CALA Family Services have loved celebrating Book Week Scotland, from 16th to 20th November. With most community toddler groups unable to meet in our current circumstances, it was a project that aimed to reconnect our families and facilitate an opportunity for all ages to come together to celebrate storytelling, books and rhymes.
In September we invited young families to tell their stories of windy days by drawing or taking photos and submitting them to be a part of a new book. This book also contained a new rhyming story, written especially for this project, about Puff. The story tells of the adventures of Puff – a tiny wee breeze who travels across the Highlands, and visits each Toddler Group community. Puff was painted onto stones, which practitioners then hid in these communities, encouraging families to go on a Puff Hunt and find her themselves. Photos were shared on group social media pages of successful finds and submitted onto the CALA website prior to Book Week. In addition, 200 party bags were delivered to families from Toddler groups, with activities, songs and rhymes relating to Puff and windy days. All these resources were also available to download in order to give wider access.
Our celebrations for Book Week itself included daily activity videos exemplifying some of these activities and culminated in a virtual Pyjama Party, in which we were honoured to welcome local author Merryn Glover. Among the songs, rhymes and games, Merryn encouraged us all to be storytellers, by telling stories based on our everyday activities. Merryn also read the story A Tiny Wee Puff and we heard families’ stories of A Time we met Puff.
A variety of individual families, toddler groups, playgroups and nurseries took part in the Puff Hunt, activity videos in Book Week and the Pyjama Party itself. One mum said her son, “absolutely loved his wee pyjama party… it was so lovely having something so positive to do with him all week.” Another stated “I couldn’t believe how engaged [he] was with the whole thing. He loved the songs and the story. It was lovely to watch it together.” Noah’s Ark Tots in Inverness arranged their very own Puff Hunt in their outdoor area and made their own kites to see where Puff would take them. Meanwhile, Toybox in Gairloch made flags and watched them flutter and the ELC at Milton Primary School also participated with a Puff Hunt, using Puff Bingo, the crafts and roleplaying their own Pyjama Party and sleepovers in their setting.
CALA are grateful to the Scottish Book Trust for the funding given to facilitate this project and to Merryn Glover for her collaboration. We also thank all the families who shared their stories through their pictures.
Working with a wide range of partners, Scottish Book Trust – the national charity changing lives through reading and writing and delivered events and activities across the country during Book Week Scotland 2020, which ran from 16 November to 22 November, linked to this year’s theme of Future. Now in its ninth year, Book Week Scotland was initiated by the Scottish Government. Hundreds of free events happened during Book Week Scotland across many different local authorities, funded by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC). This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, public events could not be held, however, there were many community based and digital events to join in across Scotland.
As another Book Week closes we recognise that stories are amazing -they can make us feel anything and take us anywhere in the world! Keep telling your stories in any way you can. Words, photos, artwork, music, movement… Pick your favourite and tell your story! We cannot wait to hear them!
We truly value your feedback and would like to be able to report back to our funders, Scottish Book Trust on how you found our activities. We would be grateful if you could complete our online evaluation and Scottish Book Trust’s at https://www.careandlearningalliance.co.uk/bookweek/