MARCHING ON

MARCH is always a busy month, with lots happening in the world of books. Not only are authors hopping from school to school for World Book Week, but also we’re zooming around for Science Week. I look forward to popping into some familiar friendly school libraries this month. I may even check out how many of my TRULY FOUL FACTS & CHEESY JOKES books are on the shelves – now over 20 crazy titles. How many have YOU seen?

New titles are out this month in this series – as well as later this year in the USA (called TOTALLY GROSS & AWESOME)

Meanwhile, back in rural Worcestershire… GOOD LUCK to Pendock Primary School and Worcestershire Wildlife Trust with their Hardwick Meadows Project and my script for their summer show: WHERE THE MEADOWS FLOWER

As if further proof were needed, the latest findings this month of Nielsen Book Research demonstrates the erosion of storytime for older children – which should surely be a vital part of every school day. Don’t ALL children need to hear stories regularly?

Apparently, only 32% of British children under 13 are read to daily by an adult, for pleasure, down four percentage points on the previous year, and nine percentage points down on 2012.

A second major survey of 27,000 children and young people, carried out by the National Literacy Trust ahead of World Book Day, found the number of 8 – 18-year-olds reading for pleasure has now dropped to nearly half, with only a quarter reading daily, compared with 43% in 2015.

Publisher Egmont, which co-funded the Nielsen research, said that the steep decline in parents reading to children “signals a significant threat to children’s wellbeing, with potential longer-term social impact”.

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