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.
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.
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.Annabelle Roberts did this copy of an illustration from my book Blue Penguin. Isn’t it amazing?
I got lots of pictures and sketches of characters for my new books.Some of the ideas were real poetry. I love this drawing and description.
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.
Later in the day we did some painting and created new characters and made a big picture for the school hall.Working with children and meeting everybody at Ryefield School made my day. Thank you very much for making me so welcome.