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Now read on. National year of reading update;Noticeboard



A huge celebration of books and reading will be held on this day (also Shakespeare's birthday), with schools, libraries and bookshops participating.

Every schoolchild in the UK and Ireland will receive a pound;1 book voucher and an extensive school pack. A gift from the bookselling and publishing industry, the voucher can be exchanged for one of two books specially published for the day: 'The Children's Book of Books 1999' and 'The Grown Ups'

Book of Books'. Both contain book extracts, short stories, poems and recipes.

Or the vouchers can be redeemed against any book or audiobook worth pound;2.95 or more.

Among thousands of events, Pilton Community College in Barnstaple is inviting primary schools to literacy workshops and a "readathon". The Oxford University Press Bookshop is holding a quiz for sixth-formers and the North Yorkshire School Library Service is asking children to review selected books.

World Book Day is supporting Book Aid International, the charity that sends books to schools in need overseas, and many schools are planning fund-raising events. There are three World Book Day websites:

MARCH 19 - 28.


Several London venues are focusing on children during this festival, flagged as the world's largest celebration of the written and spoken word. Some projects, such as the London Transport Museum's Words on the Web event for young poets (see from March 26) will have a life beyond the festival dates. Battersea Arts Centre has a host of events, including sessions of word games for four to 11-year-olds and visits from writers and illustrators, including Quentin Blake and Sue Townsend. The Tate Gallery is organising events for teachers and children on the theme of Word and Image.

East Ham Library, E6 is holding a series of drama and literacy workshops for pupils; and at the Hamilton Road Centre, E15, actors from the Theatre Royal, Stratford East are doing a series of readings of plays by young people.

There's plenty more. Full details from all London libraries, and major bookshops. Visit the website: APRIL 2.


International Children's Book Day is celebrated annually around this date, the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen. The theme this year is My Book, My Love and the Spanish section of The International Board on Books for Young People has produced a poster featuring a poem by Miguel A Fernandez-Pacheco, an author, illustrator and designer of children's books. Poster and leaflet with the message in Spanish, English, French and German are free from IBBY, OEPLI, Santiago, Rusinol 8, E-28040, Madrid, Spain. E-mail: BOOKS NEWSLETTER.

Armadillo is a newsletter with reviews and articles by children's writers and illustrators. It will, they say, be provocative and completely independent.

Subscriptions will be pound;5 for four issues per year with the first due in April. Cheques should be made out to Armadillo. Mary Hoffman, 28 Crouch Hall Road, London N8 89HJ. E-mail: armadillo@ LITERACY ROAD SHOW.

A programme of literacy road shows is being organised by the National Association for Able Children in Education on the theme "Beyond the Lines in the Literacy Hour - Reading and Writing for the More Able". Venues are Chester (April 24); York (June 12) and Exeter (June 19). Further details of these and NACE regional conferences from Jennie Moss, NACE, Westminster College, Oxford OX2 9AT. Tel: 01865 245657. E-mail: SONGS AND LYRICS.

"Songs and Lyrics" is April's National Year of Reading theme. Liverpool's Tune in Reading promotion involves two songwriting workshops hosted by Spencer Leigh, of Radio Merseyside, at the Childwall Library on April 14 and Walton Library on April 21. Essex libraries are organising a display of biographies of musicians together with related CDs and videos. And in Hartlepool, Dyke House school will be working with a songwriter to produce lyrics which they can perform on tape or in readings.


Contributions for Our World 2000, a book of children's visions of life in the next millennium, are invited from primary schools by April 30. Macmillan Children's Books will publish the collection of prose, poetry and artwork in October, with a percentage of proceeds going to Save the Children. Books worth pound;100,000 for schools can be won. For an information pack with full details, call The Book People on 01942 725555 Carolyn O'Grady

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