Saturday, 19 March 2011
It's been quite a few weeks with school visits here there and everywhere in celebration of World Book Day. There's more to come, but I wanted to write a little something about one or two in particular.
At St Nicholas School, Norton (Letchworth) I had a particularly fulfilling two days, where the events were so well organised, with brilliant plans for follow up work and imaginative use of my time, it reminded me of why I visit schools and how, if everyone pulls together, there can be real benefits for the children. A model example of an author visit!
This week, despite a nasty cold, I've been to the Oundle Festival, near to where I was born (Stamford) where a large audience is always guaranteed along with a warm welcome. It's a small (and beautiful) town with a top notch festival.
And then today, stifling my cough, I was in Chelmsford where I got to catch up with the truly magnificent Nikki Gamble, who has opened a wonderful bookshop and events venue for children. She's an expert in her field and it shows, because the place itself is brilliantly laid out and my events were expertly organised. I have a feeling this place - called "JUST IMAGINE" will grow and grow in reputation to become an important part of the children's literature, art and education world. I certainly hope so and I would recommend it to anyone who can get to it - just 30 mins from Liverpool St. Station in London.
Amongst the delights is the extraordinary ABC, with illustrated letters by some of the greatest names in book illustration: Alex Scheffler, Chris Mould, my dear friend Clara Vulliamy, Tony Ross... and I'm honoured to be included too - with "E for Easel".
One of the other highlights of today, though, was catching up with an old school friend, Deb, who I have not seen for 30 years! Where does time go? The past, and it's hazy memories are so important in my work, so it was lovely to be reminded of younger and more innocent times. And Deb hasn't changed a bit (while I, meanwhile, have lost all my hair...). the events were part of another festival called JIBBER JABBER, And it seems to have been a great success!
The final highlight was cake, custard and chocolate as a gift from Nikki. Which I will shortly be devouring! Thank you!
Thanks to everyone I've worked with this month. Monday sees the start of a week long residency in another Letchworth School. It's going to be a busy few days!