Cycling, storytelling and music for children will precede the Queen’s Baton Relay as it travels through Shetland on Tuesday 1st July.
As part of Culture 2014, actor Tam Dean Burn is following the relay across Scotland, endeavouring to read all 195 books and sing all the published songs of Julia Donaldson to the children along the route. He will be travelling as much as possible by bicycle.
Mr Burn will be accompanied by Andy Alston (from the band Del Amitri) on accordion and Emma Schad on flute.
All children taking part in the challenge by going along to the lively story sessions will be offered a Marathon Storytelling Cycle Challenge sticker and groups of children will be given a certificate, celebrating their involvement.
Mr Burn will do three performances for pupils at Aith school and three at Brae, before dashing back to Lerwick for a 4pm session at Shetland Library.
Library manager Karen Fraser warned that it may get a bit noisy in the late afternoon, as the library kicked off a summer of special reading events for children.
She said: “The baton relay in Shetland is involving as many young people as possible, so we are joining in by hosting this lovely event, and also starting registration for our Summer Reading Challenge that day.
“This means that families waiting to see the baton go round Lerwick can come and enjoy the library. We’ll be staying open late (till 6pm) for this special occasion.”
Julia Donaldson has written over 195 original books for toddlers, children and young people, including picture books, poems, plays, phonic books and songs.
Much loved and best-selling stories include Room on the Broom, Stick Man, The Paper Dolls, Tiddler, The Snail and the Whale and Zog – and of course the hugely popular Gruffalo.
Shetland Library is also represented by a batonbearer in the relay: young people’s services librarian Morag Nicolson, nominated for her many years of work promoting reading among young people, will run the section from Thorfinn Street to Gilbertson Road.
Mrs Nicolson said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing lots of our library customers along the route.”