Yesterday I returned as one of the authors featured in the brilliant Southwark Schools Reading Festival - funded and organized by the borough of Southwark.
The entire event ran like clockwork! They even managed to hire a mad professor to gee up the kids and introduce speakers! Here's a video of how Middleton (the mad professor) started off each event:
Thanks to Middleton Mann for sharing this video. If you are in need of a lunatic at any of your events, here's Middleton's website Publish and Be Framed. He was quite brilliant - only one or two children burst into tears! (Actually they didn't - they were ecstatic!)
Where was I? Oh yes! I was waxing lyrical about the Southwark Schools Reading Festival. I first heard about it from author pal Steve "Time to inflate the Bogey" Hartley (Danny Baker Record Breaker), who appeared at the festival last year with his giant bogey and world's biggest underpants. Steve, bogey and pants were featured again on Monday I'm sure to the unbridled delight of the children.
|Steve Hartley and his world's biggest pants!|
|Here I am with Leah Chin, education manager of Tales on Moon Lane. Check out the serried ranks of Tall Stories on the display!|
|I finally met Tamara McFarlane, TML bookseller turned author - her book Esme Miranda's Fairground Circus is out soon. On the right is Lillie McCotter , who organizes the festival for Southwark - including creating teaching resources about our books!|
|Having Middleton as compere raised everyone's energy levels, including mine! I'm sure my voice was several decibels higher than normal after his rousing introduction!|
|My audiences were smart, attentive and rather lovely! I wanted to take them all home with me but what would my husband say?|
|The children were totally captivated by Middleton. This was at the end when he suddenly announces that one of them has won a prize!|
|... and the prize is under one of the seats!!! The children dive ...|
|Joe's golden ticket won him a hardback copy of Tall Story!|
My big bonus of the day was that the author of one of my children's all time favourite picture books SO MUCH was doing the afternoon slot - I got to see Trish Cooke entrance a roomful of sweeties with her magical stories.
|And when it was time for the golden ticket, the winner was this sweet little boy! Makes me think I really ought to write picture books ...|
|This is the original cover art of |
So Much that my kids grew up with
...it's illustrated by Helen Oxenbury,
Thank you Southwark for funding such a brilliant festival ... and thank you to all the cogs and wheels who make it such a fantastic experience for the kids AND for the authors!
I'm doing events at the Hay Festival on the 30th and 31st of May - if you're somewhere near the Welsh borders, you might want to check it out! What's it all about? Check out this post I wrote for the Hay Festival blog. And if you've never heard of this world famous festival - here's a primer I made just for you! See you there!