|Lord of the Rings Book Bench|
Lynsey Rutter, Community Engagement Team Leader at Birmingham Museum, sums up the idea:
“The Big Read is a wonderful way to reach children and adults from across the region and inspire a love of reading and writing. Reading is a vital skill which enriches children’s lives, so we are thrilled to be part of the trail in such a big way this summer ... We have some beautiful Book Bench designs on display across our Birmingham Museums sites and we look forward to welcoming families to complete the trail and take part in our Big Read events.”
|Picture Book Bench|
The initiative was created by Wild in Art, co-presented by the King Edward VI Schools among others, as a way to encourage reading and celebrate creativity . Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director at Wild in Art, explains the reasoning behind the idea:
“...we are thrilled to be able to display so many wonderful designs by children and young people. Every decorated BookBench tells a special story and, together with a jam-packed summer of book-themed events and activities, we hope The Big Read encourages all generations to rekindle their passion for reading and writing.”
|Jungle Book Bench|
The benches were not just sited in museums, art galleries and libraries but in community centres, book shops and shopping centres. Wherever people visit. It was a great way to involve and inspire the city's young people. It's quite something to see your idea move from an initial design, to a model, to a full size sculpture and then put on public display.
|Bench designed by girls from King Edward VI School, Handsworth|
|Proud Author with Bench|
The Book Bench was designed and displayed by the girls of King Edward VI School, Handsworth. For the past few years, World Book Day has been transformed into Pirates! Day for the school's Year Eights, a chance to celebrate all things piratical and to take part in a whole day of activities, including Music, Dance, Drama, Art and Creative Writing. This year, the challenge for the artists was to design this bench.
The bench has been on display all summer. It will now be returned to the library at King Edward's. I hope to see it again when I return for Pirates! Day, 2017. In the meantime, I hope it supplies a handy seat for anyone who wants to sit for a while and have a good read.