on (I know that’s cheating a bit as he’s not a literary character). He’s my hero in the he-makes-me-swoon and-faint-kind-of-way. He always saves the Universe and gobbles food with admirable enthusiasm. He’s amazingly forgiving, loving, funny and the strongest super saiyan in the galaxy. Oh yeah!
2. My next hero is Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings. PREDICTABLE! I have this thing where I secretly (or not so, considering I have a wallet and not a purse) wish I was an old man, like Gandalf or Dumbledore. Somebody with wit, magical strength, intelligence and wisdom. Women aren’t able to pull off a pipe, which is soooo unfair, and I can’t get a beard like that either.
Phew. That was hard work. Not all books that I enjoy have people I want to be like, because, well… they’re a bit too flawed like me. Hopefully, kids today won’t have the same struggle. The National Children’s book week is an annual event celebrating and championing ‘reading for pleasure’, which brings me to my second point: libraries!
Happy Library day! *pops party popper*
The theme is “a key to the past, present and future”, which is apt because there is a bucket load of debate and cuts going on this side of the pond. Emma Barnes, in her post tells us how she became sucked into a debate about the up and coming changes from the government on UK Primary Education English. Michael Rosen, has started a petition and one of the fundamental points raised between the two is that LIBRARIES ARE THE KEY in getting children to read, and to get them doing it for PLEASURE and not solely for hitting targets (sucking all the joy from it). Something that the government has completely ignored, apparently.
Luckily in Bristol, we haven’t suffered many library cuts, and our Children’s Laureate, Julia Donaldson is touring the country to make sure this is the case all over. But we don’t have librarians in primary schools. There’s no doubt that children who read more, become better at writing. It’s never occurred to me before, how amazing it would be to have had a librarian in my primary school who could have advised me on a book, until I read a blog post tribute to a librarian (which I can’t find to link to), which made me incredibly jealous. I’d clearly missed out on a real life literary hero!
So tell me, who is your hero? How vital have libraries been to you? How important are libraries for the future?