When did you first fall in love with books and which book is your all-time favourite?
Mrs Smart: Although I absolutely love reading now, I was a reluctant reader at first. I loved the outdoors and was always playing sports or on my bike as a child and didn’t feel I had time for books. When I found the authors Enid Blyton and Judy Blume, I became a reader.
It’s very hard to choose a favourite because so many books have given me inspiration or have kept me company through various points of my life. My most favourite children’s book has to be Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and as a young adult it was: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.
Ms Rachna: I have always loved reading as a child and my passion for reading has led me to get attached to the library. Even as a parent, I loved to volunteer as a Mystery Reader and enjoyed reading different stories to children. As a child I loved to read Enid Blyton books: Secret Seven’s, Famous Five’s, Malory Towers - you name it! As I’ve grown older, I have come to love classic Agatha Christie mystery novels, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and all of Jeffrey Archer’s novels. I absolutely love reading thrillers and I can safely say that leading the primary library has enabled me to pursue my passion for reading and telling stories. In the library, I have had the opportunity to include “Storytime” as one of my sessions for the EYFS and Y1 every week. All of the stories are tied in with topics being done in class and I also try and do stories on different festivals happening throughout the year, like Christmas, Chinese New Year and Halloween. I feel absolutely elated to see my children coming into the library, excited to read and listen to my stories. The children feel it is their space and love to sit around the library and the cubby holes and browse through books.
Can you recommend some must-reads for our students in Lower Primary, Upper Primary and Secondary?
Mrs Smart: The great part of my role as Librarian is that I get to read so many children’s books. The most popular books for Years 3 and 4 have to be the Geronimo Stilton series but A Series of Unfortunate events is a great collection to get stuck into. For Years 5 and 6, Erin Hunter’s Warriors is very popular as are the Rick Riordan books. I really recommend The Last Wild series by Piers Torday or anything by Matt Haig.
Our Secondary Library is split into genres and our dystopian fiction collection is very popular especially Darren Shan’s books. Another popular author is Chris Bradford and his Young Samurai series. Our wonderful library assistants work hard with Secondary to suggest books based on interest.
In the Lower Primary Library, we have a cohesive collection of fiction and non-fiction books to appeal to children with varied interests. Authors such as Julia Donaldson who have written books like The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and The Singing Mermaid are highly recommended and loved by the children. Gorilla by Anthony Brown is another story that I would recommend. The Winnie the Witch Series, Harry and the Bucket Full of Dinosaurs , Rainbow Fish are good reads as well. For the Year 1s and Year 2s, Geronimo Stilton, Zach Power, Horrid Henry and Secret Sevens by Enid Blyton novels are definitely good series’ that I would recommend. Some children love to read information and non-fiction books. For these students, I typically would recommend books in the Animal, Science, Transport or Country books section. It is amazing that each child at the age of just three or four years old has a mind of their own! It makes my role to help them find the perfect book of their choice so rewarding.
Apart from borrowing books, what other resources can the students access in the library?
Mrs Smart: We have a subscription to the Economist and The New Scientist, which I recommend our older Secondary students read to keep up to date with current affairs and research. Through our library students can also access several free databases, which we will be sharing with IB students. There is soon to be a careers section in the Secondary library for students to look at university prospectuses and a list of go to websites for advice on careers.
Ms Rachna, we have an exciting visitor coming to Dover Court before half term, author Abie Longstaff. Can you share what activities the students will be able to participate in?
Yes! We are excited and look forward to having Abie Longstaff visiting us for 3 days on 10th , 11thand 12th of February. Abie is coming from the UK and has written over 40 books for children including The Fairytale Hairdresser and the Magic Potions Shop. Abie will be conducting interactive workshops across the 3 days she is here for our students in the Primary school. These workshops include Creating fun characters for EYFS, Nature in fiction for Years 1 and 2, and exciting ones like Ideas into Books and Writing Interesting Characters for the Upper Primary.
Abie Longstaff's workshops aim to inspire and motivate students. She encourages children to think like creators and come up with interesting creative work. She will also be happy to sign the student's books.
We hope that Abie’s visit will leave an enriching impact on our children.
Ms Smart, we know that you are very excited about the new Community Library sessions, please tell us about these!
We are keen for the community to feel like the main library is a space for them to use. Therefore, we are opening our doors for parents and carers to come into the library with their children. This will be every Wednesday and Thursday to begin with from 3.00pm - 4.00pm. The space can be used for quiet reading, homework and a space to escape the elements during ECAs. During this time, books can be checked out with any of our library team under the children’s names. We do ask that no food is brought into the library.
The great news is our catalogue of books is expanding and the shelves will be filled with new books over the next two terms.
Welcome to the Dover Court libraries!