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Award-Winning Author launches Bookstart Treasure Packs

Thursday 6th November 2014 at 4pm 1 Comments Literature

Author and illustrator Petr Horacek is pictured with Damian Smyth, Arts Council  and Liz Canning, Booktrust, as well as pupils from  Bunscoil Mhic Reachtain, Brea Keenan and Mia Lynch Image: Author and illustrator Petr Horacek is pictured with Damian Smyth, Arts Council and Liz Canning, Booktrust, as well as pupils from Bunscoil Mhic Reachtain, Brea Keenan and Mia Lynch

Petr Horacek, award-winning children’s author and illustrator was in Belfast and Lisburn this week to conduct a series of interactive story sessions with local school children, and to launch Bookstarts’ new Treasure Packs for pre-schoolers. The visits were supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Children from Barbour Nursery School and Hazelwood Nursery School participated in story sessions and illustration with Petr, as well as receiving their Bookstart Treasure packs. These packs of books, drawing materials and parental guidance are given out to all pre-school children in NI in an initiative supported by the Department of Education.  One of the books in the pack is one of Petr’s best known and loved books, Puffin Peter. Schools groups received signed copies and had the chance to meet special guest The Bookstart Bear.

In the afternoon sessions each day, older children, age 7-11, worked with Petr to create a large mural based on Petr’s distinctive style.  The signed murals will be kept by Bunscoil Mhic Reachtain and the Fostering Network who also participated in the sessions.

Damian Smyth, Head of Literature and Drama, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “This visit from Petr Horacek is a fantastic opportunity for these children to meet a living, working and successful author.  His visit will inspire and enchant these young people and leave lasting memories to treasure forever. The Arts Council is pleased to support Booktrust NI who continue to carry out important work in promoting the value of reading to young people across Northern Ireland.”

Liz Canning, Booktrust Northern Ireland, said: “This is an exciting week for Booktrust NI as we launch the 2014 Bookstart Treasure packs at Grove Library and Barbour Nursery School.  Meeting the author and taking home signed copies of Puffin Peter to share with their families will bring the books to life and make them even more special to these children.”

Grove Library will host the launch of the Bookstart Treasure initiative.  Irene Knox, Chief Executive Libraries NI said: “Libraries NI is pleased to continue its support for Booktrust by welcoming Petr Horacek to Grove Library and hosting the launch of the 2014 Bookstart Treasure packs.  Sharing books and stories is a fun activity for the whole family and at the same time helps young children to become confident and eager learners.  I am sure that every child who receives a Bookstart  Treasure pack will enjoy exploring its contents and benefit from this initiative.”

Keep up to date with the work of Book Trust NI by visiting www.booktrust.org.uk

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