It is World Book Day today (Thursday, March 3) and pupils were dressing up as their favourite literary characters for their day in school.
And to mark the day the National Literacy Trust Hub in Peterborough, which works with Peterborough City Council and other local and national partners to address low literacy in the city, has asked local role models including sport stars, authors, teachers, councillors and librarians to recommend a book which they have enjoyed as an adult, cherished as a child or read with their own children.
Gillian Beasley, chief executive of the council, recommends ‘Each Peach Pear Plum’ by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. She said: “I read this to my daughter as a toddler a million times as she laughed and loved it so much.
“Beautifully illustrated with wonderful rhymes, we were transported through the world of Mother Hubbard, the foes of Jack and Jill and Cinderella ‘on the stairs’. At the age of 23 she can still recite this book off by heart. What a wonderful start to a reading career!”
Author Guy Bass recommends ‘Encyclopaedia of Superheroes’ by Jeff Rovin. She said: “This is the book I’ve read more than any other. It’s got every hero from Samson to Spider-Man and delves into their histories, personalities and significance. It was a constant source of inspiration - I read it ‘til the dust jacket disintegrated. For years the book’s been held together with Sellotape and willpower.”
Elaine Wilkinson, reading development librarian at Vivacity, said: “As a child my favourite books were Enid Blyton’s Famous Five adventure series. I read my way through them several times over,
“I loved the fact that they got into all sorts of scrapes but always defeated the villains. They don’t seem to have aged and are still very popular with our younger borrowers today.”
Emily Wilson, Young Writers editor, recommends ‘Private Peaceful’ by Michael Morpurgo. She said: “I remember when I was about 10 mum bought me this book as a treat for getting good feedback one parents’ evening and I was absolutely enthralled by it.
“I love the structure of the novel - Tommo is looking back at his life and chapter by chapter the novel brings you closer to the present, eventually moving into the present he is speaking to us from.”
Sally Atkinson, manager of the National Literacy Trust in Peterborough, recommends ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ by C. S. Lewis. She said: “The adventures and characters are so well described that at times I felt as though I was living the story myself.
“Reading enables me to take some time out to recharge my batteries by escaping to another world.”
Jason Buckman, Peterborough Phantoms player, recommends Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. He said: “This biography gives a deep insight into Steve Jobs and how he made Apple become the world’s largest and most successful company.”
Councillor John Holdich, leader of the city council, recommends ‘How Hard Can It Be?’ by Jeremy Clarkson. He said: “Given my busy lifestyle, short individual stories are just ideal for me to read to relax at the end of a challenging day and it means I can start and finish them in one read.
“For me, they absolutely must contain humour.”