I blogged a couple of weeks ago about the ‘Mission: Explore Food‘ book that was illustrated (and co-authored) by Cambridge’s Tom Morgan-Jones and written by The Geography Collective. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s a family/children’s book with lots of food ‘missions’ for children to create and activities to help them understand the life cycle of food (everything from sowing and growing it through to eating, digestion and recycling).
I have spotted that the lovely chaps and chapesses at The Geography Collective are very generously giving away a set of 50 ‘Mission: Explore Food’ books (which works out to £1,000 worth of books!) to a library service somewhere in the UK. This is brilliant and I would dearly love the books to wing their way to the Mill Road area (and hereby nominate Mill Road). Some of you may have spotted a potential glitch to this plan, which is that there is actually no longer a library on Mill Road (it was sadly shut down in the late 1990’s), but I think this makes it even more important that we ensure children (and everyone) have access to books – this is just the kind of thing that could help children enjoy books and bring them together in the community with others and help families meet each other.
Given that there is no library on or near Mill Road, I would give the books to local primary schools (for which Mill Road area residents fall in to the catchment area), children’s activity groups and other groups that primarily benefit children/families. There could be all sorts of benefits to children, families and the wider community, for example:
- The missions would be fun to explore for both adults and children.
- It would help children and youngsters get involved in their local community.
- Children would have their own project/s that they could work on/organise themselves.
- Some of the missions/projects could be turned into community events.
- Children and their families may want to visit local food producers and shops to ask questions, which would be really great (especially as there’s quite a local foodie theme going on at the moment).
- The books are well illustrated and show children that books don’t have to just be about reading on your own, they can also be about action and fun.
- Some of the missions could be specifically relevant locally – for example, there’s a local idea to set up a farmers market and one of the missions involves visiting a farmers market.
- Children (and adults!) will get to learn a lot about the food cycle, which will help them make informed choices.
There are others that exist locally, but having done some research into this I feel the following Mill Road area groups/organisations would particularly benefit from sharing the books:
- Argyle Street Housing Co-operative Kids Group
- Cambridge & Ely Child Contact Centre
- Coram Adopt Anglia
- Friends of Mill Road Cemetery
- George Pateman Court Community Centre
- Little Bookworms Club (at Ross Street Community Centre)
- Queen Emma Primary School
- Morley Memorial School
- Ridgefield Primary School
- Romsey Community Garden
- Romsey Mill
- St Matthews Primary School
- St Pauls Primary School
- St Philips C of E Primary School
- St Albans Primary School
- 13th Cambridge Scouts
- TJ Kids
- Woodcraft Folk
I would also give a copy to the RSPCA Bookshop on Mill Road – their shop is quite a hub of activity (you can even get a cuppa there whilst browsing the books!) and having a copy of the ‘Mission: Explore Food’ book in the shop would mean people could pop in and read a bit before going on a mission around Mill Road – making it accessible to many more people (I guess this sounds a bit like a library really!). I would also give a copy to Centre 33 – not technically in the Mill Road area, but less than 500 metres walk and they do some really impressive work in providing support and activities for children who are carers to family members.
‘Mission: Explore Food’ is available as an E-book and this is currently free! You can download it via iBooks or Amazon until 31st January; and if you want to see a quick preview of the book here’s a link to a video from The Geography Collective.
I’m hoping that the Geography Collective guys read this and see that our lack of library around Mill Road means these books would actually be of particular benefit to our community (though in the event that they are strict about it specifically being a library service that receives the books then I would nominate Cambridgeshire Library service). Fingers crossed!