Library Newsletter April 2016
We haven’t been back at school long and already there is a festive atmosphere with all the practising for May Day dancing. I am enjoying hearing the music and laughter and happiness coming from the Hall. Spring is definitely here and summer – hopefully – won’t be far around the corner!
This month’s newsletter is longer than most as I have devoted one side (overleaf) to celebrating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death (and possibly his birth, though this is unclear). He was and still is one of the most important writers in the English language so turn over to read more about this incredible man!
Exciting visitors to the Library
On the first day back from the Easter holidays, I was thrilled to see that we have a family of blue tits nesting in the box in the Library courtyard. The parents have been darting in and out busily, either preparing for their young ones or even feeding them (though I have seen no sign of little beaks). It really is a treat to watch them but this does mean that we won’t be opening the doors leading onto the courtyard until the babies have flown the nest as we don’t want to scare the parents away. The reward of course will be seeing what happens in that little box over the next few weeks.
The Guardian children’s book review site
We now have an official presence on the Guardian’s children’s book review site (which can be found here: http://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site). Our group is called The Missing Page, and we should have our first reviews up in the next week or so. I’ll post a link on our blog so you can have a look. All reviews will also be on our blog so please visit!
Jacqueline Wilson Writing Competition
If you are between seven and twelve years old, on 6th May 2016, you are eligible to enter this fabulous competition. Simply send in a story you have written. Stories should be 750 – 1,000 words long. For full details, see: http://www.jacquelinewilson.co.uk/creativewriting/
Below is a reminder of the Library lunchtime sessions for each year group:
Tuesdays: Years 3 and 4
Wednesdays: Book review club
Thursdays: Years 5 and 6
Fridays: Years 1 and 2 alternating.
Happy Birthday, Mr Shakespeare!
April is a significant month for William Shakespeare because it marks the anniversary of his birth and death. In fact, this year is the 400th anniversary of his death and the whole country – and beyond – is celebrating.
William Shakespeare is famous for his plays (including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet) but he was also a poet and, according to the BBC website, quite a businessman (he would have been a millionaire at the time of his death in today’s money!). Here are some more amazing facts about this remarkable man!
- There is no recorded birthdate for Shakespeare but he was christened on 26 April 1564 so it is possible he was born on 23 April (babies were christened 3 days after birth then). If this is true, then he also died on his birthday in1616!
- His home town was Stratford-upon-Avon: not far from Oxford!
- He had seven siblings.
- He married his wife, Anne Hathaway, when he was 18 and had three children.
- His creative output was astounding. Apparently, he wrote 37 plays, 154 sonnets and many poems, as well as a number of lost plays by the age of 52
- Men and boys had to play the female roles in his plays because it was illegal for women to perform on stage in Elizabethan times.
- An anagram of ‘William Shakespeare’ is: ‘I am a weakish speller’.
- Shakespeare is the second- most quoted writer in the English language (only the writers of the Bible beat that!).
Famous words from Shakespeare
Many of the words and expressions we use today come from Shakespeare, such as:
- in a pickle
- wild goose chase
- foregone conclusion
Funny words from Shakespeare:
Shakespeare also came up with some funny words and expressions. Which is your favourite?
- slug-a-bed: lazy-bones
- nook-shotten: crookedly shaped
- loggets: a game with sticks
- haut-boy: an oboe (wind instrument)
- gib: tom-cat (male cat)
- exsufflicate: exaggerate
(thanks to https://blog.oxfordchildrens.co.uk/category/dictionaries/ for this!)
And some final words of wisdom from Shakespeare: “To thine own self be true.” (‘Hamlet’). We couldn’t put it better ourselves.