Friday 7 October 2005

What Children's Book Week did for me

The National Children's Book Week poster for 2005 was designed by Simon Bartram, author of Man on the Moon and Dougal's Deep Sea Diary
It’s National Children’s Book Week in the UK!

My seven year old’s primary school has invited authors and illustrators to visit, there have been competitions, and a dress-up-as-your-favourite-character day!

Caught up in the enthusiasm of this lovely, booky week, I plucked up the courage to volunteer to read to my daughter’s Year Three class. I say plucked up the courage because instead of picking something from the bookshelves, I decided to read my own unpublished picture book manuscripts!

Now, fellow obsessives, you may – as I often do – sometimes wonder if all those lonely hours tapping at the computer keyboard and peeling open rejection letters are worth it; you may sometimes wonder if it is time to give up the dream. Well, don’t give up until you’ve tested your work on your chosen audience!

Reading my stuff to the kids was more energizing than a library full of books on how to write! The children laughed and clapped and shouted out comments and, when the I finished reading, gave a big cheer!

Children walking to school dressed as Thing One and Thing Two from Dr Seuss's The Cat in the HatThe picture right is of Cat in the Hat enthusiasts from last year's Children's Book Week. Unfortunately I didn't get a snap of this year's costume parade.

The next day, when the school paraded into assembly dressed up as their favourite characters, amongst the Harry Potters, BFGs, oompa-loompas, knights and Sleeping Beauties, I was honoured to find that one of the kids had come dressed as a character from my story!

It was better than winning the Newbery Medal.
National Children's Book Week is organised by Booktrust.

1 comment :

  1. Oh, YAY! For you! Yes, it is WORTH it all to see those little ones listen and laugh! I will NEVER forget how nervous I was reading something I'd written to kids for the first time. Sixthgrade classroom full of tired, rowdy boys and the crossest, rudest teacher you can IMAGINE sitting behind me noisly writing on papers...but what a joy to see the effect of STORY on those kids!

    LOVE your blog! Thanks for such a well-written and INTERESTING blog!


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