Shahed Ahmed, Headteacher of Elmhurst Primary School, said, “We’re delighted to be involved in Children’s Book Week and encouraging our pupils to read for pleasure is something we’re incredibly passionate about. Having someone as high profile as Cressida Cowell tell stories to the children, discuss their favourite books and get them interested in reading is fantastic. In fact, today Cressida will also be opening Elmhurst’s new library where the children had input in the books we chose for the shelves. We hope that our involvement in the event, as well as getting children to read in class and share their favourite stories with one another, will also encourage parents to do the same after school.”
Cressida Cowell, children’s author of the How to Train Your Dragon series, said, “I love being part of campaigns like Children’s Book Week because they generate enormous excitement about reading and creativity. I really enjoy visiting schools and talking to children, and my message to them is that they can be writers or illustrators themselves. I began writing about Vikings when I was nine years old, and, decades later, those stories have evolved into a twelve-book series, and a film and TV franchise. The other wonderful aspect to Children’s Book Week is that it helps parents and schools working together to get children reading for pleasure. There’s a wealth of statistical evidence to show that a child who reads for pleasure has better life chances, is likely to be richer regardless of their education or social background. Reading a book with your kid (even after they can read independently) is an experience that will enrich both your lives.”
BookTrust’s Great Books Guide has been sent to every primary school across England, showcasing 60 books that are likely to appeal to children of primary school age. Children’s Book Week is part of BookTrust’s Time to Read campaign, which encourages families to keep reading together and sharing stories, even when children are beginning to read independently.