Saturday, 11 January 2014

Luke Temple: style icon + a very special book made of cake

Me and my mini-me!
What a way to kick off the Spring term! This week Mike and I were back in Ashford, Kent, where we visited Ashford Oaks School. Before my presentation even began I was in for a surprise. I was introduced to Joshua, a year 3 boy who has just had his hair cut 'in the style of Luke Temple'. That's right, he'd been inspired... by my hair. How wonderful is that?! (Unfortunately I have also just had my hair cut, but in a different style, which means that Joshua now looks more like me than I do!)

During the presentation, I asked Joshua to come up to the front to play my 'mini-me' and he did a great job. The presentation itself was a really good experience and everyone joined in to help me bring my books to life, making it a brilliantly fun afternoon. The next day we returned for a big book signing with lots of enthusiastic children. Thank you to Mr D'cruz for arranging a super visit - we hope we can come back soon!

After this we headed the short distance to The John Wallis Academy. We visited the school back in September 2013 and this week they invited us to help them open their newly improved library. As I walked past a classroom window on my way into the school, one of the children spotted me and started jumping up and down in excitement. I knew from that moment that it was going to be a special experience, but I wasn't prepared for the surprise that greeted me when I entered the building - my second surprise of the week!

Click on the image to make it bigger!
The restaurant at the school had been busy making a cake for the library opening, and it was a cake made to look like one of my books, Stormy Cliff! You can see it in the photos, complete with my signature. Isn't it amazing?! I thought I was only going to get to meet a few children when we opened the library, but to make it extra special the WHOLE SCHOOL had been invited to a 'library opening' celebration assembly. We really enjoyed this: the new year 6 librarians were introduced, I gave a short speech, the book-cake was cut and a song had been written especially for the library opening, which we all sang together. All that was left was to cut the ribbon, and we had officially opened the library at The John Wallis Academy Primary School.
The book-cake is cut for everyone to enjoy...

It is really great to see a school so focused on trying to develop a love of reading. I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate The John Wallis Academy on their energy and enthusiasm. A big thank you for inviting me to what is undoubtedly the best library opening I have ever attended - I was honoured to be there.

... which I clearly did, as this rather
unflattering photo shows!
To all the children at John Wallis, I hope you enjoy using your new library. Remember, it isn't like any other room in your school. It's a magical, amazing portal that can take you anywhere you want to go. By reading the books in your library and using your imaginations, you can become the hero in any story and travel to worlds that you've never even dreamed of! I look forward to coming back in the future and seeing your library 'in action'!
But I swear I didn't eat all of this!

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