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World Book Day at the Boy's School

March 05, 2015 at 4:06 PM

The more that you read, the more things you will know. 
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.
Dr. Seuss

Held annually on the first Thursday in March, World Book Day is celebrated in over 100 countries across the globe. No matter what the language, how rich or poor the nation, the day is devoted to the power of the written word to tell a story, the joy of reading and the love of books themselves.

Much has been made of the electronic age and the move from hard copy books to reading on an electronic device. We’re in an age of transition, recognising that iPads, Kindles and Smartphones can add many extra layers to the reading of a story or the researching of facts. Our current generation of children are living in a fast paced world of change where much is expected at the click of a button and yet the school library, with shelves stocked with hardcovers, paperbacks and magazines, remains a popular, tactile, diversionary, imaginary, adventure-seeking draw card!

World Book Day at the Boys’ School dawned bright and clear. Just as well as the profusion of book characters poured through the school gates – clearly Captain Underpants* won the day and the boys weren’t shy about turning out, scantily clad in their Y fronts! The many Captains were joined by characters from Seuss, Wimpy Kids, Tin Tins and a profusion of Bat and Spidermen. There were off-the-shelf costumes (whatever did we do before Onesies?!) and those that were given some careful thought with the papier mache version of Jeff Kinney’s ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ and a fantastic cardboard crab representing Eric Carle’s  ‘Home for a Hermit Crab’ standing out. One theme was clear, the characters, one and all, clearly had ‘boy appeal’ – and there were plenty of swords, light sabres and rocket launchers on show!

Our senior boys collected their junior buddies and side by side they made their way to the Jubilee Sports Centre clutching their favourite books. The boys were not alone in their fancy attire as the teachers also got into the spirit of the day! Principal, Mr Cassie was the first to come forward to present a reading. Dressed as Old McDonald, with his very game P.A., Mrs Sue Bowskill and Head of Admissions, Mrs Julie Rand, dressed as farmyard animals, he presented a hardboard version of Old McDonald’s Farm and explained how hearing the repetition of ‘E-I-E-I-O’ could take him back to his childhood.

Hush descended as a number of teachers came forward to read passages from their favourite books. From Steinbeck to Dahl, Jonathon Livingstone Seagull to Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, the words were spoken, their messages absorbed.

The School also welcomed popular author and illustrator, Stu Duvall. Mr Duvall is no stranger to Saint Kentigern and on each of his visits, he entertains with his fabulous storytelling and ‘wows’ the boys with his skill as an illustrator, always leaving behind his finished artwork to admire. We thank him for his time and the colourful images he evoked both in the mind as he told his stories, and on paper as he illustrated his words.

Literacy is born from the human need to tell stories to better understand ourselves and the world in which we live; it can also transport us to another world on a journey rich with words. The production of children’s books is amazingly diverse from ripping good yarns to books that furnish information and transfer knowledge on all matters of interest. The Boys’ School library plays a key role as a place for unlocking the imagination, encouraging innovation, curiosity and problem solving. As electronic devices take their place in the library alongside the shelves of books, one fundamental is unchanged, the need to encourage children to read for both pleasure and learning, no matter what the source of the material.

Our thanks to Year 7 teacher, Mr Richard Kirk (Head of English) for suggesting and organising a day that brought both an element of fun and a chance to stop, reflect, listen and imagine.

*Editor’s Note: Sorry boys! The ‘Underpants’ costumes were seriously cool (in more ways than one!) but I’m afraid decorum prevents us from publishing your photos!

‘If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.
If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.’
Albert Einstein 

‘So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, 
Go throw your TV set away. 
And in its place you can install, 
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.’ 
Roald Dahl in 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' 

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