Holly the Hedgehog and Other Amazing Stories

One of the amazing things about being an author is you run into amazing people.

I met sound recordist Jon Owen when I recorded the sound for my story for the Story Cloud initiative. Jon is a musician who also works in education - he does stuff like running music programmes for autistic kids.

He came to my house with all his recording kit packed in a wheeled shopping bag, recording the sound on an ancient Dell model that he replaces with the same model bought from eBay. Why? Because it works.

Recording my story for Story Cloud - it goes live
on 20 August 2012 - don't miss it!
The Boy Who Lived on a Pancake
Jon is a musician and an educator. We got to chatting about geeky things and he let me listen to some recordings he'd done of local people telling stories. One of the ones he played for me, brilliantly told by London mum Azzad Benkkeroum Zaim, was chosen for broadcast on Story Cloud. Do look out for it (it will go live on 23 July) - it's hilarious!

Jon and Azzad at the recent Story Cloud launch.
You can see more photos on Facebook 

He also showed me the work he'd been doing at primary schools in which children create their own story, line by line; also illustrating it line by line. And then Jon records them taking turns reading the text which he then assembles in a film.

The result was so magical I invited Jon to screen some of these films at the Pop Up Festival's Beanbag Cinema where my own film, We Read (see my cool trailer on the sidebar), will be shown. 

I hope to interview Jon about his work properly in a video but for now, here's a sample: Holly the Hedgehog (below)  - performed and created by the Reception children of Roding Primary School in Woodford Bridge, Essex. We will be screening this and two more of these films at the Beanbag Cinema. I don't know about you but listening to the children's voices and seeing their drawings, it just brings a lump to my throat. Wonderful. 

The Pop Up Festival is a totally FREE children's book festival over the  30 June / 1 July weekend at the cool new King's Cross Central area behind the newly beautified King's Cross Station. Just follow the signs to Central St Martin's - it's in the covered area to the right. I am curating one of the tents on a Philippine Fiesta theme - check out the Tumblr website I built for it at http://popupfiesta.tumblr.com  It's gonna be great!