Buccaneers and buried gold. 

A Liverpool-based national charity and social enterprise is set to bring children’s books to life in the heart of Liverpool’s retail district with a thrilling new interactive reading adventure. The Reader, the charity that brought Michael Rosen’s Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake and Bad Things to the city and runs The Storybarn in South Liverpool’s Calderstones Park, is partnering with Liverpool ONE once again on a brand-new immersive experience to inspire families. Taking inspiration from a treasure trove of children’s books, including Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel, The Storybarn’s Treasure Island will set sail as part of Liverpool ONE’s Story Season.

Part-interactive theatre, part story-telling, Storybarn’s Treasure Island at Paradise Street, Liverpool ONE includes a tropical desert island, a sensory underwater grotto and pirate shipwreck to explore. The 45-minute sessions will run daily at 10am, 12noon, 2pm and 4pm with the Crafting Cove open for free, 10am – 5pm seven days a week. Taking inspiration from the very best children’s stories and poems including Quentin Blake’s The Green Ship, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussycat, The Storybarn’s Treasure Island is a celebration of great books and fun-filled family reading adventures.

The Storybarn’s Treasure Island is set to open on Monday, April 9. But the fun is set to start earlier, with three daily Treasure Trails starting from Thursday, March 29. The guided trail will take parents and children around the streets of Liverpool ONE in search of story clues and pirate treasure. Adventuring families can sign up for free, in person, at Liverpool ONE’s Reading Trees.

The Reader’s Founder and Director, Dr. Jane Davis MBE said: “We are thrilled to be bringing The Storybarn’s Treasure Island interactive family experience to Liverpool ONE this Spring. We’re incredibly proud of our work at The Storybarn at Calderstones Park, but we want to read with a lot more families across the region to help kick-start a life-long love of books. Research from UNESCO shows that ‘reading for pleasure is the single most important thing that will make a child successful in life;. The single biggest impact on a child’s independent reading is whether a parents reads to them. We know this can be daunting, so we need to find new ways to reach and inspire families to read together, and that’s why we’re delighted to be able to bring The Storybarn’s Treasure island to the city centre”.

Story Season is Liverpool ONE’s three-month celebration of all things literary with visitors encouraged to swap their books at the much-loved Reading Trees, enjoy special appearances, book reviews and competitions.Tickets for The Storybarn’s Treasure Island are available to pre-book now at www.thestorybarn.org.uk. Suitable for children, new-born – eight and their families, tickets are only £4.50 per person and under 1s do not require a ticket. So pack your telescopes, compasses, buckets and spades as we head for the horizon in search of sensational stories.

While The Storybarn’s Treasure Island experience is for children and their families, The Reader team will also be on hand to speak to visitors about their free weekly Shared Reading groups for adults. These groups are accessible for all and you don’t have to be a reader to join. Anyone interested in joining a group, or volunteering to run their own group is welcome to pop in at any time to find out more.