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Waterstone's plans kids' blitz
26.07.07 | Caroline Horn
Waterstone's is to launch a major new storytelling initiative with simultaneous story sessions by 90 authors and illustrators at every store across the chain.
The Super Saturday Storytime will be aimed at children aged seven and under, and is designed as a springboard to involve branches with their local communities, children's category manager Wayne Winstone said. ""We will be looking at sales of the books promoted as a result of the activities, but the real value of the day is in positioning our stores at the centre of their town and community. Storytelling events are a great way to position branches within the local community and we hope that this day will act as a kick-start for branches to do more on an ongoing basis."
The initiative will launch on 18th August with events attended by prolific authors and illustrators including Ian Whybrow, Nick Sharratt and Laurence Anholt. It will promote 50 children's titles and each branch, depending on its size, will stock at least 36.
Publishers are supporting the event with activity packs and downloadable resources, while recently appointed Children's Laureate Michael Rosen has provided tips for booksellers on reading aloud. P.o.s. material will include balloons and badges.
A separate picture book promotion is also planned, with an online vote for customers' favourite picture books due to be launched on 2nd August. Waterstone's booksellers drew up a shortlist of 10 titles from a longlist of 75 books, with the favourites including Not Now, Bernard (David McKee, RHCB), Aaaarrgghh Spider! (Lydia Monks, Egmont) and Click Clack Moo, Cows That Type (Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin, S&S).
"Picture books are one of our lead categories in children's books and this is a fantastic way of speaking to our customers about them," Winstone said. "We hope that publishers will continue to back picture books."