March 7th, 2024

World Book Day success as thousands of children join our events

Thursday 7th March was World Book Day, and we celebrated the joy of books and reading with two very special events for primary school children.

Author and illustrator Helen Stephens, best known for her picture book, How to Hide A Lion, took to the digital stage in the morning and performed to an audience of over 25,000 children and teachers. Helen began by drawing the inspiration for her latest book, Smelly Peggy, which is her very own little dog called Peggy, who gets up to all sorts of naughty things. The book is funny and warm, with vibrant illustrations and we loved listening to Helen read us the story. The book isn't published until June, so we felt very lucky to be given a preview. Helen treated us to more live drawing and another reading, before a very interesting Q&A session - the audience were keen to know all sorts of things about being an author and illustrator and came up with a series of inquisitive things to ask. Then we finished on a lovely draw along, where everyone got out their pens and paper and Helen showed us step by step how to draw Peggy. What a treat!

You can still watch this event as it was recorded. Just click this button!
Watch Helen Stephens

In the afternoon, the Children's Bookshow debuted its first live-streamed theatre show with legendary poet, writer and broadcaster, and patron of the Bookshow, Michael Rosen! Michael performed an incredible set of his hilarious poems on stage at the New Wolsey theatre in Ipswich, to an audience of 400 local school children and their teachers. We also streamed the performance to hundreds of schools who watched the broadcast from their classroom, reaching an entire audience of over 64,000 children!

The show was also a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Michael's first book, Mind Your Own Business, which was a really special privilege for the Children's Bookshow. Michael told us how he regained his voice after recovering from Covid, and got the whole audience 'trilling' Frere Jacques! He also performed many classics, such as I Was Born in the Stone Age, No Breathing in Class, Hot Food and Hand on the Bridge before an interesting Q&A with questions from both the theatre audience and the online audience too.

It was an amazing experience to hear the auditorium filled with laughter and joy, and for the buzz to continue as children left the theatre clutching their very own copy of Michael Rosen's Big Book of Bad Things.

If you would like to watch Michael Rosen's show, it's still available, just click on the button below.

Watch Michael Rosen

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