Lots of noise around the Silent Books this week. In two workshops in County Clare, Syrian children brought their parents to explore the library’s set of wordless picture books from around the world. We started with a group story, using props to create characters and plots, including magic conkers that granted wishes and cats that jumped inside a book.
Each child then chose a silent book, explaining why the cover had caught their eye and guessing at the story inside. 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 prequels and sequels, or using the illustrations to weave more strands into the story.
The children then took it in turns to sit on a ‘flying carpet’ in the middle of the group and tell their story to everyone. They drew pictures inspired by the books and the conversations around them.
A brilliant reminder of the unique delight and intimacy that a book unhindered by words can bring.