Friday, 17 June 2016

Bookfeast Festival 2016

For the sixth year running the Bookfeast Schools Festival was hosted by the Pitt Rivers Museum, alongside The Story Museum, the Weston Library, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the North Wall.  Over 1,800 pupils from 22 Oxfordshire primary schools had the opportunity to meet authors, illustrators or poets.

Adam holds a small pink handbag whilst Charlotte wears a pirate hat and holds a large puppet of George
Adam and Charlotte Guillain look inside George's bag © Pitt Rivers Museum
At the Pitt Rivers husband and wife team Adam and Charlotte Guillain entertained Key Stage 1 pupils with George's latest Amazing Adventure.  Colourful puppets, glorious props and funky guitar music were all used to tell George's story Pizza for Pirates.  Pupils then got to try out their own air guitar playing as they rapped through George's rhyming romp Treats for a T. Rex.

Meanwhile Cas Lester captivated Year 3 pupils with her tales of Nixie the bad, bad fairy and all her inventions.  She challenged the children to vote for the silliest inventions featuring knitted beards, glue stick butter for toast and shoe umbrellas.  Pupils also got to quiz the author about key issues such as what happens if you are stuck for ideas or if you keep on putting off writing...

The author Cas Lester stands next to a whiteboard which features pictures of silly inventions
Cas Lester and ridiculous inventions © Pitt Rivers Museum
Audiences were also wowed by Atinuke, a traditional oral Nigerian storyteller.  Children asked why she told her stories barefoot.  She explained that it makes her feel more comfortable. These opportunities to ask author direct questions are invaluable for children as they give insight into the creative process.   Sarah Courtauld, author of the Buckle and Squash books, facilitated a whole group creative writing session which demonstrated the choices authors make when crafting a story.

The author Sarah Courtauld sits down and signs books
Sarah Courtauld signing books © Pitt Rivers Museum
After the author event children could do creative trails in The Pitt Rivers.  They explored the key features of quests and were then challenged to become great explorers on their own quest around the Museum.  The children proved themselves to be great plot creators on their expeditions showing that, as ever, this Museum is a creative space to be!

Becca McVean
Primary School Education Officer

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