Free children’s book swap rekindles families’ love of reading

London Children’s Book Swap went into overdrive last Saturday at the Museum of London, and timing was just right.

Sophie Martin, Family Outreach Programme Manager at Museum of London said: “I thought it was a really good campaign that encourages reading. It’s free for families and it’s really good in February after Christmas when everyone is feeling a bit tight on money.”

The free event was in its third year and many venues across London were just joining in for the first time.

Martin encouraged all families visiting the Museum of London Docklands on the day to drop in and join the Book Swap. Families could take part even if they hadn’t brought their own books to swap. They could choose one book per child, and then sit down and craft their own bookmarks inspired from the story.

Martin said: “Hopefully it will help them realise what a lovely adventure you can have reading a book and getting families talking about the book and the characters and the plot.”

Victoria Costello, who was visiting the museum with her niece Maya and stopped to make bookmarks, said such events are “really good for the kids”.

She said she would have “probably got rid of some of the baby books like Peppa Pig” and swapped them for some Roald Dahl had she prepared for the event.

Martin said such events are also a good way to bring people to museums. “There are so many free activities that are going on and I think families should be able to tap into this and they should realise that museums, libraries and cultural venues are free and fun places where they can enjoy family time together.”

The books were provided by the Discover Children’s Story Centre and the Hackney Library, and included titles such as Horrible Henry and many books for early years. Over 2000 children’s books have been swapped during previous years.

Featured image by Sharon Drummond on Flickr.

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