Story Fest : St Enoch Centre

  
Last week M and I were invited along to the St Enoch’s Centre in Glasgow, to be part of “Story Fest”, to meet and hear Author Lyn Nicol , read from one of her “Badger The Mystical Mutt”, books. We both had a great time hearing about Badger and she engaged really well with the other children who also attended. It was so lovely to be part of this event, its a magical experience to not only meet an author but to also hear them read one of their books aloud. We had some photos taken with Lyn at the end and she signed M’s book as well. We have since purchased more of her books, they tell a story but they also deliver messages within.

   
We loved how the St Enoch’s centre was transformed into a pop up library with comfy bean bag chairs and fake grass. It certainly drew in the children who were round about, shopping with their families as it was half term. I think to have a “library” to stop at, read for a little bit, should be a permanent fixture as it does encourage children to do more reading and adults to sit and spend time engaging with our kids rather than be distracted by our phones etc.

I love that the St Enoch Centre has events like these, this was in conjunction with Glasgow City Libraries,  and it wasn’t just our event that was run but there were creative workshops, other author appearances, the lending library and readings of books. All of these events were free, and its exciting to see how the Children’s book festival will develop throughout the years. I’m a huge advocate for families spending time together and reading to one another because not only does it help children with learning, vocabulary, and expanding their minds, it also means finding that hour or so a day/night in a busy and hectic life that we all seem to be living these days.

   

 As part of our experience, we were kindly gifted with a goody bag, which was very special as it had something for all of us in it.. From the Chocolate, from Hotel Chocolat, A HUGE stuffed Olaf from Debenhams , and a very kind gesture from the St Enoch Centre which will come in handy for Christmas shopping, a £50 voucher . We also received a Voucher from Optical Express for £50 and my husband will be using this as he needs new glasses – will help him with reading to the children at night! I have to say that Optical Express is amazing, I had my laser eye treatment from them and their service is absolutely fantastic!

We had a lovely experience, my daughter is so keen to get her books out at night and if you haven’t already got a library card, I highly recommended that you go to your nearest one. There’s a whole new world out there waiting for you, filled with adventure, learning and entertainment. The whole family can get involved! Go on, choose your own adventure!

 

 

Collins “Big Cat” Books and Atlas.

Where would we be without books? I know that personally I wouldn’t be where I am today had it not been for the Judy Blumes, Ann M Martins and VC Andrews of the world when I started realising just how much I loved reading and the escape that it provided me with. Books continue to provide me with other things and most importantly an education,even now as I embark on a new course at the end of the month.

We all know how important it is to start reading to kids from birth becaue it helps them to develop language/writing skills and kids associate it with comfort and love. I actually started reading to my eldest when she was in the womb as it felt like a nice thing to do and whether or not it is a coincidence, she loves picking up books now and often reads every night either to herelf,or her brother and she has a great imagination when it comes to writing stories at school.

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So when we were asked to review some books by “Collins Big Cat”, she was delighted to receive 6 and a full color atlas as well as information for a website with coloring in downloads. Each pack contains 3 fiction and 3 non fiction books all for differen’t levels which will interest all readers whiuch have been used in schools but are now available on the high street. The atlas was a great help due to our recent trip to Canada and we also discussed her homework from last term which put things into perpective re the topic of countries.It’s colorful and clear which makes it easier for kids to grasp and understand as well as visualise which makes learning easy and fun. Also,by following the link,you can win a copy of each as well as a jigsaw puzzle.

  
From a parents perspective,  I like that they are tailored for differen’t reading levels but with activities to make it fun and we can do this all in the comfort of our own homes without it feeling like work and all of us are able to get involved. We have set aside an hour each night when the TV gets switched off and reading happens. My daughter has read all of the books to her brother and her and I have also done some reading together, She especially loved “The House in the forest”, and liked how the book was illustrated. She was also very proud of herself after going into school and telling her teacher what she learned when reading “Cloud Forest” and she was asked to speak about it to her classmates.

These books make reading fun, and they really are invaluable. My daughter would highly recommend these books, she has picked them up more than once and continues to do so and she likes telling her little brother facts that she has been reading about which as a parent , I couldn’t ask for anything more from a book.

Books

Imagine a world without books.. scary, isn’t it? I can’t imagine what my childhood would have been like if I hadn’t been able to escape from life.. When i was younger my favorite books were tales  from “The Baby Sitters Club”, to Virginia Andrews and her “Twilight” series.. or the “Archie” comics that always went round the class .. bumper editions, holiday specials … It brought us closer together as friends and as classmates to exchange whoever had the latest editions or new books within the series. It also created adventures , provided us with plans for our tree houses and forts.. what we wanted to do with our lives and where we wanted to go.

