Friday, June 5, 2020

Spotlight 22. Play

Join the Silly Squad!

Illustrations © Laura Ellen Anderson 2020

Today marks the launch of Silly Squad, Summer Reading Challenge 2020!

Head over to the Summer Reading Challenge's Facebook page at 4pm today, Friday 5 June, to join in with the launch partyThere'll be lots of fun videos and activities and plenty of silly surprises!

In the 2020 Summer Reading Challenge you’ll meet the Silly Squad. Created by Laura Ellen Anderson (author of Amelia Fang and Evil Emperor Penguin), this fun-loving bunch of animal friends loves sharing a good joke and a funny book.

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge has moved online, but a lot of it will feel very familiar to families who've taken part before.

Once again, we’re challenging the children of Sheffield to read any 6 books of their choice over the summer. It’s free to take part, and children can join up on the Summer Reading Challenge website.

As children record what they’ve read, they’ll receive virtual rewards. Once libraries reopen children will be able to take part in the Reading Challenge in person and collect more rewards.

The Summer Reading Challenge is the perfect way to share books together and spark a lifelong love of reading for pleasure. Last year 700,000 children and their families took part across the UK!

Our eLibrary has plenty of great children’s books to borrow and enjoy. eBooks and audiobooks all count towards those 6 reads! If you aren't a library member, you can sign up here for access to our eLibrary.

Throughout the summer there will be plenty of activities and games on the Reading Agency website to keep children entertained at home.

And speaking of games…

Test Your Book Smarts with #BookQuizFriday

In keeping with today's theme, "Play", we’ve set you a quiz on the theme of sci-fi, fantasy, and speculative fiction. How many questions can you answer (and, more importantly, how many can you get right without a cheeky Google search!)?

Here’s a preview of the first three questions. Visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for the full quiz, and check back on Monday for the answers.

For more bookish brain-teasers, why not test your knowledge of famous lines from literature by playing one of Penguin’s weekly quizzes?

Great Plays to Watch at Home

Anansi the Spider Re-spun

Unicorn Theatre is bringing their hit 2019 family show Anansi the Spider to the web.

Over the next two weekends you can catch a brand new performance on the Guardian website. Each play retells one of the classic West African and Caribbean tales starring the mischief-making arachnid Anansi.

The first episode is available to watch now, with two more episodes to follow on Saturday 6 and 13 June, at 11am.

A Monster Calls

From tonight, you can also catch The Old Vic's production of Patrick Ness's award-winning young adult novel A Monster Calls.

A recording of the 2018 show will stream on the theatre's YouTube channel at 7pm tonight. The play will be available to watch for free until Thursday 11 June.

Visit the Old Vic's website for all the details.

Play the British Library 

In recent months many museums and galleries have offered a peek behind closed doors with virtual tours. But only the British Library has a tour you can play. Check out this retro-styled British Library Simulator.

On the analogue side of things, the British Library’s Playtimes site features an impressive collection of video and sound recordings charting a century of children’s playground games, rhymes, toys, and jokes.

Code and Create with the National Videogame Museum 

Our Coding Clubs may be on hold right now, but in the meantime there are plenty of ways families can learn to code at home.

Sheffield’s own National Videogame Museum has put together a selection of guides to help children create their own characters, animations, and games. All of the activities use free online software.

Visit NVM at Home to learn how to create a Choose Your Own Adventure-style interactive story with Twine, remake a classic game using Scratch, and much more.

Free Gaming Magazines and Art Books

Check out our eLibrary for the latest issues of gaming magazines like Edge and a selection of art books based on popular videogames.

You can find the art books and encyclopedias featured here in the eLibrary’s Comics section.

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