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Happy Easter

Easter Storytime highlights, magical moments and unexpected events!

This Easter Holiday, it's been a privilege for me to entertain 95 children, ranging from babies and toddlers right up to 6-year-olds at beautiful libraries across London. I remember when I put together my Easter Storytime back in 2019, I had to think carefully over the issue of chocolate eggs! At Music Audio Stories, we want to promote healthy living and I know a lot of libraries do as well. Eggs are a big part of Easter. However, I didn't want to turn up at libraries and hand out chocolates, as it's also a safety issue with allergies etc, so, I used colourful prop eggs instead!

Children love these eggs!

Music Audio Stories - Easter Storytime with Anna Christina at Shoe Lane Library image

In the drama part of my Storytime, I throw the eggs on the ground and the children pick them up and put them in my pink basket as we listen to the Music Audio Story. This is one of my 'surprise moments'. I try to have one in every workshop I do. I hide all of my props so the children don't see them until they are revealed during the story at the end.

If children have taken part in one of my Storytimes before, they know this moment is about to happen which always makes me chuckle! I am always learning from children. Be curious, have fun and never ever stop using your imagination!

As with my Easter Library Tour in 2019, every Storytime was slightly different depending on the space in the library, the number of children and the age range. It's always a challenge but I've experienced most scenarios by now. Or so I had thought! Read on...

Wimbledon Library

Music Audio Stories - Easter Storytime with Anna Christina at Wimbledon Library image

My Easter Storytime at Wimbledon Library sold out! This is the second time this year that one of my workshops has sold out. Considering the two-year gap between my events, this is fantastic.

Forty parents had signed up and a waiting area had to be created at the library for parents who had turned up on the day and wanted to join in. I didn't have the heart to turn any children away so I welcomed everyone. I'll tell you this, it's a good job I brought fifty printables with me!

With such a large group of children, I have to modify my drama section in order to keep order but it was great and I was thrilled to see how much fun the children had. I also had an amazing response to my new Billy Joins the Circus picture book and I'm delighted to announce that I will be doing a book signing event at Wimbledon Library next month. Woohoooo!!!

Shoe Lane Library

At the start of this post, I mentioned that I've experienced most library scenarios by now. Well, my Storytime at Shoe Lane Library was like no other. Things had gone wrong before I arrived at the library!

Music Audio Stories - Easter Storytime with Anna Christina at Shoe Lane Library 2022 image

The strap broke on my bag before I jumped on the tube. Then the train didn't stop at Chancery Lane. This meant I had to walk from St Pauls, in what seemed like a galeforce wind rainstorm with a heavy bag carrying my CD player and props, my umbrella, my broken bag, now attached to my wrist with the handle which was held at a painful height so I could follow my Google guide without getting my phone wet! After a few wrong turns here and there, I got to the library, still on time and lovely Sona made me a nice cup of tea.

The world made sense again.

But then...

Somewhere during my Easter sing-along song, near the end of the story, the fire alarm went off! Each adult grabbed a toddler and we made for the exit. There I was, 10 minutes into my Easter Storytime, standing on the street corner, wrapped in two baby blankets, holding a toddler lol!

I didn't have time to get my coat when the alarm went off so I was in my Music Audio Stories t.shirt. A lovely lady (you know who you are) gave me her baby blankets. We had to wait outside for a while and I have to say, I was mightly impressed with the way the children handled the situation. The alarm was loud but none of the children screamed or cried. I suspect some of them even enjoyed our little fire alarm test drill escaped! After some time, we were allowed back into the library. Four flights of stairs up and down carrying little bundles of joy is a workout!

Music Audio Stories children's artwork - Easter Storytime with Anna Christina at Shoe Lane Library 2022 image

I want to tell you about these eggs...

In 2019, I vividly remember collecting these two drawings because they were both created by a little girl called Gabriella. I was amazed as she had come to two different workshops on different days and yet she created the same colour egg! I bring quite a large box with many different colours but somehow she picked the exact same colour. I remember chatting with her mum about this and I told her I would keep her drawings. And so I have. In fact, if you look closely, they appear on my art wall on one of my YouTube videos!

Gabriella came back to my Storytime at Shoe Lane Library and I couldn't believe how much she has grown up. I was so happy I had the chance to show her my picture book and she loved it. It was a Storytime I will never forget and once again, the children reminded me of an important lesson. Keep calm and carry on! ????

Chiswick Library

Music Audio Stories - Billy Joins the Circus picture book - Easter Storytime with Anna Christina at Chiswick Library image

I was told that I was the first outsider that Chiswick Library has invited back into the library for a very long time. I felt even more honoured to be back there again this week. My Easter Storytime with the children was brilliant! They found my Easter Music Audio Story rather funny and they loved the part of the workshop where I surprised them with my prop eggs and dramatically threw them on the ground in the middle of our circle for them to collect. Even the parents were surprised!

I almost cried twice at the library!

I heard, for the first time ever, a parent reading my picture book, Billy Joins the Circus, to her toddler before my workshop started. I welled up with so much pride and joy that I had to fight back my tears as I didn't want her to think I was a complete idiot! It just meant so much to me to experience this moment, in person.

It happened again at the end of my Storytime when I was listening to this little girl read aloud my book to her younger sister. It was truly a magical moment for me. ????

Barbican Children's Library

Music Audio Stories - Easter Storytime with Anna Christina at Barbican Children's Library poster image

This was my fifth visit to the Barbican Centre and it was a joy to be back there again this week. Every Easter Storytime had a surprise and this one was no exception. I had a lovely group of families once again but something wonderful happened at the end. One of the mums asked if I could read them a story!

I had brought my new Billy Joins the Circus picture book with me and decided to read it to them. I have never told the story this way before. I have only ever told the story together with the Music Audio Story CD and so this was a new experience for me and one that I loved! I ended up singing the song as it is on the CD which was so much fun because again, I have only ever sung along with the CD. I might have to brush up on my vocals but this would be an excellent way to begin my book signing events.

What a joy it has been to hear a Music Audio Story playing loudly through the libraries again with added children's voices singing along to my Easter song in the story. This is what magic moments are made of! ⭐

BIG THANK YOU to all the amazing libraries I have visited and to the wonderful families who attended my Easter Storytimes. Don't forget to post your children's drawings using #MusicAudioStories on social media so we can all see their beautiful finished Easter egg drawings.

See you all again soon and Happy Easter everyone!

???? Anna Christina


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