BookBench sculptures pop up across Stoke to celebrate a love of reading

10 Apr 2019
Stoke Reads BookBenches launch event children

Schools and community groups in Stoke have been inspired by comic books, fairy tales and novels to decorate benches that will pop up across the city to spark a love of reading.

20 benches shaped like open books will be on display at public venues across the city from 12 April until 30 June, as part of our Stoke Reads campaign, in partnership with Wild in Art.

Local families can discover the benches, inspired by the city’s favourite reads, with a special BookBench trail map, which they can pick up from their local library or any venue taking part in the project. The map can also be downloaded from stokereads.org.uk.

The BookBenches have all been painted by local schools and community groups, with designs including:

  • ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’, created by students at the Discovery Academy England Primary School – the students voted on their favourite book from the much-loved Harry Potter series
  • ‘We’re Going on a Book Hunt’, created by pupils at Saint Nathaniel’s Academy – the whole school created a twist on We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by each recreating the cover of their favourite book
  • ‘Character Comic Capers’, created by pupils at St John’s CE ( C ) Primary School – pupils chose their favourite book characters and drew them in the style of a graphic novel
  • ‘Once Upon a Time’, created by pupils at Glebe Academy – pupils and staff took inspiration from their favourite fairytales

20 BookBenches will be displayed in public venues across the city, forming a trail to raise awareness of the importance of literacy skills. Venues include World of Wedgwood, Regent Theatre and Moorcroft Visitor Centre. Many of the venues will host themed activities and events until the end of June, after which the benches will be returned to the schools and community groups that decorated them, where they will become a lasting feature of a library, book corner or outside learning environment.

The BookBench trail was officially opened at a launch event on 9 April. Held at the City Central Library in Hanley, schools, community groups and representatives from local cultural venues gathered together to celebrate the hard work and creativity that has gone into designing and decorating the BookBenches.