Diary Dates: February 2021

1 February 2021

It’s time to CELEBRATE with National Storytelling Week! Running until 6th February, it's the perfect opportunity to share stories. There are celebration events online throughout the week – find out more here. We all have a story to tell and children are brilliant storytellers; help them along the way with inspiration from Puffin ! Build an adventure with Frostheart author Jamie Littler; discover the wonder of stories from one of Roald Dahl's most famous characters, Matilda; or create your own incredible characters with Jacqueline Wilson, using these amazing writing promptsSpark ideas and who knows where in the world their stories will take them?!

Have you seen the #ReadforEmpathy booklist? Created by EmpathyLab for Empathy Day, the 2021 collections feature a whole host of stories which will build empathy in all those who read them. We're delighted to see Puffin books included with Clean Up by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola, How to Change the World by Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Annabel Tempest featured in the primary collection. Get the conversation going about empathy with our brilliant resource packs to encourage young readers to think about what empathy means to them.

These conversations will also support activities around Children's Mental Health Week which takes place 1-7th February. This year's theme is 'Express Yourself' and what better way to do that than through stories?! There are loads of resources available from the organisation behind the event, Place to Be.  To help children explore their own ideas about mental health, we teamed up with Twinkl to create these fantastic wellbeing assemblies that can be delivered online or at home.

On 11th February, budding young scientists will be celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science organised by the Royal Academy of Science International Trust. Now in it's sixth year, this is the ideal time to celebrate achievement by women in science and shine a light on the amazing opportunities for girls in this industry. Find out about inspirational women such as Katherine Johnson, one of the most important people in the history of space travel, in Extraordinary Biographies.

February is the month of LOVE with St Valentine’s Day taking place on 14th. Encourage young Puffin readers to show someone they care by using their creativity to write a poem, story, song or even a symphony! Take inspiration from Dan Brown’s Wild Symphony storybook and app. They could send a message of goodwill by writing a postcard to relatives with some help from Captain Sir Tom Moore’s One Hundred Steps. For those who prefer to illustrate their ideas, join a draw-along with illustrator Nick Sharratt. Who wouldn't love a dinosaur picture on Valentine's Day?!

One of our favourite days of the year is also on 14th February - International #BookGivingDay - a day all about getting books into the hands of as many children as possible.  If you would like to gift a book but need some ideas, try our books lists featuring Puffin classics, playground favourites and brilliant new authors and illustrators.  Speaking of new, this month sees the publication of one of our Spring 2021 Buzz Books;  a debut fantasy novel from author Tamzin Merchant. Puffin readers will love with this marvellous adventure telling the story of magical milliner Cordelia, whose family create hats with magical ingredients!  Illustrated throughout by Paola Escobar, this is a great book to share in the classroom and at home.  And children can explore building their own fantasy stories with these great resources,

If your school is doing something inspiring to celebrate stories this month that you'd like to tell the world about, please contact PuffinSchools@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk with 'Inspiring Ideas' in the subject line.

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