My Story Cloud: the Boy Who Lived on a Pancake

I've been away, travelling, and so I missed Monday's unveiling of my own story (illustrated by the amazing amazing Deborah Allwright of Night Pirates fame) on the wonderful Story Cloud website. Tsk tsk!

Do go and check out my story - click on the main image on the page and you will be offered a choice of either reading it yourself or listening to me reading it in my confused British / American / Filipino accent.

I had such fun recording it with Discover's genius audio man, Jon Owen who also happens to record children making up their own stories as part of his work with schools.

Enjoying my moment as a recording artist!

After we did our recording, Jon showed me some of the videos he's made with schools and I thought they were so brilliant that I screened them at my Beanbag Cinema at the Pop Up Festival.

When you get to the end of every story, you can download it as a PDF to read again and again (I hope).
I made this
animated gif
out of one of the
interactive bits
on the website
If you click on "Find the surprises in the picture" you'll come to an interactive page filled with lovely surprises for a young reader.

Story Cloud is the brainchild of Discover the wonderful Children's Story Centre in Stratford (not the one-upon-Avon, the one where the Olympics happened!).

Producer Sally Goldsworthy pulled the whole thing together with the support of Westfield and the Arts Council - it's part of the London 2012 Festival which ran alongside the Olympics.

Discover believes that stories have the power to transform children's lives. If you're lucky enough to visit the centre, you'll find yourself in a series of magical spaces designed to inspire and conjure stories.

To take the experience beyond Stratford, Discover created Story Cloud, an interactive online experience featuring '12 unique stories by some of the UK's finest authors, illustrators and members of our east London community, and that they will inspire you to create and share your own stories.' (I added the quotation marks so you know I didn't say it ... but it was nice to be invited as one of the storytellers).

Some of the illustrators and artists involved in Story Cloud: (left to right) Chris Riddell, Malorie Blackman, Philip Ardagh, Adam Stower (behind Malorie and Phlip), me grabbing a rather startled Julia Donaldson of Gruffalo fame who came to keynote the Story Cloud launch and Elissa Elwick. Photo: Sarah McIntyre
Illustrator Adam Stower's health and safety message to the children (look at his story to find out why)
At the launch attended by local schools, illustrator Sarah McIntyre draws a suspiciously familiar character about to go down the plughole (check out Sarah's story written by a certain bearded author to find out why)

Inspired to write your own story? Send it to Story Cloud and they will post it on their online gallery! Details of how to do it are on the story PDF which you can download by looking for this button on the page:
Hurry - submissions will only be accepted until 9 September! 

Snail-mail: StoryCloud, Discover Children’s Story Centre, 383–387 High Street, Stratford, London E15 4QZ, United Kingdom

The interactive site was created by the brilliant app developer Winged Chariot, whose motto is 'We build beautiful stories for the screen'.

And they certainly did - visit Story Cloud and you'll discover a visual (and aural - you can listen to the authors telling their stories) feast.  The website unveils a story a week - so far, they've done 10, and there are only two to go! Here are the ones that have gone live (go to the website to click on the thumbnails):

Semilore is one of the children who contributed to Story Cloud
(sounds like it won't be long before this kid's gonna be famous)

I just loved Debi Gliori's accent!

Azzad is a local mum - I love her hilarious story!

This story is totally mad. Just like the author and illustrator.

And still to come? A story by local school kid Zaynab Abokor, followed by one written by national treasure and one of my writing idols, Jamila Gavin.