Astounding books! Books that rattle the soul, that linger since childhood, that propel children into a world of reading. Adventures of fantasy on the page (yes, a big tip of wizard hat to Rowling), biographies that intrigue us about lives that are not our own. And then there are the fictional tomes that draw readers into ‘ordinary’ families bracing themselves against catalyst events (Ann Tyler being the High Priestess of such books) which stack up on our bookshelves. My shelves have Seuss competing for space with Kafka, dusty Nancy Drew mysteries wedged between Dexter’s Morse. What books engrossed your imagination as a child, what authors continue to captivate you as adults? Happy World Book Day to this global community!
This morning I drove past three primary schools before 9am. By contrast to usual grey winter mornings, the environmental dullness of the landscape sparked alive with costumes: trails of glittery princess gowns cut through dried brown leaves on the footpaths, a gaggle of red and white striped tees made it doubly-difficult to discover exactly where was Wally. I manoevered the roads and traffic lights, gawking at the bold colours, the eclectic choices, the incredible creativity invested in these costumes. I admit to being slightly disappointed not to glimpse any boy brave enough to concoct a costume-salute to Dennis, the truly progressive revelation created by David Walliams in his brilliant Boy in the Dress (cue couture organza frock accessorised with a football) but books have a habit of encouraging change in attitudes as time thrusts forward…perhaps Dennis will make an appearance next year.
Three schools I past this morning, each of them buzzing with costumes of children aged four to eleven declaring their visual love for literary characters who springboard excitement and escapism into their to-date short lives. What folly but also what a brilliant concept for capturing imagination!
Are you adults celebrating World Book Day? Are you donning a Jane Eyre pinafore or purple Willy Wonka top hat? Enquiring minds want to know.
Here are some fantastic shots of inspiration from children around the UK: