I had an amazing week last week visiting schools for World Book Day celebrations. Did you know it was the twentieth World Book Day? For parents the thought of concocting a costume for this sort of event can be stressful, but when you see what goes on that day and all the energy and enthusiasm that everybody shows, it’s so worth it (and if in doubt, wear casual clothes and go as one of the Famous Five!).
First stop was Beech Hill in Luton, where I shared the story of Professor McQuark with the Early Years classes. They then had the task of designing their very own wacky scientists. I had a very tasty school dinner and then got to judge the designs and give out some prizes. It was hard as they were all so fun and quirky! I think my favourite was Professor Rainbow.
On Tuesday I visited St John Rigby in Bedford. They had a very craft day making snowy pictures and spinners that pointed to the seasons inspired by The Snowflake Mistake, while the older years channeled their inner Professor McQuarks by making crazy vehicles. Some even travelled in time!
Wednesday saw me going to Biggleswade to St Andrews (West) for a couple of big assemblies. I had to project my voice as well as the book illustrations! Everyone joined in with sound effects for the picture books. After reading Letter to Pluto to the older pupils I explained to them the journey from an idea to a published book. We needed lots of volunteers to show how many people are involved.
On Thursday it was the big day itself – the twentieth World Book Day. I was very excited to go to London and visit Surrey Square Primary School in Southwark the day. The atmosphere was amazing and the teachers for each year group had co-ordinated their outfits so in one year the teachers were a set of crayons (‘The Day the Crayons Quit’) and in another year they were The Twits! I did a mixture of assemblies, class visits and a workshop and felt like part of the Surrey Square family.
Finally on Friday it was back to Biggleswade to St Andrews (East) where, after a short scenic detour (ie getting lost), I arrived at a beautiful newly built school like something out of Grand Designs. The children had been waiting very patiently for me and eagerly volunteered to help me find the ideas in my ideas sack to make the stories. After a reading of Letter to Pluto and a session with the older pupils about the journey of a book followed by some fabulous questions, my World Book Day week was over.
I can’t wait for next year!