National Storytelling Week 2018

Established by The Society for Storytelling, National Storytelling Week is an annual celebration drawing attention the importance of oral storytelling for all ages, young and old. The SFS have lots of brilliant resources available on their website, but we’d also recommend looking at the hashtag on twitter because- as always!- the wider book and reading community have been sharing lots of brilliant tips and tricks. Last year, we also shared some of our favourite read alouds which you can find here– lots of great titles to share with your young readers.

Below are this week’s Friday Reads; read anything good lately? Let us know in the comments!

Apryl: Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers

Jeffers is one of my favourite illustrators and this, his nineteenth(!) title is a wonderful book to pour over alone or with others. Here We Are begins with a dedication to Jeffers’ son, Harland: ‘This book was written in the first two months of your life as I tried to make sense of it all for you. These are things I think you need to know’.

Beginning with the solar system, we’re taken on a quick tour of planet earth, from land to sea and everything contained within- including people! This is a brilliantly heartwarming story about welcoming someone new into the world, this bewildering place we all call home. An instant classic!

(HarperCollins, £14.99 hardback, ISBN 9780008266165, find it at a Norfolk Library)

Harriet: Once Upon a Jungle by Laura Knowles, illustrated by James Boast

Vibrant colours against a black background take us deep into the rainforest.

A very simple almost poetic text leads us through a jungle food chain. Even a decaying panther being consumed by beetles is portrayed as something beautiful.

The back page describes the food chain in more detail.


(Words & Pictures, £12.99 hardback, ISBN 9781784937799)

Zoë: Orphan of the Flames by H. L. Dennis

The second book in H. L. Dennis’s ‘Secret Breakers’ series is even more exciting than the first!

Brodie, Hunter and Tusia are back on the trail to solve the incredibly mysterious code MS 408. Clues have lead them to Elgar and his ‘Enigma Variations’. However the organisation that tried to stop them in ‘The Power of Three’ is still trying to prevent them finding out the truth.

Along with Smithies, Friedman, Sicknote and Miss Tandari, the youngsters spend many hours working out the intricacies of Elgar’s ciphers. This takes them to the Malvern Hills, where they meet Sheldon at the Elgar Museum – a talented young pianist – then to various libraries in London; the adults feel it is too dangerous to stay in one place for any length of time. This is proven when Friedman observes two men watching them when they attend an Elgar concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Are they from Level 5?

Again there are useful diagrams which support the story – Brodie’s notes – as she demonstrates some of her thought processes. This series is great for mature, independent readers, particularly those who like puzzles or maths. I’m looking forward to reading the third book when it’s available.

(Hodder, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9780340999622, find it at a Norfolk Library)


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