*My family and I were invited to this event
A couple of weeks ago, an invitation arrived inviting us to a Picture Book showcase event to be held in Rotherham on a Saturday evening. It was the day after we were due back from holiday, and I very nearly declined it. However, nothing ventured nothing gained and all that so I thought it might be worth going along to.
Well, what a fabulous evening we had! The event was hosted by the Little Tiger team and was a celebration of some of their very best picture books this summer. We have been very lucky to have already had most of them sent to us to look at, and included in there were some firm favourites already.
Now, I must start by being honest. Nearly seven years into this parenting lark, and it’s easy to get comfortable and forget the joy in everyday things. When Daniel was a baby I used to spend hour upon hour reading to him. All manner of picture books and there are many that I still read in my head when I am out running, such are they committed to memory! However, over the years watching that utter joy and observing the children become mesmerised by a story has been missing. I forgot just how very very lucky we are to have such wonderful books sent to us, that forgot to take a step back and actually enjoy them from the children’s perspective.
Saturday evening reminded me why I am so very passionate about reading to children. Nothing captures the imagination like a book. And as they sat there, listening to the authors present their work, they were utterly captivated. There really is something truly magical about being able to listen to the creator of a book read it aloud; they give it voices and intonation that they always intended and I know, already, that my rendition of The Wolves who Came to Dinner absolutely will not be anywhere near as good as Steve Smallman’s reading.
We were treated to four author readings; the first was Pirates Don’t Go to School by Alan MacDonald which is a very funny book all about the anxieties that exist when a child starts school. Daniel and Emma loved this and had great fun playing with the pesky parrot to retrieve some pirate treasure.
Next up was Steve Smallman and The Wolves who Came to Dinner. This is a book we have read lots and one the children love. Steve Smallman was superb at this and engaged the children so well. It was a fantastic reading that had the children and parents laughing along.
Next, we had Unicorn Club by Suzy Senior. We got a copy of this just before we went away and the children enjoyed it but having Suzy read it aloud really brought it to life in a whole new way. It’s a great story of magic and friendship with the most gorgeous illustrations by Leire Martin.
Next up was the beautiful In Every House on Every Street by Jess Hitchman and this is a great book for looking at issues of diversity and families, and really focuses on the joy to be found in the everyday jobs and tasks we do in our homes. A truly gorgeous book.
After the event there was opportunity to get the books signed and have a wander around the venue, Grimm & Co (of which I will write more about as it’s an amazing place) before the journey home.
Picture books have the power to create magic for children, and the look of awe and wonder as my three sat and watched and listened on Saturday is something I need to step back adn savour more often.