Sarah McIntyre (jabberworks) wrote,
Sarah McIntyre

Reeve & McIntyre at The Bookery, Crediton

What a week! The team at The Bookery in Crediton, in Devon, hosted my co-author Philip Reeve and me for a three days packed full of fantastic book events!

Photo by Tilly Lander Williams for The Bookery

You might recognise my handwriting on the shopfront, from earlier in the year, when The Bookery rebranded from being Crediton Community Bookshop, and asked me to do the lettering and rook characters.

Philip gave me a lift and I did solo picture book events for the first day, starting with a big Grumpycorn assembly at Broadclyst Primary School, including Westclyst, Monkerton and Yeo Valley primary schools on Zoom.

Photo from Luke Hayes-Middleton at Broadclyst Primary

As always, I got the kids drawing, designing their own Unicorn book covers.

Photo from Luke Hayes-Middleton at Broadclyst Primary

Here are some of their work-in-progress drawings!

Photo from Luke Hayes-Middleton at Broadclyst Primary

I only spoke with the younger half of the primary school, but when I went to do some book signing in the library, the team there showed me a display of Grumpycorn drawings by some of the older children who weren't at the assembly and were rather sad they couldn't be there, too. They did nice work!

I'm presenting books here with headteacher Jonathan Bishop, and here's the very cool thing: every child got to take home their own Grumpycorn book! Cathie Holden and The Bookery team had worked hard to get sponsorship: Redrow sponsored books for every child at Broadclyst, Cavanna Homes got books to every child at Monkerton, and The Bookery was able to use sponsorship money to fund books for Yeo Valley. So huge thanks to the sponsors!

Photo from Luke Hayes-Middleton at Broadclyst Primary

Here's the Broadclyst library team - thanks to everyone at the school who made the visit run so smoothly!

In the afternoon, I did a smaller assembly for Chulmleigh Academy Trust (CAT) at Chulmleigh Primary School, and we were joined by East Worlington and Lapford primary schools on Zoom. And wonderfully, there was a book for every child at CAT who attended the event, sponsored by a Crediton benefactor. Here are East Worlington children showing off their new books:

And a great display of Grumpycorn drawings by children at Chulmleigh!

Philip Reeve joined me for Day 2, to do two assemblies featuring our brand-new book, Kevin vs the Unicorns. Cathie & Tim from The Bookery created this display at Haywards Primary School:

The children were very enthusiastic about Kevin - many had read earlier books - and we had a lot of fun drawing with them.

Again, each child got their own book! Many of them ordered the new Kevin book, but every child received a copy of the first book, The Legend of Kevin, sponsored by our publisher, Oxford University Press.

Here are some of their excellent drawings of Kevin, customised to make their own fabulous mythical racer:

After the first assembly, The Bookery team took us to Baobab Cafe in Crediton, where its chef gave us a most excellent lunch.

In the afternoon, Philip and I did another assembly at Landscore Primary School, although I didn't manage to get any photos. Again, everyone got a Legend of Kevin book, plus the books they'd ordered, and there was great excitement and much book signing.

On Day 3, a Saturday, we were back at the bookshop. Check out the great window display by Claire Lewis!

Philip gave a talk on his new book for older readers, Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep, which was utterly packed out. Cathie had flagged the event at the schools and I think it really made an impact: children were coming with and without parents, filling every available bit of space.

Photo tweeted by Tilly Lander Williams for The Bookery

Meanwhile, I was running an intensive Picture Book Masterclass with this group, in the amazing and well-stocked new event space The Bookery have in their back building.

I gave a talk, then I set the group a challenge to make an entire book at very high speed. And they met the challenge very well!

Thanks so much to the schools, to everyone who came along to our events, to the sponsors, and to the amazing team at The Bookery! Here are The Bookery's CEO Dee Lalljee, Cathie Holden and Claire Lewis. The Bookery is a non-profit social enterprise and its team really have a heart for their area, putting in a lot of extra work to bring books to children who might not necessarily get the chance otherwise, and building community.

And The Bookery's communications volunteer Tilly Landers Williams (who does a lot on The Bookery's social media channels). Cathie gave us lots of lifts! You can follow The Bookery on Twitter - @thebookeryhq - Instagram - thebookeryhq - and on Facebook.

And my biggest thanks go to Philip Reeve and Sarah Reeve, who put me up for the whole stay and took me on Dartmoor walks, and to Philip for making books with me, putting up with me, and making the whole creative process so much fun.

Tags: bookshops, devon, grumpycorn, reeve_and_mcintyre, roly_poly_flying_pony, schools

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