Ipswich Children’s Book Group was delighted to join local schools, Suffolk Libraries, Waterstones, and Let’s Talk Reading, together with authors James Campbell, Jane Elson, Andy Briggs and Steve Antony for the Chantry Book Jam, a four-day celebration bringing children’s literature into the heart of the community, the first of its kind for South Ipswich.
Our stand at the Book Jam Jamboree on November 17th was very busy all afternoon. Children made a menagerie of origami animal book marks in celebration of National Non-Fiction November whilst parents could browse a selection of books for sale.
The centrepiece of the Book Jam was Walk a Mile In Someone Else’s Shoes – a live Q&A at Chantry Academy auditorium on November 18th, featuring James Campbell, Jane Elson and Steve Antony, where James explored, in his uniquely entertaining way, how writers do their thing.
Other events included a Human Library event for all ages, offering visitors the chance to borrow a ‘human book’ and find out about someone else’s experiences by talking to them. Also, a craft session at the Library where we again celebrated NNFN with local children creating a colourful collection of birds with a flamboyance of flamingos, a bouquet of hummingbirds and a pandemonium of parrots! One of the highlights at that session was meeting two girls, the older of whom, had been to James’s session at her school and was so enthusiastic about what she’d seen and heard she went home and told her younger sister all about him. They then decided to come to the Library to find and borrow some of James’s books to read.
Families braved the breeze and defied the drizzle to create butterflies, hedgehogs, ladybirds and owls as well as making masks and having a go at our Lucky Dip at the Wildlife Family Fun Day at Holywells Park.
Young and old were also kept busy with the Friends of Holywells Park, the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary and Suffolk Wildlife Trust enjoying displays, donkey rides, pond dipping ,bug hunts and bird box building.
Spikes Spots and Hoots Flyer 26.7.17
The Dragonsitter Event
In conjunction with Andersen Press, ICBG was very pleased to host an entertaining event with the creators of the Dragonsitter series, Josh Lacey and Garry Parsons. Children from two schools enjoyed an afternoon of readings, chat and drawings as they found out what is involved in being a Dragonsitter. Having a dragon to stay can result in scorched curtains, smelly piles of dragon poo and a very large shopping bill, especially for chocolate! It is also a lot of fun and can lead to crazy adventures!
Our thanks to everyone who came along, and especially to Josh and Garry for all their hard work.
Celebrating Harry Potter’s 20 Years
Fuelled by Muggle Munchies, Slytherin Snacks, Ravenclaw Rings and Potter Potions, six teams battled it out in our Harry Potter 20 Quiz on Monday June 26th. It was a very close thing but after answering questions in eight rounds, including Muggle or Magic?, Hogwarts Hall of Fame and Who Said That?, JK’s Army were the triumphant winners of our special chocolate bar books.
Team members also added their recollections of reading Harry Potter to our Magical Memory Wall.
Thank you to Copleston School Library for providing the venue, Jayne for the questions and keeping the teams under control and Hannah for producing the wonderful prizes.
Ask the Laureate
We were pleased to welcome Chris Riddell back to Ipswich. The audience for this Ask the Laureate event had a great range of questions which he answered with his wonderful drawings supplemented by his gentle wit.
He was followed by Linda Davies and it was fascinating to hear her talk about the background to her novel Longbow Girl as well as seeing her own longbow but gladly no arrows were fired! It was also good to hear there are more stories to look forward to.
We were impressed with the standard of entries we received for our Picture a Story Writing Competition organised as part of National Share a Story Month (co-ordinated by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups to celebrate stories in all their forms, told through words and pictures) and Chris and Linda were delighted to present the prizes to the winners.
World Book Day
We celebrated World Book Day with a fascinating evening with Garry Parsons drawing and talking about his books. He answered lots of questions and, by special request, drew a ‘tiger-shark’. He also kindly gave a WBD themed illustration to the new Broke Hall School Library as well as an excellent portrait of Jayne, their librarian.
Harry Potter Book Night
We teamed up with Chantry Library to organise games, a quiz, wand and mask-making, while the Friends of the Library provided refreshments, including Dumbledore Delights, Bagshot Bites and Wizarding Wonders for everyone.
We enjoyed it and the children had fun too!
Check out the article in the East Anglian Daily Times here.
On the 3rd February, exactly eight years to the day, we were delighted to welcome Cathy Cassidy back to Ipswich. After a busy day visiting Stoke and Claydon High Schools, she entertained an appreciative audience at the Ipswich County Library talking about the importance of day dreaming and her latest book Broken Heart Club.
On the 8th February, 200 children from Clifford Road, Morland and St. Helen’s were entertained and inspired by Sam Gayton, author of Hercufleas and His Royal Whiskers, with an afternoon of story creating and telling, rap and book signing.
Great fun and our third event in a week!
Celebrating National Non-Fiction November
One of Ipwich’s member schools organised an interesting event giving pupils the opportunity to work together in order to solve a series of puzzles about non- fiction authors. Both “Match the Selfie to the Shelfie” and “Guess Which” proved very popular with Year 6 who had lots of fun finding out about the new kinds of writing.
