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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Storyteller helps Walney youngsters open their new school library

THE rap “books are cool, books are fun, books are great for everyone” was sung aloud by boisterous bookworms to celebrate their new library.

Taffy Thomas, the first storyteller Laureate, was invited to open the refurbished library at South Walney Infant and Nursery School during World Book Week.

Mr Thomas, of Grasmere, provided a beat box backing as pupils recited the rap lyrics, before cutting the ribbon and yelling out three cheers to formally mark the occasion.

The storyteller, who has a repertoire of more than 300 stories collected mainly from traditional oral sources, also donated a copy of his book, Taffy’s Coat Tails, to the school.

He said: “It’s wonderful because, with the recession, libraries are closing, but here I am on Walney Island opening one.

“So it’s one against the head, as they say in rugby.

“It’s brilliant and a wonderful day for this school.

“They are very good at listening and keeping stories alive in their head and they can revive them with this book I have donated to their library.”

Headteacher Nancy McKinnell rejoiced in the fact the school was going against the grain of council-led libraries cutting hours and closing.

She said: “The newly-refurbished library is filled with quality, engaging literature to entice and nurture children’s love of reading and foster library users of the future.

“There’s not just books, but comics, catalogues, leaflets and any literature which will appeal to a child just embarking on their reading journey.”

Mrs McKinnell said the school was proud to use local suppliers.

Vickerstown Upholstery decorated the room in Quentin Blake – famous for illustrating Roald Dahl books – wallpaper and soft furnishings.

There is also shelving by Les Earle, of Arnside, and books supplied by Sutton’s Bookshop, of Ulverston.

Mrs McKinnell said: “It’s created a comfortable, stimulating environment in which children can come to enjoy and savour reading books.”

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