October 11th, 2019

reeve & mcintyre at wimbledon bookfest 2019

Neither Philip Reeve nor I had been to Wimbledon BookFest before, and we had no idea when we went along yesterday, what a fabulous festival it would turn out to be!

The theatre space in the big festival tent was top-notch and it quickly filled with eager schoolchildren ready to talk books and draw with us. Here's a photo tweeted by Bishop Gilpin Primary School in Merton @BishopGilpinPS, where we're taking suggestions from the audience:

One of the amazing things about Wimbledon BookFest is that they got the sponsorship to give EVERY CHILD A BOOK! When you've spent an hour getting kids excited to read a story you've created, it's wonderful to know that they'll be able to go away and read it straight away. And it was wonderful getting to connect briefly with hundreds of children individually, to give them a book signed and dedicated specially to them. Here are a couple photos tweeted by Hall School Wimbledon @HswJunior:

Getting people drawing is a huge part of what we do at events; it pulls everyone in and gives them confidence that they can create a storybook character, and a structure that they can adapt to create different characters of their own. This time I taught them how to draw Cardigan Faun, one of the mythical creatures featured in our second Roly-Poly Flying Pony book, Kevin's Great Escape. (We have this and more free drawing tutorials on my website.) Aren't these great?! I love how they're all very competently drawn, but also each faun has its own fun personality.

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