Since Saturday 21 April, Dulwich Books has been hosting free twice-weekly storytelling, craft and activity sessions for children in the shop’s recently expanded children’s area.
To be found nestled among a cluster of shops at 6 Croxted Road, Dulwich Books has been serving the community for the past 29 years, and in 2012 was awarded the title of ‘London’s Independent Bookseller of Year’ by The Bookseller magazine.
Not letting up after this success, the shop has now appointed a specialist children’s bookseller to read stories to a younger audience. Each Storytime, Annie, also a children’s illustrator, introduces a brand new title, reading that story and pulling some old favourites from the well-stocked shelves in the newly-spacious and decorated children’s area. She’s always happy for the children to pick what they want to hear, and if you miss the 11 o’clock Storytime on Saturday you might just find another ‘surprise’ session popping up later in the day!
Recent readings have included Delivery Man Stan, Nick Sharratt’s Socks and Oliver Jeffers’ Stuck, in which, trying to retrieve a stuck kite from a tree in time-honoured fashion, Floyd manages to get all manner of other things stuck in its branches – how ever did he get that whale up there?
The stories are followed by the really fun bit: craft and activity sessions ranging from making Nick Sharratt-inspired sock creatures to colouring in, collage and stickers. Rumour has it that in a previous Storytime Delivery Man Stan’s van was filled with toys and pizza, and that paper planes were built and flown within the walls of Dulwich Books. There was even a prize for the best plane – a combination of the longest flight and the most handsomely decorated!
Annie is also more than happy to offer advice and recommendations to children and parents about books she thinks suit certain age ranges and interests, as well as a look at what’s hot in children’s publishing. Sometimes there’s also money off the selected title for the whole day, so even if you miss Storytime itself, you can still benefit from the offer.
The perfect way to pass half an hour for younger readers (or listeners), Storytime might be that way into reading and a love of books every parent wishes to encourage in their children. And besides, how nice for someone else to read to them for once!
Storytime happens on Saturdays and Thursdays at 11am, and no booking is necessary. http://www.dulwichbooks.co.uk/.