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Summer Reading Month opens with children's exhibition "A Journey of Love Bon Bowl" (with photos)

     A bowl of rice and the familiar saying "ready to eat" at mealtimes depict a household blessed with love and care, and also symbolise the cherished Chinese theme of "love and family". With a variety of stories including escorting ducks across the street, how to cook stone soup and ways of encouraging whales to sing, Summer Reading Month 2013 encourages children to respect life, to care and cherish for others and to appreciate nature and its beauty.

     Organised by the Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department in association with the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation and Design and Cultural Studies Workshop, the popular library family reading event Summer Reading Month 2013 is one of the events under the "Vibrant Hong Kong" theme of the "Hong Kong: Our Home" Campaign. The programme was launched today (July 13) at Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL) along with the thematic children's exhibition "A Journey of Love Bon Bowl". This colourful exhibition includes interesting books, stories about bowls and games and installations, offering children an enriching summer of fun and learning.

     Today's launch ceremony also coincided with the prize presentation ceremony of the Competition on Story Writing in Chinese for Students in 2013, jointly organised by the HKPL and the Hong Kong Children's Arts Society. This year the competition received an enthusiastic response, with almost 2,000 entries. The winning entries focus on various aspects of life ranging from heart-warming stories about sweets and toys to exciting adventures and touching stories about family life.

     Officiating at the ceremony were the Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Florence Hui, and the Chairman of the Hong Kong Children's Arts Society, Mr Wong Tung-to, who presented prizes to the winners of the competition. The winning story in the competition's upper secondary category was vividly retold.

     Speaking at the ceremony, Ms Hui encouraged students to enjoy reading and writing. "Writing starts with reading. Through reading outstanding ancient and modern Chinese and Western literary works, one can accumulate wisdom, enrich one's knowledge and learn more about life. Good readers make good writers and practice makes perfect," she said.

     She also invited parents to participate with their children in the wide range of activities during Summer Reading Month to enjoy a fruitful and fun-filled summer.

     The HKPL organises Summer Reading Month every year to encourage parent-child reading during the summer vacation as well as to make good use of library resources.

     The thematic exhibition "A Journey of Love Bon Bowl", which runs from today to August 12 at the HKCL's Exhibition Gallery, comprises two exhibitions. Presented with attractive drawings and installations, "A Journey of Love" showcases interesting storybooks on the theme of love, offering readers the chance to learn about love between oneself and others, and between people and nature. Innovative installations and storytellers encourage children to learn how to "love, care and cherish" and tell stories about how we should share with and help one another. Other stories on being understanding and considerate teach that life will be better if people can live in harmony.

     And what about love between people and nature? The forest storytellers tell stories that teach the children to appreciate nature, and show life from the points of view of ducks, ants, whales and even trees. Children will also learn about environmental change and how to respect life under a blossoming tree. In addition, story areas including "Goodbye! my dears", "To protect our environment" and "To live a simple life" display picture stories and installations for children to experience and cherish nature.

     The exhibition "Bon Bowl - a Bowlful of Love" displays various installations and stories about bowls that focus on family love. Visitors are invited to try out games, including "Merry-go-round", "Bon bowl" and "Home sweet home", to learn how a bowl of rice reflects the love shared among family members. On display are bowls decorated with auspicious patterns, copies of bowls from the imperial court as well as others used by ordinary families. There is also an animation that introduces the making of a bowl from clay. Children are encouraged to explore the meaning of sayings inscribed on different bowls, and to appreciate the meaning behind holding a bowl, and to imagine the rooster bowl, shaped liked a cupped palm, sending out ripples of bliss and stories of unity.

     Families can also enjoy a variety shows and competitions held at the HKCL's Exhibition Gallery. There will be musical performances, a puppetry show, drama and storytelling in English, a paired reading talk, a contest on dramatisation and more. Admission to the exhibition and various activities is free.

     An English Drama, "Blue Blood", will be performed at 2.30pm today in the Exhibition Gallery of the HKCL. Admission is free and all are welcome.

     Various activities including language learning, storytelling and fun workshops on Bon Bowl education, storytelling by the elderly, parent-child drawing, creative communication, paired puppetry storytelling, paper puppet, paired reading and creative writing for children will be held in different public libraries.

     The "Reading Charter" activity is being introduced in this year's Summer Reading Month at all public libraries to promote reading through a voluntary pledge. It aims to encourage readers to establish the good habit of reading by promising to achieve goals in reading. Readers who successfully join the "Reading Charter" will be presented with a souvenir.

     Admission tickets are required for some of the programmes. Information details can be found in the Summer Reading Month booklet distributed at all public libraries. For enquiries, call 2921 2660 or visit the website at

Ends/Saturday, July 13, 2013
Issued at HKT 14:22


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