Spring forward with Chatterbooks

Chatterbooks reading groups give children a chance to build a lifelong love for reading and to share their love of books with others. It’s estimated that there are almost 9000 children belonging to Chatterbooks groups across the UK. Contact your local library to find out about a Chatterbooks group near you!

As the clocks go forward this weekend some of our Chatterbooks groups will be reading books about time travel. Here are some of our favourite time travel stories to get you started:

A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
A children’s sci-fi classic recently made into a film starring Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon.

When Charles Wallace Murry goes searching through a ‘wrinkle in time’ for his lost father, he finds himself on an evil planet where all life is enslaved by a huge pulsating brain known as ‘It’. How Charles, his sister Meg and friend Calvin find and free his father makes this a very special and exciting mixture of fantasy and science fiction, which all the way through is dominated by the funny and mysterious trio of guardian angels known as Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which.

 

The Many Worlds of Albie Bright  – Christopher Edge
When Albie’s mum dies, it’s natural he should wonder where she’s gone. His parents are both scientists and they usually have all the answers. Dad mutters something about Albie’s mum being alive and with them in a parallel universe. So Albie finds a box, his mum’s computer and a rotting banana, and sends himself through time and space to find her.

 

Fortunately, the Milk – Neil Gaiman
You know what it’s like when your mum goes away on a business trip and Dad’s in charge. She leaves a really, really long list of what he’s got to do. And the most important thing is DON’T FORGET TO GET THE MILK. Unfortunately, Dad forgets. So the next morning, before breakfast, he has to go to the corner shop, and this is the story of why it takes him a very, very long time to get back.

 

Felix Frost, Time Detective: Roman Riddle – Eleanor Hawken
Join Felix Frost, secret boy genius, his chameleon Einstein and his classmate Missy as they travel back in time to Ancient Rome, where terrifying danger and embarrassing togas await.

But can they solve the riddle of a mysterious gladiator skeleton without getting themselves skewered in the gladiator arena?

 

Myth Raiders: Claw of the Sphinx  – A.J. Hunter
Geology-mad Sam and her American cousin Trey are the Chosen Ones, destined to save the world from destruction by gathering together the scattered fragments of The Warrior’s Shield. They’ve already rescued one section of the enchanted shield from the terrifying Medusa, and now learn that the second piece is being guarded by a fearsome sphinx – a creature with the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle and the face of a human. So Sam and Trey must travel to Ancient Egypt, and face mummies, beast-headed warriors… and the deadly sphinx itself!

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Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge has arrived!  The challenge for children aged 5-12 is to read six books over the school holidays. The theme is Animal Agents – who are investigating strange goings on in the library! Children collect stickers as they go and help crime busting creatures solve the clues to reveal the mystery!

On successfully completing the challenge, children receive a certificate and a gold medal!! There are also some excellent prizes on up for grabs this year including Dynamic Earth family passes, astronomy evenings at the Royal Observatory and Edinburgh Leisure passes, with more to be confirmed.

Pop into your local library and sign up to join in the fun. Borrow some animal agents themed books whilst you are there or any book you like. You can also find out what children’s activities will be taking place over the summer in your library whilst you are there. As well as borrowing books from the library you can even download some of our children’s ebooks and audiobooks to join in with the fun. Check out our Summer Reading Challenge collection on our OverDrive Kids site.

The Animal Agents adventure starts on the 23 June and runs until 27 August.

Explorers at the Library: Edinburgh Art Festival families programme

This year the Edinburgh Art Festival’s Explorers families programme comes to Central Library for free weekly creative art making sessions suitable for ages 8-13. These sessions are inspired by the EAF artist commissions programme and the ‘Making of the Future’ theme. Join us weekly or drop in for a one-off session to creatively re-imagine your city.

“Tower” by Toby Patterson, Dunfermline 2014

Each session will look at a different artist and include 2D and 3D arts activities such as building a miniature bothy inspired by artist Bobby Niven, designing a modernist city after artist Toby Paterson and creating inflatable giant flower sculptures inspired by artist duo Walker and Bromwich.

All sessions will be held in the George Washington Room within the Central Library

Thu 6 July 2-4pm
Explorers at the Library: Walker and Bromwich
Create your own inflatable sculptures and model dragons inspired by Walker and Bromwich’s Dragon of Profit and Private Ownership.

Thu 13 July 2-4pm
Explorers at the Library: Bobby Niven
Design and build your own miniature bothys and dens inspired by Bobby Niven’s Palmhouse.

Thu 20 July 2-4pm
Explorers at the Library: Shannan Te Ao
Make musical instruments and write your own musical score inspired by Shannan Te Ao’s use of Maori songs and proverbs.

