AUTHORS have been spending time with children at Gosport’s Submarine Museum as part of a summer reading campaign.
The Submarine Children’s Bookfest has seen youngsters meet authors and listen to them reading out their stories.
Author John Dougherty read extracts from his award-winning book Zeus on the Loose.
It links to The News’ Read All About It campaign to boost literacy across the area.
He said: ‘The idea of doing an event at the submarine museum intrigued me.
‘I like to support anything that gets kids interested in books.
‘The idea that you come to the submarine museum and there’s an author there and you can get one of their books is great.
‘Reading for pleasure is one of the most important gifts we can give our children.
‘There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that it’s better for kids in terms of their life choices.
‘Anything that I can do to help somebody who wants to help kids get pleasure from reading, I’m all for it.’
John read some of his books and then talked to the kids about writing.
There was also a magical shadow puppet show of stories from Ancient Greece and children had the chance to make puppets of their own.
John added: ‘I like the idea that we can tell children there are lots of different ways to tell a story.
‘You can write it down or you can speak it, or you can act it out or even dance it. It’s great.’
And John said he is fully backing The News’ literacy campaign.
‘One of the best things you can do to boost your academic choices is to read stuff for fun,’ he said.
‘It’s a great way of linking up schools across the area, and that’s tremendous.’
Jackie Edelman, education manager at the museum, said: ‘I do know that children often lose ground in the summer holidays in terms of their reading skills.
‘The reason I wanted to do it was to give them a fun way to keep on reading and keep on looking at books.
‘It’s really just keeping that interest alive.
‘Children can come in and meet the authors who have written the books.
‘It’s engaging the adults so that they will go home and talk about the books together where they have had the authors talking about how they came to be inspired.
‘It’s been a huge success so far and we’ve got two more to come.’
Horrible Science author Nick Arnold has also been to the museum to work with the children.
And authors Nikalas Catlow and Tim Weston will be at the museum this Thursday.
Meanwhile, Ian Whybrow will be the guest author on Thursday, August 16, and Tony De Saulles, illustrator of the Horrible Science books will be at the museum on Thursday, August 23.