Children’s author sees book placed in ‘Capsule of Culture’

Merseyside children’s author Natalie Reeves Billing has seen one of her books, Ben and the Bug, placed in the Capsule of Culture exhibit in the Royal Liver Building

Natalie Reeves Billing
Natalie Reeves Billing, left, with Kim Wall of RBL 360 with the capsule


Children’s author Natalie Reeves Billing’s book, Ben and the Bug will be saved for posterity in a Liverpool time capsule commemorating some of the key moments of 2020.

The ‘Capsule of Culture’ which is on display at the Royal Liver Building, will mark a year that organiser Peter Johnson-Traherne describes as “pressing, pivotal and poignant.”.

Schools and individuals nominated items that they felt best represented key moments in 2020 and chose an eclectic mix of mementos – from Merseyside author Natalie Reeves Billing’s book to Tony Bellew’s boxing gloves to face masks and a model of Everton’s new stadium.

Judges including Kim Cattrall, Lord Mayor Anna Rothery, Liverpool and England footballer Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ru Paul’s Drag Race winner The Vivienne carefully considered the nominations before choosing key items that they felt best represented 2020 for the time capsule.

Natalie wrote Ben and the Bug to help children tackle COVID-related anxiety. She said: “Having one of my books chosen felt like the glorious end of a long, nerve-wracking journey.

“Although lots of things have been happening to be excited about recently, to have my book recognised by a celebrity panel and placed in a cultural exhibition in the iconic Royal Liver Building is a Liverpool girl’s dream come true.”

Teachers and parents have been using Natalie’s book to introduce the topic of COVID in a way that’s accessible to children, and the author added: “I wanted to write a book that gave this mysterious virus a face, and often that takes the fear out of things.

“The unknown is much scarier – the idea that some unseen attacker is out there waiting to get us. As children returned to school, I wanted them to know that they could play a part in keeping us safe, but to remind them of the importance of fun, friendship and normality, too.”

Natalie, who says that her Build a Book literacy boxes are “jam-packed full of magic and imagination” says that having her work selected for the Capsule of Culture will help her to further her message and continue her work in the community.

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