Andersen Press has partnered with Seven Stories to provide weekly virtual story times free of charge throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books, works with children's books to create "playful and profound" experiences for children and young people. To continue this mission while the visitor centre is closed, Seven Stories will broadcast the weekly story time for free on its Facebook page. Andersen Press is providing the stories free of charge.
John Coburn, Seven Stories creative director and acting co-chief executive, said: "At Seven Stories we're doing everything we can to continue to share the magic of children's books while our museum is temporarily closed. During uncertain and confusing times, children's books can be a tonic for young people and their families providing escapism, inspiration and a way for young minds to understand the world a little more."
Storytime starts this Friday 27th March at 10 a.m. and will continue at the same time every week during the pandemic. I Don't Want to Wash My Hands will aptly be the first story, read by author Tony Ross. The book has become a surprise hit since the outbreak, with sales up over 2,000% from February to March, according to Andersen Press.
Charlie Sheppard, publishing director at Andersen Press, has said of the partnership: "We hope that coming together and sharing stories can help parents who we know are at home with children and perhaps struggling to find things to do through the day. It’s also a great opportunity for us to share some of our new and most-loved books with Seven Stories’ amazingly engaged audience."
Further titles include April release Clem and Crab by Fiona Lumbers, A Fox Called Herbert by Margaret Sturton and The Little Island by Smriti Prasadam. A special reading of Jeanne Willis and Adrian Reynold’s Who’s In the Loo will include the author, Jeanne, teaching children a new song to go with washing their hands.