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Whimsy journey on Children's Stories kicks off Summer Reading Month

The fun and adventurous “Exhibition on Children Stories: A Journey to the Whimsy Kingdom” kicked off the territory-wide annual popular programme -- “Summer Reading Month” at the Exhibition Gallery of the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL) today (July 23).

Aiming to stimulate children’s thinking and imagination and to read more good books, the children’s exhibition features an array of adventurous characters including Pinocchio, Sherlock Holmes, Kalle Blomkvist, Alice, Dorothy and others for families to experience the magic and excitement in various children stories.

Presented by the Hong Kong Public Libraries of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the “Summer Reading Month 2005” features a thematic exhibition and about 50 other interactive outreach fringe activities including dramas, puppet show, film shows, workshops, storytelling sessions and competitions to enhance children's interest in reading and creativity. The programmes run at various libraries from today until August 22.

"The Competition on Story Writing in Chinese for Students in 2005", jointly organised by the LCSD and the Hong Kong Children's Arts Society, also held the prize presentation ceremony today. The award winners vividly demonstrated their stories.

The competition was well-received with about 3,100 entries, an increase of more than 30% over last year.

Speaking at the opening ceremony and the prize presentation, the Chairman of the Committee on Libraries, Professor Leong Chi-yan said reading and practices made writing perfect and he encouraged the winners to use their “magic pen” and creativity to write more brilliant stories.

“Among the many entries received this year are thought-provoking stories that reflect the reality of life, funny pieces filled with novel and weird ideas, and bold attempts of adaptation of or sequel to classic children’s tales. They fully manifest the adorable simplicity, and boundless imagination of their writers.

“Woven with rich feelings and immense creativity, these fascinating stories entice adults into the loving and fanciful world of the young people, where we have the honour of sharing with them their joy of writing,” he said.

Chairlady of the Hong Kong Children’s Arts Society Ms Suen Koon-lam said the competition brought new vigour to the literary circle of Hong Kong.

It encouraged many youngsters to write beautiful stories and develop their enthusiasm in creative writing, she said.

At the “Exhibition on Children Stories: A Journey to the Whimsy Kingdom”, which runs from today to August 12, visitors can start at “Magical Immigration” to become one of the role-play citizens, follow the instructions on the guide map to explore the enchanting worlds of fantasy, science, detective and adventure fiction in the four exhibition areas--- “Savage Rainforest”, “Enchanted Castle”, “Outerspace Mirage” and the “Weird Wizard’s House”.

After an enchanting journey, children can take a rest at the “Fringe Bazaar” where lively performances including puppet show, harmonica performance, children’s play, fantasy story-telling and magic show will be held.

Children and parents will also demonstrate their talents and creativity in the “Competition on Dramatization of Stories for Family” and “Competition on Design of Story Characters” held at the “Fringe Bazaar” on July 27, August 3 and 10.

Another highlight of the “Summer Reading Month” are film shows to be held at the Lecture Theatre of the HKCL from July 23 to August 7. Films including “Raining Cats and Frogs”, “Polar Express”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron”, “The Way Home”, “Robin Hood”, “Pinocchio” and “Children of Heaven” will be screened.

A subject talk for parents and teachers on creative thinking from famous author of children books, Ms Sun Wai-ling and tailor-made sessions: “Music, Art & Play Workshops for Family” and “Stories Telling Workshops for Family” will also be held at the Lecture Theatre and the Activity Room of the HKCL.

Twelve sessions of “Language Learning through storytelling” in Cantonese, English and Putonghua have been arranged in Tai Po, Tsuen Wan, Chai Wan and Shui Wo Street Public Libraries, and “Drawing Workshop for Children and Their Parents” and “Drawing Workshop for Children” will be held at Ma On Shan, Chai Wan and Lai Chi Kok Public Libraries.

Admission is free for all activities. For some programmes, admission tickets are required. Programme details and admission ticket information are available at the booklet distributed at all public libraries, or call 2921 2646, or visit the website: .

Ends/Saturday, July 23, 2005
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