Bedtime Reading Week

Bedtime Reading Week looms (March 11-17). But don't worry - all that you have to do is find a book that has nothing to do with school and make sure you read it every night for the duration of the event, for at least five minutes. So don'tforget the matchsticks to prop your eyelids up.

The event website, which you can find at, features not only a range of booklists designed for children, which are graded by reading ability ("newly fluent", "confident" and "able" readers, for example) but also features "books for the city that won't sleep". These include many suggestions aimed at adults - on the grounds that children who see adults, including their teachers, reading for pleasure are more likely to develop into enthusiastic readers themselves.

If you would like to get the most out of this promotion and make use of it to boost pupils' reading, there are also plenty of interesting ideas that you could use for school events and promotions. You could, for example, encourage children in your class to vote for the accent in which they most like to hear various kinds of stories read aloud.

The highlight of Bedtime Reading Week is, of course, World Book Day which will be on March 14. This event has its own dedicated website ( The site includes a series of downloadable teachers' packs as well as news of activities being undertaken in schools. Anne Fine, the Children's Laureate, will be unveiling her secret plan to boost children's reading on World Book Day - more details on this event will be available from Oxfam shops and on Blue Peter during the week beginning March 11.

The new Rough Guide to Children's Books 5-11 by Nicholas Tucker (Rough Guides, pound;5.99) is a stylish pocket-size fund of ideas for books to share with primary pupils or use to entice individual readers. Thesuggestions on how to developreading at different levels are aimed at parents but are also useful forteachers and classroom assistants. The themed reviews reflect an informed individual's enthusiasms, jogging the memory about classics or the many good contemporary titles that are no longer flavour of the month in bookshops. Sections include Animal Stories, Stories from Home and Abroad and the much-needed Funny Stories. A companion Rough Guide covers 0-5 years. A full review will follow in TES Friday.

Geraldine Brennan

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