Taking books to schools

We’ve  already had World Book Day, but for many authors and illustrators World Book Day starts early and finishes later. I’ve recently had a nice couple of weeks going around schools in England.

I visited a number of schools and I always felt welcome and had a good time. My experience is, that the schools which invite authors to visit are usually nice schools.

Inviting an author to school is not about celebrating the authors, it is about getting children inspired. Having the opportunity to meet  somebody who writes, or illustrates books the children will understand that authors are ordinary people who work and do a  job they like. Not dissimilar to what many of their parents do and that anybody can write and be creative. These children then become authors and artists themselves for at least a couple of days.

I would like to mention all the schools, the nice teachers and librarians I met over the last few weeks, but it would be impossible.  For all of them I will mention Ryefield Primary School in Uxbridge.

The Headteacher Colin Tucker drove me through snow and blizzard to his school, which remained open even when other schools in the country were closed. The school was full of excited children ready to have fun, listen to stories, learning about writing, illustrating and getting their hands dirty.IMG_0060

At the reception I was welcomed by Blue Penguin made of potato. I knew immediately that I am in the right place. The children knew my books and many of them had already written their own stories inspired by some of them. Children from the Reception class even performed ‘Silly Suzy Goose’ for me! I was truly honoured.spread copy

Imogen Elliot did this cover for her story called ‘Mice Can’t Dance’. The story is about a mouse who proved, that actually mice can dance when they overcome some obstacles. The mouse had a lovely name – Luna. I love the story.blue penguinAnnabelle Roberts did this copy of an illustration from my book Blue Penguin. Isn’t it amazing?Blue_Penguin_8

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I got lots of pictures and sketches of characters for my new books.spread 3Some of the ideas were real poetry. I love this drawing and description.spread

This is another present for me. The poem by Raquel from Year 6. and it is so lovely that I have to share it. She also added drawings inspired by  ’A First Book of Animals’ that I illustrated for Nicola Davies.

IMG_0066Later in the day we did some painting and created new characters and made a big picture for the school hall.IMG_0064Working with children and meeting everybody at Ryefield School made my day. Thank you very much for making me so welcome.

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A Blog about a Blog

I used to write a blog almost every week. It helped me get organised and summarised what I was doing.

I’ve  somehow got out of the habit recently. It’s partly because I can’t get organised and I am doing a little bit of everything at the moment.

I am sketching a book about a tiger.Scan

When I am not sketching tigers I am sketching two board books.3 Space

One of them is about the universe and stars.1 fishThe other one is about the sea and fish.

6 fishWhat I should be really doing is drawing and painting puffins.puffiniMy problem is, that I want to do it all.

It looks that the only thing I am not doing is writing a blog. But that is not true either. Because my latest book ‘The Mouse Who Wasn’t Scared’ has just been published I was answering questions and writing blogs for other bloggers.

4 The MOuse who wasn't scared

I was asked by Jake Hayes to answer some questions for his blog TYGERTALE.

Look at Jake’s previous blogs if you have time, because the blogs are brilliant and I can guarantee that you will want to read them all.

Jake does a great job. He corrected all my mistakes in the names of the Czech authors and illustrated his blog  with a good choice of pictures as well.  THANK YOU very much.

And the very last, but very important message – Enjoy WORLD BOOK DAY! I am off to a couple of schools and I am looking forward to it.