Children’s Book Week is the UK’s annual celebration of reading for pleasure for children of primary school age (4-11). This year’s Children’s Book Week will be taking place from 3-9 October and I’m very excited (and busy busy busy) because, at my suggestion, M and J’s school is taking part with 5 days of special events, including one day “off timetable” dedicated to reading for enjoyment.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing here on the blog what we have planned for Children’s Book Week at school in the hope that it will inspire you to do something similar at your school, with your Brownie group, with other homeschoolers or perhaps at your library.
We’ve got a great cook at M and J’s school and in collaboration with her we have worked out a school dinner menu which meets all the dietary requirements laid down by the school and local authority. Whilst initially we had hoped for a meal with a single author/book theme we found it just impossible to match that to all the different food the school is required to offer. Thus we’ve ended up going for a slightly more smörgåsbord literary approach:
Can you tell which books inspired which dish?
Between now and October 4th (the day this dinner will be served) teachers will be reading these books to their classes to try and make sure all kids are familiar with the books being referenced:
Some of these books the school already had, others we’ve ordered through the library, and the last few are from my own collection which I’m loaning for the duration.
During dinner time a variety of activity sheets will be available on the dinner tables acting as place mats which will encourage the children to talk about the books featured on the menu. After dinner they will be able to take the activity sheets away with them.
The hall will be decorated with streamers, and I’m hoping to make bunting not unlike this from Childhood 101, with the front covers of books featured in the school dinner menu. We’ll also have hard copies of all these books on a mobile shelving unit by the serving hatch and will be encouraging the kids to pick up and read the books over lunch if they would like to.
Extra puddings are being made so they can be offered to parents a little before the normal school day ends; parents and carers are being invited to visit the school in the afternoon, see what’s been going on for the day, socialise and sample the cook’s bookish bites.
Whilst we’re holding this special school dinner for the UK’s Children’s Book Week you could adapt it for the Children’s Book Week where you are (find out more here about in Australia, here about in the USA and here in Canada), to celebrate World Book Day, or a given author’s birthday at any time of the year.
Book themed meals don’t have to be just for kids – I stumbled on this link with suggestions for book themed dinner parties. I’d love to host one – let me know if you want an invite!
What else could we do with our school dinner to add a bit more magic? What have you done at similar events which has worked well?
My thanks to Twitterers AliB68, Tasha Goddard, Library Mice, fairyglass, ljbarton, thatkat, seawooddesigns, melissamarch, creany73, smilinglikesuns, vwallop, plus2poin4, crumbsfood, samatlounge, GoGoKabongo, PennamitePLR, kwac71, lesleyanneweir, jessthereader, haomamablog, maverickbooks, nurturestore, candyliongirl, damyantipatel and flossieteacake and the JISC mailing list for Children’s Literature who helped me brainstorm some of the ideas presented here.