Festival Season

YNAFThis is the season for festivals around the country: music, arts, literature – but none can take place in the normal way this year, which is very sad. However: there is still the virtual world we can link up with, and we recommend young people take a look at the programme for the Young Norfolk Virtual Arts Festival, coming up from July 2nd to 6th.

There are various workshops to sign up to, including one on how to create a picture book story with author Ann Brady and a zine-making workshop hosted by some of our Norfolk Libraries colleagues. For more information and a full list of what’s taking place, visit: www.youngnorfolkarts.org.uk/yna-festival-2020/


Have you read Drew Daywalt’s great story The Day the Crayons Quit, with pictures by Oliver Jeffers, yet? It’s hilarious and clever, and could be taken further by a young reader, branching out with new stories about the antics of each crayon perhaps – they all have such different personalities! Or they could take a different set of everyday objects and create stories about them: pieces of cutlery, toys, household objects: remember the scrubbing brush dog in Traction Man by Mini Grey?!

Of course you know this classic picture book already, but it’s one of our absolute top favourites of all time, and great to see it’s available as an e-book: Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. An exemplar of how the briefest of texts can nevertheless create a perfect fairytale world of magic and warmth, and how the fantastic detailed illustrations enhance and celebrate the little story. Children can inhabit that world and use their imaginations to create more characters and stories. Find it on the Norfolk eBook catalogue just here.

The Festival will also be looking at other languages, and is looking for creative responses to how children and young people, aged 5 – 25, respond to their own or other languages. Have you seen the big range of magazines available in different languages on the free Press Reader app yet? For example you can pick up ideas for Minecraft projects in Portuguese, or enjoy some cute animal photos in National Geographic Kids magazine from Turkey. These can all be accessed for free using your Norfolk Library card.

We are also missing amazing music festivals, such as Glastonbury, Latitude and the Proms. However there are various fantastic music events involving Norfolk pupils taking place virtually, for instance the Virtual Big Sing, which took place on the 19th and 21st of June. Group music is extra challenging to create with existing technology, so well done all those giving us joy with their combined efforts; you put big smiles on our faces!

If you like nothing better than raising your voice in the bath or shower you can pick up a song or two from a BBC audio book, The Wheels on the Bus, which contains 25 other favourite nursery rhymes (find it here).

Two other things worth taking a look at:

  • Sing a Song of Bottoms! by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Adam Stower

Not very reverential, and there’s no particular melody, so just make it up as you go along, to this funny, rhythmic, irresistible praise of behinds, perfectly matched by Stower’s jolly illustrations.

(Puffin, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9780141328805, find it on the Norfolk eBook catalogue)

  • Goth Girl and the Sinister Symphony by Chris Riddell

Hilarious, and many of the in-jokes and musical references possibly way over the head of the average 7 to 8 year old, but they enjoy the whimsical characters and crazy adventures anyway, not to mention Riddell’s usual gorgeous illustrations. There are others in the series, of which Goth Girl and the Fete Worse than Death is also particularly nostalgic this summer, when no fetes or similar outdoor community events will have been possible. Have a chuckle over these books instead, available as audio books on the e-book platform.

(Macmillan, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781447277965, find it on the Norfolk eBook catalogue)

Don’t forget: you can find our archive of past Friday Reads just here.


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