© 2024 New Hampshire Public Radio

Persons with disabilities who need assistance accessing NHPR's FCC public files, please contact us at publicfile@nhpr.org.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Purchase your tickets today and be entered to win $35k toward a new car or $25k in cash and so much more during NHPR's Summer Raffle!

With Bright Benches, London Shows Off Its Love Of Books

Jane Headford designed this Dr. Seuss bench, which is spending the summer alongside the River Thames
Courtesy of The National Literacy Trust
Jane Headford designed this Dr. Seuss bench, which is spending the summer alongside the River Thames

Chicago had cows, St. Louis has cakes and now London has benches that look like opened books.

The National Literacy Trust, along with public art promoter Wild in Art, has commissioned and placed 50 benches around town that are painted to look like pages and scenes from famous books.

Among the artists participating are Ralph Steadman, who re-created illustrations from his 1973 edition of Through the Looking-Glass; Rae Smith, the set designer for the stage version of War Horse; and How to Train Your Dragon creator Cressida Cowell.

In addition to the benches, which will be auctioned off in October, the project will include several literary-themed events, "such as an attempt to break the world record for the most number of people dressed as Sherlock Holmes, next to the Arthur Conan Doyle-inspired bench outside the University of London," according to Time Out.

Here are some of our favorites:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

This Sherlock Holmes bench is expected to attract the detective's lookalikes
/ Courtesy of National Literacy Trust
/
Courtesy of National Literacy Trust
This Sherlock Holmes bench is expected to attract the detective's lookalikes
Fiona and Neil Osborne designed this salute to the 1905 classic <em>The Railway Children.</em>
/ Courtesy of The National Literacy Trust
/
Courtesy of The National Literacy Trust
Fiona and Neil Osborne designed this salute to the 1905 classic The Railway Children.
<em>How To Train Your Dragon</em> author Cressida Cowell invites people to sit and "imagine dragons wheeling above you in the skies."
/ Courtesy of The National Literacy Trust
/
Courtesy of The National Literacy Trust
How To Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell invites people to sit and "imagine dragons wheeling above you in the skies."

Alan Greenblatt has been covering politics and government in Washington and around the country for 20 years. He came to NPR as a digital reporter in 2010, writing about a wide range of topics, including elections, housing economics, natural disasters and same-sex marriage.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.