I am happy to say that I haven’t lost my passion for books, its just unfortunate that I don’t get enough time to read… or maybe I don’t “make” enough time to do it as I have two young children but I make time to go to the library with them so that they know the true enjoyment that you can get from delving into the pages of a new story. From the smell to the feel of the pages, nothing else compares to the joy of selecting a new book to lose yourself in and it is one of life’s simple pleasures. It isn’t uncommon for there to be at least 6 books on my own night stand, from self help, to educational, travel and mystery.. I generally like all types of books or at least give them a try.

I was given a kindle as a gift and whilst it is nice to be able to carry it around with me and handy for flights etc, I still cant quite get into using it as often as I do books. There is just something special about them.. I am not one of these precious people who don’t like the spines or pages bent, I feel it adds character if a book looks used. If it looks like that it has been loved many times over as it should be. Each book’s owner probably has as interesting a story to tell as the one contained within its pages..
So as world book day approaches, I have decided to try something new.. take on a new chapter in my own reading life and try the  Harry Potter series recommended to me by many people and although it is not my usual type, I thought I would try it. I know that Thunderpants has started to wonder about them since the films have been on and they are very popular with her school chums. Also, survey results provided by fancydressball show that Harry Potter is the most popular children’s fictional character by far,so I need to check this out and see what all the fuss is about!

What are your plans for world book day? Are your kids dressing up for school ? Whats your favorite genre to escape in?

Dalkeith Library:Free Pole Dancing, Seriously?!

As I was getting ready to do the school run, I was reading through the twitter stream as you do, when my attention was caught by STV and their headline of “Free Pole Dancing Classes as Library ‘Great Success’ with Readers”.. I thought I had been mistaken, surely this was not the case and it was fucking April Fools Day?

Sadly not, as I opened up the article I saw that they were doing this in order to “encourage more people to use the service” Sorry, come again? Are you suggesting that our neighbors over in Dalkieth are uneducated and can’t read so the only way you’ll get the feckers in the door would be to encourage the degradation of women further but in a not so obvious way, and also to encourage the sex industry whilst people like Mr Stringfellow etc sit back and rub their hands together in glee , cause this is the only way to encourage reading?!

Look at the bigger fucking picture here people! Its accepting the sex industry and allowing our kids to think that its ok to objectify women, teaching young boys that its ok using this like porn and that the only way to feel sexy is to please a man, also using it as an early introduction to sex for young men which is far from the truth and so very unrealistic and as well instead of trying to educate people, teach morals and promote healthy attitudes towards sex!

The article also stated that people had “queued to watch”, well duh! I bet that the majority of people were looking for a quick thrill and sadly wouldn’t be back to take books out or use the services of the library. Maybe they should have a look at and read about the dark side of the sex industry instead of “fifty shades of grey”as well as read up on women’s studies etc. rather than watch someone on a pole…Just a thought.

As a friend had reminded me yesterday, when we went to Canada together many years ago, it was suggested for my best friends birthday party that we should do a pole dancing class. I had only given birth approx 8 weeks prior too and it was a bunch of girls together. It was a laugh, but I wasn’t aware of the implications and hadn’t had my volunteer training at rape crisis which as I have mentioned many times, opened my eyes and changed my way of thinking – for the better. The class itself left us sore and sweaty, the exercise and skill was amazing but no, it isn’t something that I will be doing again. I think it was sold on being a way to feel empowered… actually you couldn’t be further from the truth.

There are much better ways of having a laugh or getting exercise, rather than normalizing such a seedy and abusive industry.. Why don’t men do it? Because its used as another way to exploit women and its done in a way that society accepts it. You don’t need to put yourself on display in order to feel attractive etc . There are many forms of expression and dance out there to try… Look at the jokes about pole dancers and how they are put down and not taken seriously… put down and treated as lower classes… This just proves a point even more about degradation.

I’m very surprised that a council would allow this to happen,
shame on you Midlothian Council! and even more so that a police woman joined in. Makes me shake my head and wonder if society is ever going to change… As a police woman she shouldn’t have been allowed to do that during working hrs with her uniform on neither, it does not convey the right message to women who have been survivors of sexual abuse etc, does it?

I sent a tweet to the library but did not get a reply.. I wasn’t surprised.

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