After a fabulous few days hosting our Children’s Literature Festival -The Secret Garden of Stories – it feels fitting to continue enjoying the wonders of Children’s Literature in this week;s Featured Poem. For this reason, we have chosen one of our favourite Children’s poems, Escape at Bedtime by R.L. Stevenson. We hope you enjoy!
Escape at Bedtime:
The lights from the parlour and kitchen shone out
Through the blinds and the windows and bars;
And high overhead and all moving about,
There were thousands of millions of stars.
There ne’er were such thousands of leaves on a tree,
Nor of people in church or the Park,
As the crowds of the stars that looked down upon me,
And that glittered and winked in the dark.
The Dog, and the Plough, and the Hunter, and all,
And the star of the sailor, and Mars,
These shown in the sky, and the pail by the wall
Would be half full of water and stars.
They saw me at last, and they chased me with cries,
And they soon had me packed into bed;
But the glory kept shining and bright in my eyes,
And the stars going round in my head.
by Robert Louis Stevenson
After a road trip covering quite a number of miles (most coming from the journey between Liverpool and Suffolk for our Comms team), we arrived at the festival site to set up home at the Shed of Stories, a haven in Henham Park:
Over four days, festivalgoers could escape for some peace and quiet and a good dose of great literature as Lois, our South London Project Coordinator, read a selection of stories and poems aloud in special shared reading sessions on the theme of ‘Secrets, Lies and Surveillance’.
Take a peek inside…
Amongst colourful mats and comfy Latitude cushions, our readers cosied up and enjoyed the texts that were on offer throughout the day – as well as enjoying some tea and biscuits.
It was great to be able to bring shared reading to a new audience at Latitude, with the Shed of Stories proving a resounding success. Whether staying for a few minutes or nearer to an hour, it was wonderful to be able to offer some pure escapism to those at the festival, and we’d love to be able to make shared reading a fixture for all festivals in future!
Our friends at City of Readers also got in on the festival action recently, bringing the best beach reads to the Liverpool International Music Festival at Sefton Park over the bank holiday weekend. Reading and festivals – clearly the perfect combination.
See what we’ve got coming up this Autumn on the Events section of our website: http://www.thereader.org.uk/events
This week is a special one at The Reader Organisation, as it sees our very first Children’s Literature Festival taking place. Running over three days (Thursday 28th-Saturday 30th August), The Secret Garden of Stories will feature lots of reading fun all in the secret garden of Calderstones Mansion House. As well as special storytelling sessions from Roald Dahl Museum and a performance of The Secret Garden by The Bookworm Players, there’s going to be games, competitions, a poetry booth and our very Author’s Den which will be visited by top authors Jon Mayhew, Lydia Monks, Cathy Cassidy and Andy Mulligan.
You can find out more information about The Secret Garden of Stories and book your tickets for entry into the Author’s Den on our website:
With such a special event in mind, we couldn’t do anything else but choose a poem that was written especially for children as our Featured Poem this week (although those of us who are a little bit older can enjoy it too). From his children’s collection of poems A Child’s Garden of Verses (1885), this poem is one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s most enchanting – and is a particularly good one to read aloud, which makes it even better.
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.
The funniest things about him is the way he likes to grow-
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.
He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!
One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.
Robert Louis Stevenson
We simply can’t get enough of Shakespeare here at The Reader Organisation, and after the marvellous Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare’s Globe a couple of months ago we’re thrilled to have another fabulous company join us at Calderstones Mansion House Garden to give us their version of one of the Bard’s other classic comedies.
PurpleCoat Productions is a film and theatre group based in the North West of England, creating innovative, exciting and exhilarating work to local and national audiences. With support coming from Stephen Fry, Sir Ian McKellen and working alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company, PurpleCoat are definitely certified to tackle the Bard’s plays, with previous performances including Titus Andronicus and Romeo and Juliet, and we’re very pleased that they’ll be bringing Twelfth Night (or What You Will) in their first touring production to Calderstones on Friday 5th September. If you weren’t lucky enough to get tickets to the recent Everyman version then it’s the perfect opportunity to see the play performed by a talented local cast in beautfiul surrounding perfect for Shakespeare.
Twelfth Night on Tour will be whistle-stop, performing in 6 different cities over 6 nights, so it’s bound to be an energetic and thrilling ride. The show is already underway as casting decisions have been made and rehearsals are going ahead. You can stay up to date with all of the behind-the-scenes action as it happens from PurpleCoat on the Twelfth Night on Tour blog, with lots of fascinating insights already up…: http://twelfthnightontour.wordpress.com/
And to whet your appetite even more, check out the fabulous trailer below:
Twelfth Night on Tour plays at Calderstones Mansion House Garden on Friday 5th September. Tickets cost £10 (£8 concessions) and are available to buy at Calderstones Mansion House or via The Reader Organisation website: http://www.thereader.org.uk/events/purplecoat-productions-presents-twelfth-night
Please note: there is a £1.20 booking fee for online bookings.
The performance will be held outdoors, so please bring along suitable waterproof clothing and a chair or blanket to enjoy the performance to its full potential.