The BBC have announced their ‘Get Reading’ campaign – a campaign for 2016 that will celebrate great authors and their works and get the nation reading and sharing the books they love.
Some of the highlights which schools should keep their eyes peeled for:
Children’s books on the BBC
Roald Dahl: In His Own Words (BBC Two 1 x 60)
Roald Dahl was the most successful children’s writer of his generation, and remains one of the most popular of all time. His fantastical, macabre stories have been read by hundreds of millions worldwide, and have become a staple of our childhoods, dominating the bestseller lists in children’s fiction. 2016 is Roald Dahl’s centenary and the BBC will celebrate his amazing creativity across its services.
On BBC Two, a new television film Roald Dahl In His Own Words will frame his life and work in the playful, inventive, distinctive style of a Roald Dahl story. Drawing on a wealth of letters, diaries, autobiographies, as well as archive television interviews – and featuring the work of Dahl’s long-time collaborator Quentin Blake – Roald Dahl’s unique appeal will be brought to life as never before. From the Oompa-Loompas to Matilda, Fantastic Mr. Fox to the BFG, Roald Dahl’s remarkable literary inventions live on in our collective imagination. But where did these stories spring from? This film will show the truth is that, however far-fetched and fantastical, Dahl’s children’s fiction was in fact anchored in his own experiences.
B is For Book (BBC Four 1 x 60)
From award-winning director Brian Hill (Century Films), this film follows a group of primary schoolchildren as they learn to read, following each child as they take their first steps in to the world of the written word. Filmed in an ordinary British school, the programme will feature children from the great variety of backgrounds that make up today’s Britain. Some of them will make a flying start with their reading; others may struggle. Some will have many books at home, others few. Some may have parents who themselves have trouble reading, and others may have a parent who doesn’t speak English. In such cases a child’s literacy can be vital for the family.
This film will discover the extraordinary power of literacy, beyond its educational importance. As the children learn to read it is as if the world around them is transformed. Through stories, they can be taken on a journey to discover far-flung places and meet a myriad of colourful characters. B Is For Book will give us privileged access to a profound process that all of us only ever do once in our lives.
The One Show (BBC One 1 x 30).
The One Show will be running items on Dahl both around the theatrical release of one of Roald Dahl’s most popular books, The BFG, directed by Steven Spielberg, in July and the actual centenary in September.
CBBC is planning an Awesome Authors Live event to complement their storytelling season and BBC Children’s will be showing a range of programming to celebrate writing and storytelling.
Blue Peter (CBBC).
Blue Peter starts the season with Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, as he announces the winners of the Blue Peter Book Awards 2016 on World Book Day. Blue Peter will then launch its Dream BIG competition, linking up with the new film release of Roald Dahl’s story The BFG.
Horrible Histories (CBBC)
As part of Get Reading 2016, the award-winning Horrible Histories returns with a one-off special about Sensational Storytellers. Who wrote the first detective novel? When were books invented? And, imagine what would happen if Beatrix Potter, Malorie Blackman, Enid Blyton and Jacqueline Wilson formed a girl band? This episode takes a look at some of literature’s greatest works and history’s wackiest writers, from Stone Age storytellers right up to the modern day.
Mel Giedroyc also joins in for a very special Writer’s Bake Off, with Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll and Enid Blyton. Plus, of course, our trusty host Rattus guides the way, trying to write a story of his own.
My Story Special – The Victorian Childhood (CBeebies)
Georgina and Kia begin their journey of discovery to find out what life was like for children over 100 years ago by dressing up as Victorians. They will find out about a young girl called Beatrix and what her life was like, that she was educated by a Governess and how she holidayed in a castle! Kia and his Mummy find out about the wildlife which inspired Beatrix, by exploring the countryside looking for different flowers; visiting an animal sanctuary which looks after animals, just as Beatrix did, and trying to draw some animals just like Beatrix. Together they discover just how much Beatrix’s childhood influenced the stories of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.
BBC Radio 2
500 Words – the short story competition for children aged 13 and under – will be returning to the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Radio 2 in 2016, bigger and better than ever! It follows a blockbusting fifth year which saw more than 120,000 entries and the final broadcast live from St James’ Palace, with HRH The Duchess of Cornwall in attendance.
BBC Radio 3
Radio 3’s Essay will be devoting several weeks to exploring contemporary writers’ debt to the children’s literature of the past, in The Essay: Summer 2016. There will be a week of five essays dedicated to analysing Roald Dahl’s characters – and the key to their enduring power. There will be a week exploring some of the foreign masters of children’s writing. Also this year will see another instalment in Radio 3’s ongoing series, The Book That Changed Me, in which five public figures identify a work of fiction and non-fiction that made a difference to them. Roald Dahl’s anniversary will also be marked by some of Radio 3’s music programmes.
How are you promoting independent reading in your school?