Here is a short list of the classic European children's authors, translated in English, who gave us some of the most cherished stories and celebrated characters, shared and enjoyed throughout generations.
And what a lovely opportunity we had to mark it! Adna went to Darcy Bunny Brook Green nursery, co-run by our neighbour, Chloe Remy; and told stories to 8 little bunnies there, aged between 1 and 4.
A variety of objects flew out of Adna's magic 'bag on lap', including a clock, a phone, a police car, a pair of gloves and a hat. 'Adna had a hat on, hip hip hip hooray, Adna had a hat on', but most others felt too shy to take it up.
Then Adna found a Thingamabob in her 'bag on lap'. She did not know what the Thingamabob was or what it did or what it was for. She couldn't figure it out. No one could figure it out. They tried listening to it. The tried smelling it, pulling it, licking it, biting it, balancing it on the head (which almost worked). Then Adna found a little button on the Thingamabob. The button opened up. Then Lilly helped her find a sliding pole. Then the pole opened the Thingamabob into a flower looking Thingamabob. It floated in the air above children, in Adna's hand. It turned upside down and housed all the other objects, which flew out of Adna's magic 'bag on lap'. Then it took those objects for a sail. The sea got stormy. Then it calmed down again. The objects got seasick, threw up over the board of the Thingamabob and fell out. The Thingamabob became a peekaboo hide and seek Thingamabob. Then Adna felt drops of rain. 'She heard thunder. She heard thunder... Pitter patter rain drops, she's wet through...' Adna needed to get away from the rain. She ran under the Thingamabob. Everyone huddled under the Thingamabob. They needed a bigger Thingamabob.
Then Adna pulled out of her 'bag on lap', the book called The Thingamabob, by Il Sung Na; and read it to children.
Then she read What The Ladybird Heard, by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks. The children helped her with the animal sounds. The goose oinked, the dog mooed, the cats neighed and the ducks purred. They whispered into each others' ears things that nobody understood. They looked for a hidden tiger and a hidden panda around the room. They found them. They had enough of storytelling. They ran.