Sunday, 31 March 2019

Stories and Salamanders

Thank you to everyone at Willingham Primary  School for making me so welcome at your school when I came to visit last week. I had a great day working with all three Y3/4 classes as well as with a lovely mixed-age group in the morning - where we got to work spinning tales of adventure and magic using my newly created Story Factory - modeled here by Scruffy. Scruffy comes along on all my school visits to dispense cuddles and perform as Drift's stunt double. Well done, everyone, for your brilliant imagination and enthusiasm.

And a huge thank you to Willingham Parish Council whose generous donation to the library funded the visit, and to Cambridgeshire Libraries who organised the event - complete with a display of my books at Willingham Library - and especially to top librarian, Wendy Law, for making sure that everything ran smoothly on the day.

The Mystery of the Black Salamander was the basis of the Y3/4 workshop - might just explain why I have a salamander on a stick in my pocket!

Lovely readers after the book signing. Drift is ready for his basket after a very busy day.

Monday, 18 March 2019

World Book Day Round-Up

Lucy as Emily Wild, complete with investigation kit
Thank you for sending in your fantastic pictures of Adventure Island World Book Day costumes - I loved seeing them.

and  a brilliant Drift badge

Lola as Drift, with perfect face paint - one black ear, one white with brown spots!

I had a great week, with visits to some of my favourite schools.
Here are a few of the things I got up to . . .
Tuesday at Litcham School in Norfolk
Led a workshop on travel writing with a Y8 group. Students pitched their ideas for new travel books based close to home, including, Rubbish: One student's quest to throw a piece of litter in every bin in Norfolk and Dave: One student's quest to meet every man called Dave in South West Norfolk.  Then we journeyed farther afield. Inspired by extreme quests like Tony Hawkes' Round Ireland With A Fridge, how about From Little Mileham to South Africa with a Sloth but no Sugar. Playing the part of editor, the ideas were so great, I commissioned them all, and sent everyone off on their imaginary travels with super-generous imaginary expenses. I really enjoyed running a poetry workshop on the theme of Home with a Y7 group too - so many great ideas and lots of thoughtful, interesting work. Well done, everyone!

There is a lovely write-up of the visit on the Litcham Library blog. Thank you for your kind words, everyone!

Wednesday at Princethorpe Junior School in Birmingham (by video!)
Recorded a video to play in the WBD assembly tomorrow, announcing the winners of their hundred word story writing competition and reading out the winning story. I got to growl in the voice of a monstrous brute with the head of a lion and the body of a bull and wave a sword around. Well done, Logan! Logan's story can be seen on the Story Showcase on the Young Writers page. As an extra prize I'm going to write a short mystery featuring the winning children as the intrepid investigators.

Thursday at Coton Primary School near Cambridge
Almost cried in assembly.  As the children began singing I am the Lord of the Dance I was ambushed by the accumulated memories of the long-ago nativity plays, harvest festivals and leavers' assemblies I attended when my sons were there.
Helped a Y3 class invent tarantula cars and hedgehog bikes and unicorn planes and a supercars called the Lamborghini Big Pancake.
Met aY3 girl- called Emily -who had dressed up as Emily Wild. As if that was not enough joy, her little brother in Y1 was dressed up as Emily's dog, Drift!

Meet Drift the dog!
Friday at Kensington Primary School in Liverpool
Accompanied the head and seven children - one winner  per year group of the 'design a book cover for your favourite book' competition - to choose their very own book prize in lovely Liverpool Waterstones.
Created dangerous writing suspense scenes with Y6 - including much discussion of hero cats, killer hamsters, ninja dogs, being sucked into TVs, exploding cities, failing WIFI signal . . . the list goes on!

Saturday at home
Collapsed in a heap on the sofa . . . with a good book of course!