It was quite overwhelming to find the roots of our story were as the result of one incredible lady's inspiration and determination - and what a coincidence that Alfie Tate, one of the characters in the book had drawn a bird on his copper leaf, in memory of his teacher, because they had both "jumped for joy when they saw the first swallows of summer."
One of the best ways to foster creativity in children is to read to them or, better yet, to make up stories with them, and fathers in particular have an important role to play in this: it's long been recognised that the more a dad reads to his children, the greater their verbal intelligence, academic success and emotional wellbeing.
The pleasures and benefits of reading are still denied to many children - in 2012, one in eight left primary school unable to read to the required standard. Beanstalk trains volunteers to give one-to-one support to children who have fallen behind with their reading, using the delights of storytelling to enthuse and enrich them.
At last great news for libraries! And it's the children who are putting their giant stamp of authority on the matter. Not only are there six writers of children's books amongst the top ten most borrowed authors of 2011/12 but children's fictions titles were borrowed a staggering 81.8 million times over that period.
I am in my late teens and I am dyslexic. When I was 10 years old I struggled to read and hated the books we studied in class as they were all so boring, but I loved the books my mum read to me and soon figured out that if I could read well enough I could read whatever I liked. Now I have a library of over 400 books on my iPod and read for an average of fourteen hours a week.
Any Roald Dahl fan will know that reading his books was like entering another world, where snozzcumbers and Oompa-Loompas existed to entertain and thr...
Amidst all the wonderful British quirkiness at the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games, there was a sequence dedicated both to the NHS and children's literature. This might seem like a strange combination, but director Danny Boyle linked them through the Great Ormond Street Hospital, which focuses on children's healthcare.
"Grief feels like fear" - wrote C. S. Lewis and when my phone rang one morning three years ago, I knew instinctively that something was wrong. My daughter's best friend had gone missing from school the day before so when the Head of Pastoral Care told me that Naomi had died I was shocked, but not surprised. She had committed suicide. She was just 17.