Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, is partnering with Andersen Press to provide free and accessible readings of their picture books in exclusive weekly virtual storytimes to be shared on Seven Stories’ Facebook page.  Due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown, Seven Stories’ visitor centre is closed, but their mission to create playful and profound experiences for children and young people, in order to fire their imagination and creativity and deepen their understanding of themselves and the world continues through their online channels.

The first reading will be I Don’t Want to Wash My Hands, read by author Tony Ross, which has become a surprise pandemic hit with sales up over 2000% from February to March.

Further planned titles include April releases Clem and Crab by Fiona Lumbers, A Fox Called Herbert by Margaret Sturton and The Little Island by Smriti Prasadam Halls and Robert Starling. A special reading of Jeanne Willis and Adrian Reynold’s Who’s In the Loo will include the author, Jeanne, teaching children a new song to go with washing hands.

John Coburn, Seven Stories Creative Director and Acting Co-Chief Executive has said, “At Seven Stories we’re doing everything we can to continue to share the magic of children’s books while our museum is temporarily closed. During uncertain and confusing times, children’s books can be a tonic for young people and their families providing escapism, inspiration and a way for young minds to understand the world a little more.  We’re delighted to be working with Anderson press on this weekly broadcast.

Charlie Sheppard, Andersen Press’ Publishing Director has said of the partnership, “We hope that coming together and sharing stories will help parents who we know are at home with children and perhaps struggling to find things to do through the day. It’s also a great opportunity for us to share some of our new and most-loved books with Seven Stories’ amazingly engaged audience.

Anyone wishing to purchase a copy of I Don’t Want to Wash My Hands by Tony Ross, or any other children’s books while Seven Stories Independent Bookshop is closed can do so via, proud supporters of independent bookshops. After making a purchase, shoppers can select Seven Stories and Hive will give the organisation double the commission usually offered. Seven Stories is a registered charity.