There is nothing like sharing joy in a book you’ve read. I’ve had that at my book group on occasion. It’s like being spread with warmed jam. Sometimes, upon completing a Bookwagon title, I need Mr Bookwagon to read it too because I want to share it so desperately. Other times I’m grief-stricken because my experience of reading that book is complete.
I felt that way when I’d finished reading Bicycling to the Moon. Even now, I have to stroke its cover when I’m close. Writer Emma Carroll, with whom we had the pleasure of working last week, said that she is compelled to stroke the covers of her books. If I had the storytelling talent and energy of Emma Carroll, I’d feel the same way.
The enthusiastic educator
Parents are encouraged to model reading for pleasure. Working with Emma Carroll, I was reminded how essential teachers are in building readers for life. Pupils lucky enough to have teachers who read, enthuse and opine about books and authors are at an advantage. Recently, I recalled Miss Metcalf, my Year 3 teacher. She shared her love for Ursula Moray Williams’ ‘Gobbolino the Witch’s Cat‘ and told us of how we would love it. We were captivated by the story. ‘Gobbolino the Witch’s Cat‘ has stayed with me through many years and across many miles. I feel a ‘stroking’ affection for it still.
Writers in schools
Bookwagon loves to take writers into schools. Special experiences occur when staff are thoroughly informed of the writer, have read their books, and share their excitement with the guest and the children. Many will bring their own titles to have signed, or will purchase copies for members of their family. Children feel validated in their choice when this happen and more attached to the experience.
Former pupils and colleagues whom I’ve met over the years reminisce about writers we’ve had visit our schools. The gift of these writers’ words, stories and experiences is inspiring and unique. We recall an older colleague, moved to tears of laughter by Sir Michael Morpurgo’s fluent storytelling.
A parent messaged me after Katherine Rundell visited her daughter’s school to share her daughter’s words, ‘The author visit was amazing…. Katherine Rundell. Shook. My. Hand… said with exactly that emphasis like it was one of the best experiences she’s had. I LOVE that!’ That same parent, incidentally, reading the irresistible Pax with her daughter, told me, ‘I cannot stop thinking about the story, about Peter, about how they will survive and if they might reunite. I don’t want the story to end.’
Reading’s relationship toward STEM
That daughter is a logical thinker, keen mathematician and scientist. However, her experience of stories enables her to think creatively and expansively. The late Professor Stephen Hawking spent his childhood playing board games and tinkering. He said, ‘Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.‘ Wonder and possibilities abounded throughout his life. He said, ‘I am just a child who has never grown up. I still keep asking these ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions. Occasionally, I find an answer.‘
Bookwagon provided book fairs for World Book Day. These allow us to show our reading range with our readers. They enable us to donate a full selection of our quality forever titles to the schools at which we work. Feedback from parents, teachers and librarians attending has been welcome and warm, including:- ‘It’s so wonderful to be surrounded by so many delicious books!’ ‘I could barely speak for there was so much to choose!’ ‘You have brilliant books!’ ‘There is no trash at this one!‘ Such feedback makes us strengthen our purpose and redouble our effort!
Bookwagon offers books from a huge range of genres, works from translation, titles to meet different reading needs and inclinations. We are continually choosing, reading and recommending. Even the descriptions are our own!
New books aboard the wagon
Recent titles we’ve read and entered upon our wagon shelves include two early non-fiction titles, in the hope we’ll have a spring!
Bookwagon welcomes a new series for lower Junior (lower Middle Grade) age readers in Sarah Lane’s The Riverbank Otter and Duckling Days. We travel to the countryside around Tiger Days’ grandmother’s Willowgate Cottage to investigate and explore the natural world.
Bookwagon joins the chorus of acclamation for Erin Entrada Kelly who won the ALA Book Awards for ‘Hello Universe’. We look forward to presenting that title to you shortly. Meanwhile, do not miss The Land of Forgotten Girls, a ‘Lucy Barton’ for child readers.
Little did Mr Bookwagon know his enquiry about the origins of Spanish influenza, prompted after reading Star By Star would be answered in a book I read this week. The Goose Road, available for Bookwagon readers from the beginning of April, is an unflinching story from WW1 rural Northern France.
Readers of all ages are urged to read Matt de la Pena’s latest title available in Britain. The Caldecott Award winning creator of Last Stop on Market Street returns with the blind-siding, pulsating, glorious Love. This outstanding picture book will be on my 2018 gift list this year.
A special delivery from Bookwagon
These newer titles are available to Bookwagon readers. We invite you to enjoy our new delivery pricing, with free postage and packaging available to all shoppers who spend £20.00 or more aboard the wagon. We think you’d agree with a recent Book Fair shopper who complained joyfully, ‘There’s so much to choose from Bookwagon! I could be here forever!’