Ipswich Children’s Book Group celebrated their 40th birthday in 2016 with a host of events, being involved in the first BooksEast Festival (see below) and hosting the Jean Russell Storyteller in November.
Shirley Imlach says: “Recently we celebrated our 40th birthday – forty years of bring children and books together. In the lovely and friendly surroundings of Quay Place, the newly refurbished St Mary at the Quay, past and present members browsed old scrapbooks and photos, reminisced, chatted and enjoyed delicious food including a cake cut by our Anniversary Author Ruth Fitzgerald. We held a raffle and are very grateful to everyone who so generously donated prizes for it. We are also pleased to be supporting the wonderful work of BLISS in Ipswich, a charity concerned with babies born prematurely or sick and needing neonatal care. On this occasion we were delighted to donate books for siblings visiting Framlingham Ward at the Ipswich Hospital (photo below). Looking to the future, we are already making plans for next year including events working with Suffolk Libraries and BooksEast.”
See below for details of Roald Dahl100 and the Beatrix Potter Picnic.
Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday
Chantry Library hosted our Roald Dahl 100th Birthday Party when children had a phizz-whizzing time enjoying wondercrump activities making Fantastic Mr Fox masks, designing horrible, hairy Mr. Twit beards, creating acrostic poems, producing imaginative dream jars and adding their favourite Dahl stories to our Story Tree.
There were also many inspired entries to the Dahl Dress Up Competition with the best three (see photographs below) winning a copy of the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary kindly donated by Oxford University Press. The bookmarks given by Carlton Press were also very popular.
A party would not be complete without delicious food and a range of whoopsy whiffling cakes were generously provided by The Friends of Chantry Library.
Beatrix Potter in the rain…
Lots of people braved the rain to come to the Wildlife Family Fun Day at Holywells Park and joined us to celebrate Beatrix Potter’s birthday, making Peter Rabbit ears
masks, birthday cards and having a go at the Lucky Dip.
They also had fun learning about the local wildlife with the RSPB, Butterfly Conservation, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary and the Friends of Holywells Park.
The Roald Dahl 100 party will be held on Saturday 17th September. Click here for more information.
Despite the damp, miserable weather on the weekend of the 18th – 19th June, at The Sutton Hoo National Trust Solstice Festival our tree bloomed and flourished as children, adults and even Anglo-Saxon storytellers, added their favourite books and tales to it. Here are pictures of the Anglo-Saxon storyteller, the StoryTree, and some pictures of the stories on it, including the highly popular Tom Gates.
The BooksEast Festival was also a great success. The inaugural BooksEast Festival took place from the 9th-15th May and the Ipswich Town Hall and Corn Exchange were busy with a variety of author events for all ages and interests.
Founded in 1976, Ipswich Children’s Book Group has been spreading the word that books are fun and reading is enjoyable in the local area for the past 40 years. As a member of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups we also help to encourage the availability of books for children of all ages, from first picture books to young adults, working closely with publishers, bookshops, libraries, schools and other national organisations. Our committee members aim to share their passion for books and reading through a variety of activities including author visits, story based events and quizzes, as well as providing information about all aspects of the children’s book world.
After much deliberation the judges chose three winners: a beautifully descriptive poem, a well designed sock puppet and a marvellous painted model of a dragon called Loveheart made by a 4 year old with help from her uncle. There were also three highly commended prizes given.
The prizes were presented during our event held as part of the Solstice Storytelling Festival at Sutton Hoo on Saturday 20th June. Brave souls entering the Dragon’s Lair were able to help complete a dragon by making a scale to add to the outline picture. Our grateful thanks to committee member Hannah Mee for painting this.
We were joined by a trio of dragon slaying Anglo Saxons, from re-enactment group Eadfaelder, who also announced our winners and helped present the prizes.
The dragon remained on display at Sutton Hoo for their Dragon Quest weekend in July, when they held a competition to name it. Our dragon is now called Heatwave.
Ipswich CBG hosted a one-day conference on Non-Fiction in November 2014.
This was an inspiring day celebrating National Non-Fiction November and with the help of some incredible speakers – Clive Gifford, winner of this year’s Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize, Christopher Lloyd from What on Earth publishing, Lucy Letherland, Chris Brown and Sarah Ridley – we were taken on adventures all around the world, out into space and back 4.6 billion years to the beginning of the Earth. Along the way we visited the animal kingdom, the word of science and maths, as well as making a poignant visit to WW1. In our journey we were supported by the Norfolk Children’s Book Centre and the Schools Library Service.
A day that showed just where the wealth of children’s information books can take them.
To read the most recent newsletter (Winter 2014) from Ipswich CBG click here.
H.M. Castor talks about her visit to the book group for the launch of VIII here.
Contact: Jayne Gould email@example.com or Jayne Gould, 34 Salehust Road, Ipswich, IP3 8RY, Tel. 01473 714672.