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Tots get reading at Brockley tea dance

Pic: Joanna Kindeberg

Parents and toddlers gathered today at a Tea Dance for Little People in Brockley to take part in London’s first Children’s Book Swap.

The book swap, organised by a collective of London-wide organisations and supported by London Greater Authority, seeks to improve literacy and access to literature to children across London and is arranged across multiple venues in the city.

It was a busy day at Tea Dance for Little People (TDLP), a social enterprise which brings together parents, children and artists, with families enjoying story-telling and the swapping of old books for new stories.

Claire Connolly, 35, a mother of two from East Dulwich said both her and her children had enjoyed the event. She said: “We’ve got new books in the bag home with us which is great. We’re always reading the same stories, and although we do have favourites it is always good to get new ones.”

For Sally-Anne Donaldson, artistic director of TDLP, the turnout was a great success. She explained how she wanted to create an informal environment where parents and artists unused to reading or performing could try out stories and engage with the children, and at the same time promote book swapping and further reading.

One of them was Laura Sydonie, director of Theatre Tots ltd., which offers drama workshops for early years and special needs children. She read from her recently published book “The Not So Scary Cactus” and said she was excited, but a bit nervous, as children are a “very honest audience”. She said: “There is such a brilliant and focused atmosphere here which shows that it is amazing what books can do”.

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