Teddy bears booked in for Leith Library sleepover

Four-year-old Amy Chalkley with teddy bear Sebastian at Leith Library. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Four-year-old Amy Chalkley with teddy bear Sebastian at Leith Library. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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IF YOU are passing Leith Library on the night of June 19, you’re sure of a big surprise!

For a cursory glance through the windows will reveal 20 local teddies who will be gathering for the library’s first teddy bears’ sleepover.

And to make sure their owners can keep an eye on them while they’re away from home, the library will be tweeting pictures of the teddies’ antics throughout the night.

Scottish Book Trust reader in residence Emily Dodd explained that the cuddly scheme – designed to encourage children to read more – is already proving popular.

She said: “When their owners come to drop them off for the sleepover, they’ll make a bear bookmark together then have a bear story and sing some bear bedtime songs before we put the bears to bed.

“Teddy bears are notorious for wanting to get out of bed though, but me and my camera will be keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t get into too much mischief.”

Bears who wish to come along are advised to get their owners to book them in fast as places are limited.

Ms Dodd said: “We do only have 20 places available and a couple of very keen bears have booked in already. Bears can sometimes get scared when they are away from their owners overnight, so you should probably have a discussion with your bear before signing them up, and make sure they’re OK with spending a night away from you.

“You can come and get your bear any time you want the next day, and they’ll have a photo for you of what they’ve been getting up to and a bear book to bring home for you both to enjoy.”

However, unfortunately not all bear owners are eligible to take part.

Ms Dodd added: “A few bear owners have got in touch to ask if they can come along even if they don’t have children, or if they themselves dressed as a bear, but unfortunately this sleepover is just for bears with owners aged between three and five.”

It is hoped the library slumber party will encourage children to feel comfortable in libraries – and enjoy reading from an early age.

The slumber parties could become a regular fixture if there is enough demand.

Ms Dodd said: “As well as getting the bears to read some more, we’re also hoping that the bear owners and their mummies and daddies might pick up a book or two when they’re dropping off or picking up their bear. Then the whole family – bear included – can read together.”

If your bear wants to go to the sleepover, e-mail leith.
library@edinburgh.gov.uk with subject “Book in My Bear” and all your bear’s details.