Leicester Author Week is part of the Whatever It Takes programme, when Leicester decided they were going to do 'whatever it takes' to get their children reading.
My Author Week events always go well because Dan Routledge comes along with me, whether it's getting the kids to tell him their jokes or introducing me to school staff. Here's our first stop, at King Richard III Infant and Nursery School.
I did a big assembly featuring Grumpycorn and then worked with Years 2 and 3 on creating their own unicorn-themed picture books. Grumpycorn's perfect for this, in that it's all about someone trying to make a book. Here are some of the books we came up with, at King Richard III and at the second stop, Mayflower Primary School
A book's a book even if it's only two pages long! And an author is someone who has finished making a book. So here are several children becoming authors:
My co-author Philip Reeve (and plushie Kevin) joined Dan and me on the second day, for events featuring the first of our Roly-Poly Flying Pony books, The Legend of Kevin.
After our assembly, we led children in creating their own gameboards, which is very much like plotting a story, with a beginning and end that the players want to get to, with lots of wonders and perils in between.
Here are some of the gameboards from Glebelands Primary School:
And some more from our afternoon visit to Folville Junior School:
I love seeing school art displays: their ideas, which media these use, and how. Here are some lovely polar bears on display at Glebelands:
And check out these mammoths made from plastic milk bottles:
After the last school on Friday, Philip and I were happy with how the day had gone, but very tired, and we celebrated with coffee and cake at the excellent Merchant of Venice cafe by the rail station.
One of the things I love about going to Leiecester is catching up with friends, and Philip was also able to catch up with relatives who live there, and take me along. Here he’s drawing with his littlest cousin:
We got to have breakfast with poet Joseph Coehlo, who pulled out a great digital polaroid camera right before we left and gave us a picture. He's done this lovely new book with Tasmanian illustrator Daniel Gray-Barnett.
I've had a lot of good curry dinners in Leicester (the best place for a curry) but I must say that the Nepalese food Mumbai Inn was the best I've had yet. I got to meet up with local author and university librarian Selina Lock, Juliet Martin (who used to help me with Author Week) and another author visiting for Author Week, Gareth P Jones.
Huge thanks to Dan Routledge, Sonia Dayal, Rebecca Partington and everyone on the Author Week team, and to all four schools for hosting me!