To celebrate 150 years since the publication of Lewis Carroll's masterpiece, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Boswell Book Festival today announced details of Alice in Ayrshire, a collaborative project involving P5 and P6 pupils at Auchinleck, Ochiltree and St Patrick's Primary Schools. This joint initiative is part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival's Bringing Books to Life programme of events which is funded through the support of People's Postcode Lottery players.
Author Vivian French and illustrator Nick Sharratt will be working with pupils from the three primary schools for three days. P6 pupils will create a giant frieze illustrated with their version of the classic story and Carroll's timeless characters, assisted and encouraged by Nick. Meanwhile Vivian will oversee the P5 pupils who will be reporting on the story for 'The Wonderland Times'. Their interpretations will be entered into a competition for The Bozzy Reporters' Prizes which will be awarded for the best pieces of descriptive writing.
Local writer James Begg from Cumnock will also be presenting a Scots language translation of the book – Alice's Jants in Ferlieland.
The culmination of the project is the Bozzy's Family Fun Day on Saturday 9th May at the Boswell Community Centre in Auchinleck. At that event, the giant frieze will be displayed for the first time for all to see. Families can also enjoy author events, the café, a bookshop, play areas, games and they may even catch a glimpse of the White Rabbit himself. The frieze will be unveiled, and the winners of the Bozzy Reporters' Prizes will be announced, in a free event starting at 3.00pm.
Following the Festival, the frieze will be on show at Auchinleck Library. At the end of August it will travel to the Edinburgh International Book Festival where it will be displayed in the StoryBox from Saturday 29th August to Schools Gala Day on Tuesday 1st September when pupils from the three primary schools involved will visit Charlotte Square Gardens in Edinburgh.
Janet Smyth, Director of the Children's and Education Programme at the Edinburgh International Book Festival said, "This interesting and fun project demonstrates how a classic book remains relevant today whilst giving the youngsters an increased confidence in their own storytelling and illustration. We are delighted to be working with the Boswell Book Festival and such vibrant and enthusiastic primary schools."
Caroline Knox, Director of the Boswell Book Festival said, "This exciting collaboration with Edinburgh International Book Festival will demonstrate what hugely talented childrenthere are in Ayrshire and offer a delightful Ayrshire twist to a book which has captured the imagination of generations of children. I feel sure it will help pupils discover newtalents and that all will enjoy seeing their work on display both in Auchinleck and in Edinburgh."
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, said, "Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a timeless novel that is enjoyed by people of all ages. Edinburgh International Book Festival and Boswell Book Festival's spin on the classic novel, Alice in Ayrshire, is a fantastic way to get children excited about novels and I am delighted that players are supporting the Bringing Books to Life programme. Best of luck to all of the pupils involved in the Bozzy Reporter's Prizes award."
Full details of the Alice in Ayrshire Event at the Boswell Book Festival, and all other events in the programme, can be found at www.boswellbookfestival.co.uk.
Bringing Books to Life is a wide-ranging programme of literature events, supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery, in which the Edinburgh International Book Festival gives people across Scotland access to authors and live literature events, instilling a love of books and an enjoyment of reading for all levels of ability, all ages and all communities.