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Croydon High Celebrates World Book Day 2021

We should all become storytellers. These are the profound words uttered by Cow, one of the characters in Pascal Biet’s A Cultivated Wolf, which I read to Mrs Monaghan’s delightful Year 4 class yesterday morning. Stories, after all, help us feel at home in the universe, cross boundaries of space, time and imagination, and bring us light in times of darkness. The other story which I read was the Greek myth entitled Atlanta’s Race, re-told, tongue in cheek, by Geraldine McCaughrean. It features a beautiful mortal who came into the world ‘in the undesirable state of being female’. An appropriate tale in the light of International Women’s Day on Monday. Atlanta is a skilled hunter and athlete beyond compare. Suitors are required to participate in a race with Atlanta in order to win her hand. McCaughrean’s take on the myth is that Atlanta condescendingly allows her choice of mate, Hippomenes, to beat her (just).

My celebration of World Book Day started a little earlier, however, with a 5 minute face-time session with my 9 month old granddaughter whose book of choice, interestingly, was Coco Chanel by Isabel Sanchez. Chanel made her name as a fashion designer and businesswoman – another role model to celebrate on IWD!

The senior school celebrated during form time, wearing ‘booky’ accessories and bringing their favourite book choices to the screen. Their smiles say it all – reading is fun! They also participated in a quiz. Did you know that Bowtruckles, the magical beasts in the Harry Potter series, live in wand trees? Or that the Writer in Residence at the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants (who is coming to visit us in the summer) is Sita Brahmachari? Alice and Zariya, in 8D, certainly did, both scoring 10/10! What a delight that they will be able to collect their rewards, in person, next week.

One of the highlights of the day was the creation of World Book Day Sandwiches. These were judged by Mr Abrams. First prize goes to Darcie (Yr 8), of Seacole, for her Fantastic Mr Fox (by Roald Dahl) and second to Penelope (Yr 8), of Curie, for her The Hunger Games (by Suzanne Collins). Staff prizes went to Ms Howie for The Secret Life of Bees (by Sue Monk Kidd) and to Mrs Smith for The Tiger Who Came to Tea (by Judith Kerr). One of the youngest competitors was Mr Coley’s son – also an avid fan of The Tiger. Feast your eyes on the other creative entries.

A quotation from Neil Gaiman seems appropriate as we remember the power of storytelling:

Stories you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit


Mrs K. Abrams

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