Children who recently relocated with their families to Ireland from Syria this week took part in a reading and activity session at Sixmilebridge and Ennistymon Public Libraries as part of the 2018 Children’s Book Festival.
Hosted by Clare County Library with the support of Clare Immigrant Support Centre (CISC), the events saw children and their parents explore Clare Library Service’s set of wordless picture books from around the world with children’s author Debbie Thomas.
Describing the events, Ms. Thomas said, “The participants started by using props to create a group story where humans turned into cats, jumped into story books and were chased through the pages by dogs.”
“Each child then chose a silent book and explained why the cover jumped out at them. With their parents, whose English was more limited, they ‘read’ the book in a mixture of Arabic and English. Through questions and wonderings, everyone entered into the stories and beyond, imagining the prequels and sequels, or taking leads from the illustrations to weave new threads.
“Children then volunteered to sit on the ‘flying carpet’ in the middle of the group and tell the story to everyone. They drew pictures inspired by the books and the conversations around them. The session served as a great reminder of the unique comfort, delight and intimacy a book unhindered by words can bring,” concluded Ms. Thomas.