“It is perhaps one of the most impressive – and colourful – bookshelves in the country.”
Keen readers at Howard Junior School, in King’s Lynn, are celebrating after a vibrant 25-metre bookshelf mural was unveiled in the school playground.
The jumbo work of art came from a collaboration with local artist Nicola Marray-Woods, who painted the Parkway school’s previous mural of children’s faces.
Mrs Marray-Woods worked closely with youngsters and staff, pulling together their must-haves and favourite reads – before encouraging everyone to pick up a paintbrush and chip in over the last few weeks.
It is now a permanent fixture in the newly revamped playground, which has recently benefitted from the addition of a multi-use games area.
The mural features children’s favourites – including Roald Dahl’s BFG, CS Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and JRR Tolkein’s The Hobbit.
Lee McCowen, digital support officer at the Apollo Academies Trust, which runs the school, said: “Something that all of the children here at Howard have in common is a real love of reading.
“Nicola did our previous mural so we invited her back and we started the conversation with pupils and it became clear that reading was the favourite option.
“It’s incredible and really brightens up the space – the children absolutely love it, partly because it includes their ideas but also because they were involved in making it a reality.”
Since the school shared a photo of the mural on Twitter, it has attracted praise from children’s author and television presenter David Walliams and author of the popular children’s series How to Train Your Dragon Cressida Cowell, who said it was “brilliant” and “beautiful”.
The school – which has a glow in the dark Harry Potter library – is in the top 5pc for reading progress across the country.
Mr McCowen said: “We work a lot with iPads and technology, which is a big part of what we do, but we obviously want to make sure that children still have the traditional learning experiences too.”