February 29th, 2020

hillcross primary school 2020

Yesterday I went to the last southern stop on the Northern Line to make an Author Visit to Hillcross Primary School...

LOTR graphic kindly supplied by Philip Reeve

...No, one simply SASHAYS into Morden, followed by a dramatic twirl! I wasn't going to accept any more school visits for the year, but Assistant Head and teacher Lee Christy (pictured here) got in touch to invite me; the last time I visited Lee's school, it was one of my best visits EVER. (You can read on a previous blog about how they put on a whole Arts Week featuring my books - it was incredible.) So I took it on, knowing this one would be good, and it didn't disappoint!!

Here I'm doing an assembly about the Roly-Poly Flying Pony books I do with Philip Reeve.

Photo tweeted by @HillcrossPS

I talked about how we think up ideas for the stories and characters together, and then Philip writes it, but phones me up whenever he wants more ideas. And then I do the artwork, but often when I'm pinched for time, Philip will come to my studio and we'll work through the early-stages pencil roughs togehter. So the books are very much collaborative and co-authored.

I did three assemblies, and it was great to see the children were already familiar with many of my books. These were followed by a special tea party with the children who had won Golden Tickets for taking the most interest in reading and engaging with books. Then Lee and the school's Headteacher Lisa Francis took me to the hall where the whole school had set up an exhibition of work they'd done, inspired by my books. It was very overwhelming, in a good way!!

I'll go around the room and show you some of the work from the youngest children to the oldest. Here's an exhibition of monster art inspired by Morris the Mankiest Monster, the first children's book I illustrated in the UK, written by Giles Andreae:

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