On Saturday, I was delighted to meet up with the NSTBA's 2015 Picture Book category winners- Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton. Sporting matching tiaras (all will become clear!), they were preparing to introduce Hay to their latest book about Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam- The Diamond Chase.
The event was completely sold out! Excited children came piling into The Cube and settled themselves by the stage, eagerly waiting for the event to begin.
An amazing story teller, Tracey had the children completely captivated as she told them the first Shifty and Sam story- and I do mean told, not read! The children joined in, finishing her sentences, their love for the book obvious! Using props- the SWAG bag (complete with spider!) and beautiful soft toys of Shifty and Sam- and pictures from the story projected behind her, the story really came to life and had the adults chuckling along with their children. I learned that the Scotty dog is called Len- a fact that doesn't appear in the book!
We then were treated to the new story- The Diamond Chase - and the reason for the tiaras and bow ties became obvious! The book was met with great enthusiasm; the combination of excellent rhyming prose, fabulous illustrations and humour running through both makes this another winner.
Next, Steven taught us all how to draw Sidney Scarper, carrying his cloche! He made it look so easy and, following his instructions, the children produced some amazing results. I have hidden mine from public view!
Every child (and some slightly older people!) then made their own pop-out-of-a-present Sidney! The organisation of this was excellent- the children were completely engaged as the activity was all ready for them to put together and so accessible to all. Tracey and Steven worked with children and their parents, helping, chatting and laughing. It was lovely to see!
The event ended with a memory game- and no one wanted to leave! In the signing queue, there was so much excited chatter about the event and many children clutching their new books. There is a new chapter book series about Slippery and Sam coming out later this year which sounds very exciting to me as a teacher- perfect for early readers (and anyone who enjoys a good story!).