MORE THAN 170 sculptures in the shape of open books will be popping up around the region as part of an arts project to promote literacy.
As part of the Big Read trail, the ‘BookBench’ sculptures – each decorated by young people, nurseries, schools and community groups in the West Midlands – will be on display in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry and further afield from July 16 until Roald Dahl Day in September.
The trail, organised by the creators of the Little Hoot, will be officially opened as part of CBBC’s jam-packed Awesome Authors weekend at the Library of Birmingham and Centenary Square.
Then for eight weeks over the summer holiday, the BookBenches will be exhibited inside libraries, galleries, museums, cultural venues and book shops alongside a host of literary-themed events and activities.
The Big Read trail will conclude on Tuesday, September 13 to coincide with Roald Dahl Day – the biggest ever-global celebration of Roald Dahl’s birthday.
The BookBenches will then be returned to the schools and community groups that created them, to become a lasting feature of a library, book corner or outside learning environment.
Ben Reed, development director at Wild in Art, one of the organisers of the trail, said: “Every decorated BookBench tells a special story and, together with a jam-packed summer of book-themed events and activities, we hope The Big Read encourages all generations to rekindle their passion for reading and writing.
“Along with our partners, supporters and venues, and of course all the fantastic schools and community groups uniting visual art and reading for enjoyment, we’re over the moon to be able to share so many wonderful designs with the region’s residents and visitors.”
The Big Read aims to inspire literacy development in the region by celebrating young people and their creativity.
It has been created by Wild in Art and co-presented by The Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham and Wesleyan, and will raise money for the National Literacy Trust and Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.
A free trail and activities map showing the locations of the BookBench displays and highlighting what’s on at the venues is available to download from www.thebigread.org.uk and from various outlets.
Follow The Big Read on Twitter @The_Big_Read, using the hashtag #TheBigRead2016 and on Facebook www.facebook.com/thebigread to keep up to date with the latest announcements.