Thu 3 August 2-4pm
Explorers at the Library: Toby Paterson
Make your own 3D collage of a fantasy building, drawing on Paterson’s modernist architectural influences.

Thu 10 August 2-4pm
Explorers at the Library: The Making of the Future
Design and build a miniature installation in the library, of a future Edinburgh city centre inspired by the “grandfather of town planning”, Patrick Geddes.

In celebration of the children’s work the outcomes of each workshop will be exhibited in the Children’s Library for the last week of the festival, 21-27 August.

These sessions are free and all materials are included. Booking is recommended, but not essential. To book call  0131 242 8040 or visit www.edinburghreads.eventbrite.co.uk

A childhood dreamland

The staircase exhibition in Central Library for April is Idyllic Garden in Mind: Childhood Dreamland which uses illustrations from Kate Greenaway’s children’s books. The exhibition was created by Lin Fan, an Art History master’s degree student at the University of Edinburgh.

Fan has selected some beautiful Kate Greenaway books as well as some lovely winners of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal from the Library’s collections. Last month, she also held a Garden Book Family Craft Workshop inspired by Kate Greenway’s illustrations and some of the books created by the children will be on display too.

Browse the ‘childhood dreamland’ in the Central Library staircase and foyer display areas from 3 – 28 April 2017.

 

Page Flipper the penguin visits the Library

Central Library’s Dyslexia Chatterbooks Group meets on the last Tuesday of each month in the Central Children’s Library. page-flipper-2The following is an extract from a story created by the group at a recent meeting. The children started by putting their ideas together on a storyboard with the help of Library Advisor, Beth Cochrane. The original idea for the story started with a missing toy Penguin, who mysteriously turned up in the library one day…

When he entered Page Flipper found himself surrounded by lots and lots of books, so he decided to pick one up and read it. It was called ‘The Giant Penguin Book.’ But as he started to read, he started to grow! Once he had finished the book, he realised he was now a giant penguin!

After searching for more fun and interesting books, Page Flipper found himself a little bitpage-flipper-1 lost. He shouted for help, and along came a friendly librarian. With a big smile on her face she said: “Hello! My name’s Sophie, would you like to come to our Chatterbooks?” Page Flipper was happy to be invited so along he went, and made lots of new friends at Chatterbooks. So many new friends, in fact, that he decided he would live in the Library forever!

For more information about the Dyslexic Chatterbooks Group contact carol.marr@edinburgh.gov.uk

Pioneering Mary – nurse and health visitor

Mary Cunningham, nurse, holding two babies at Edinburgh Royal Maternity Hospital

Mary Cunningham with babies at REMH (1914)

Edinburgh Libraries have a tradition of receiving donations of images from the public. It is a fantastic way of sharing a piece of the city’s history with a wider audience than just your family. One such donation was a photograph album of over 100 images belonging to the wonderfully named Miss Mary Morag Bird Cunningham. This was gifted to us after her death in 1978 and has recently been digitised to make the fantastic images available online. The album is a fascinating pictorial account of Mary’s career as a nurse and pioneer health visitor in Edinburgh from 1911 to the late 1930s.

Nurses from Ward 14 Edinburgh Royal Infirmary (women's surgical)

Nurses from Ward 14, RIE (1911)

Mary began her four years of  training at the Royal Infirmary in 1911 before moving to the Royal Edinburgh Maternity Hospital to become a midwife. The album has a wonderful collection of frequently informal photos of the staff and buildings of these hospitals.

In July 1917 however Edinburgh introduced an extensive Child Welfare Scheme and created the post of health visitor to implement the care of the city’s children. Mary was one of the ten women chosen to become an Edinburgh pioneering health visitor. In her album we follow her from her first day on the job through 20 years of running child health clinics throughout the city.

Mothers and children at Rosefield Avenue Lane Health Clinic

Mothers and children at Rosefield Avenue Lane Health Clinic (1930)

Find out more about Mary’s life and see many of her album’s photographs in our Capital Collections exhibition.

Bookbug’s Library Challenge re-launch

Bookbug’s Library Challenge is a fun way to encourage young children to explore and enjoy their local library.

Bookbug Library Challenge at Oxgangs Library

Bookbug Library Challenge at Oxgangs Library

As a result of the feedback from consultation, a few changes are being introduced to the materials we use to support the program. What better excuse for some Bookbug fun? Children from 2 local nursery classes came to Oxgangs Library to celebrate the changes.

We were delighted to have author/illustrator Alison Murray, who shared stories, songs and activities with us and each of the children also got a gift of a mini bookbug!

Alison Murray and the Bookbug Library Challenge at Oxgangs Library

Alison Murray and the Bookbug Library Challenge at Oxgangs Library

Bookbug’s Library Challenge runs in all libraries in Edinburgh. Talk to staff at your local library for more information.