Activities Books Lockdown

British Library invites young Londoners to ‘step inside your story’

Step inside your story is a new British Library initiative to celebrate and help promote diversity in children’s books. The Library is asking children across the UK to create concertina books about themselves, with the aim of showing that anyone can be the author, illustrator or star of a story.

Illustration © Dapo Adeola 2019. Look Up! is co-created by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola. Except as otherwise permitted by your national copyright laws this material may not be copied or distributed further.

Launching with submissions by renowned writers, poets, illustrators and storytellers including Sandra Agard, Allen Fatimaharan, Zanib Mian, Mara the storyteller, Joseph Coelho, Viviane Schwarz, Philip Ardagh, Jane Porter and SF Said, the activity can be adapted to work in the classroom or a home-schooling context.

Aimed at children aged 7 to 11, the project aims to empower primary school children, strengthen their relationship with books, build confidence in storytelling and illustration, bolster creative literacy skills and encourage reading for pleasure.

‘The British Library aims to inspire learners of all ages and we’re delighted to be expanding our range of free teaching resources and learning material online. We hope Step inside your story helps children to celebrate their uniqueness, but also creates rich connections – both between schools across the UK, and between children and authors. The British Library is for everyone and I’m delighted that we’re reaching so many primary schools, from Glasgow to Caerphilly.’

Andrea Varney, Goldmiths’ National Outreach Manager for Digital Learning at the British Library, said

Elvie Thompson, Lead Learning Producer at the British Library, said: ‘Through this British Library campaign, we hope to empower teachers and children – the authors and illustrators of the future – to find and enjoy books that reflect their real world, and see that any one of us can be the star of a story.’

Joanna Brown, Consultant for Step inside your story, said: ‘Every child has the right to see themselves at the centre of a story: to know that their own experiences are unique; that their voices are valued; that their dreams are precious. We want to invite everyone who takes part in this project to craft a story to celebrate who they are and what is important to them, a story that they can step inside and enjoy!’

Step inside your story activity: In April 2021, the Library will bring together a range of the stories that have tagged @BL_Learning on Twitter together to create a virtual library of All Our Stories.

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