Sunday, 16 June 2013

3 Counties, 5 Schools, 100s of Children and 9 Hatching Eggs

Our tour this week took Mike and me to schools in Berkshire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. 

Monday was a busy day, visiting 2 schools near Reading. At Lambs Lane Primary, we kicked off their book week with a bang. We had great fun entertaining KS2 in a presentation full of laughs, silliness and dramatic acting. I was particularly impressed with the year 3 who came up to help me dance to Jedward! In the afternoon, we had just as much fun introducing KS2 at Bucklebury Primary to our ghostly books. The children here were very good at bad jokes - I had to work very hard to find jokes they didn't get! Thank you to Amy O'Rouke at Lambs Lane and Nicola Madden at Bucklebury for arranging brilliant visits to both schools. This was our first visit to both Lambs Lane and Bucklebury - we certainly hope it won't be our last!

On Tuesday we travelled 50 miles to Gloucestershire and had a lovely time at the small, but very welcoming, Rodmarton Primary School, which has just 30 children in KS2. We were competing on the day with cute chicks hatching out of eggs. As we arrived, the first one had just hatched! We had the luxury of using the village hall next to the school for our presentations. Although the audiences were small, they made up for it with their enthusiasm and I had great fun bringing my books to life with them. Seeing 30 awe-filled faces staring up at me as I gave a dramatic reading of Becky's encounter with 'The Spectre' encouraged me to make the reading even more dramatic! When we returned to school the following day, a total of 9 chicks had hatched ... awwwww! Thank you to Mr Jones for organising our time at Rodmarton - we look forward to returning soon to work with you and your partner schools.

On Wednesday we were greeted with great enthusiasm by the Catholic School of Saint Gregory the Great in the centre of Cheltenham. Our lovely hostess, Miss Vaughan, and the other staff were amongst the most welcoming and helpful teachers we have met and we would like to say a huge thank you to them for making us feel completely at home entertaining the lively audience of year 4-6 children. In the school hall there was a nice, big stage - whenever I get the chance, I can't help jumping off and getting the audience fully involved in my presentation. I think I gave some of the year 4s at St Greg's quite a surprise as I leapt towards them! After my visit, the school decided to buy a huge collection of my books so that those children who weren't able to purchase their own copy would have a chance to read them - what a wonderful idea! We'll be in touch as soon as the next book is ready to show you all!
The brilliantly decorated entrance hall at Riverside!

After travelling another 50 miles up to Hereford, we found ourselves back with old friends at Riverside
Primary School, which I have visited twice before. You know when you enter a school that has an entrance hall decorated like the one at Riverside that you'll be in for a good time. Our audience of over 200 KS2 children entered the hall quietly simmering with curiosity, but by the time they left they were so excited about my two latest books they had just about reached boiling point. If I'd left them with one more cliff hanger I think they might have exploded! The large KS1 audience afterwards were an absolute joy too and their laughter is still ringing in my ears! Thank you to Mrs Walker for arranging another fantastic morning. After our third successful visit to Riverside, we now can't wait to come back and tell you all about my next book, The Ghost Lord Returns!

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